My first real dtl

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My first real dtl

Post by Tomas » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:12 am

I don’t often get to sail sideshore and when I do it’s often too wild or crowded for me to go down the line with any style. But good things come to those who wait. And prepare. I was moderately powered with a 4.2 on my dyno 95 when some shoulder high but very well shaped lines rolled in. The favourable shape and angle made it surprisingly easy to catch a wave right on the outside and make good ground upwind before dropping down the line. In my typically more onshore and messy conditions it’s hard to recognise a good wave on the outside and even if you’d manage to get onto one it’d take you straight back to the beach (rather than up wind). As more people came out I also found that catching the waves early on the outside made it easier to get priority to ride it dtl when it got steep enough.

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about the difference between onshore and sideshore conditions. Due to my mostly crappy conditions I master the clew first part well. What I’ve needed to get my head around is that since in side shore you’re pointing so much higher into the wind when coming in on a wave, you won’t get the same power surge in the sail if you drop in the same way as you’d do on a more onshore wave. So unless you wait for the wave to get really steep (in which case you’ll waste the opportunity to make more turns and also may invite others to take your wave) you need to do a much more pivotal turn on the top of the wave to redirect the board onto a broad enough reach that the sail can really help you generate enough speed dtl. I know this is common knowledge, but people like me need to experience it for themselves.

Since you’re able to point much higher when catching an outside wave and riding it in back side, it’s actually also easy to underestimate how favourable the angle really is for going dtl! Often you’ll have little drive in the sail and when looking down the line it seems you’ll have to turn around just as far to hit the wave front side as on a much more onshore wave. Which is true! I’m not sure but guess I may have let some good waves go on earlier occasions because of this. But whereas in onshore conditions the sail will be most helpful in the first part of the turn and become more unwieldy later in clew first mode, it will now be relatively powerless early but give you a good drive once you’ve redirected the board down the line. Which is why it’s a good idea to complete a good part if the turn before dropping down. Did I just make the same point twice?:)

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