I was thrilled to be the 2017 winner of a free ABK Boardsports Windsurfing Clinic, generously donated to BABA by ABK owner, Andy Brandt. For those unfamiliar with ABK, they offer windsurfing clinics at most major US windsurfing sites and in the Caribbean, typically in shallow water sites to facilitate learning without all the climbing up on the board. I had taken ABK once before in Waves, NC, just north of the site of our Hatteras trips in Avon. While the free voucher specified that I needed to take the clinic in 2017, Andy very generously allowed me to take the clinic in January, 2018 in Bonaire. Here are some thoughts from that week:
“Release the front hand all the way.”
“All the way?”
“Yep. All the way.”
In fact, I don’t release the front hand “all the way” as instructed, and the sail slams me backward off the board. Tom Lepak from ABK patiently explains that I fell back because I still had some pressure on my front hand which kept the backwinded sail from spinning around. I step back on the board and try again: this time, I do release my hand “all the way” by opening my palm and moving it away from the boom, and the backwinded sail effortlessly swings around in the fresh breeze as I step back into a perfect clew-first stance: my first successful lee-side escape! A few more tries and I got the heli-tack nailed. Now I just need to move it from the simulator to the water.
ed note – I’m oh so tardy in posting this article – please don’t let that inhibit any writers from sending articles for the blog. I promise to do better!
by Dave Turner
Since I have become accustomed to ending my year of windsurfing by signing up for the Fall BABA trip to Cape Hatteras, I was very disappointed to learn that a work commitment would prevent me from attending the 2015 trip. A quick internet search soon presented an appealing solution. I would attend BABA but only Thursday through Saturday and sign up for Andy Brandt’s ABK Windsurfing Clinic the following week. This would get me a week and a half in Hatteras!
I’d been thinking about attending ABK for a while. My windsurfing skills had improved a lot over the past few years due to quadrupling my time on the water. I was handling more wind, had moved to a much smaller board, and was gradually improving. I did, however, sense that my sailing needed an intervention of sorts in order to progress further. Sure, I’d developed into a straight line windsurfer with a decent non-planning dry pivot jibe, but I wanted more, such as the Heli tack , back wind sailing, the duck jibe, and , of course, windsurfing’s glass ceiling, the carve jibe.