Forums > Windsurfing   Gps and Speed talk

Tips for lightweights to go faster

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Created by Tinlyds 4 months ago, 13 May 2018
Tinlyds
NSW, 150 posts
13 May 2018 7:46AM
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Hey all, I regularly sail flat water at Budgewoi and go okay. The thing is I'm 70kg and ride a Isonic 80 with R7 sails and get owned by bigger guys on the same size sail. I'm not the strongest person in the world either (maybe problem 1)

So I'm wondering if any of you lightweights that constantly go very fast have any secrets to pass on, maybe boom height or mast base position or do we use a smaller sail. I'm considering Maccas 3 times a day ?? it just seems the heavier guys boards ride better.

I'm an above average sailor (I think) and I know that the board has done 42 with the previous owner (Walshy) and I'm topped out at 37 .

Thanks

mikey100
QLD, 536 posts
13 May 2018 9:26AM
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10kg weight jacket =instant improvement
...best knots for $ you will get.

Spotty
VIC, 1150 posts
13 May 2018 10:02AM
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Your typically going to be using a square meter less at your weight when there is some solid wind about. I'd suggest a weight jacket and start off with a couple of kg to build strength and get used to it. See if you can borrow one to try out, it's something you may use only for certain session's. They can be exhausting depending on ones fitness and how much weight you carry.

Ensure it floats regardless of what you loaded it up with, or you may end up with same result as just eating Maccas but a lot quicker. You want to generate more leverage and control over the rig, board & fin and turn it into speed rather than it wanting to control you and launch you off the water and or make you feel you have to back off.

Lowering your boom when its windier helps with upper mast flexi and more active leech opening as well to give you more control in stronger conditions.

CJW
NSW, 1456 posts
13 May 2018 10:02AM
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There's only so far good technique and skill will take you. Someone heavy can hold/use more power and only cop a minimal hull drag penalty for the extra weight = they go faster. It is literally is that simple. As above, add weight

Tinlyds
NSW, 150 posts
13 May 2018 10:49AM
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Thanks everyone, I have a 10kg vest and I wore it once, fell off and went straight to the bottom ?? was only 2 feet deep luckily. I might give it another go, I reckon you're all right.

aussieboats
NSW, 221 posts
13 May 2018 10:49AM
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Drop sail size asap , yesterday at budgy when the wind got better i stayed with the 6.3m if i would have bothered to come in and change to the 5.5 m would have done much better , i just kept getting lifted and not converting to speed , Iam 72 kgs and its frustrating trying to get the conversion to speed right , but bloody good fun any hoots had some great bearaways at Budgy .

kato
VIC, 2264 posts
13 May 2018 12:02PM
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Drop the sail and fin size and learn to finesse your gear to the higher speeds. Daffy is the master at this. A weight jacket will help but limit your time on water as you will tire quickly. Know your gear and explore it's limits before buying the latest go fast bit as that may not be right for your size . Buying Spotty's gear won't get you to 50. Look at what similar sized people are using and if you can try it. Be patient on a run and watch for the gust to bearaway and get that max. Good luck

YP1
SA, 95 posts
13 May 2018 12:05PM
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It just takes time to tune gear have the right combo on the right day, be in the right time at the right place. I am 75kg & "i think better that av ability" It has taken me years to work out how to go faster, always fast on a reach but squeaking out that peak takes thinking about. its taken me a couple of years to up my speed. Compare against someone your size on the same day. When at LG I compare to Daffy the master of planing to be in the right place right gear. I used to be 3 - 5 knts slower on the same day but now I aim to be + or - 1 knt.
So right combo on the day, Flat water when you can link up 3 or more gusts & BAM 40knts
Have thought about a weight jacket mysellf but never got round to it, maybe try a large camel pack 2.5l = 2.5kg with neutral buoyancy
Happy sailing Tricky

Subsonic
WA, 1324 posts
13 May 2018 10:48AM
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Ah youre chasing top speed on flat water. I shoulda read your post better. My bad, please ignore my post above as its more of an open water scenario im talking about.

