Rail or sail steering?

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Tomas
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Rail or sail steering?

Post by Tomas » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:59 pm

I'm under the impression that most sailors move on to smaller boards before having learnt to steer a big one properly by using the sail. And that they therefore tend to rely too heavily on "footsteering" to turn their smaller boards. Does anybody have the faintest idea what I'm talking about?

maker
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Re: Rail or sail steering?

Post by maker » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:25 pm

Half-yes and guilty. When moving sail around I think it is you weight moving around too.

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BTB
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Re: Rail or sail steering?

Post by BTB » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:31 pm

I do, but steering a long non planing board is very different to steering a short fully planning one. I'm not sure the skills involved in sailing big long boards are all that transferable. You use a similar technique in coming out of a tack on a short board or when you waterstart in light ish winds but then those are part of a different skill. And once you get a small board planning...

Tomas
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Re: Rail or sail steering?

Post by Tomas » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:15 pm

The basics are move the sail forwards to head off and rearwards to head up wind. I do a lot of light wind sailing and can turn a big board on a dime. The less power I have the more I have to move the center of effort (coe) to initiate the turn. To do that I shift my hands a long way rearwards or forwards on the boom. Transferring weight between the feet is also essential as is pushing and pulling on them. "Exaggerated movements" is the expression that springs to mind.

When well powered on a small board the need to use the sail to steer may be less obvious. But it can make the difference between a good and a mediocre gybe. In a frontside ride in onshorish conditions it's even worse as the sail will at one point start to hinder your turning unless you move the coe appropriately as you turn through down wind and head up wind on the new tack clew first. (This is also the case for step gybers trying to power up clew first before flipping the rig.) It's my conviction - and half the motivation for this thread - that most peoples assumed need for super turny wave boards for onshore use is caused by them keeping the rig too far forward in clew first mode which will pull the board off the wind. Only a select few super skilled riders (not me) really need a super turny board to do incredibly tight turns in the pocket of a wave.
Last edited by Tomas on Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

maker
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Re: Rail or sail steering?

Post by maker » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:06 am

I guess you move COE back by racking rig back, but won't that move your and weight back digging tail in and stalling board? Or does reaching down the boom keep weight forward?

Tomas
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Re: Rail or sail steering?

Post by Tomas » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:09 am

maker wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:06 am
I guess you move COE back by racking rig back, but won't that move your and weight back digging tail in and stalling board? Or does reaching down the boom keep weight forward?
Yes, you move the COE back by raking the rig back, and the further back the boom you reach at the bottom of the wave the higher the clew will be lifted as you keep turning your body and flexing your shoulders to present the sail clew first to the wind on the new tack. Reaching far back on the boom also help you manage the power from the sail in clew first mode.

Yes, as the COE moves aft the mast foot pressure (mfp) will decrease. Depending on the situation that may be a good thing as modern waveboards are often made to be turned on their wide tails and don’t stall as easily as before. If/when there is need to increase MFP I believe this is best done by hanging off the mast ("old front") hand with a downward pointed, but not too bent, elbow.

While I agree with many others (that often refuse to discuss wave riding techniques) that many aspects of the rig handling in onshore waveriding are too dependent on the ever changing apparent wind and wave size/shape/speed etc to be put into words - you simply need to develop a feel for it through hours and hours of practice - I still think it’s very useful to grasp the idea of the COE needing to move aft at some point to let you turn really tight and get a more vertical hit.

My top tip is to delay the moving of the back hand down the boom until you have headed off the wind down the wave and built some speed. Alternatively you can move it a bit on drop in and then a lot more at the bottom of the wave. The reason is that when dropping in from an almost stalled position at the top of a wave it will be hard to move the back hand far back and if you do you will stall the sail as well. Not good. So drop down, build speed, and then reach FAR back. If it’s really onshore you will/should now be clew first in a split second so drive/slice/slide the rig out and back through flexing shoulders while opposing that movement with your hips and head moving forwards/inwards to the centre of the arch of your turn.
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maker
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Re: Rail or sail steering?

Post by maker » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:31 pm

Tips make sense. Thanks

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