Forums > Windsurfing Foiling

Cammed or Camless

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Created by segler Two weeks ago, 6 Oct 2019
segler
168 posts
6 Oct 2019 12:42AM
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I know this has been discussed a bit before, but I would like to focus on it here.

For foiling, cammed or camless?

Yesterday two of us were out foiling on the Columbia River at Port Kelley. The wind was 12-20 mph with really sharp gusts. Average was about 14-15 mph. We were both on 6.4 sails and good foils with front wing areas of 800 and 940 cm2. Boards and body weights were similar.

Pete was using a Goya Nexus 6.4 no-cam. I was using an old Sailworks XT 6.4 with 3 cams (similar to today's Sailworks Flyers which have 2 cams).

For the day as a whole, I had more wing time and was faster since my 3-cam sail had more overall power. To get going, Pete had to pump a lot more. I could just sheet in and fly. All of this is already well known in the sport.

However, the sharp gusts killed my trim. I had to constantly correct the pitch. When a gusts hits my 3-cam sail, it simply propels it strongly forward, thus adding lift to the foil, endangering foilouts, of which I had a few. After a couple hours of this, I was totally spent.

On the other hand, Pete's camless sail "breathed" the sharp gusts, so his trim was not disturbed as much. He had an easier time of it in the gusts.

Last week in steady 15 mph winds with the same sails, I owned the place foiling my brains out, while Pete had to really work at it just to get going. So, I suppose our quiver needs to have both types of sails to respond to the conditions. Not sure I want to do that.

Anyway, I made a short youtube showing those steady conditions from last week. A youtube from yesterday would not have been very instructive since I was in the water so much.

Boemix
5 posts
6 Oct 2019 2:17AM
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Have you tried Ezzy sails? they have a deep camlike profile.

I'm very happy with my Ezzy Legacy 5'2 as long as I have enough wind to fly, and I can resist all kind of gusts and lulls the tramontana thow at me.

boardsurfr
WA, 926 posts
6 Oct 2019 7:16AM
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I'd guess that your sails had a few important differences. Besides the cams, I'd guess that the difference in loose leech was also considerable, with the newer Goya having a lot more loose leech. If so, most or all of your observations can be explained by the loose leech difference: less power for the Goya, but better behavior in gusts. Not that different from windsurfing. It may seem that gusts are more likely to cause crashes when foiling, but if you look at someone who is just getting into the straps and harness, with similar TOW as many foilers, you may see lots of crashed, too.

Loose leech is not the whole story, either, of course. Trim issues like how high the draft is or how easy it is to depower a sail in gusts matter a lot. I mostly use camless sails, and find freestyle sails (high draft, intermediate loose leech) a lot easier to use than top end-oriented sails (similar or more loose leech, lower draft), especially in gusty conditions.

DWF
130 posts
6 Oct 2019 8:20AM
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Might just be your older cam sail, When I set my Flyer for medium wind, twisted leach, it handles gusts so smooth, with no foil trim issues. Low end is also good at this setting, so I set for light wind less and less.

segler
168 posts
7 Oct 2019 1:00AM
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DWF, I am glad to hear you are liking the Flyer 6.0. The 6.0 is the go-to sail for medium conditions by all the Sailworks riders in the Gorge.

My Flyer 7.0 4-batten is also unruly in gusty winds. BP says this is why he added a 5th batten for 2019/2020.

Back to my original comments. I don't think the issue is sail twist and draft position. My XT 6.4, being a race sail, has plenty of tunable twist, and the draft is low and does not move much. All great for fin slalom. I think the issue is the deep pocket made by the cams. It is always solid, deep, and powerful, and responds to gusts with forward power. Gusty wind means variable forward power means variable board speed means variable wing lift means variable pitch. The result is pogo-sticking. Very exhausting.

My friend's no-cam sail (and my no-cam sails in Florida), has a pocket that is shallower and highly variable based on wind and sheet. This is why people keep talking about de-powering a no-cam sail for turns and such. I think such a sail will tend to hold more constant power in gusts. The power is lower to start with, which requires more pumping. However, a no-cam sail can be rigged to "breathe" the gusts better than a rigid cam sail. On gusty Friday my friend's no-cam was clearly "breathing," and he had consistent pitch, while my cam sail was clearly powering, and I had to constant correct the pitch.

So, I suppose the wind regime is the determining factor. So here's the thesis. In steady winds a cam sail will have constant power and be easier to ride. In gusty winds, a no-cam sail will absorb the gusts better for a more consistent power level. The 05.3 issue of Windsurfing Now also talks about this.

