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Optimal settings for seat harness lines and boom height

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Created by Francone 31 days ago, 16 Sep 2017
Francone
WA, 164 posts
16 Sep 2017 2:16AM
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I'm 175 cm tall and I sail with a seat harness in moderate winds on a Bic WindSup, with either an 8.0 HSM Superfreak or an oldish 6.2 N.P. Garda, which still does the job . .

I'm fairly new to using the harness and I usually I keep the boom upper chest-height or chin-height and the harness lines about 30-32 inches long ( 15-16" doubled up). I wonder: with these settings, I don't have the feeling I'm hanging down and out as I would have expected . The harness helps a bit when the winds pick up , but it doesn't make much of a difference

I tried to shorten the lines, but I find it uncomfortable to tiptoe too much in order to hook in. Besides, I believe that on a seat harness the lines must be 4 " longer than on a waist harness because the hook is way down.

I looked at a video posted by Seebreez on a previous thread on the same subject, now closed. Here the instructor has the boom almost at the top of the head. It seems excessive, but I'll try. I don't know when, though, because the season is practically over here .

In the meantime, any tips about how to get that " hang-down-and-out feeling with a seat harness?

Thanks

Francone

joe windsurf
1139 posts
16 Sep 2017 6:25AM
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Franco:

if you are hanging out with your arms - you are hanging down and out
now when in the harness - the weight is on the harness and NOT your arms ..
check AA

clarence
TAS, 566 posts
16 Sep 2017 8:36AM
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Good question Francone. I sail a longboard and use a seat harness and find that most of the advice around harness line length relates to short boards and waist harnesses. I find I just cannot sail on other people's gear with my seat harness.

I have a set of chinook extendable race lines, which are usually at full extension. I play around with them a lot- but find a high boom, short harness lines and a longboard just don't work.

Very interested in other longboard sailors comments on this topic as well.

Clarence

Windxtasy
WA, 3725 posts
16 Sep 2017 8:38AM
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Long harness lines are good. You need to be able to extend your arms to get your body away from the board.
Varying boom height helps - in light wind you don't want to be outboard so much, so have the boom higher.
In strong wind you need the boom lower so your body is lower to resist the increase pull from the sail.
If your lines are so short you have to tippy toe to hook in that is too short and you will risk being pulled over.
30 inches is good

Francone
WA, 164 posts
16 Sep 2017 9:23AM
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joe windsurf said..
Franco:

if you are hanging out with your arms - you are hanging down and out
now when in the harness - the weight is on the harness and NOT your arms ..
check AA

Joe
Thanks for your input .
It is true that the weight is on the harness and not in my arms when hanging out with them, but a substantial part of it is still supported by the legs. This is why I felt that the harness doesn't make much of a difference and I thought that perhaps by raising the boom, more of my weight would be removed from the legs and transferred onto the harness, thereby enhancing the hang down-and-out posture and increasing the mast foot pressure..
I may be wrong and I am open to comments and suggestions, as usual

Francone

joe windsurf
1139 posts
16 Sep 2017 7:21PM
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Franco:

here is a video using the Mistral COMP SST that I sold to you hoping it would suit you ...
the sail is a SailWorks Retro 8.0 with wind in 20-30 kph on narrow local river
in terms of technique I feel I am NO expert, but am one of few local longboarders
my boom is about collar bone height and lines about 30 inch lines ...

&feature=youtu.be

33frupus
VIC, 114 posts
16 Sep 2017 9:34PM
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a windsurfer in seat harness on a board with no foot straps. Long lines and definitely moderate winds

cammd
QLD, 1374 posts
16 Sep 2017 10:01PM
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Select to expand quote
Francone said..


joe windsurf said..
Franco:

if you are hanging out with your arms - you are hanging down and out
now when in the harness - the weight is on the harness and NOT your arms ..
check AA

Joe
Thanks for your input .
It is true that the weight is on the harness and not in my arms when hanging out with them, but a substantial part of it is still supported by the legs. This is why I felt that the harness doesn't make much of a difference and I thought that perhaps by raising the boom, more of my weight would be removed from the legs and transferred onto the harness, thereby enhancing the hang down-and-out posture and increasing the mast foot pressure..
I may be wrong and I am open to comments and suggestions, as usual

Francone




How would you sheet on a sail if you just sat in the harness with no pressure through your legs.

I did the first two races of the season today on my phantom in 15-20knots. My legs (hamstrings and calves) are what ache the most as they do most of the work transferring the sail power to the board. Arms are a little sore from dealing with transitions but legs take the brunt in windsurfing

cammd
QLD, 1374 posts
16 Sep 2017 10:08PM
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clarence said..
Good question Francone. I sail a longboard and use a seat harness and find that most of the advice around harness line length relates to short boards and waist harnesses. I find I just cannot sail on other people's gear with my seat harness.

