Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Stage 1 – Denial “A Laser isn't a real sailing boat.”
Denial is the first thing that most people feel about Laser sailing. They’ve decided that it isn’t for them. They think that the Laser looks like a plastic ironing board. They have this false conception that boats are not real boats unless you can poop on them and drink beer on them, preferably simultaneously.
Stage 2 – Anger “Why do Laser sailors go around all the time with big smiles on their faces?”
Lasers. Lasers. Lasers. That’s all these people ever talk about! Who cares that they had 40 people at their little tinpot regatta last weekend? Who cares that their boat is in the Olympics? Who cares that almost every great sailor in other classes started in a Laser?
Lasers. Lasers. Lasers. Enough already!
Stage 3 – Bargaining “I’m only sailing a Laser because all my friends are.”
Finally, they cave, and begrudgingly buy a second-hand Laser and start racing at their local club. Often they are very active for a few weeks and then they don't show up at the club the next few weeks.
Stage 4 – Depression “This is so hard!”
For many this is the worst stage. They’ve finally made the effort and bought a Laser, and now all their fears are confirmed. They were right – the Laser isn’t for them. It's so hard to hike it flat in a breeze. It’s so unstable downwind. Why is everyone faster than me? How did I get all these bruises? Why do I ache all over every Monday morning? What the heck is a "supervang"?
Stage 5 – Acceptance “I get it!”
Some people don’t get to this stage, abandoning their Laser somewhere between bargaining and depression. But for those that do it’s totally worth it. They keep plugging away, asking questions, learning, getting fitter, capsizing less often. Suddenly, the light bulb goes on. Wow! This boat is really fun! I'm not last in the races any more.
Nobody can tell you what Laser sailing is like. You have to find out for yourself. Then, suddenly, you are a Laser sailor. You get it. It’s a beautiful moment. And often those who were the most resistant, and the most critical, become the biggest evangelists.
Posted by Tillerman at 1:18 PM