Aug 4 #27314
I took advantage of a calm, sunny, warm early afternoon in Bellingham Bay to practice my weak-side remounts. For me, that’s the right, or starboard side. I’m right-handed and I notice that my strong side for paddling, bracing while surfing, and remounting are all on my left side, I wonder if that’s true for all right handers. Anyway, I paddled down to Chuckanut Island from Marine Park and, during that three mile stretch I slipped off the boat and into the water 12 times, so about once every quarter mile.
First, I don’t think I’ve fallen off my surf-ski, unintentionally, in Bellingham Bay, 12 times in the past 12 years. Now I know most of you are thinking that’s because I am an unusually gifted and well-trained athlete of the highest caliber, and you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that, but it’s mostly because I almost always paddle fat boats in the bay, compared to the rest of you who insist on paddling toothpicks when the gales of November come early, and you don’t fall out of your boat as much when your boat is way fatter than a toothpick.
Anyway, back to remounting. I’d guess that the water temperature was about 70 degrees at Marine Park and closer to 65 near the Island; about as perfect and warm as it gets around here for swimming in the salt if you hope to ever see your testicles again (this observation is specific to the xy's reading this). So, here are few things I learned, things most of you probably already know.
1) My first remount was from my strong side (port side) and the next nine were from the weak side. After those nine, I went to my strong again and I found that, in that short amount of time, my left and right sides felt about the same. So, I guess the take home message, at least for me, is that it doesn’t take that much practice to improve your weak side. Now, as a caveat, my weak side isn’t that weak. I’ve never had THAT much trouble remounting which I attribute to the following; One, my aforementioned high caliberness; two, my aforementioned fat boat, and 3, my not aforementioned first “surf ski”, oh so many years ago, was a horribly tippy, beast of a thing, named after some tippy, tropical shark, and I think I fell off and remounted 10,000 times in my first 10,000 yards. I imprinted early.
2) Because it was so calm, I was able to let go of my paddle and do a few of the remounts sans paddle. Holy crap, it’s waaaaaaay easier to remount when you’re not holding a paddle. I don’t normally use a paddle leash, but if I felt at all unconfident about my remounts, especially in big water, I’d use a paddle leash in a New York minute.
3) I don’t know exactly why it would be harder to remount on one side rather than the other, I expect it has something to do with what arm is doing what, and maybe on your weak side, your non-dominant arm is doing the literal heavy lifting. I found that when I was having a bit of trouble remounting on the weak side, it helped if I concentrated on letting my dominant arm (right arm) do all the work and balancing. I would simply switch which arm was doing what as I pulled myself up. It helped. I’m still thinking about this one.
4) I was going to practice a few more times but then I noticed several harbor seals skulking around in the water, giving me the side-eye. I think they want to eat us.
Finally, on the way back from a Chuckanut Island, a little snake-bite of west wind picked up, and after all my hubris about not falling in so much, I fell in during a moment of inattention when I may or may not have been distracted by an SUPer wearing a bikini. I think it was Lance Romo, but not 100% sure about that.
See you on the water any maybe in it.
Aug 4 #27315
Nicely said John R….I think.
I seem to remember something about weak sauce
Aug 4 #27318
Edited Aug 6
Probably Lance. Tuesday is his SUP day.
Aug 4 #27320
Well timed! I've been thinking about improving my weak side re-entry.