I can tell you from witnessing the results, a weight belt will definitely help you up your speeds.

fangman
WA, 756 posts
13 May 2018 11:46AM
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Just a quick note from the other side of the fence. I am 110kgs and so by the time I get wettie, water pack etc. anything smaller than a 120 litre board is a sinker. In ideal conditions, the weight is great, but the rest of the time, which is the majority of the time I am sailing, the weight is a double edged sword. Everything has to be bigger and stronger to cope. Masts, boom, boards all suffer (break) from the increased load. The amount of strength required to get onto the plane is far greater, as you have a lot more weight to haul up and force up to a greater speed before planing. Imagine going sailing with a couple of bags of fertiliser strapped to the board. I regularly get burnt by the lightweights who are all happily planing while I am stuck to the estuary floor. And, I remember being amazed how much it easier it was to sail when I was 15 kgs lighter. For the small percentage of time that I have the fat flyin', the weight is good, but for the majority of the time it is a deadweight. I agree with the guys above, finesse the technique and kit. For example, Decrepit is almost twice my age, almost half my weight and has gone faster and longer than I ever have.

Swindy
WA, 206 posts
13 May 2018 12:05PM
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An 80L board is still quite big for someone weighing 70 kg. Imo you should be looking at a board with negative volume for strong winds.

decrepit
WA, 8625 posts
13 May 2018 1:52PM
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OK, as Fangy says I'm almost half his weight, at 65kg. These are the things I've learned in the last 10 years.
I agree with the camel pack weight, it's neutral buoyancy, I now have a 2.5l unit that I can add an extra 3l to. These old bones don't want anymore extra weight than that.

Board trim is also important, most speed boards have their footstrap positions set for heavy riders, who sink the tail more than us light guys.
Tom Chalko and Daffy used alli extensions to move the front straps back a couple of centimeters and improved by a couple of knots.
Check where the water entry point is when you're really going for it. If it's not between front and back foot, the board is sitting too flat, especially on very flat water.
The sail will also affect board trim, too much power up top will force the nose down. For us light sailors we're better off with a sail that has the power down low, we can handle it better and it doesn't push the nose down as much.

I'd leave mast track position for trimming between flat and chop, you want it further forward in chop to flatten the board out so you don't slam into chop but ride over the top. For flat you want it back to reduce whetted area.

And I agree with Kato. 37 is the best I can do on my 48cm wide 80l board, I've had 39 from my 43cm 70l board, and that's using a 5.0m sail

sailquik
VIC, 4053 posts
13 May 2018 6:16PM
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Lots of good tips from Mark, Tricky, Kato and Decrepit.

I am 73 'ish Kg/ 175cm, and almost always feel at a big disadvantage beside the larger sailors.

My strategy is:
1. To play the efficiency game. Use the smallest board, sail and fin I can to be fully powered without extra weight and drag.

2. Learn to be in the right place at the right time on the right gear to make the most of what you got.

3. Finesse your board, sheeting angle. Especially course angle if possible.

Regarding point 1: There is only so much power one can hold for your size and weight. Not having more sail than that reduces drag and weight (rig weight also = drag). Better to use a smaller but efficient sail with a lower centre of effort and perhaps a deeper profile to get max power per sq/m. That often heard advice to go as big as humanly possible is just plain wrong., but sometimes one has to have a larger than optimal sail to get through the lulls if it is a gusty or holey wind, and on the right size you will feel overpowered reaching.
Try to get a setup and stance that gives you maximum leaverage over your sail. Think longer harness lines, wider boom and closer foot straps.

The same applies to fins. Use the fin size that has enough lift to get you control at medium to max speeds, This is not going to feel that good at lower speeds. Use an efficient fin whenever possible. Again, not always possible where there is thick weed, but even in those cases, don't go for 'safety' and convenience' too much. Bite your lip and put up with a bit of inconvenience, or harder upwind sailing to get better speeds on the runs.

Regarding point 2: Watch the wind on the water to see the gusts coming. Watch the clouds and other signs for timing. Learn the rythm of the wind, gusts and squalls, at your spot in various conditions.

Regarding Point 3: Don't muscle it with dead feet and hands. Don't oversheet. Learn to 'feel' the ideal angle off the wind and ideal sheeting angle. Experiment with you rig settings. If other fast sailors are doing something and you try it but it does not feel as good, maybe it is just because it is unfamiliar. Persevere and be objective. Change stuff if it is not working. Change stuff even if it does feel good to learn the difference and find out if it really is best.
In winds under around 28 knots I have often found that it is faster to stay slightly less broad and keep some pressure on the fin. It is easy to go too broad and outrun your apparent wind. In stronger winds, usually borader is better. Don't be rigid about your course angle. Try to react to the gusts and anticipate.
The point Decrepit makes about footstrap positions and mast foot positions is very important. Most slalom and speed boards were designed for big guys. Find the ones that work for smaller people and pay particular attention to footstep positioning and spacing. Closer together feet gets your mass higher and gives you more leverage on the sail when on a broad reach. It's a tradeoff for less leverage on the board when square reaching or upwind though. I used to set up with closer on the speed side and wider apart for the upwind side. Now, I usually just go narrower all the time, then I can do runs on either tack. Boards with a little less flat in the tail may work better for a lightweight to 'fly' the board better. Remember that slalom boards are almost always set up for large, tall people, and mainly for reaching.

