Tuesday, October 02, 2012


Most people don't like negative feedback. It can be painful and embarrassing to have someone else draw attention to your faults.

If your girlfriend tells you she is dumping you because you have bad breath, you have two reasons to be ticked off.

If your boss tells you that you won't be getting a raise this year because you have an abrasive personality and that he has had complaints about you from your customers and your colleagues, you will not be a happy camper.

And if your wife tells you that you wake her up every night with your snoring and that she doesn't understand why you never remember to put the toilet seat down then you will probably be deeply hurt.

At least that's how I imagine you would feel. I have never experienced any of these scenarios personally, of course. But you get my point.

But sometimes you welcome negative feedback.

If you are a crap Laser sailor like me and you go off on vacation to take some Laser classes and the instructors actually point out some things that are wrong with the way you sail a Laser that you weren't even aware you were doing wrong, then you will be delighted.

Bring it on.

The more insults the better.

The more reasons you can spot why I am a crap Laser sailor, the more things I can work on improving, and the more chance there is that one day I won't be quite such a crap Laser sailor.

Such was the case on Monday, the third day of my Minorca Sailing vacation this year. The topic was downwind sailing and the instructor noticed that when adjusting my course on reaches, and even more so when rounding marks, I was using my rudder to steer too much and not using my body weight to heel the boat to make it turn.


Of course I knew that using the rudder too much would slow the boat down.

What I didn't know was that I was an blatant offender against this, one of the primary rules of boat speed.

Perhaps that's why I'm always so slow at windward marks and gybe marks, and why other boats always seem to be able to overtake me at these points?


And I really appreciated it when one of the instructors commented on a fault in my roll tacking style (if you can call it that) just as I crossed the finish line to win the race by a huge margin. I'd much rather have feedback like that than a pat on the back and a "Well done!"

But I'm pretty sure that Tillerwoman is wrong when she says that I snore.


PeconicPuffin said...

Yes yes yes! As I begin conversations with newly met surfers and SUPsurfers I introduce myself saying "just a warning...I suck...please feel invited to make suggestions or just shout at me."

It's all upside, as I'm having fun even at this level of incompetence.

Keep Reaching said...

The older I get the more I understand how hard it is for us to really see ourselves - whether it be a quite obvious Laser sailing mistake or our inner workings. Honest comments from others is to be treasured.

Unknown said...

I couldnt agree more, im a SUPsurfer and here's what i can offer to my fellow surfers, make sure you have the latest gsa fleet management system to track waves and other factors.

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