I have a set of chinook extendable race lines, which are usually at full extension. I play around with them a lot- but find a high boom, short harness lines and a longboard just don't work.

Very interested in other longboard sailors comments on this topic as well.

Clarence


I don't think about line length I just adjust them as needed, if you bums slapping the water they are to long, if you can't get into and out of them easily they are to short. Its rare I wont adjust them at some stage every sail on the raceboard.

Next time you replace them check out the ion race adjustables, I have had three sets of chinooks snap after a season plus they have less plastic and tend to swing about more and drop out of the hook easier. Love my new Ions

Francone
WA, 164 posts
16 Sep 2017 11:07PM
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Select to expand quote
cammd said..

Francone said..



joe windsurf said..
Franco:

if you are hanging out with your arms - you are hanging down and out
now when in the harness - the weight is on the harness and NOT your arms ..
check AA

Joe
Thanks for your input .
It is true that the weight is on the harness and not in my arms when hanging out with them, but a substantial part of it is still supported by the legs. This is why I felt that the harness doesn't make much of a difference and I thought that perhaps by raising the boom, more of my weight would be removed from the legs and transferred onto the harness, thereby enhancing the hang down-and-out posture and increasing the mast foot pressure..
I may be wrong and I am open to comments and suggestions, as usual

Francone





How would you sheet on a sail if you just sat in the harness with no pressure through your legs.

I did the first two races of the season today on my phantom in 15-20knots. My legs (hamstrings and calves) are what ache the most as they do most of the work transferring the sail power to the board. Arms are a little sore from dealing with transitions but legs take the brunt in windsurfing


Cammd
when I speak about hanging more on the harness, I am speaking in relative terms : I do not mean hanging completely like a child on a swing seat. What I mean is setting the boom high enough so that more of your weight ( not all, of course!) moves away from the legs and shifts to the harness, thereby creating more MFP, but you'll always weigh on the board with the legs, to sheet in or do other maneuvers.You have to, I agree!

This ideal position of the boom would be the happy medium between two extremes: on one hand a boom so low that it forces you to bend the legs in such a way that practically most of the weight is still supported by them and not the harness seat..) and, on the other hand, a boom so high that most , if not all of your weight is supported by the harness.

The other day, for the first time, the muscle of my back leg ached a bit when sailing, by continually squatting or flexing it to control the board ..( not the calf, but the large upper muscle above the knee).Something unusual, probably because there was a slight chop.. On a second look, I thought it might be because the boom was still not high enough. and I was leaning too much on the back leg, whichever was the sailing course, which means both legs took their turn..) .

Francone

Francone
WA, 164 posts
17 Sep 2017 12:03AM
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Select to expand quote
joe windsurf said..
Franco:

here is a video using the Mistral COMP SST that I sold to you hoping it would suit you ...
the sail is a SailWorks Retro 8.0 with wind in 20-30 kph on narrow local river
in terms of technique I feel I am NO expert, but am one of few local longboarders
my boom is about collar bone height and lines about 30 inch lines ...

&feature=youtu.be


Joe

Nice video. Looking at your comfortable ride on the Mistral almost makes me regret that I sold it, but I am still happy to have bought the Bic Windsup, because at my age I have relatively little time left to invest in re-learning how to balance on a narrow board like that..With the Bic, I just hop and go.

If you are comfortable with the harness/boom barely at chest level, fine. To me, it is still on the low side.. Indeed, in your video, the "hang-down" component seems to be minimal in respect of the " hang-out " stance.

Probably you could hang down more by lowering your body (hanging down with bent legs) but in the end, your weight would be increasingly supported by the legs and not the harness., which defeats the purpose of having a harness.

Or perhaps I am overemphasizing the " hang-down" stance . May be I am wrong...

What is fascinating about windsurfing is that it calls for continuous experimenting by trial and error.. Sometimes I thought how nice it would be to sail on a small sailboat: you just sit-down and control it with the rudder/tiller, instead of doing contortions and fine-tunings of all sorts, but in the end, I'm afraid it would turn out not to be challenging enough, like riding a bike..

The more I look at it, the more windsurfing appears to be not only a question of technique, but also an art, with a subjective component, (each one of us has his/her own different body build and his ergonomic preferences.)

