After a few really wavy session at Hythe, we recently had the opportunity to try out the lake at Rye Watersports. Learning to wingsurf last year I had the most progression in Dakhla on the flat lagoon so I wanted to try to dial in my gybes on the foil at the lake.
The last time I went to the lake was in 2003 for the BKSA UK tour, but I remembered how flat it was and some of the jumps the competitors were making over the island in the middle. The lake has excellent access and we could park right on the shoreline as the entry is a gradual slope with a shingle bottom.
Getting on the water
We scoped out a section of the lake that would put us well out of the way of the windsurfers and then headed out. It was so much easier to ride the flat water. I found that I was up and riding immediately and trying to ride as close to the wind as possible.
After a bit of acclimatisation to the new spot I started to practice my gybes but was having limited success. I decided to rest for a bit so I could watch Jimmy’s hand positioning and discovered that he was passing the front hand handle directly to the new front hand, whereas I had been trying to go back to the handle on the leading edge. Heading back on the water with this new knowledge my gybes improved immediately and I almost made the next one.
I also tried to take a wider turn rather than snapping the board round too quickly. This approach worked well and I found I could get round from both tacks. The only issue left was that as I came round to toeside, I leant away from the wing to try to increase the power. This caused me to end up leant away after I swapped my feet back to my normal stance, which meant I ended up over the back over the board.
Gybing in both directions while on the foil is definitely easier when taking a wide arcing gybe. Set the wing where you want it to be in toeside and wait for the board to slowly come round to the right position. The wing will naturally power up and you can then foot swap out.
If you are interested in learning to wingsurf, have questions or just want to chat about wing surfing then get in touch. If you’re local to Hythe then we also give wingsurf demos so contact us here, on Facebook or Instagram.