That said, I was recently reminded at LG that to get max speeds off the wind in strong winds 30-40k), I WILL feel quite uncomfortable and overpowered sailing upwind in the squalls. Sandy Point is a spoiler in that respect, because when it is blowing 'dogs off chains', there is no need to sail back upwind, you can walk a lot easier, or at least sail upwind between squalls. On my best runs I will always feel really on the edge when sailing into the course square until I get to a broad angle where I can apply and control full power. This may be where the myth of the 'bigger is always better' sail comes from.

I wish I could get all that stuff right all the time, but, alas, it's not always an easy thing to do.

This is just my experience. Your milage may vary.

sailquik
VIC, 4053 posts
13 May 2018 6:36PM
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Oh yeah. About wearing weight:
It can help, especially in gusty conditions, but it can also be very tiring and not that good for a bad back. It also changes your ballance. If you decide to use weight, try to use some regularly, to build your balance and muscles.
Better for places like Sandy Point or Luderitz where you don't have to sail upwind.
But it's not much use as an advantage for small people, as the big guys can wear weight as well.

Tinlyds
NSW, 150 posts
13 May 2018 7:09PM
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Some great advice from everyone including some legends that I was hoping to hear from. It's all onboard now and will try a few things for the future. I guess it pays to spend a day just chasing setups etc instead of a 2sec Speed. Hopefully get to LG and Sandy in the next few years ????????

lao shi
WA, 1181 posts
13 May 2018 9:00PM
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Use rdm masts. They cause a flatter entry and with a softer top allow the sail to breath more to reduce the destabilising lifting effect for lighter riders. However you need to bag them out down wind. Adjustable outhaul with the sail touching between the harness lines

+1 for weight- make sure that it cannot move in the jacket, I wrapped folded lead sheet in old wetsuit to make it a tight fit and use a tight jacket +5-8kg once you are used to it.

If you dont want to move the plugs or make extenders for straps just try moving them closer, even if it means moving the back strap forward.

Smaller boards are faster but only if you can get them going fast in to the run. If you have choppy wind or gusty conditions entering a flat water run a bigger board, smaller fin combo can work well.

Good luck

Simon100
QLD, 477 posts
13 May 2018 11:44PM
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I see heaps is light guys not rigging proportionality smaller and end up believing they cant go fast but are awesome at getting planning. Like at 110kg I'll use a 7 and 80kg guys are using a 6.3 or a 7. Strength definitely helps if its gusty choppy or not really powered up and I do wonder how much the weight distribution of having a bigger upper body would help.

The biggest thing I notice though is that to do a good 2 second speed you need to learn the trick. Sometimes I beat people by 4 knots + on the gps who I can only beat by maybe 0.2 knots across wind they are probably better sailors than me too but they havnt spent as much time learning the trick of 2 second speed.

sboardcrazy
NSW, 6248 posts
14 May 2018 8:40AM
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Good question Lyds as a 65kg rider it's interesting to read the tips..I put on some weight to almost 69kgs once and noticed the difference in control.The board definitely ate the small chop / stayed on the water better with the extra weight .
Re board size I'm no speedster but as soon as the wind gets 25kts odd ( Budgy wind) I find the 50ltre a better fit.The 80ltre gets too big.
I've used the extension plates Daffy was talking about so if you want a look check it out next time.

srtgumbee
83 posts
14 May 2018 10:50AM
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Some great tips here!

I'm 70kg / 171cm and had been looking at ways to improve my speed in flat water on my IS87 this season.
It occured to me the is87 is a large board for flat water so I now have an 8 year old but barely used isonic W49 63L and some small C3 (Venom & Z) speed fins to try for next season on my flat water spots.

