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Harness line length

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Created by MagicRide A week ago, 14 Apr 2019
MagicRide
109 posts
Tuesday , 15 Apr 2019 11:47PM
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cammd said..
@Magic Ride

We did a number of sessions with Max Wojcik both before the 2016 worlds and after. One of the drills he had us doing was aimed purely at learning to control the power of the sail through your hips and legs. Basically he made us sail with our front arm behind our back, at first we could move the harness lines forward to compensate but over time we just had to become proficient at sailing with no front arm in varying conditions on all points of sail.

Go out and dedicate 15 or 20 minutes of your next few sessions to doing that, guaranteed to reduce that front arm fatigue and teach you better control with your hips and set your lines in the correct spot. Your upper body should not really be taking any load when sailing in a straight line.




Now that I will try. Makes perfect sence. With shorter lines I don't see that working as well, and that's probably why I wasn't sailing that way, using my hips, I was using more by back, the upper part of the harness to control the power. I've been sailing with my back out and hips in. I need to change that. I bet you that's my problem! I'm use to my old sailing style with shorter lines. I'm excited to try this out.

Lines are in the correct spot, as I can let both hands off the boom to test if there in the center of effort.

I look back now, and when I went from 18" lines to 20s, I don't remember having an issue, or having to adjust my sailing style, but moving from 20s to 22s, I'm noticing I'm having to change my style some. This is interesting stuff!!

Thanks!!

cammd
QLD, 2131 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 6:45AM
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MagicRide said..

cammd said..
@Magic Ride

We did a number of sessions with Max Wojcik both before the 2016 worlds and after. One of the drills he had us doing was aimed purely at learning to control the power of the sail through your hips and legs. Basically he made us sail with our front arm behind our back, at first we could move the harness lines forward to compensate but over time we just had to become proficient at sailing with no front arm in varying conditions on all points of sail.

Go out and dedicate 15 or 20 minutes of your next few sessions to doing that, guaranteed to reduce that front arm fatigue and teach you better control with your hips and set your lines in the correct spot. Your upper body should not really be taking any load when sailing in a straight line.





Now that I will try. Makes perfect sence. With shorter lines I don't see that working as well, and that's probably why I wasn't sailing that way, using my hips, I was using more by back, the upper part of the harness to control the power. I've been sailing with my back out and hips in. I need to change that. I bet you that's my problem! I'm use to my old sailing style with shorter lines. I'm excited to try this out.

Lines are in the correct spot, as I can let both hands off the boom to test if there in the center of effort.

I look back now, and when I went from 18" lines to 20s, I don't remember having an issue, or having to adjust my sailing style, but moving from 20s to 22s, I'm noticing I'm having to change my style some. This is interesting stuff!!

Thanks!!


Not sure Max's drills were to encourage hips out and back in, his advice regarding that would be to try and push your chest to the sky which is basically shoulders back and hips forward, there's a picture of his stance on the website, note how vertical the harness lines are, something he see's as an indicator of good stance. Below is a link to his website where he sells a pretty good set of harness lines btw

www.maksior.eu

Gestalt
QLD, 11964 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 7:53AM
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you're talking longboards cam.

is this thread about shortboards. come to think of it no one has asked.

olskool
QLD, 1183 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 12:07PM
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^^ there certainly is a difference in HL length between RB n shortboards. Maybe mostly to do with boom height.

Gestalt
QLD, 11964 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 12:27PM
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check out the bonaire kids. they run their booms high and lines long. they are all on shortboards.

cant say i ever change lines between boards but my longboard does lack a sliding track.

John340
QLD, 1921 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 1:03PM
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I'm 5'8", 86kgs and ride short boards (slalom, speed & FSW).

I used to get rsi pain in my elbows. I lengthened my harness lines from 26 to 30 inch lines so that both arms are straight when sailing. No more pain. As an added bonus, I'm sailing consistently faster as well.

All the good sailors in my area have at least 30 inch lines.

MagicRide
109 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 11:48AM
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Yep, I'm on a 115L Naish Starship. So that would be in the short board category. Is Cammd's technique still going to work for me on my short board? Hope for enough wind on Wednesday for me to go out.

cammd
QLD, 2131 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 3:29PM
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Gestalt said..
you're talking longboards cam.

is this thread about shortboards. come to think of it no one has asked.


