Forums > Windsurfing   Gps and Speed talk

Catching a Rail

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Created by BSN101 A week ago, 5 Aug 2018
BSN101
WA, 1233 posts
5 Aug 2018 4:37PM
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It's the one that leads to an over the handle bars experience, why? What makes this happen even to experienced sailors and how can we see the signs before we have an expensive ejection on the water.
My observations.
Usually when over powered.
Things getting out of control. Speed and/or wind.
Heading down wind deep down wind.
Windward rail catches.
Sometimes a slow ejection when beach starting.

Gurus explain away.

decrepit
WA, 8558 posts
5 Aug 2018 5:30PM
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It mostly happens to me going downwind, with spin out first, board's going sideways into the chop. Older boards with harder more edgy rails suffered more than modern softer rails with more tuck. I think having the mast foot as close as possible to the water, also helps. Probably that's the main reason for concave decks.
It happened to Fangy yesterday on an old board without spinout, but 'ken said the spot where he crashed was very bad confused chop coming from different directions. It would have been good to have video footage of what happened.

BSN101
WA, 1233 posts
5 Aug 2018 6:07PM
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decrepit said..
It mostly happens to me going downwind, with spin out first, board's going sideways into the chop. Older boards with harder more edgy rails suffered more than modern softer rails with more tuck. I think having the mast foot as close as possible to the water, also helps. Probably that's the main reason for concave decks.
It happened to Fangy yesterday on an old board without spinout, but 'ken said the spot where he crashed was very bad confused chop coming from different directions. It would have been good to have video footage of what happened.


Oooh, yeah baby, we'd all like to see that! Poor old board! I hope his typing finger recovers.

elmo
WA, 7748 posts
5 Aug 2018 6:20PM
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As with Decrep happened predominantly after losing the fin.

My old Windtech with square rails with no radius front to back taught me as soon as you feel the fin let go to dig the heels in as quick as you can to lift the leeward rail (hopefully).

fangman
WA, 747 posts
5 Aug 2018 6:22PM
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decrepit said..
...It happened to Fangy yesterday on an old board without spinout, but 'ken said the spot where he crashed was very bad confused chop coming from different directions...


The chop wasn't the only thing that was confused! I haven't ever had a crash at that speed like that before and it happened so damn fast it's hard to figure out what happened. I had just started to ease off, and beginning to head uphill. I hit the chop, bounced out of control, (exacerbated by a relatively upright stance caused by a reflex sheeting out), and I guess the front leeward rail bit into something... A relatively narrow board and 20cm fin probably didn't help either. But otherwise, pretty much all the things above apply.
In my case, inattention was also partly to blame - I had just gone across in front of the Stroppy one on my downhill, and I was wondering where he was behind me.

fangman
WA, 747 posts
5 Aug 2018 6:28PM
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BSN101 said..
Oooh, yeah baby, we'd all like to see that! Poor old board! I hope his typing finger recovers.


Fingers are all good and board is in Decrepit's Emergency Care Board Bay. Apparently is still has a pulse and vital signs are stable.

decrepit
WA, 8558 posts
5 Aug 2018 6:36PM
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If memory serves me well, (and sometimes it does), Yoyo fixed his old board by adding foam to the center of the rails to increase tuck. A nicer fix than grinding the hard edge off.

Stretchy
WA, 356 posts
5 Aug 2018 7:05PM
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Yep, spin out usually does it. Yesterday, I started to spin out on the end of a 39kt peak run and catching a rail in the chop was my immediate fear. Luckily I had time to react, but I was going very deep and I figured if I tried to pull it in I would likely catch a rail first. So all I could do was drop the anchor, my bum, to bring things to an elegant (not) halt.
Up at Cervantes earlier in the year there was a lot of crazy chop that was difficult to see and you could still bite it without needing to spin out first. I saw quite a few people go down hard. Happened to me too, I didn't even see the lip that bit me. I don't know how you avoid that. Skill I guess , and younger eyes!