I have set my foot straps as narrow as possible without modifying the board and I think my setup is close to Roo's "Golden Rooles' outlined in this historic post www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Gps/Technical-Sailing-Set-up-advice-needed?page=1

Specifically steps 3 and 5:
"
3. Make sure the rear foot strap is mounted with the rear screw in line with the leading edge of the fin.
4. Set up the front foot strap by laying your arm on the board with the elbow bone in the middle of the rear strap and measure to the tip of your middle finger.
5. This point will be the middle of the front strap, mount the strap as close as possible to this position."

The fast sailors out there that recommend a narrow stance, is the elbow to middle finger measurement in the ball park of what you use OR do you go narrower than this?

sailquik
VIC, 4053 posts
14 May 2018 3:40PM
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Those positions would be pretty close for me I think.

On my IS87, I have both stes of straps as far back as they will go. This means 14" (36cm) between the front screw of the back strap, and the back screw of the front strap.

That is OK for me reaching, but I would rather bring the front back a little for speed runs. Since I don't usually do serious speed runs on that board I have never bothered to put more front strap positions in it.

On my Carbon Art 40cm speed board I got custom strap hole positions and run the straps 12" (30cm) apart.

sailquik
VIC, 4053 posts
14 May 2018 4:09PM
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Good point about the RDM masts Leo Shi.

I certainly like the RDM masts better in all my sails from 6.6m and down. They do give a more 'springy' feeling in the sail for me. The sail 'breathes' better. This is something of a conundrum there for me though as to why this is, as I have done extensive IMCS testing and comparison and masts that are SDM and RDM and have the exact same IMCS stiffness and bend curve% feel quite different in the rigged sails. I can only assume that the bend and tension induced in the rigged sails is not the same as that induced by the IMCS test.

In the KA Koncept sails I use, the sails sometimes set just a little less deep in the lower body on RDM for a given amount of downhaul, and always have a more flexy, forgiving feeling. I have noted that the bigger guys on the KA speed team tend to use the SDM masts and their sails are sometimes set to have a slightly deeper profile, but small changes in the downhaul can make the difference as well. When I set my speed sails deeper for power deep downwind, they feel better for my weight on the RDM's.

Note that a heavier sailor on the same sized sail will induce more dynamic flex in the rig than a lighter sailor. This is why I think I like the RDM masts better.

I have experimented with using slightly softer IMCS masts with mixed results. It should work better but so far I can't say for sure it does for me.

I have also experimented with different mast % curves and with mast tip extensions with both types of masts (my sails are designed for 13 - 13.5% curve masts). The different curve changes the distribution of the foil shape, and I didnt find any advantage. A more flex top will make the lower sail deeper and the top flatter/looser. For speed this should be better in some circumstances, but the problem with it is that it also pushes the shape in the bottom of the sail further forward (Knuckled). Too much for my liking. The sails feels stable and easy, but in my experience, is almost always slower. The more Constant Curve masts make the lower sail too flat and so loose power off the wind. Experimenting with a (15cm) tip extension had the same effects as using a more flex top mast but with a slightly softer feel. I felt good to me , but was always slower. It took me quite some time to convince myself that this was not the best way to go, just because it actually felt nice to sail. But eventually I had to aknowledge that the GPS data was correct and it was slower. Now I have a 4m mast with 15cm missing off the bottom to show for my experimenting.

Tinlyds
NSW, 150 posts
14 May 2018 5:24PM
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So I had a quick sail today and noticed the board was releasing at the front strap so I moved the mast track back 1/2 an inch and Bingo it now releases between the straps. Definitely felt slipperier on the water, although there wasn't a lot of wind I managed to go a full knot faster. I also tried running the sail on the lower outhaul setting but it felt strange so I put it back to normal, I guess that's the high wind option.

Anyway thanks again for all the help, and let me just say today at Budgewoi a few guys that had been following this were trying new things as well - it's great to see........

srtgumbee
83 posts
14 May 2018 5:53PM
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Select to expand quote
sailquik said..
Those positions would be pretty close for me I think.

On my IS87, I have both stes of straps as far back as they will go. This means 14" (36cm) between the front screw of the back strap, and the back screw of the front strap.

That is OK for me reaching, but I would rather bring the front back a little for speed runs. Since I don't usually do serious speed runs on that board I have never bothered to put more front strap positions in it.

On my Carbon Art 40cm speed board I got custom strap hole positions and run the straps 12" (30cm) apart.


Great.....it seems I'm on the right track!

