December 05, 2012

Catching Waves on a Reach (sort of)

by Pam
In my efforts to learn the coordinated movements of catching waves, Doug and I went for a sail two up.  Doug steered and I sat forward.  What he described as he caught "waves" was minor compared to when I looked back and saw him doing a dance.  It all comes natural to him and he couldn't verbalize what he was doing.  So, we tried an experiment.  I'm not sure it was successful but it's at least a reference point for beginning the process of learning.  Because we were two up, running is too tippy so we reached and because we were heavy, his movements are exaggerated which actually helps me see the different weight shifts.  Next time, we try it with me at the helm.


  1. Great video and shows how hard you need to work and concentrate on the downwind and reaches! Nice touch to have the option of HD too.

    Your conditions also look much cooler than ours at the moment, so poor Pam on the bow doing the shooting must have been feeling the cold.

    How have you attached your camera to your cap? Is it anything more than a standard mount bolt through the peak? I presume you have the cap secured with a tether line as well? I have been working on a transom mount, but am thinking that it will be too low and getting rigidity is a bit of an issue. You are getting nice elevation with the cap mount so I could see the waves nicely, so I think I'll give your method a try.

    Some people do have difficulty identifying waves. Sometimes you see nice looking waves from behind, but then they seem to disappear when you're on them. As you mentioned, some waves don't look like much and disappear quickly, but that one second counts. Catch 30 1-2 second mini-rides on a leg and it adds up to more than half a minute of surfing. Worth the effort when you look at that way!

    Thanks for this. You've put a lot of effort into this production!

    1. Thanks for your comments... it was a fun experiment. Yes, the HD does look great.

      You can see how I attach cameras to my hat with just a bolt here. And yes, it's tethered.

      There are lots of videos from the bow and stern, what I like about the hat cam is that you see the strategy of the skipper because the camera is locked into what is being looked at.

  2. This is excellent - a great technique filming. A shame the waves were so wimpy.

    Can you explain a bit more about what you were doing with the sheet? When were you pulling it in?

    In any case, a great video - although that you make it look so easy.

    And, how gallant you were to add quickly that there was not much weight upfront.

    1. Wimpy is right! Sort of like training wheels for Pam. I'd like the think that if Pam can catch these waves then she can catch anything!

      The main is pulled in for two reasons: to add pressure when trying to catch a wave (but just one pump allowed per wave) and when heading up on a wave. The trick is being able to let the main out and also pull it in hand-over-hand without affecting the steering. I do this by flipping my tiller extension in front of me first, pulling it in, and then flipping it back behind me.

      It's important for me to keep my camera mount happy and warm because I only have one!


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