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April 29, 2008


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Wow, wow, wow. What a scary experience. I like the advice to pick a direction when trapped underwater -- I had never heard that before.

The windsurfer who told me about "picking a direction and sticking with it" pointed out that the worst thing you could do was start heading in one direction, but then trying a new direction if you weren't clear of the sail after a few seconds...you could end up staying under the sail.

Ideally you never let go of the boom, so you know exactly where you are. In the case of my crash, however, I had two rigs on top of me so it was a bit more...interesting!

Michael, Scary...glad you two are ok and can share this experience. How did you get unsnagged from the harness? This happened to me once...scary experience. It wasn't the getting out from under the sail part that was hard...it was getting unhooked from a twisted harness line.

The key that most people find to unsnagging themselves is to stay calm. If you raise your hips and twist once and don't come free, and then start panicking, no good can come from it. This is the drill I do:
1. Drop a hand to the hook to clear the line by hand.
2. If this doesn't immediately work, I open my eyes (previously closed to protect contact lenses) and if I can't see how to unsnag myself immediately, I'll unthread my spreader bar. I've only had to do this once, but it worked.

If your spreader bar is loose when you put it on, it has more give and in my experience tends to stay snagged longer, because raising your hips just slackens the line (as opposed to raises the bar.) A tight spreader bar makes for easier unhooking both above the water and below!

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    "It's good to have a shredmobile" my friend Caldwell said, so I made one. It's a Ford E150 cargo van done up with lumber and k-mart plastic boxes.