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beginner questions

 
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jgroden



Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:27 pm    Post subject: beginner questions Reply with quote

Hi! I'm a beginner, been out maybe 7-8 times, live in New England. A couple of questions...
I've noticed that every time a significant gust comes up I can't hold the sail without being blown over! Is it my positioning on the board? Maybe I'm not leaning back enough? I'm ok with a 5-10 mph breeze. More than that and I struggle.

Using a 5.5m sail and 203ml volume board.

Also it seems the board wants to point upwind frequently and I get too far into the wind without being able to go where I want.

Any suggestions welcome!
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tyler4bu



Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 101
Location: Santa Barbara/San Diego

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, your board should be between 900 and 100 times larger!

On a more serious note, to keep yourself from rounding upwind just "bear into the wind" by moving both hands in front of you to aim back downwind. When the gusts come that have been blowing you over, sheet out (let go with the back hand if you have to), and then gradually bring the power back in, without seeing it its hard to figure out exactly why you're failing.
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 2276
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To put a slightly finer point on tyler4bu suggestion to sheet out, one of the reasons you are rounding up is likely because you are not positioning the sail in a truly balanced position while sheeting in and sheeting out. In other words, there is a tendency for the clew (triangular back corner of the sail) to be in a lower position when one sheets in. To allow this causes the sail's center of effort to move back enough to cause the board to turn upwind when sheeting in. The smaller the board the more dramatic this effect becomes.

Try this small drill in light wind: Uphaul and get into the neutral position. Before stepping your front foot back, let go of the boom with both hands. Try to clap three times. If you cannot do so without the sail falling one way or another you have not yet balanced the rig. The rig tends to fall away from the wind in most instances.

Next, try to balance the rig and only then sheet in. I suspect you will find that you round up far less, if at all.

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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1240
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of tips for this.

The first is making sure your hands are in the right place on the boom. When you're uphauling the sail and you get to the end of the rope, make sure you "cross over" to grab the boom first with what will be your "front" hand (the hand closest to the mast). Your front hand should be as close to the mast as possible so that if you're only holding by that hand the sail will flap freely like a flag with no power.

The second tip is for how to position the sail BEFORE you even put your back hand on the boom. Instead of awkwardly bending over and reaching out to put your back hand on the boom, sweep the sail up all the way in front of you with your front hand (so you can look at the nose of the board through the window of the sail) before you put your back hand on it. (That way you'll be grabbing the sail from a good upright position instead of an awkwardly bent over position, which will help not get overpowered, AND the sail will more over the front of the board, which will help you not round upwind.) To do that, you have to be standing slightly behind the mast with your hips turned to the front of the board.

Next, when you do put your back hand on the sail, only pull in ever-so-slightly at first so you don't get too much power. If you feel too much power, let out again with your back hand, or pull in with your front hand. (Either way will release the power.) If you're really getting pulled over, let go completely with your BACK hand but still hang on with the front hand. All the power in the sail will disappear and you can recover back to step 2. (If you mess up and let go with your front hand while hanging on with the back hand, the sail will instantly overpower and pull you over. Always let go with the back hand.)

I have some pictures that indicate the position you're supposed to be standing on the board here:

http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-to-teach-windsurfing.html
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jgroden



Joined: 01 Aug 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:49 pm    Post subject: thanks so much! Reply with quote

thanks for the replies! I can't wait to try out the stuff you guys advised. Will post how I do.
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