Would that make any difference to the benefits of practicing harness technique with one arm.

Personally I think length is subjective, I alter the length of my lines on a whim with little or zero thought, if they feel to long I shorten them, if they feel to short I lengthen them. To much front arm load I move them forward, to much back arm load I move them back. Alter the sail setting with an adj downhaul, then adjust the lines to suit because the draft has moved. The sweet spot and sweet length is a moving target that depends on what sail, what board, what conditions and what angle your sailing, that's why I like using racing lines you can adjust on the fly.

Mark _australia
WA, 18965 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 3:44PM
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Gestalt said..
you're talking longboards cam.

is this thread about shortboards. come to think of it no one has asked.


Agreed

In my answer I was assuming from his other posts: average height and weight bloke, intermediate, on flatwater, on his FSW / freeride sorta board.

That's why I reckon jump up to 28" or 30" ..... change nothing else and getting used to it will force him into an appropriate stance...... it can't be quite right with 20" lines and a normal boom height. Nice short answer without the Super7, chest to the sky, etc etc....

Tardy
2892 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 3:54PM
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I too sailed with 22 for years ..then was told to short ..so took it slow and went to 26 then 30's
i have 2 booms ..so have the 2 lengths to play with ..
but found the 30's where to long for me in ocean sailing ,as my arse kept hitting the waves ..
but were great in flatter conditions ,I 've settled with 28's as my last pair ...
but will never go back to 22 ...as it felt as if I was ball room dancing with my sail
just too close ...
get yourself some 26 's to start ..
I see you sail your board as a 3 strap set up ,so your stance will be taller ..

than say some of us slalom sailers ,where our straps are right back and on the rail of the board ..,so we are further away from the mast base fixture
And need longer lines ..

Subsonic
WA, 1553 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 5:58PM
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Tardy said..
I too sailed with 22 for years ..then was told to short ..so took it slow and went to 26 then 30's
i have 2 booms ..so have the 2 lengths to play with ..
but found the 30's where to long for me in ocean sailing ,as my arse kept hitting the waves ..
but were great in flatter conditions ,I 've settled with 28's as my last pair ...
but will never go back to 22 ...as it felt as if I was ball room dancing with my sail
just too close ...
get yourself some 26 's to start ..
I see you sail your board as a 3 strap set up ,so your stance will be taller ..

than say some of us slalom sailers ,where our straps are right back and on the rail of the board ..,so we are further away from the mast base fixture
And need longer lines ..



Thats almost exactly my history with changing harness line length. Started too short, tried 30's for a season. Could feel the benefits but could only hold stance in constant breeze. The rest of the time spent dragging my backside in the water and coming in with sore arms. It wasn't doing my speed or arms any good.

Stepped back to 28's and they were perfect. Much easier to hold stance, far enough from the boom to handle gusts (not quite as good as the 30's but good enough).

Basher
49 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 7:08PM
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This is always a delicate topic because people who have windsurfed for years feel like they are being told what to do. And of course if you are happy with your sailing and having fun and achieving your goals then, no worries.

But changing to longer lines takes a while to get used to and once you've made that transition you don't find your bum slaps the water, whether in waves or not. If it does, then you are still in an old-school stance.
Once in a modern/upright stance the limit on harness line length is a function of your arm length and little else. 30inch lines are normal for short people. 32inch lines are now average, and with tall people often using 34s.

But to get that upright stance you need to get the mast more vertical, and so the change often requires shifting the front footstrap forwards on the board, and moving the mast foot backwards. Those two changes will effectively raise your boom, and so you may need to lower that, even with the longer lines. This might seem counter-intuitive at first.

If you want to get out of a stance rut then one top tip is to get someone to video you, just to see how your current stance looks compared to others.

tonyk
QLD, 28 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 9:33PM
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I am 185cm, like the boon lowish and run the 34s
Tried to run 32s a few times but had to go back to my 34s
Seems to work for me because i prefer to keep the sail upright as possible
But at the end of day we all like different things and very few sailors can jump on another sailors rig and be comfortable
Eg I've seen shorter guys with high booms and short harness lines and they are going great

Subsonic
WA, 1553 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 8:17PM
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Basher said..
This is always a delicate topic because people who have windsurfed for years feel like they are being told what to do. And of course if you are happy with your sailing and having fun and achieving your goals then, no worries.