Stretchy
WA, 356 posts
5 Aug 2018 7:10PM
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Dave, on the speed run I also reckon it more often happens not when overpowered, but when you lose power when going for it, leading to too much back foot pressure, then spin out, then kaboom!

Subsonic
WA, 1283 posts
5 Aug 2018 7:22PM
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Stretchy said..
Up at Cervantes earlier in the year there was a lot of crazy chop that was difficult to see and you could still bite it without needing to spin out first. I saw quite a few people go down hard. Happened to me too, I didn't even see the lip that bit me. I don't know how you avoid that. Skill I guess , and younger eyes!


Sure it wasnt an occy pot float? I got stung hard by one sailing into the sun last summer on a late afternoon cervantes sail. Dazed and confused, wondering what happened till i looked back and saw it.

The beers at the sports club really helped straighten me out afterwards though.

Subsonic
WA, 1283 posts
5 Aug 2018 7:28PM
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Maybe im just a dud.

My other favourite pastime up there is watching the nose of my board dive into the back of a crystal clear wave at 25 +knts.

Stretchy
WA, 356 posts
5 Aug 2018 8:12PM
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Subsonic said..

Stretchy said..
Up at Cervantes earlier in the year there was a lot of crazy chop that was difficult to see and you could still bite it without needing to spin out first. I saw quite a few people go down hard. Happened to me too, I didn't even see the lip that bit me. I don't know how you avoid that. Skill I guess , and younger eyes!



Sure it wasnt an occy pot float? I got stung hard by one sailing into the sun last summer on a late afternoon cervantes sail. Dazed and confused, wondering what happened till i looked back and saw it.

The beers at the sports club really helped straighten me out afterwards though.


Lol, yeah I'm happy to blame them (I just hope Swindy doesn't read this).
down in Mandurah we have the dreaded weedburgs to contend with!

Jonski
WA, 29 posts
5 Aug 2018 8:28PM
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I do it like this ??

elmo
WA, 7748 posts
5 Aug 2018 8:34PM
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decrepit said..
If memory serves me well, (and sometimes it does), Yoyo fixed his old board by adding foam to the center of the rails to increase tuck. A nicer fix than grinding the hard edge off.


Yep, it was a rough but effective solution for that board in an attempt to control it's more homicidal tendencies.

FYI, it was filed not ground, I'm not a total butcher.

Fangy, check your tracks to see how far you traveled (or quickly you came to a halt), my last big off on the above mentioned axe murderer was at 39knots, peeled the footstrap inside out and cartwheeled me ~40m with the woomera like action of the catapult after the caught rail.

Bender
WA, 2036 posts
5 Aug 2018 8:41PM
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Yep going over the handle bars happen when your pushing hard. The more your on the raggedy edge of control you get used to the feeling of being semi out of control. This is when you go faster.
I've had some good stacks this one big of left me pretty broken for a while


Stretchy
WA, 356 posts
5 Aug 2018 9:30PM
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Gday Ben. Pls explain (your stack)

Bender
WA, 2036 posts
5 Aug 2018 9:42PM
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The GPS reads 61knts. It recorded my max speed as I went over the handle bars on a big big off at the bottom of hardies run at the end of a smoking nm attempt. My point is the more you push it in extreme conditions you get more comfortable. If you tense up and are tentative that's when its goes tits up

Stretchy
WA, 356 posts
5 Aug 2018 9:43PM
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Dopey me, I get it now. Ouch!!

elmo
WA, 7748 posts
5 Aug 2018 9:43PM
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Bender made a 3x Elmo sized dent in the water, huge whippin.

Then sailed back, admittedly a touch slower than on the way down.

fangman
WA, 747 posts
5 Aug 2018 10:19PM
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elmo said..



Fangy, check your tracks to see how far you traveled (or quickly you came to a halt), my last big off on the above mentioned axe murderer was at 39knots, peeled the footstrap inside out and cartwheeled me ~40m with the woomera like action of the catapult after the caught rail.



