I fell off my road bike yesterday. Well it was more of a crash! From this there are several important lessons: don't pull into a bus lane at 42km/h (you'll end up on the floor), and what can you do to prevent injury?
Luckily, I've only got a bad gash on my knee, so hold back on the 'get better soon' cards. But sailing injuries can be pretty serious, especially if they are the cause of improper technique over a number of years. If you sail a hiking boat, like the Laser (which I sail), then you put an enormous amount of unnatural strain through the tendons and muscles in your legs. This coupled with bad posture is a recipe for a chronic knee, ankle, shin or lower back pain. Steve's Boat Whisperer DVDs
are the first place I learnt about point toe hiking, and this really is essential wherever possible. On the Olympic circuit, people are increasingly moving towards very short toestraps, which force your legs to be straight, and your hips high. Not only is this a more effective posture for sailing fast, it's also safer on your knees. The essential thing for achieving this posture is proper kit: the Rooster Pro Laced boots
and the Rooster Pro Padded Toestrap
are essential in connecting you to the boat, and supporting your ankle whilst hiking. The difference the Pro Padded Toestrap
makes is actually phenomenal, you can put more kinetics through the boat to control the boats movements, and feel locked into the boat much more: just don't fall into the trap of having the strap length too long. If in doubt, shorten.
Happy sailing, and don't fall off your bike!