As well as being a top competitor, Josep Pons (Simmer / Simmer Sails) is also one of the most sort after coaches in the world teaching anywhere from beginner right up to teaching the very best sailors in the world. As one of the most qualified coaches in the world we recently caught up with Pons to as him a few questions… this week he talks about the most common mistakes he sees from your average sailor and also talks you through the fundamentals of the forward loop, which can then be applied to almost all moves.
If you could quickly point out the most common mistakes you see from say recreational level sailors what would they be?
The most common mistakes I see during my trainings are that people want to learn really fast, but they are missing the important part… They need to have the basics solid, before attempting complex moves.
For example, a lot of clients contact me to learn the backloop, but they can’t do a controlled and high jump into the wind, using the wave. It is important to understand that before you attempt a jump with a loop it is essential that you are a good jumper, been able to jump up and downwind, being able to change your body and sail position during the jump… As soon you have it you are ready to start with the loops.
It is the same with the wave riding. If you really want to wave ride and approach a wave, be sure you can perform good gybes. If you aren’t able to execute a good gybe, you will not be able to do a good bottom turn, and obviously not a good top turn either because you will not have enough control to turn in the right point of the wave.
To sum up, we can train a lot of things before going wave riding or trying loops. Think about the basics and look for the different progressions, that will help you to learn faster and safer.
The forward loop is probably the one move every windsurfer dreams of doing… what would your forward loop tips be?
I would say 95% of my clients contact me to learn forward or backloops. As I explain to them the most important thing is to understand the physics of the body movement and how windsurfing equipment works according the wind and water (physics too).
To rotate through a forward loop is really easy, but to do it in a safe way and with good technique is not that easy. That is where we need to spend time to analyse a lot of things.
Normally I split all the moves up into preparation or attacking the wave, take off, flying time, and landing. To start with a forward loop we need to understand we want to turn downwind, lateral and forward. Then during the preparation part of the jump it is really important to go downwind, moving our board with our toes downwind, moving the weight forward, and sail forward, open and up. The correct preparation of the loop with our body, board and sail will make our forwards easier and safer.
Next we will need to sheet in, get smaller and more compact to rotate faster… After that we need to feel the rotation and sheet out as soon as we want to stop the rotation. Sail away with a smile on your face…forward loop complete.
What levels do you coach? And how can people get a lesson with you?
I coach for beginners to advanced to pro level. Most of them contact me directly because they know me and they have my personal contact. But others contact me via my web page (www.ponstraining.com), email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook www.facebook.com/ponstraining or www.facebook.com/josepe203
Thanks Pons. Check back next week to hear Pons’ talk about double forwards, pushloop forwards and why he loves coaching.