Tow-in windsurfing has been on the rise for a few years now as a no wind alternative at events worldwide. Not just as a side event for the competitors but also as a show or a demonstration of new school freestyle for the public to witness exactly where the level is progressing to. So how do you do it, how do you get into it and what should you know before you give it a go? We caught up with the rather modest French freestyler Adrien Bosson who seems to be building a strong and consistent new level in tow-in.
Part 1: How to get into it
The first thing is to have a boat with enough power, if the boat is too small then it won’t work, a jet-ski or a big wake boat is good. The next thing is a good rope, like a wake boarding rope with the handle, this makes it a lot more comfortable to ride with. Then the conditions; it is often easier with a little bit of wind and with perfect flat water and also sun and warm water...
With the gear: a bigger board, a 100l or a bit more even and a small sail like 4.0-4.4, the small sail is easier to control and the larger board is more stable for the starts and better for popping.
Where to start: Everyone should come to windmeet to do it, haha, no this is why I like tow-in because I just do it at events and once or twice I have practised it with friends, so it is like a novelty. Events can really be the best place to start, at the windmeet events and I heard at the UK events anyone who has entered can try the tow-in, there is always some training before the competition and there are guys there that can do it, so they teach you what to do and what not to do.
Part 2: How to start
In the beginning people tried a lot of different methods, so there were a lot of crashes but now there is really one way that has developed.
If you want to do it well then you really need to learn how to start properly, it is one of the hardest parts. The way to do it is jump on the board and have your feet either side of the mast base, then the front hand on the rope and the back hand on the bottom of the mast. As you accelerate the wind gets under the sail and you flick the mast up higher and higher as you get more speed you grab the boom and step quite quickly into the straps. Once you are there don’t lean back like windsurfing, stay over the board like wakeboarding and keep your weight forwards and over the sail, keep the sail really far back behind you and lean over it, especially if there is some wind you have to get the sail quite low to the water.
The final thing is once you get speed get out of the wake of the boat and then stay there for your move.
Part 3: Moves to start with
The first moves to try is for sure the funnell or flaka, they are both almost the same, it is just the wind angle that changes it. You don’t have to duck the sail or change the hands, you just make a small pop and aim to slide on the nose of the board so it catches and you spin. It is quite a good idea to maybe let go of the rope and let your speed drop a little, just really aim to be over the board through the move, then after the first part of the move you just let yourself spin through it.
The next moves to try would be perhaps an air funnell, you need more speed, bigger pop and float more over the sail. After that maybe a double funnell where you spin a 360 after, then perhaps try to bounce it or get a second pop. For the double bounce you really have to land on the tail and then be really quick as you go for the second one. The best way to do the whole move is to do a small first funnel then you have more control to bounce the second one higher.
Next would be the burner, it is really good to have a small bit of chop to take off from and a bit of wind then it feels similar to how you do it with wind. After this it gets a bit harder, things like bobs, culos and double moves. Try the funnel first then maybe in the future we a do a feature on the harder moves... haha!