But changing to longer lines takes a while to get used to and once you've made that transition you don't find your bum slaps the water, whether in waves or not. If it does, then you are still in an old-school stance.
Once in a modern/upright stance the limit on harness line length is a function of your arm length and little else. 30inch lines are normal for short people. 32inch lines are now average, and with tall people often using 34s.

But to get that upright stance you need to get the mast more vertical, and so the change often requires shifting the front footstrap forwards on the board, and moving the mast foot backwards. Those two changes will effectively raise your boom, and so you may need to lower that, even with the longer lines. This might seem counter-intuitive at first.

If you want to get out of a stance rut then one top tip is to get someone to video you, just to see how your current stance looks compared to others.




At some point in the quest to find the right harness line length, you do hit a point where the pros and cons tip the wrong way though.

For me the 30's were that point. The reality was that all that the longer lines were giving me was slightly better gust response, in exchange for a whole lot of hurt.

Changing back to 28's actually improved my ability to hold an upright stance, and took away the fatigue from arm wrestling with the boom. Instead it made letting the harness take the weight a more natural feeling, instead of something i had to remind myself to do. As a result my overall speed improved drastically.

Longer lines do have certain benefits, but there is always a step too far. If it were a simple case of adjusting stance to suit then we'd all be running the longest harness lines available.

Basher
49 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 8:45PM
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It's usually the 'bum slap on the water' complaint which is the giveaway about stance issues. That can't happen if you are in an upright stance, where your body should be straight and with your arms outstretched. Another sign of dodgy stance is when your waist harness rides up all the time.

If your arse does touch the water then that suggests a sit down stance, usually with a lot of mast rake - i.e. with the mast leaning backwards towards the tail of the board in the fore and aft plane.
With 'good' stance you do indeed drive the board via the harness lines and legs, and your arms take little load, except to rig steer and to sheet the sail at arms length.
It is true that once you get to this stance with long lines there comes a point where the lines can be too long and you stick your arse out to compensate and you also find the lines can fall out of the hook. But I'm short and I find that issue doesn't happen to me until I'm on 32inch lines or bigger. I too once though I'd never go bigger than 28inch lines, but I kept with it and 28s now seem way too short.

The other thing to add is that so-called fixed lines vary a lot in length between brands, and the final length they bed down on your boom also depends on the boom tube diameter, and on the spread used.
I use Flying Objects fixed lines, set a hands width apart.

If I sailed bigger kit more often then I'd have adjustable lines, because the rise and fall of the boom is greater with bigger rigs, and the line length you need also varies with the angle of sailing on the wind - simply because our stance changes when sailing broad, compared to when heading upwind.

But these things are difficult to get across in written words. There's probably a helpful video to be found somewhere on Youtube, showing how longer lines can match a more upright stance.

sailquik
VIC, 4465 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 10:58PM
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olskool said..
Sailquik, mostly front forearm grip. Guessin my harnesslines are a bit far back then?? Board im riding is 2002 AHD FREEDIAMOND 77 270long 77wide.Freeride/ race thing. Smooth rockerline. 51cm S1pro 9.5m ezzy lion. HL about two hands apart. 32inch adjustable. Rear positioned about last dot on RSX boom. Id think 70% rearfoot n 30% front pressure.



That would be a good adjustment to try. I have never seen a ,measurement 'rule' for harness line positioning that works with every sailor and every sail. have them just loose enough to move while on the water a adjust until neutral. Thats my 'rule' anyhow.

the % foot pressure may well be about right on a reach. More back foot pressure upwind and maybe a bit more slightly broader and faster. Try taking your weight on the boom and back foot and see if you can take all the weight off your front foot when sailing at a good clip upwind. You might find that there is actually none, or very little on it anyway.

sailquik
VIC, 4465 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 11:10PM
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I have a real problem with 'old school stance' and 'modern upright stance' jargon, when there is no attempt whatsoever to actually define it. Without some explanation or definition it is just ageist, predudiced, trash talk.

There is nothing 'old school' or 'modern, there is just effecient and not so efficient.