Francone

olskool
QLD, 289 posts
17 Sep 2017 6:41AM
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Im 189cm n sail raceboards like a shortboard, reaching. I use 30inch lines, set quite wide seems to feel comfy in most wind conditions. Lately sailing in stronger winds15kts+ im finding im loading my arms more. Less weight on harness. Possibly need to shorten lines to compensate for rig being raked back more. Anyone else experience this?

cammd
QLD, 1374 posts
17 Sep 2017 8:33AM
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I have done quite a few training sessions with Max Wojcik (RSX coach & 5 times RB World Champ), his view or advice or instruction is that windsurfing is about controlling the sails power through your hips. That is the hips via the harness take the full load of the sail. Upper body does not do the work, if your technique is correct you can let go with either front or back hand on any point of sail.

One of his drills is to sail around a small course with your front hand behind your back, it teaches proper harness technique and forces you to adjust your harness length and position to find that setting where you no longer require your front hand to control the sail. The result is better sail control and tuning and that leads to better endurance and better speed ie windsurfing gets easier. Expect a few stacks in the beginning.

Olskool I always shorten my lines I stronger winds.

Mastbender
1444 posts
17 Sep 2017 7:29AM
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"Optimal settings for seat harness lines and boom height" is in the eye of the beholder, but in this case it would be in the hands and on the butt of the rider. In other words one man's optimal setting can easily be another man's junk. There is almost no "one size fits all", in any regard to windsurfing settings of any kind, is what I've found after 35 years of w'surfing.

But I would add this, the longer my harness lines are, the more my back gets worked. I like the shock absorbing effect you get from having slightly bent arms when fully powered. I use a surfseat type harness in the waves exclusively.

racerX
NSW, 357 posts
17 Sep 2017 9:52PM
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A few points:

-Waist often needs longer lines than seat,
-Sailing back and forth at limited angles in similar wind strengths, fixed lines often work well, I use 30inch lines on my wave gear.
-Sailing very overpowered at more extreme angles, adjustable lines are a big help, I will go all the way to 34 if I have too. (185cm tall)
-The geometry of the board/sail combination effects the boom height, I set my boom 15cm lower on my upright wave gear than I do on my big slalom board, while sailing the boom feels about the same height but the geometry is different.
-a sliding hook may need shorter lines
-Helps if you take into account your shape..., in the picture posted of AA his lines are set at 28-30 inches and he is probably taller than you.

Agrid
WA, 204 posts
17 Sep 2017 10:20PM
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Many years ago I used the forearm length system for harness lines and never changed from about 32". Things have changed a lot though with harness lines being much closer together.

Francone
WA, 164 posts
17 Sep 2017 11:55PM
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racerX said..
A few points:

-Waist often needs longer lines than seat,
-Sailing back and forth at limited angles in similar wind strengths, fixed lines often work well, I use 30inch lines on my wave gear.
-Sailing very overpowered at more extreme angles, adjustable lines are a big help, I will go all the way to 34 if I have too. (185cm tall)
-The geometry of the board/sail combination effects the boom height, I set my boom 15cm lower on my upright wave gear than I do on my big slalom board, while sailing the boom feels about the same height but the geometry is different.
-a sliding hook may need shorter lines
-Helps if you take into account your shape..., in the picture posted of AA his lines are set at 28-30 inches and he is probably taller than you.


Perhaps you can clarify why waist often needs longer lines than seat . The hook is lower on a seat harness than on a waist harness, after all.

Geometry of the board : good point.
I wonder if the traditional sailing parameters for shortboards , particularly those concerning the harness and boom settings apply to longboards and boards like windsups, that are very long and wide and definitely with an overall geometry significantly different from shortboards, in addition to the fact of not having footstraps.

Personally, I traded the planing and speed capability of shortboards ( on which I sailed, or ..tried to sail for many years ) for stability and light wind performance, ultimately more T.O.W. but I am still eager to optimize the performance of my WindSup, even plane it, if at all possible .

All in all, I am happy with it, even more so when looking at a good friend of mine, a seasoned windsurfer, with a fleet of boards, who had problems in coming back from offshore on his 125 lt featherlike shortboard, because winds had dropped to about 12knts and he could barely move., while I was chugging along on my ...transatlantic.

Having said this, I wonder if somebody has hints about how to optimize sailing on a windsup, particularly regarding the boom/harness settings in function of the different geometry of the board..

Thanks

Francone

racerX
NSW, 357 posts
18 Sep 2017 5:06AM
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Francone said..
The hook is lower on a seat harness than on a waist harness, after all.




Yes and your arms and waist are further from the sail than your feet and your hips.
It all depends on your stance and how your boom and rig are positioned.

