Autumn time means storm time in central Europe. And Swiss windsurfer Balz Müller makes use of every spare minute to hit the water as soon as it is windy. At the end of October a big storm with gusts over 100km/h hit his home spot lake Biel and Balz did some massive jumps. As we were pretty impressed about his jumping height at the lake, we thought to speak with Balz about this magic day and asked him to share some of his jumping tips.

Balz Mueller shows a high jump (Photo by Windwasserwellen)

Balz Mueller in the 2nd floor (Photo by Windwasserwellen)

Continentseven: Tell us a bit about the big day at your home spot.

Balz Müller: That was a real big day! The wind forcast of my home lake Biel barely never shows any wind. So I got very curious when I discovered „pink colors“ in the Windfinder forecast for Tuesday 30.10.2018. A heavy low pressure storm front called „Vaia“ moved straight over Switzerland. Reaching over 200km/h in the Swiss Alps. The storm destroyed forest houses and even power poles on its way. And when the storm actually hit our region and the lake I had to explain my boss that I immediately need to get on the water! Fortunately he had nothing to complain about. So luckily I experienced some of the craziest wind conditions I saw in a longtime on my home spot Bielersee. The storm peak was Tuesday morning and I really struggled navigating my smallest gear through crazy gusts and flying water. It’s a pity nobody was on the beach when the terrible/beautiful gusts swept over the lake. But luckily Melinda from Windwasserwellen caught some of my wild flights with her „Plasticbag“ weatherproof camera. Also nothing pleasant with a windchill below zero, big thanks! 

Sounds wild! Tell us a bit more about about the spot, the conditions and your equipment!

I went on the water in Ipsach. The conditions were tough. It was freezing cold and the southwestern wind was gusting over 100km/h with a crazy windchill under 0 degree. I used a MB Wave prototype 82l with an asymmetric fin setup and a Severne sail Freek in the new 3.3m size. 

“People always say you need to be fully overpowered to go high, but I don’t really agree! Control is much more important!”

Balz Mueller with a Back loop railgrab (Photo by Windwasserwellen)

Balz Mueller with a Back loop railgrab (Photo by Windwasserwellen)

You made some massive back loops and jumps. What’s your secret to gain so much airtime with a small lake wave?

All I do is sailing full speed to get high up in the sky. Sounds so simple but sure it takes much more than only that. I always tell the takeoff is the most important and the best would be if you actually just keep holding your rig like sailing normal. Most of the time I even stay hooked in to make sure the sail stays fully loaded and generates the lift we’re all looking for! People always say you need to be fully overpowered to go high, but I don’t really agree! Control is much more important so I was fully in control on my 3.3m and could easy keep it close while the take offs.

What are your tips for the important take off?

On the take off make sure your board hits the lip with a lot of board bottom surface to generate the maximum pop. And try to push your back-knee as much down in the water as possible and pull your front up (just as you would make a mega ollie with a skateboard)! A further well-known secret is a bigger fin and a single fin is much faster than a multifin setup!

Which fin setup did you use during this session?

I tried an asymmetrical fin system with a little extra fin on my take off rail side and it seemed to work well! And like in everything else, the more you do it, the better it works. I am already incredibly horny for the next storm windsurfing session and can’t wait to send it! 

Thanks for your tips and we are looking forward to the next storms, too!

If you haven’t watched Balz’s video yet, this is “Auweia Storm Vaia!”