My Is87 is the same @ 36cm. I feel the front needs to come back for flat water too but the current setting is great for chop so I got the W49 and will tune that for flat water instead of the is87. The W49 is set at 33cm so its in the ball park and probably be a good setting while I'm getting to grips with the board, I may go smaller (add holes) later if the setting doesn't feel right.

sailquik
VIC, 4053 posts
14 May 2018 8:28PM
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Select to expand quote
Tinlyds said..
I also tried running the sail on the lower outhaul setting but it felt strange so I put it back to normal, I guess that's the high wind option.


This is really only an option of you run an adjustable outhaul. Flatten for upwind and reaching, deeper on the speed runs off the wind.

BTW. Lots of things we are not used to will feel 'strange' when we change them. Sometimes, one has to persevere for a while and adjust to the different feeling to really know if it helps.

MartinF2
QLD, 456 posts
14 May 2018 10:43PM
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I knew I had a copy of this somewhere. After following this setup you need to find your own sweet spot with trial and error. All the above comments are really awesome info. Windsurfing really is a great community

choco
SA, 3320 posts
18 May 2018 6:48AM
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Eat more Timtams,works a treat

elmo
WA, 7769 posts
18 May 2018 7:34AM
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Personally unless it's blowing it's tit's off, I'm sorry but I think the weight thing is a bit of a psychological cop out.

I use the example of Ben Proffit at Namibia recently, a small lightweight speed sailing virgin, didn't know any better went out and did it, yes he strapped on weight later but so did the heavyweights.

In normal conditions a light weight uses smaller faster gear than a heavyweight so what's going on?

A lot of these barriers are in our head, I find I regularly talk myself out of the conditions which I should be able to handle and once the thought is in your head that "you can't do it" or the wind's to strong or to light or it's to choppy then the day is done you aren't going to achieve anything.

Think instead that "I'm on speed gear" rather than the slalom gear what us fat FLICKS have to use, "I will go faster easier".

If you want extra weight, Wear a 3L camelback, that's 3kg of use-able neutral buoyancy weight, with the benefit keeping yourself hydrated whilst sailing (even in winter) seriously helps with issues set up from dehydration (I loose coordination).

Use earplug's, I got this one from and article by Karrin Jaggi, if you can't hear the wind noise, then you reduce the sensory overload making you think it's less windy and therefore scary than what it is. This works, it just makes it hard for talking to people when you stop.

BSN101
WA, 1278 posts
18 May 2018 2:26PM
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elmo said..
Personally unless it's blowing it's tit's off, I'm sorry but I think the weight thing is a bit of a psychological cop out.

I use the example of Ben Proffit at Namibia recently, a small lightweight speed sailing virgin, didn't know any better went out and did it, yes he strapped on weight later but so did the heavyweights.

In normal conditions a light weight uses smaller faster gear than a heavyweight so what's going on?

A lot of these barriers are in our head, I find I regularly talk myself out of the conditions which I should be able to handle and once the thought is in your head that "you can't do it" or the wind's to strong or to light or it's to choppy then the day is done you aren't going to achieve anything.

Think instead that "I'm on speed gear" rather than the slalom gear what us fat FLICKS have to use, "I will go faster easier".

If you want extra weight, Wear a 3L camelback, that's 3kg of use-able neutral buoyancy weight, with the benefit keeping yourself hydrated whilst sailing (even in winter) seriously helps with issues set up from dehydration (I loose coordination).

Use earplug's, I got this one from and article by Karrin Jaggi, if you can't hear the wind noise, then you reduce the sensory overload making you think it's less windy and therefore scary than what it is. This works, it just makes it hard for talking to people when you stop.


When I was at LG the other guys were on narrower boards and smaller sails and weighed less than me but were faster!
I wish that they looked at me and went slower!.
I didn't use my 3l camelback on this occasion so thats where i might have gone wrong.
Knowledge of how to go fast like kit to use , tuning & where the speed strip is is very important.
I will be shadowing the fast sailers next session and it should give me some more knowledge of how where & why they are as fast as they are.

Tinlyds
NSW, 150 posts
18 May 2018 5:32PM
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Select to expand quote
choco said..
Eat more Timtams,works a treat


Hahahaha I'm onto it ??

ratz
WA, 313 posts
18 May 2018 9:13PM
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I use pies....

Kwibai
14 posts
18 May 2018 10:28PM
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To me the lighter weight offers possibilities I couldn't thnk off while being heavier. On open water light can be fast. You just have to think yourself and not follow all trends.



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Forums > Windsurfing   Gps and Speed talk


"Tips for lightweights to go faster" started by Tinlyds