And those things will vary with the size of the rider, the type of board he is on, the strength of the wind, angle of sailing, the speed he is going, the type of harness, the height of his boom, the bend of his boom, the type of his sail and many other things. Anyone who trys to tell you there is a simple cover all 'rule' for something like harness line length or position or width apart, is full of it!

Subsonic
WA, 1553 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 9:50PM
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Basher said..
It's usually the 'bum slap on the water' complaint which is the giveaway about stance issues. That can't happen if you are in an upright stance, where your body should be straight and with your arms outstretched. Another sign of dodgy stance is when your waist harness rides up all the time.

If your arse does touch the water then that suggests a sit down stance, usually with a lot of mast rake - i.e. with the mast leaning backwards towards the tail of the board in the fore and aft plane.
With 'good' stance you do indeed drive the board via the harness lines and legs, and your arms take little load, except to rig steer and to sheet the sail at arms length.
It is true that once you get to this stance with long lines there comes a point where the lines can be too long and you stick your arse out to compensate and you also find the lines can fall out of the hook. But I'm short and I find that issue doesn't happen to me until I'm on 32inch lines or bigger. I too once though I'd never go bigger than 28inch lines, but I kept with it and 28s now seem way too short.

The other thing to add is that so-called fixed lines vary a lot in length between brands, and the final length they bed down on your boom also depends on the boom tube diameter, and on the spread used.
I use Flying Objects fixed lines, set a hands width apart.

If I sailed bigger kit more often then I'd have adjustable lines, because the rise and fall of the boom is greater with bigger rigs, and the line length you need also varies with the angle of sailing on the wind - simply because our stance changes when sailing broad, compared to when heading upwind.

But these things are difficult to get across in written words. There's probably a helpful video to be found somewhere on Youtube, showing how longer lines can match a more upright stance.


I think you're getting too tied up in stance and what the bum slapping means in regards to a persons stance. In my case the "bum slapping" was a direct result of over reaching for the boom. Instead of standing in the shape of a 7 i was carrying the bum out stance that you speak of. Changing to 28's rectified the situation.

I don't disagree that longer lines have benefits, but i don't think its correct to assume that longer lines are going to make someone sail better/faster. Nor is it correct to assume that an upright stance is the be all to end all of stances. What works for one person may not work for another, and vice versa.

I know fast sailors who use short lines and fast sailors who use long lines. Same with stance.

Subsonic
WA, 1553 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 10:06PM
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sailquik said..
I have a real problem with 'old school stance' and 'modern upright stance' jargon, when there is no attempt whatsoever to actually define it. Without some explanation or definition it is just ageist, predudiced, trash talk.

There is nothing 'old school' or 'modern, there is just effecient and not so efficient.

And those things will vary with the size of the rider, the type of board he is on, the strength of the wind, angle of sailing, the speed he is going, the type of harness, the height of his boom, the bend of his boom, the type of his sail and many other things. Anyone who trys to tell you there is a simple cover all 'rule' for something like harness line length or position or width apart, is full of it!


Too true. I've always thought of stance as adaptive. When its light you're staying more upright. When you're riding a gust you lay into it.

Basher
49 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 2:44AM
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Well the upright stance versus old-school stance has become standard jargon nowadays, because the stance changes went hand in hand with the changes in our boards and rigs. If you have a local qualified instructor or training guru then he or she will also talk about these things.
Line length is inevitably tied in with sailing stance because of the board measurements and variables we have to work with.

For example, I see one writer here is still on a 2002 board, that is 270cms long. Nothing wrong with that, except you may find the fin box position, footstrap holes, and mast track position on the board vary considerably compared to a more modern hull design which will be significantly shorter, probably under 240cms. My wave boards are now down to 215cms long, in some cases.
That board length in turn affects the fore-and-aft mast rake you sail with, as does your physical stature and chosen boom height. On a wide tailed slalom board, your feet are also taken out nearer the rail, effectively taking the harness hook outwards and father away from the boom too.
The mast foot tends to be set nearer the tail on a modern board, with foot strap positions siting the sailor nearer the mast, so that sets the mast more upright when viewed from the side. For sure on slalom gear you still may stand back when over powered, and you might shift the mast foot forwards a touch to help with windy weather control. But on a wave board and freestyle board you don't. etc etc.

