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Boom height & harness line length for wave sailing

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Created by Jens Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019
Jens
WA, 296 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 9:46AM
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Hi Folks,

Reading the harness line length thread made me feel like an old school dinosaur and made me wonder about different set ups for wave sailing. This is all I do, and because I like a low boom height so that I can really throw the sail around and I use a seat harness, I end up with very short harness lines indeed. Occasionally I've tried a higher boom, but this feels really strange to me, especially when I try to oversheet on the bottom turn and drive the board forwards and upwards. When I lengthen my lines I find myself sailing less efficiently, coming onto the plane more slowly. Note I don't like them so short I'm dancing with the sail and have no capacity to pump, adjust for gusts etc, but not so long that I need more wind get onto the plane.

I'm wondering how you longer harness line wave sailors feel-what you reckon the advantages are of running a higher boom.

Cheers, Jens

Basher
50 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 3:10PM
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Using a higher boom is something that beginners are taught and that's because pulling upwards with your arms helps get weight off your feet and instead loads the mast foot downwards, so that rig load is directed through the front half of the board. That load is often called 'mast foot pressure'. Getting your weight off the tail of the board is often the key to early planing.

But once you have been sailing a while, you realise that you can get plenty of mast foot pressure - and get weight off your feet - just by leaning forwards, and so boom height becomes less critical.
If you position your front foot strap closer to the mast you can also get into an upright stance, which means leaning forwards is much easier.
If you continue to sail with a mast that is raked back then that often means you are stuck under the rig, with too much weight on the board tail and that's not a great stance for turning and manoeuvring.

I like my boom in front of me, usually at chest height rather than at shoulder height, and that's better for muscling the rig when overpowered, for pumping when underpowered, and for simple rig trim.
What I also find a lower boom does in wave riding is it allows me to get right over the rig in the bottom turn - and in a cranked gybe - with better weight on the inner rail. The upright stance and lower boom mean you can dip the rig towards the board nose more easily.

The lower boom also means the pull on the harness lines is more outwards and your waist harness no longer rides up.
There's low and then there's too low of course. Boom height will also be a function of your own physical height.

getsum
NSW, 38 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 5:17PM
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I've just gone from 24's to 30's, haven't tried them yet.

remery
WA, 361 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 7:34PM
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One of the best feelings is carving a smooth gybe, exit, tug the boom the slightest and go.

Jens
WA, 296 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 7:02AM
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I agree with Basher. That pretty much describes my set up. In any case in wave sailing your sailing focus is usually to point as high as possible to get your next wave as soon as you can. This means sailing with an upright stance, weight on the front foot to maximise water length; definitely not bum slapping with heavy mast rake. Cheers Jens



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"Boom height & harness line length for wave sailing" started by Jens