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From time to time I have the chance to return a board that has gotten away from its rider. It never goes smoothly. Of course, it's something I haven't spent any time practicing, and it apparently doesn't just "come naturally."
So my question to all you helpful folks who have this invaluable skill:
How did you learn how to do this?
Is it something you ever had to practice, or did you just get so good at riding that you could do it with one hand, while carrying a board, when the need arose?
Are there any incremental steps that you'd recommend (e.g., first learn how to water launch and ride with one hand behind your back)?
And the same questions for rescuing a kite--this seems to be far less in demand, but when you need it, boy is it nice to have someone out there with this talent!
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a few options:
1) if the the board has a handle sticking up just ride by on a plane and grab it.
2) when water starting hold the board in your front hand and loop the kite back with your back hand, should be able to control the kite with one hand from there.
3) when water starting put the board in your lap. send the kite with two hands and stay crouched when you start to plane like your sitting down, keeping the board in your lap. Once you got control of the kite with one hand, grab the board and stand all the way up.
4) Just cruise by and yell "NICE DIGGER BRAH"
I also pre-twist lines so I don't have to spin the bar while only having one free hand
I have a foot of bright colored leash rope cut and tied to the leash connection of the board.
In some occasions where I got separated from my board, riders who helped me just swooped and picked up the rope tail and drag the board to the beach.
I initially use this to keep the surf board from getting away from me whenever I have to do a self-rescue.
Only ever grabbed one board for a beginner at Alameda, and I was just feeling really on it that day. I used the "board in your lap" trick to start and just rode in a bit of a sitting position the distance to shore to drop it off. I remember that holding with one hand and dragging the board with the other just didn't work out for me, but it was surprisingly easy to just squat down and ride that way. Maybe something to do with me being on a surfboard. I bet I looked ridiculous but the guy surely appreciated skipping the long hunt along the beach for his board.
This was probably only a few days after I managed to stay upwind for the first time, so I think it's a lot easier than it looks.
the other day i re-united a someone with his lost twintip by riding his board and balancing my surboard on top of my chickenloop. is that what you guys are talking about? or are you putting the board below, literally in your lap? keeping it on the loop was surprisingly easy.
After many board rescues I tend to get my speed up switch to toe-side and grab the board with one hand as I kite by. if it works out I swoop it up, tuck it under my arm, and cruise off downwind. Works in the surf also, helps avoid bobbing around in the impact zone for someone else's gear. There is a video floating around of Patrick Rebstock rescuing some girl like this, core shit. Strapless surfboards are a little more tricky and I tend to go back to the lap technique. If I'm on a twin and rescuing a surfboard I'll ride the surfboard in and get a free demo at the same time. Bigger boards are harder to carry, especially when its nuking.
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Lots of interesting approaches here--thanks for the feedback.
One thing I don't think really got answered, though: Is this something you just started to *do*? If so, you're far more naturally talented than me. OR, is it something you had to *practice* before you became completely comfortable with plucking errant boards from the surf and speedily delivering them to their destination? In which case, I'd love to know some of your practice tips.
I just practice it by helping people out when ever I was nearby. On the job training. Another approach I use sometimes that no one mentioned that seems to work good for me is ride toe-side and just grab the board by its nose if its a surfboard or the front strap on a twin tip with my rear hand and just drag the board that way while riding. I would like to get some practice on grabbing loose kites but that doesn't happen that often where I ride.
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