A good sailor will be able to adapt to all these boards from different eras, but it's no coincidence that you won't find pictures of pro sailors on modern gear using short lines.
I've been windsurfing for decades, in the early days coaching at the highest level, but I too had to make the journey that allowed me to break my stance rut as our boards changed.
Change is of course optional.

olskool
QLD, 1183 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 7:53AM
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Yep my 2002 AHD mastrack most rear point is 135cm. Mostly i sail it about 140cm. Seems to plane easily n not get flighty. Will experiment next session n pull it right back n see how it performs with more vertical rig. My HL around 30-32 for this setup.

Gestalt
QLD, 11964 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 8:25AM
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i'm 100% with basher here.

the old school stance is the 7's stance with the chest pointing towards the sky.
the new school stance is more of a 6. like the 7 but the shoulders roll forward more. more of a hunch. the body further away from the rig.

i too had to break my stance rut. there was a point where i wanted to ditch needing big gear to get going and the only way to do that was to change my stance.

Gestalt
QLD, 11964 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 8:28AM
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olskool said..
Yep my 2002 AHD mastrack most rear point is 135cm. Mostly i sail it about 140cm. Seems to plane easily n not get flighty. Will experiment next session n pull it right back n see how it performs with more vertical rig. My HL around 30-32 for this setup.


try changing your front hand grip. try not wrapping your thumb around the boom.

a good thing to do is to sail along hooked in and open your palms and push against the boom. that action will correct a lot of stance issues. i do it when i haven't bee sailing for a while notice my session is not going to plan.

a few runs pushing the boom away sort things out.

Subsonic
WA, 1553 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 7:24AM
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Gestalt said..
i'm 100% with basher here.

the old school stance is the 7's stance with the chest pointing towards the sky.
the new school stance is more of a 6. like the 7 but the shoulders roll forward more. more of a hunch. the body further away from the rig.

i too had to break my stance rut. there was a point where i wanted to ditch needing big gear to get going and the only way to do that was to change my stance.


Well that might open another can of worms. The 7 stance is what i've heard as being correct/modern.

Reality is i think most people tend to alter their stance depending on wind strength, direction of travel etc.

olskool
QLD, 1183 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 10:53AM
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Gestalt, will give it a try. Lately im sailing faster. But having front arm fatigue issues. Used to get relief from alternating over hand underhand grip. But now overhand is feeling very uncomfortable n no benefit. Could just be HL position though. They seem a long way back. From my previous position. Hands naturally find equal distance from HL though. Hmmm..???

Mark _australia
WA, 18965 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 9:37AM
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I'm so new school I went from the super7 to the sort of 6 but now I'm into more of a 5 - my double forwards are really coming along. Well the 5stance and the 36" lines also. I've also moved my mast tracks on my customs further back from 118cm at rear to 117.5cm
Super progressive.

Daffy, seems if you have a local instructor they can help you

bhc
VIC, 103 posts
Wednesday , 17 Apr 2019 10:49PM
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In case you haven't seen, TWS tuning technique series on YouTube is pretty good for wave gear setup... This one explains harness line length well:



And this one talks about boom height and footstrap position:

sboardcrazy
NSW, 6489 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 7:46AM
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bhc said..
In case you haven't seen, TWS tuning technique series on YouTube is pretty good for wave gear setup... This one explains harness line length well:



And this one talks about boom height and footstrap position:



Good but the wrong thread?

sailquik
VIC, 4465 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 11:07AM
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Mark _australia said..

Daffy, seems if you have a local instructor they can help you



Hopefully. But I have not found one that is not full of parroting jargon sheet yet with no real understanding of why they spout it.

I guess I'll just have to muddle on..........

sailquik
VIC, 4465 posts
Thursday , 18 Apr 2019 11:20AM
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bhc said..
In case you haven't seen, TWS tuning technique series on YouTube is pretty good for wave gear setup... This one explains harness line length well:


Thanks BHC! . There is an instructor who makes sense. Of course, this is specifically about wave boards. As I said, different board, different sails, different styles of sailing require different set ups. There is still no one rule that can possibly cover everything.



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"Harness line length" started by MagicRide