Amazing the difference small changes can make

Chat about stuff that doesn't fall into the other categories here.
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skatesurf
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2021 2:04 am
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Amazing the difference small changes can make

Post by skatesurf »

I had the first week of summer off the water due to not having a vehicle available, some days would have been nice, but I had no way of going anywhere. Then June 30th came and so did the rain. As of today there has been only three dry days since June 30th. Other than yesterday their has been no wind to do anything with. I can't ever remember seeing such a stretch of crummy weather. The next week sounds like more of the same. The next possible wind day would be a week from today, and pretty much everyday for the next week its suppose to rain.

I was going to go out yesterday but didn't. I headed out today for what I thought was going to be the best location and found no wind. I checked out another spot and learnt quite a bit the reason why I had no wind at the first location. I decided to go to the usual and arrived to find the wind blowing and the usual wind shadow right by shoreline. After getting rigged up I swam out to the wind and quickly started working on making the changes I found out I needed to make.

During the time off I spent some time going back through some of the videos I had downloaded and one of them was from the UK ?RYA?. Last summer they were doing a series about the basics of windsurfing. The first one was about board basics and setup. In watching the part about board setup I noticed something which massively caught my attention. I knew I was doing things very wrong. I had been typically riding the board like I was setting up to tack. I had the front foot sitting right behind, touching, the backside of the mast foot. I saw in the video, given where they were saying to front toe strap would normally go, the front foot should be quite a bit further back. I didn't know if that would have any effect on hand position on the boom or not. I knew the next time I went out I was making the change

The wind wasn't blowing all that hard and it definitely lacked consistency in speed and direction. I swam out to get away from the shoreline wind shadow and stood up and quickly started moving the feet back. I was surprised to see just how much more effortless it became. It seemed like it was taking much less wind to move. Knowing what I knew before going into today I knew it might happen but seeing the proof positive was an eye opening experience.

I did find myself being much more head up looking toward shore rather than looking down at the bow and I found the hand position didn't change any. I was holding on in the same place before and after testing the single hand holding position. Even after moving the feet I still didn't move the hands back any. Actually I'm not so sure if moving the feet back didn't make the steering more feasible with the boom. Unlike all previous days I was doing no foot steering only sail steering. A very sharp contrast in comparison to before. In the past I hadn't noticed any real effect to sheeting in/out on influencing the steering but today I was really noticing the fine steering by sheet in/out.

The 1.5 hours on the water seemed to most comfortable/productive of any of the time I've been out thus far. I do realize the limitation of the Winglider, namely being able to move the feet back any, a big limitation, yet alone the inflatable structure versus the solid hard board. Yeah, I'll continue riding it because I have it and I know I still have plenty I can learn from it. I do wish I get rid of the lower back issue. It did come back today starting on the left side but when the left side went away toward the end, the right side started speaking to me.

Just wandering how much of what I noticed/did today was stupid/shows lack of experience. Yes, I know I may have left some details out and in the same respect I may not realize fully what I should be including, case in point the foot position on the board.
ronnie
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Re: Amazing the difference small changes can make

Post by ronnie »

I'm using short boards. My longest (and lowest volume) board is 224cm long. Even when I had longer boards, when I was not planing, I would have my front foot close to the mast base pointing right at the mast base. This is termed slogging - when you don't have enough wind to plane and are mostly just balancing with the sail and trying to stay upwind while waiting for more wind.

When the extra wind appears, the board starts to move faster and more of the front of the board starts to lift onto the water. That means the lateral resistance of the board is moving rearwards, so I can move my feet and the sail more towards the rear of the board too. By the time the board is planing, my feet will be near or at where the footstraps would be.

So if you are sailing along in light wind, it might be the right place to have your front foot foot close to and pointing at the mast base.

Steering the board is a combination of your feet and the mast attachment to the board. If you are transferring the sail pressure to the board through these 3 points, the more of the sail pull that you push against with your front foot, or the more pressure you apply to the mastfoot, the more the board will want to turn downwind.
You can put more pressure on your front foot by leaning the sail more towards the nose of the board. To put more pressure on your rear foot to turn the board upwind, you can lean the sail towards the rear of the board.
skatesurf
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Re: Amazing the difference small changes can make

Post by skatesurf »

ronnie wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:36 am Steering the board is a combination of your feet and the mast attachment to the board. If you are transferring the sail pressure to the board through these 3 points, the more of the sail pull that you push against with your front foot, or the more pressure you apply to the mastfoot, the more the board will want to turn downwind.
I also infer the opposite is also true. Is that what I was seeing happen yesterday, it seemed by having the feet further back I was noticing I wasn't having the trouble keeping the board more pointed 'upwind' and still moving. In the past it seemed like I was having a heck of a time trying to keep the board from wanting to turn downwind, not yesterday. Yesterday was very easy, no fighting at all. I actually at one point, with fairly light wind even found myself with the sail almost vertical instead of being tilted leeward. In the past I would not have even wanted to get the sail that vertical or I knew I was going to end up getting wet.

The strangest thing was not having been on the board in almost a month and having only been out thus far a half dozen times I was surprised how much it seemed like I hadn't forgot anything and instead everything ramped up a whole new level almost instantly. I was surprised by how well I was tacking. It seemed like having the front foot further back actually helped to initiate the tack. Give me more wind and I might have a different feeling about it, who knows I'll have to wait until I get any wind at all before I get back out again.
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