DWF
130 posts
7 Oct 2019 1:44AM
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I foiled no cam sails a long time. They never saw enough wind pressure to properly inflate as designed. So range and feel was never as good as it should be in my opinion. I'm not one to rig super power foiling, so there is that.

LeeD
803 posts
7 Oct 2019 2:12AM
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Personal preference, and one factor is jibing ease and consistency.
No cams, the most power to be had is sail touching inside boom arm when loaded. How and how much is up to you.
12-20, I can use 5.0 and freestyle,
7.0 and slalom, 4.0 and foil, or 4.8 and foil.

CAN17
280 posts
7 Oct 2019 2:31AM
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In my experience I use cams on sail sizes 6.0 and up. But below that threshold I find no cams may be better for dealing with strong gusts and in winds when I'm on a 5.2 and down I am really not doing much pumping because I'm well powered up. My 6.0 twin cam V8 is by far my favorite sail for foiling. It's super stable and powerful and never makes feels twitchy or up/down like a yo-yo. Makes for a super smooth flight

AlexF
212 posts
7 Oct 2019 2:54AM
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I use a Goya Mark 7.2 No cam, and imo you can trim a lot of power in these sails. I usually put 2-4 cm less downhaul on the sail than for normal windsurfing. Interestingly the sail still keeps its manageability in the gusts with this trimm. I guess it's because in foiling a "gust" leads to much less load in the sail than in normal windsurfing.
Alex

Btw. My next Foiling sail for lightwind will be a Goya Nexus 6.9

azymuth
WA, 811 posts
7 Oct 2019 8:14AM
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Select to expand quote
segler said..
I know this has been discussed a bit before, but I would like to focus on it here.
For foiling, cammed or camless?




Cammed or camless. I think it depends where you're freeride foiling - if cruising around on flat water I'd probably use a cam sail in light /moderate winds.

On the ocean (or strong winds on a river/lake) riding windswells/waves definitely go wave sail - easier to depower and gybe than a cam sail.

We're foiling a little more powered up than we were a year ago - pretty much using similar sizes to wave sailors now.
Used a 4m in a storm last week - winds up to 35 knots, overpowered but ok.

Yesterday foiled 52kms on the ocean in a 20 knot SSW seabreeze with a 5.3m Simmer Blacktip, TimeCode 68 wing, Wizard 105.
Should have changed down to a 4.7 or 5 but the 5.3 was still great fun, just had to work harder when gybing and fight the sail pressure pushing the nose down when carving downwind

Paducah
533 posts
7 Oct 2019 1:13PM
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It was a revelation to me after a year of trying to foil in lighter but gusty wind to go from a no cam (Cheetah) to a 2 cam freerace. Much steadier power delivery meant less variability in trim.

I'm about 70 kg and 12-20mph (11-18kts) is easily doable with a 7.7. A 6.7 gets me up to the mid 20s in gusts. I'm wondering if the issue is less the sail and more about perfecting anticipating and depowering in gusts? If ones instincts are to stay in "windsurf" mode, grab a big bunch of back hand to control the gust and push hard with the legs, bad things will happen. Feather the rig, take the pressure off the feet ("frog mode" someone said), get the pressure on the mast base and head upwind (or deep downwind) until things are less hairy. Simply moving the back foot up may be enough, too.

For all those who use camless sails in higher winds, I do, too. The OP wants range and power at the low end but not getting jacked in the gusts.

LeeD
803 posts
7 Oct 2019 11:50PM
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Doesn't foil size determine ability to carry big or need for small sails?
Racers my size on 750 foils carry 7 meter sails when I'm well powered to breaching on 4.0 and Naish 1220 foil.

IndecentExposur
149 posts
8 Oct 2019 2:29AM
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I started foiling with older Ezzy Infinity's (cammed sails with a low profile) and did pretty well. I later went to Ezzy Cheetah's (I like the deeper profile and shape, but without the cams). I ended up trying out the Ezzy Hydras this year and have been happy.

It provides that balance between the cammed and non-cammed sails. Also, it's lightweight and provides a foil based shape (power down low). It does well when pumping (inflates to provide a cammed like feel), but flattens out when up in the air and going faster.

I think Sailworks got a better jump on the market in the gorge due to the 'look' over the original Hydra. Many didn't like the extended batten section at the clew. But after having tested out the new Hydra Sport (I now own one), it's my go to sail for foiling now.

