I have a bit of a problem with the simulator as it tends to get overused in my opinion. I completely agree that a student will have a better chance of succeeding after a few attempts in which the disturbance of the waves are taken out of the equation, but I also insist that this will only give a false (or at least inaccurate) representation of the reaction of the kit. I therefore think it should be used as little as possible and only to get the general feeling of the motion in place and then continue immediately on the water ie. the real world.
I have seem people take ages on the simulator, going through endless theory and future manoeuvres before the student has even had the chance to experience standing on the board in the water.
I have resorted to offering a few tips on the simulator and then offered the student to practice on the simulator without my supervision but this was usually in cases that I was booked up with lessons or in cases where there was took much wind/waves, such that the safety of the student would be put in jeopardy.
Another subject which annoys me is the wasting of time doing sail/board games or other no-wind activities. I am very skeptical of the actual benefits of these activities. Normally they are solutions to offering lessons without actually having wind and therefore having to provide entertainment for a group that has already paid for a course. To me this is a waste of time and the money of the students. Maybe I am just getting on my high horse here saying that the student is signing up for a windsurf course and all they are getting is a simulation of what the would do if there were wind.
I have indeed missed out on a number of lessons because there was not enough wind to teach whatever it was that the student wanted to learn. It’s a shame for the lost commission but it would not sit well with my conscience if I was asked to teach the tack for example and I took money for standing them on a simulator and pulling them around on it for an hour.
But ultimately what people want to do is windsurf and not just pretend to windsurf.
Let me know what you think.