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 Post subject: Learning through osmosis and lots of abuse
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 am
Posts: 51
Newbie Story

White Bear was building from 5:30 on. I started sailing mid summer last year on a free formula 167 and a 6.5 sail. Started to feel pretty confident toward the end of last season.
Rude awakening today while sailing on a SE at Ramsey. I have sailed there lots of time on S and SW but never SE. It was really tough to get upwind.

I picked up a 8.0 at the swap and tried it out today. I did not think there would be a huge difference in 1.5 meters, but I was overpowered completely and felt like it was my 1st day out. Catipulted 3 times and had little directional control.
??????
Is that consistent with being overpowered or do I need to learn how to handle a larger sail. ????

Changed to my 6.5 and felt a bit more at home but the chop kicked my XXX. The 167 board is very shaky in the chop, On my 6.5, its was tough to stay on plane consistently, but after trying the 8m, I decided to stick with the 6.5.

????Will that help me progress by taking the beating in the chop or should I consider another board for high wind

Other than the catipult s and the beating by a 8.0, I had a blast and can't wait to get the next ride!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 6:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:17 am
Posts: 678
Location: Rochester
Kevin, there a few key factors to help you maintain your sail in overpowering conditions. Assuming your sail is rigged properly (downhaul, outhaul), the harness line placement is of major importance. If those are not adjusted correctly you'll be fighting that sail instead of enjoying it. If you are comfortable in the lines now after less than a year sailing awesome! And if so, the dreaded catapult suggests that your lines are too far forward on your boom. Lines too far forward tend to pull the sail towards the front of the board, which then tends to pull you that direction too. Try moving them back a bit.

The other things to help get the most out of that sail (less energy exerted) include the boom height and harness line length. These go hand in hand for the most part. Depending on my harness line length, I like to have my boom adjusted to a height where in order to hook my harness onto the harness line I need to pull down on the boom just a smidgen, that's right a smidgen, along with getting on my tip toes slightly. The reason for this is once hooked-in, I can exert all my weight onto the boom and down through the mast to the board with little effort. (MFP~Mast Foot Pressure, vital to get up on a plane)

This may be a bit much if your just getting comfortable with the lines. If not, mess around with those harness lines and boom height. With a big sail I like to be able to adjust the lines for a bit of extra length while blasting around. When you really get overpowered on a big sail it is nice to lengthen the lines on the fly to get the sail a little further away from your body. Adjusting the length on the fly also lets you rip downwind with confidence which is one thing your 167 is all about! It does take a bit to get the hang of a big sail but if you are using your "properly adjusted" harness lines AND your footstraps you'll be able to manage in the big gusts and just sail comfortably in overpowering conditions.

As far as a high wind board, yea, you're going to want to get out on the "huge" days with a smaller sail and a smaller board. Your Free Formula isn't going to cut it as these wide boards become sails in themselves and become scarry when the high winds get underneath them. The FF167 really isn't a chop machine and a board suited for rougher conditions will help you progress greatly. Besides, riding a smaller board in the right conditions rules!

Anyway, if you can't get that 8.0 riding comfortably have an experienced sailor take it for a spin. Their input should help you get it set up just right (have them make adjustments to it). There are lots of factors affecting your ride and I just mentioned a few vital ones. You'll still find yourself messing with mast placement, fin size, footstrap positioning, etc… to find what really works for you. Hope this blather helps ya.

Pete

Ps. This harness line & boom junk applies to every sail size you'll ever find yourself ripping on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 8:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:17 am
Posts: 678
Location: Rochester
Kevin, the catapult catastrophy can also happen when your harness lines are too far back. You'll know you have them right when you can sail with one hand, fully powered up!

Rock On!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 8:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:04 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Where eva da wind at Brah
Kevin,
It might take a little bit of getting used to an 8.0 after being dialed into your 6.5 and, as Pete said, playing around with the tuning, harness lines etc. will help with that. In this instance it sounds like you were just plain overpowered, there is a big difference between an 8.0 and 6.5.
I think ideally your 6.5 is a little small for that board also. I have a FF 167 too and find that even my 7.0 doesnt feel right on it, too small, by the time I'm properly powered the board just feels too big and out of control. My 8.5 however feels nicely dialed.
I think once you get your 8.0 figured out it will be a sweet setup on that board!
If you ever get another board a 110-120 liter size would be a good match with your 6.5.

Good luck!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 10:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:57 pm
Posts: 112
Location: St. Paul
There are numerous factors that contribute to a properly set up rig. Having said that I would point out and suggest a few things.

Considering you just got the 8.0, did you balance your lines before you sailed it? In other words, the lines on an 8.0 should balance farther back on your boom in comparison to where they balance for your 6.5. Huge tip: put markings on your boom for where you run your lines for each sail.

Where did you put the mast track on the board? Some boards have markings for suggested placement for different sail sizes. In general, larger sails run closer to the front of your board. However, that placement changes depending on wind strength (high wind = farther back, light wind = farther forward)

In general, a 6.5 should be ok on your free formula although that is about the smallest sail that I would run on that board. A free formula will not handle chop well but it should be decent enough for any chop that WBL produces within 6.5 conditions. Getting air underneath the nose will cause the board to tail walk and be hard to control. you can try moving the mast track forward to keep the nose down.

A smaller fin will also help keep the board in control. It is a pretty good rule of thumb to have two fins for each board - especially larger boards or boards that are made to handle a large wind range. One fin shoudl be good for getting onto a plane (more of a blade fin) and one should be good for high wind condiiton (more of a tear drop and shorter than the large fin).