Peter Hands
VIC, 80 posts
8 Oct 2019 10:03AM
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My 3 cents worth ...
Cams for foiling in straight lines (across, up or down wind)
No cams for carving "free foiling"

BSN101
WA, 1735 posts
8 Oct 2019 8:33AM
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Select to expand quote
Peter Hands said..
My 3 cents worth ...
Cams for foiling in straight lines (across, up or down wind)
No cams for carving "free foiling"


Makes sense.

8 Oct 2019 8:42AM
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Interesting topic

What Peter said above is a good simple way to point out the use of cam sails vs no cam for foiling.

It follows very much the same guideline as in windsurfing. Wave, freestyle, freeride, freerace, racing
So it very much depends of the foiling style you want to do.

I can't see that a cam sail in the same size as a no cam, would get up and going earlier.
In a way I would be surprised, as I find a no cam sail easier to pump with and get the foil up and going.
Lots to do on the rigging of the sails, skills, boards, what foil is used etc.


snides8
WA, 1601 posts
8 Oct 2019 9:20AM
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I agree with Jesper..
In regards to the initial question it's cams all the way for me in sizes 8/9&10.

This brings another topic to light..

The issue now is we have 2 maybe 3 disciplines of foiling
the first being free ride - which consumes what looks like most of the forum topics..
and the second
being race/freerace.
Having all types of foiling lumped under the one heading may make it difficult to understand the sport if you are new and are looking for advice,
I think it's time for another category IMO.

azymuth
WA, 811 posts
8 Oct 2019 9:52AM
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Select to expand quote
snides8 said..
The issue now is we have 2 maybe 3 disciplines of foiling
the first being free ride - which consumes what looks like most of the forum topics..
and the second
being race/freerace.
Having all types of foiling lumped under the one heading may make it difficult to understand the sport if you are new and are looking for advice,
I think it's time for another category IMO.




Spot on Steve - the 2 foiling disciplines are as different as GPS & Speed is to Waves.

I think some newbies get confused and buy foils perhaps not best suited to their local conditions or their skillset.

segler
168 posts
9 Oct 2019 1:36AM
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Sail Repair WA said: "I can't see that a cam sail in the same size as a no cam, would get up and going earlier.
In a way I would be surprised, as I find a no cam sail easier to pump with and get the foil up and going.
Lots to do on the rigging of the sails, skills, boards, what foil is used etc."

What I do know from actual on-water observation is that my 3-cam 6.4 is getting going earlier, and with less pumping and more overall speed, than my friend's 6.4 no-cam. We have observed this now after 2 days of foiling. Yes, there is always the added issue of rigging, board, foil, sailor weight and skill, etc. His no-cam is easier to foil in the gnarly gusties, but my 3-cam is more powerful and faster.

azymuth
WA, 811 posts
12 Oct 2019 6:20PM
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Select to expand quote
Peter Hands said..
My 3 cents worth ...
Cams for foiling in straight lines (across, up or down wind)
No cams for carving "free foiling"



No need for cams or more than 3 battens!
Sailed my new 2020 Simmer Tricera 5m, what an awesome sail.

Stoked with the upwind angle/speed and super lightweight meant effortless carving downwind and controllability on the wave
Perfect for ocean/big chop fun - cheers Jesper

SSW 15-20 knots, 1m swell, Wizard 105, Infinity 76, 46kms



segler
168 posts
13 Oct 2019 12:04AM
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A very popular foiling sail here is the Goya Fringe. 3 battens, no cams.

2keen
WA, 57 posts
13 Oct 2019 6:20AM
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I'm with JJ
Simmer Tricera 3 Battern
Lightweight and super fun


No need for cams when your just out there to have fun??

IndecentExposur
149 posts
Monday , 14 Oct 2019 9:49PM
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...she asked, "which shoes should I wear"....

Try both, select the one you like.

drlazone
1 posts
Wednesday , 16 Oct 2019 1:53AM
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Same here.
HotSail KS3 is an excellent foiling (and wave) sail.
For foiling, minimum downhaul (for pumping) and maximum outhaul (upwind and don't need the power once going and depower well for swell riding). The centre of push is very forward and low, an advantage when foiling.
The Fringe feels similar but softer.
Haven't tried the Simmer.

Maddlad
WA, 385 posts
Wednesday , 16 Oct 2019 7:40AM
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Cam's for me, they're so much more stable.

tonyk
QLD, 88 posts
Thursday , 17 Oct 2019 3:44PM
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free ride social sailing or to learn- whatever you like to use or in my case already own
racing- well we just take a look at what they use on the world stage and copy them



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"Cammed or Camless" started by segler