Thursday, April 7, 2011

The forward loop

Like an archaeologist who uncovers something unusual, I was really excited about finding this piece of windsurfing history. Written in 1980, The Aerial Loop article, contradicts coventional history, because most of us believe the forward loop was invented in the mid 1980's. Before my discovery could be validated I had to learn more.  I sent Ken Winner the article with a few questions. His reply:

I’ll take a shot at the questions:

The most recent recounting of the history of the forward loop has it being invented in the mid 1980's. Were you the first to do a loop? Are the photos of you?
The photos are of me. The article was a spoof; an attempt at humor. Clue: "The idea of doing the loop first came to me after a fall on my head" (emphasis added). The idea was outlandish enough at the time that most readers understood that it was a spoof, at the time. The photos show a standard non-rotating jump, but two of the photos have been rotated. Nobody was even close to looping at the time.

Windsurfing Mag editor, Josh Sampiero says the photos are of a back loop. Is he right?
Yes. A psuedo-backloop.

How big a board were you hucking?

Where was the looping being done?
The photos were probably taken at Diamondhead, Oahu. First half of 1980.

Were there others doing the loop?
No. We didn't start looping until about '84. Back loop first. Forward loop a couple of years later, I think.
I hope that helps. ken

Even if it was a spoof, did the article plant the seed of invention in the minds of some? Perhaps. Was it an April fools joke? Perhaps. Did it fool me? Definitely.

So who did invent the forward loop? Boardseeker writes: "For many of our younger readers the name Cesare Cantagalli will not mean much. But it should as Cesare was the inventor of the forward loop and the first person to ever try a double." For their report: the loop.

Believe it or not, the most advanced simulator ( there have been others) designed to let you practice the loop was introduced this year at the 2011 German Boot Show. Can you see this contraption at windsurfing resorts? 

Maybe the best "how to video" by Remko de Weerd.

Finally, for all the brave who muster the courage to begin the path of a looping learner... Clive Boden who tackled learning to loop in his late 50's is, among other things, unafraid to laugh at himself.

If  the above information isn't'll find a ton more on the Learners guide freestyle page.

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