Agrid makes a good point as well if you have very widely spaced lines you need them longer.

sboardcrazy
NSW, 5963 posts
19 Sep 2017 9:18AM
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cammd said..
I have done quite a few training sessions with Max Wojcik (RSX coach & 5 times RB World Champ), his view or advice or instruction is that windsurfing is about controlling the sails power through your hips. That is the hips via the harness take the full load of the sail. Upper body does not do the work, if your technique is correct you can let go with either front or back hand on any point of sail.

One of his drills is to sail around a small course with your front hand behind your back, it teaches proper harness technique and forces you to adjust your harness length and position to find that setting where you no longer require your front hand to control the sail. The result is better sail control and tuning and that leads to better endurance and better speed ie windsurfing gets easier. Expect a few stacks in the beginning.

Olskool I always shorten my lines I stronger winds.



I'd forgotten about that one ( similar to a Guy Crib tip ). I'm going to start practising with it again once I'm on the water.. I tend to use long lines ( probably too long at times as I find i have to shorten them to use my weight to get upwind) and widely spaced. I like the way you can work back and forth or move a bit to adjust to the conditions. I'm probably not explaining it properly..

olskool
QLD, 289 posts
23 Sep 2017 3:58PM
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Sboardcrazy +1, i like to have lines widely spaced. It lets me leave the sail where it wants to be, i move to adjust n balance the power available. Also better for pumping the sail(raceboard) But i have noticed my lines are wearing a lot.

Imax1
VIC, 835 posts
23 Sep 2017 5:27PM
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sboardcrazy+ 2
I also like wide lines for the same reason and as a bonus I use my thumb on the line to dehook and hold it out the way so I don't do the dreaded rebook as I'm flipping the sail. ( that has to be the gumbiest thing one can do )

sailquik
VIC, 3478 posts
23 Sep 2017 6:07PM
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olskool said..
Sboardcrazy +1, i like to have lines widely spaced. It lets me leave the sail where it wants to be, i move to adjust n balance the power available. Also better for pumping the sail(raceboard) But i have noticed my lines are wearing a lot.





Truck air brake hose from your local road transport operator or repairer. Slippery enough for the hook and tough as....!! Cheap too.

I must add that you need to find some harness lines that dont have the rope and it's covering plastic tube sewn in.
They are getting harder to find as the equipment suppliers would prefer you to throw them away and just get new ones all the time.

Agrid
WA, 204 posts
23 Sep 2017 5:39PM
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Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..
sboardcrazy+ 2
I also like wide lines for the same reason and as a bonus I use my thumb on the line to dehook and hold it out the way so I don't do the dreaded rebook as I'm flipping the sail. ( that has to be the gumbiest thing one can do )


The shame is great. But only because we look so idiotic.

Back in the day we had really high booms and used the coiled plastic air line tubing with thin shock cord to pull them up when we unhooked. I found I could slide along the line a couple of centimetres

Stuthepirate
WA, 3085 posts
24 Sep 2017 11:31AM
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boardsurfr
314 posts
25 Sep 2017 1:58AM
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Chances are your stance needs improvement. Check the Albeau picture above - that's a great stance that's worth trying to emulate. Note the straight body and (almost) straight arms. Very common stance issues with harness beginners are (1) bent arms and (2) a butt that's hanging out. The second problem tends to be worse if you're using a seat harness; a waist harness would slide up right away, giving you a clue that the stance is wrong. Get some GoPro pictures or video from the clue. We often think we're straighter than we really are.

32 in harness lines are probably too long for you. I'm typically using 30s with a seat harness, and I'm 183 cm. Race harness lines that are easy to adjust are great for trying out different harness line lengths. They cost more initially, but you can replace parts as they wear out, so they end up cheaper in the long run.

Agrid
WA, 204 posts
25 Sep 2017 4:02PM
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Select to expand quote
boardsurfr said..
Chances are your stance needs improvement. Check the Albeau picture above - that's a great stance that's worth trying to emulate. Note the straight body and (almost) straight arms. Very common stance issues with harness beginners are (1) bent arms and (2) a butt that's hanging out. The second problem tends to be worse if you're using a seat harness; a waist harness would slide up right away, giving you a clue that the stance is wrong. Get some GoPro pictures or video from the clue. We often think we're straighter than we really are.

32 in harness lines are probably too long for you. I'm typically using 30s with a seat harness, and I'm 183 cm. Race harness lines that are easy to adjust are great for trying out different harness line lengths. They cost more initially, but you can replace parts as they wear out, so they end up cheaper in the long run.


Me on seat harness and 32 inch lines last summer. I thought I was a bit too straight.





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"Optimal settings for seat harness lines and boom height" started by Francone