Nothing so specky Elmo. From the data, I had washed off speed to about 30knots before crashing and then travelled about 6 metres further, but used the board as a exceeding poor horizontal cushion for a good chunk of that. I still wince every time I see that photo of Jonski's and hear that story of Ben's

fangman
WA, 747 posts
6 Aug 2018 1:59PM
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So to get back to Dave's question; what is the technique required? Should have I got out the harness and dropped my weight lower and sheeted out perhaps with arse in the water as per Stretchy? Or do the same but over sheet instead? Or something else altogether different?

decrepit
WA, 8558 posts
6 Aug 2018 3:46PM
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No time Ross, before you know it, it's happened.
But yes, if you have a big spinout going sideways into chop, and you do have enough time, unhook put the board on the windward rail edge, bum in water. Not all that dignified, but you'll come to a reasonably controlled stop.
But if you were upright sheeting out, the windward rail could well have been down. I think that could trip the board up if you hit a nasty chop at a strange angle. What should you have done??????? I'm not sure, unhooking seems like a good idea.

elmo
WA, 7748 posts
6 Aug 2018 5:12PM
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The reality most of the time is ..

Things happen so quick you only have time to say "O..."

then when you've resurfaced or come to a halt and go looking for your gear you can finish what you were going to say was..

"Oh sh1t, this could hurt"

fangman
WA, 747 posts
6 Aug 2018 5:23PM
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100% Agreed Elmo. It was all over before I had realised it had begun, but I am hoping I might see the signs of impending disaster a bit sooner next time.

Stretchy
WA, 356 posts
6 Aug 2018 5:39PM
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Yeah agree, I was lucky on Saturday, it was a slow spin and I had time to react. I had a nasty off in the SE corner of Fangy's in summer, I was down before I knew what hit me. Hit my forearm hard on my boom, I thought I might have broken it at first.

olskool
QLD, 760 posts
6 Aug 2018 8:23PM
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Hey guys, just dropping in here. Im not understanding.. How do you catch a Windward rail during spinout?? Everytime i spinout its my leeward rail thatd want to catch n lead to catapult. Leeward being the side my toes are pointing to when in straps. Sometimes i can pull it back under me n recover. Othertimes im still sideways for a few hundred metres. But never had windward rail catch.

decrepit
WA, 8558 posts
6 Aug 2018 6:51PM
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olskool said..
Hey guys, just dropping in here. Im not understanding.. How do you catch a Windward rail during spinout?? Everytime i spinout its my leeward rail thatd want to catch n lead to catapult. Leeward being the side my toes are pointing to when in straps. Sometimes i can pull it back under me n recover. Othertimes im still sideways for a few hundred metres. But never had windward rail catch.



I don't think anybody said the windward rail caused the trip. But we did say, dig the windward rail in and slide along on your bum. This stops the leeward rail catching

stroppo
WA, 439 posts
6 Aug 2018 6:54PM
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It's obvious olskool it was straight after the barrel roll!

BSN101
WA, 1233 posts
6 Aug 2018 9:37PM
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How does spin out occur when you are heading deep off the wind? Side ways pressure on the fin would be a lot less that reaching or going up wind.

BSN101
WA, 1233 posts
6 Aug 2018 9:45PM
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What are some points to get a good safe controlled bear away for max speed?
Mast foot position?
boom height?
sail trim? Do you sheet out progressively as you go deeper or keep it on the deck gap closed?

is sailing "off the fin" or "making the board fly off the fin" the fastes was? Mast back & boom high does this but you lower the boom for control and risk catching a rail.

Too many questions

elmo
WA, 7748 posts
6 Aug 2018 10:02PM
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BSN101 said..
How does spin out occur when you are heading deep off the wind? Side ways pressure on the fin would be a lot less that reaching or going up wind.


Too much back foot pressure, often it's as simple as having the harness lines to far forward which puts a lot of shock through the back leg, I tend to set mine up front hand heavy so as to minimize shock load on small fins



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"Catching a Rail" started by BSN101