Rider experiences

We continue our Simon Bornhoft Windwise ‘Intro To Wave’ series with some real life learning experiences!

Push it, drive it and accentuate! When conditions are tricky or you’re new to a wave environment, it’s important to stick to a plan and ‘try’ to massively exaggerate everything, no matter what you’re faced with. So, what better than to check out some real examples of our Windwise clients riding the Dyno and putting into practice some of the skills we’ve covered in our recent wave series? 

Photography: Windwise / FeelViana / Jerry Collyer
Boards: Dynos 85/95/105L
Sails: Blade/Blade Pro
Locations: FeelViana / Bonaire / Gwithian UK

Simon says

I feel it’s important to show less than perfect conditions, to illustrate that you can develop your wave skills no matter where you sail, be that a perfect wave, rolling swell or broken mushy onshore conditions. As ever, you’ll also discover the true versatility of the Dyno will help you in every situation. 

Are you….?

  • New to Freewave kit?
  • Looking to minimize mistakes?
  • Wanting to maximize every wave?
  • Looking to improve your board handing?

Then this is for you.

Severne Dyno Kit Set Up For Waves

Board: Severne Dyno
Fins: Tri Fin / Thruster set up for maximum manoeuvrability and grip.
Mast base: Middle to back of track.
Straps: Inboard, forward, and loose!
Boom: Dropped slightly compared to freeriding.
Harness Lines: Marginally longer than Freeride – elbow to blister pads.
Wind: In these photos, the wind is blowing roughly right to left of photos.

The Ride 

Catching a wave is very achievable, but remember, ‘riding‘ is not running straight ahead down the swell, it’s about using the power and curved face of the wave to experience the sensation of being able to carve upwind and downwind ‘along the wave’ with control, putting the board where you want it to go, no matter how good the wave might be. 

With the help of some real star riders using the user friendly Severne Dyno’s, let’s look at the three key elements of riding a wave. Plus I’ve included some combined feedback from some of our trainees on what made a difference to their experiences in waves.

Back Side Wave Riding (Upwind)

Turning upwind on a wave is called ‘back-side’ wave riding (your ‘back’ to the wave) and it’s the easiest way to run along or ride a wave and very common in onshore conditions.  It’s all about looking upwind in Warrior over a heavily flexed knee, chin over the front shoulder, hands up the boom, rig downwind to ‘Oppose’ the forward leaning body. This enables you to carve towards the top of the wave with weight on your heels.

Here’s Jeff Cox giving it a good go. 
“Exaggerating looking and leaning forward in Warrior and forcing the rig back made such a difference, you need to really over do it.”

Front Side Wave Riding (Downwind)

Turning back downwind on a wave is called ‘front-side’ wave riding and is easiest in cross-offshore conditions. It’s very similar to the beginning-middle of a gybe, but it’s hard in onshore conditions. If you’re riding giant waves, you’ll see the Instagram laydown bottom turn. However, on less than perfect waves, work on keeping the rig forward, as you look and lean into and towards the wave in Warrior, pulling the rig across the body until the clew hand is inline with the head. Always try to start this from the top of the wave to help increase your speed as much as possible.

“It feels like going through pretty much a whole gybe but staying in the straps and not rotating the rig, just turning further and further towards the peak of the wave.” 

Here’s Jeff Cox starting to develop this key skill, looking and driving towards wave. Yes the wave has broken, but when you’re learning or the conditions aren’t perfect, keep going through the motions. “I see I need to work on flexing the ankles and knees more to help pull down on the boom and really lean more into this section of the turn.”

James Shirley, Jana Rejchrtova & Emma Ray ‘Looking & Leaning’

In onshore conditions, underpowered or small wave situations, it’s hard to get up to the top of the wave, so you need to exaggerate everything.
NB: Use navigation arrows to slide through images. 

“Sometimes you end up ‘clew first, switched stance’. The flat-water-wave-riding exercises really helped to climb towards the lip of the wave. Pulling down on the boom prevented losing the clew or being back-winded. Can’t believe how much you have to lean!” 

Cut Back / Top Turn

On the top turn, if you’ve carved to the top of the wave, you’ll need to pivot the board extensively, sometimes over 180 degrees. So unless you’re going for a massive floaty aerial, 99% of the time, you need to sheet out completely just before you reach the top of the wave, massively weight your heels, whip your head around and get the body to lead back down the wave. Try to physically pivot the board quickly, directly under the sail. 

On a big smooth fast wave, this feels quite natural, but in tricky conditions, it’s easy to be back winded or lose power, so full marks to James & Jana for using their Warrior skills to make good in slow waves and mushy white water.

Check out James Shirley making the most of the white water one handed!

Check out Jana Rejchrtova putting it into practice a smooth turn in some tricky conditions.

Losing It!

Falling off the back of waves is also quite common, especially if the waves are slack. So make sure you keep your body and rig forward if the waves keep passing underneath you. Practicing being in the straps off the plane on flat water, will really help you develop this skill. NB: Use navigation arrows to slide through images. 

Simon’s Summary 

All these suggestions are based on real life learning experiences of Windwise clients in waves. As you progress, you’ll develop your own tweaks and style, but practicing and exaggerating on flat water will really enhance your wave riding experience. 

To help with your preparation and success rate definitely check out our skill enhancing Windwise flat water drills exercises in our ‘How To Prepare For Waves Part 123.

Vision: Massively exaggerate looking where you want to go – chin over shoulder!

Opposition: Often we lever the rig/mast in the opposite direction to the movement of the body.

Warrior: Exaggerate looking and leaning over a very heavily flexed leading knee – it’s your wave riding DNA!

Windwise Touch Points

Shifting your hands is a vital component of success.

Upwind: Hands move more forward on the boom. 

Downwind: Hands spread wider, clew hand pulling in close to your head as if “Talking to a microphone”.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about your windsurfing or want to let me know how you get on, just email info@windwise.net 

2023 Windwise Winds Of The World Tour Dates Many Filling Up!

Tenerife / Bonaire / Alacati / FeelViana / Prasonisi  & More!

Improve your windsurfing and try some Severne gear.

Freeride + Freewave + FoilWise


Copyright: Simon Bornhoft Windwise 2022

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