Also, it is important to note that all of these adjustment affect the entire rig. Experience will help you figure out what to adjust. However, the first thing you should do is make sure your lines are balanced and that your sail is in a proper mast track position. after that, everything else is pretty much fine tuning. Small adjustments in line placement (1" or 2") make a huge difference. Mast track adjustments of a copule inches also make a dramatic difference.

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Adam Anderson


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 10:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 241
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Wow, this is great stuff. I'm writing all this down. I've been waiting for tips like these since I started last summer, about the same time as Kevin.
When you talk about balancing the harness lines, what exactly does that mean? How is that done?
John Baker


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 11:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:57 pm
Posts: 112
Location: St. Paul
Balancing your lines simply means positioning your lines so that when you hook in, you are able to use your body weight to counter the pull of the sail. If your lines are too far forward, you will have to pull with your backhand a lot to stay sheeted in and the sail may feel like it gets pull toward the front of your board. If your lines are too far back, you may feel like you having to push with your front hand or the sail will feel twitchy or your board will want to round up into the wind a lot (be cause the sail is forced to be oversheeted).

Properly balaned lines should have a length roughly equal the length of the distance from your writst to your forearm (give or take, some people like longer lines, some a bit shorter. however, i dont think you should deviate from this general rule by a significant amount). Your lines also should not have a big gap between where they attach to the boom. A decent rule of thumb is to space yoru lines so that you can place your hand them. (obviously some people have wider hands than other, but, again, this is just a generaly rule of thumb. it is important to note that it is better to have lines too close together than too far apart. you want to be able to hang all of yoru weight from one spot). If you get Windsurifng magazine, take a look at the pictures to see what "balanced lines" look like.

experience helps a lot when balancing lines. thus, beginners have a hard time balancing lines because they don't konw what the sail should feel like or have any idea as to where to put the lines on their boom.

simple solution to this problem: ask an established sailor onthe beach to take a look at your sail and, more specifically, your line placement. the sailor will probably be happy to help you and will get yoru lines close to good position in just a couple of seconds. you can also ask someone to take your rig out for a quick spin and get your lines balanced.

alternatively, some people say a decent way to get your lines balanced is to stand your sail up on land after you have rigged it. put yoru foot against the mast base so that it doesn't slide. your lines should be located between your two hands when you sheet the sail in. for me, personally, this method isn't my favorite because standing the sail up on land and sheeting in just doesn't feel the same as when youare on the water.

otherwise, you can put your lines in what "looks like" a good spot. "looks like" meaning taking a look at where other peoples lines are and putting yorus in teh same spot. you can also measure a distance along your boom and center yoru lines there. however, i dont remeber what a typical measurement is (can someone help me out?). thinking back to my imco days, i think my lines were like 22" from the head of the boom (that is on a 7.4). after you have your lines in a spot you think is decent, get out on the water and spend time monkeying around with them until they feel right. monkeying with your lines may mean that you have to jump off yoru board and move your lines after every run. this is a pain, espeically when it is cold. however, the benefits are worth it.

sorry for the discombobulated rambling. hope this helps.

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Adam Anderson


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 241
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
It helps a ton! I've experimented with the harness a little, but I'm still not comfortable with it. It seems like I have less control of the sail once I'm hooked in, which I know isn't right. I'll have to get the line placement down. I had the lines spaced about as wide as my shoulders. :-)
Also, I'm still working on figuring out hand placement on the boom. Most of the time, my front hand is pretty close to the mast, since from that position I'm better able to recover the sail when it decides to pull away and start dropping. So when I tried the harness, I naturally put it right where I usually put my hands, close to the front. I think I need to work on getting back on the boom and controlling the sail from there. I know that would take better advantage of the wind too.
Another thing I've been getting better at is foot placement. Currently, I stand with my front foot a little to the upwind (windward?) side of the board and my back foot a little to the opposite side. I find this allows me to control balance pretty well. While I don't have footstraps on my O'Brien boards, I can see where they would be, by the mounting holes. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong because I've never sailed with my feet even close to where those straps would go. I'm always ahead of that area and if I try to move back the board turns upwind. Maybe moving my hands back on the boom would allow me to stand back farther??
Just writing this out helps. Now I can't wait to get back out on the water to try new things!
John Baker


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 Post subject: Thanks to Adam And Pete
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 am
Posts: 51
Hey Pete and Adam,

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge. It helps out more than you can imagine. I am sailing fully powered hooked in and in my footstraps now. Learning to tune the sail and line placement has been constant changes as I ride . I think my lines are 2 close together and to far forward after hearing your thoughts.
The correct amount of downhaul is something that I just don't have a grasp on yet. I try to look at other peoples rigs to get an idea, but I think I may do just as you say and have an experienced rider take a look.

Thanks a million for your time.

See ya on da lake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 1:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:17 am
Posts: 678
Location: Rochester
Mr. Baker, you will not be sailing where the footstraps belong until you're fully poewered up. Until then just keep your feet where they allow you to keep the board balanced.

Once you get the hang of your harnes & lines you'll know when it is time to put those straps on the board. When that time comes you may ask about hooking in before or after your foot/feet is/are in the strap/s. I'm sure everybody does it different but I "hook-in" first to get maximum MFP then I slip my manicured front foot in the front strap. I may delay the back foot strap placement depending on how powered up I am.

For now though John, do not bother to try to sail where the straps eventually will be. It's just not right man!

Pete


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 Post subject: HY PETE.......
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:05 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Dallas Center, Iowa
Are you and the kid's going to make it to Worthington??????
My dayghter jennifer will be coming with me....... She was wantering if your boy's would be there,,,,,,,
See ya in worthington......
Larry Reed


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