I'm wondering if some of the experts can give me some feedback on my windsurfing. Second season, about 20 days of riding. This was really light wind, maybe 4-8 knots with 2 foot swell. Sailing a kona one design 7.4m sail. Looking to understand what I can do better in these light winds.
I was very concerned about oversheeting because of the low winds. My thought is if I pulled in more on my backhand, I would have stalled. I also didn't really feel like I could have leaned back as there wasn't enough wind for the sail to support me...
The wind picks up at 55 to 56 minutes when I was also able to ride some of the swell. That is the only semi-interesting part of the video, I think.
At 1:07:50 I pull up the daggerboard. Does this look like the right way to do it?
At 1:10 I went on a run - and it felt like the board was super tippy. Should I have put my daggerboard back down?
I find my sailing on a port tack (left hand leading) is much better than on starboard tack (right hand leading) - I can generally get hooked in when there's enough wind for it on port tack, can lean back, and don't have to really manhandle the mast. On a starboard tack it feels like I have to be really aggressive with the mast, and feel a lot more tension through my leading leg. (Unfortunately the video only shows my body position on the port tack this time, oops!)
ok, i'm no expert. there are other on here with many more hours teaching than me. plus your video is 1.5 hours long and i'm not going to watch that.
but. i zipped through and noticed your feet.
your front foot should be behind the mast and pointing in the direction of travel. not pointing across the board. in super light winds sometimes your front foot can sit beside your mast base but typically your foot should be behind the mast pointing forward and as the wind increases you move further and further back down the board.
Didn't watch any of your video, easiest fix to any issues early on is more TOW, and then if that doesn't work try some more TOW.
Watched the parts you mentioned as you were pretty clear about what time stamps you wanted help with...
A few comments:
Yes, you kick the centerboard up/down with the foot, just like you did. Downwind, it's likely fastest to have it all the way up but you aren't racing and you are correct - having it part way down does add stability. When you get to the planing section of your learning curve, you can kick it all the way up. Don't try to plane with it all the way down, it generates a lot of lift and will literally flip the board over.
Yes, we are asymmetric - usually we can ignore it but activities that require us to use both sides of the body reveal it. Be aware of the strong/weak side of your body and how your stance, etc will be affected by it. Notice your hand position (e.g how far down the boom), foot angle, everything. When I started foiling, I was shocked how different I was side to side even after windsurfing for a couple of decades.
Some people prefer a slightly higher boom on longboards. You might try raising it to chin level Gestalt makes a good point about the front foot. Also, over time, try to keep your feet no wider than shoulder width around the center of resistance. You'll feel more relaxed.
You are correct to be wary of oversheeting. You'll begin to get a feel for sheeting in just enough and not stalling the sail. Do remember that unlike sailboats, our sails rotate around the center of effort. Pushing the front hand out and pulling the back hand in both sheet the sail in. When you are close hauled, remember to keep your front hand straight and away to keep the sail in. You looked like you were doing a decent job of this already but it's a good concept to understand.
Looks like you were having fun. And, yes, TOW is the great educator. Go out, have fun and you'll be more relaxed and a bit better each time. Hit us with more questions as they come up.
Many of us around here have the attention spans of squirrels. If there is something specific - maybe just post a quick clip or two of what you want help with . If you need a video editor, try this open source program: www.openshot.org/en/download/
Awesome response Paducah.
davidskis, don't overthink things. Some people treat windsurfing like it is a science; and some design aspects are; but you're sailing just fine. Everything is about "feel" for fun sailing like you and I do. Windsurfing is absolutely raw "feel", even more so than dinghy sailing. You are physically attached to the rig and can control it's every movement, you will "feel" the sail start to stall when you oversheet because it will simply produce less power/lift as an aerofoil. Likewise for your feet position, what "feels" right will be perfect, move around on that big log and "feel" the board change, I sail on a WindSUP in light winds and moving around changes things heaps. Have fun, it's an art, not a science
Thank you all for the feedback. I've adjusted my stance (I had forgotten that!). I tried raising the boom, but then I had trouble hooking in and an even worse time unhooking, so lowered it a bit. Also tried Peter Hart's directions of keeping the hips and shoulders parallel to the boom.
Last year I only used a Kona One in sub-planing, and a Bic Techno 293D in planing conditions. The Kona feels a lot more squirrely on the plane (I could ride around all day on the Techno in comparison). Here are two clips from Saturday when I would get planing and the board would go crazy. The footloose move was some kind of attempt to shift my CoM.
At times my arms are exhausted quickly--you'll see at the start of the first video that I can't even pull the rig back to get the nice "7" shape in this wind (ie leaning back with hips forward). This is before I have enough speed and stability to get into the harness. Any suggestions? Is there a certain amount of upper body strength required in addition to core?
Sub-planing feels like too much wind. Often I had to go to safety or really head up into the wind just to prevent my arms from falling off.
How do I keep the board from swimming underfoot when it starts planing? (I need to stabilize it)
If I step back any farther (like on top of the footstraps), I feel like the board points too high into the wind and I lose pressure in the sail. How do I avoid this?
might be time to experiment with harness line length. my gut feel is you need longer lines. what length do you have?
Just use the harness sooner/more. In that video you were hanging on with your arms for ages before using the harness, hook in as soon as you get going.
I think moving your mast track more rearwards would help from the looks of video 2. It will free the nose, so it will be less physical and smooth.
Agree with getting into the harness sooner and longer lines, also you had plenty of power and speed so go for the front foot strap to avoid a catapult.I know it all sounds easy but I have found it better to go for it sooner and don't hesitate as you will continue to gain speed making it hard and more painful if you miss. I still hesitate sometimes, especially rear foot, and curse myself :)
Keep trying and stacking I find it the best way to learn
I'm not an expert, but unlike the experts I still remember my time on a big beginner's board I think the answer to a lot of your questions is getting in the footstraps early for a better control. Not sure about the Kona, but I am pretty confident that on the Bic Techno you can get in the straps and the harness as soon as you get on the board, hook in, play with the rig to get some power and accelerate. You can't do it on a short board, since it does not have enough volume, but on my Starboard Rio 290L, which was similar to your Bic Techno it was no problem. You might find that getting in the straps early tends to turn the nose upwind and depower the rig, but you countterract it by keeping the rig forward and away from yourself, so you need long enough harness lines. Also, the straps need to be all the way froward and in.
PS this is for planing conditions
Go out six more times, THEN tell us how you are doing. TOW (time on water) is your friend.
Where are you based ....?...
Toronto here, which is on the Great Lakes (largest lakes in the world, big enough to generate wind, but still not oceans). Typically 4-7 knots, with occasional (ie a few every month) 15 knot days, particularly in the fall and spring. The Kona feels great slogging compared to wide boards, but at my level at planing speeds it feels a bit like riding an off-kilter torpedo...
I will try getting into the footstraps, although I'm nervous with the amount of falls I still take on the Kona when planing.
When I walk back to the footstraps, the board rides right into the wind. I think this is because the sail has to move astern, and there's less mast foot pressure. Is that correct? Does raising the daggerboard stop this?
Can you adjust your heading just by sheeting rather than moving the mast? (In a sailboat you move the rudder to turn, but in a windsurfer there is no rudder, so I'm still a bit confused about how you get a change of direction, I think caused by pressure/centre of mass relative to the fin or daggerboard?)
I'll try getting some longer lines. Will check the length next time I'm at the club.
Don't panic over the foot straps yet, my longboard is a windSUP and it doesn't even have them. Not using the straps will teach you balance and feel to avoid letting yourself get into a postion where you will catapult, just hook in to the harness as soon as possible to unload your arms and then just use your arms to trim the rig. You're on a longboard that will glide nicely.
Make sure you keep your front foot facing more towards the front of the board/ direction of travel..That will give you something to brace against . If it's across the board ( perpendicular to the rail ) you have no chance of resisting any forward pull..
You can also sink down onto your back leg more as you brace with your front..
Raising the centreboard when reaching at speed will stop the board wanting to rail n wander around uncontrollably.
Thanks all. I had a chance to get out in 10-18 knots with 2 foot swell. Challenging to uphaul, but excellent practice. Wondering if you can corroborate or give feedback on these notes and questions:
When the harness lines were at the balance point (fairly far forward on the boom), I found stepping back towards the footstraps caused me to come up into the wind (because the clew drops). If I sheet in with the back hand while this is happening, will it keep me from heading up too high? Is there some other tactic to keep from heading up as you move back?
Kicking up the daggerboard made planing no longer sketchy when well balanced. Daggerboard down is still a planing nightmare.
Turning the lead foot in the direction of travel allows you to react to gusts and catapult less. Thank you for the tip!
When leaning back in the harness and a lull hits, as long as I bend my legs (sometimes quite a bit), I can usually avoid dropping into the water. Is this the right way to handle lulls? (Standing upright in a lull seems to leave me vulnerable to gusts)
In relation to lulls and gusts, if you are in a lull, look upwind at the surface of the water, when a gust is coming you will see the effects of it by a change to Appearance of the surface and can prepare in advance to react to the addition force that is about to hit your rig.
On a longboard coming into a lull you can just bend your knees n swing under the boom. It'll keep mastfoot pressure constant n keep board flatter.Eventually though you will have to straighten out. But you will be over the board, so easy enough. Really comes down to what you're comfortable with.
When reaching in light winds experiment with centreboard position. Having it down 'X' amount will promote early planing.
Regarding the longboard rounding up when getting into straps. Usually means your not going fast enough to be back there yet.
There's a moving balance point on the board for the wind strength, sail n, board speed. As speed increases that point moves aft. Until you are in the area of straps.
Quite often a longboard is ridden just standing on the deck. Balancing the power n speed produced,until wind is strong enough to be back in the straps.You can also use footpressure to some extent to steer board off the wind to counter the rounding up. You will FEEL when you've got the balance just right.
Go out six more times, THEN tell us how you are doing. TOW (time on water) is your friend.
The questions and answers are useful, but segler is on the money. I might be going out on a limb, but most people here are largely or totally self taught, so we all had our own way of working it out all on different gear. So keep asking, sure, but your own experience is going to give you most of the answers. Have fun. Fwiw, I'm with olskool, get really confident in harness before worrying about foot straps. But that's just my opinion, it could be other way round. Keep going...