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Harness line length, is 22 in. too short?
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mattp



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI All- figured I would chirp in here on this one..... yes, i am a big advocate of longer lines and use 30" lines myself. Some of the new school pro's are using 34 and even 36" lines- I tried the 34's and it was a little much for me- probably what a lot of you feel when jumping from 20 or 22 lines to 26 or 28's!

Back in the days when boards were really long and you had to load up the fin to get moving you could get away with shorter lines. As equipment has improved and evolved, you don't want to load the fin up too much with that straight leg, hiked out position. What we all want is "Mast Foot Pressure" or "MFP" to help guide the board where we want it to go. Finding the balance of leg/foot pressure and use of "MFP" is key. Too short of lines make you stand upright with straight legs. The rig usually comes over to windward too far and makes you an inefficient sailor. Too low of boom and you are not really getting "MFP" as you are pulling away and sometimes even upward on the mast foot.

In a perfect world, our boom height is between shoulder and chin height when standing on the board and right next to the mast. Do this test on the beach to make sure you are in the game. We want to have our rig sailing pretty upright so that the power in the sail can pull us forward and drive us upwind or wherever we want to go. I like the harness to do the majority of the work so using your body weight and crunching in with your core to engage the lines are all key. If your lines are too short, you aren't really able to do this and naturally generate the "MFP" I could go on and on with all reasons why harness line length is so important, but seeing for yourself is necessary. If you ride old gear, might be able to get away with it. If you find your self getting tired arms a lot, chances are you could use your body weight more to do ease the arms.

If you have tried longer lines and feel your butt is hitting the water all the time, that is a sign that you need to adjust your stance and let the rig pull you more upright and take on more of a "number 6" position, butt down, knees bent, core engaged thinking about sheeting in with your hook!

As for the waist vs seat harness this is a pretty big deal- as someone already said, a seat harness makes your hook lower and you should have longer lines than if you had a waist harness. A lot of people might have back issues where the seat harness is better for them so that is a factor even though i am a big fan of the waist harness.

Taking all these things into account, if you are sailing and having a great time out there on your 20" lines and not burning out your arms or your energy in 20 minutes, then great. It must be working for you! If you have been struggling and are wanting to improve your longevity, be more efficient and figure out what could make your windsurfing life more fun you should consider taking a good look at your harness line length!

If you are totally confused and don't know what to do, jump on the plane and come for a visit to Maui-

See you on the water!

MP
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jgda



Joined: 19 Jul 1999
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all,

I used to sail with long lines, but then went shorter from some odd reason? Seems like that is what folks were doing a few years back and I have stuck with it. My arms usually don't get too tired, but I have to say after a couple hours they do.

Thing is, I was in Maui last year and had some longer lines the first day and felt like I was having to hang onto the boom too much---but part of this was gusty, marginal wind. I was not feeling comfy. Of course, this begs the question that maybe my stance was not right....and Matt alluded to this.

Finally, do longer lines mess with your jibe completion rate because it biases one to not get up over the board and drive into the jibe as well as shorter harness lines? That would be my thought, but also easily correctable.

...BUT, WAIT, perhaps Matt's comments on the newer boards provides fodder for me to justify upgrading my boards!! Yes!! I sail a 2001 JP wave (76 liter) alot in the Gorge...longer, narrower, but it still rides pretty nice. Hmmm....

I have tried some of the new 'potato chip' boards (shorter, bit wider), but not enough to make a decision one way or another.....yet.

Luckily, I am going to Maui in a couple weeks so hope to try 4 or 5, weather permitting....seems like a very odd spring weather pattern there so far. Problem is, what I try there, doesn't necessarily translate to Gorge swell....maybe in June it will?

..ok, back to some programming...as in code.

cheers,
m
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mirkef



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am 6' and 190lb. I use 28" and feel good. I have to admit I watch the pros and try to copy their setup - my logic is they must know what they are doing. I also ride with wide footstraps and cut my fin. It works, I learned some freestyle tricks in my late thirties...
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scottwerden



Joined: 11 Jul 1999
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK now we are talking about line length and boom height. Matt is suggesting you have the boom high on the mast, which means you will need longer lines to accommodate the higher boom. I am fine with that. But what I have trouble with is that it is not arbitrary where you put the boom. To be completely balanced you want the attach point for the harness lines to be dead center over the CE of the sail. That means the boom has to be over the CE. The CE is pretty much fixed although you can move it a bit with outhaul and downhaul. At any rate, I am not sure you can just put the boom at any old height without getting it offset from the CE, and thus causing you the poor sailor, to use arms to make up for the difference.

It seems that to be completely balanced and minimize arms you need to first make sure the boom is set to the right height for your sail's CE, and then get harness lines the right length to comfortably accommodate that height. If you have proper balance of forces there should be no effort on the arms. That is what the engineer side of me says. The sailor side says shut up and listen to the pros.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 700

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think that the sail's CE is not such a small area and that having the boom anywhere in the cut out should work.
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SeaTurtle



Joined: 08 Jul 1999
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently took Matt & Shawna's clinic in March. I'm 5'4", used 16" for several years, then went to 18" lines. I learned in the clinic I had 15 years of bad habits to break & that "all" Gorge windsurfers had harness lines that were too short. (Hmmm... my Gorge friends would disagree)

I used 24"-26" in Maui & had a hard time with them, so Matt said to try 22". I also learned to keep my boom height between chin & shoulder.

I just used my new 22" lines this past weekend in the Gorge & really hung low in my waist harness. A totally different stance than I had ever had before. It's like sitting in a seat with straight arms & weight on my toes, not my heels. It was a huge change but a successful day on the water. I had no problem with the gusts or riding the waves. The harness lines never fell out & I had a blast! BTW Matt uses about 26" & Shawna uses 28". I'm diggin' the 22s. Razz
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14238

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with wsmike. At 5'10" to 5'8" (age + broken back), with lines over about 22" I simply can't reach the booms with both hands while sheeted way in (e.g., cranking off the lip) or way out (e.g. Gorge/onshore bottom turn) with longer lines. I'm guessing most of my lines are more like 20", because the 22 inchers sit wide on their booms to effectively shorten them.

"Rigging like the pros" or like anyone is misleading unless we sail the same way they do. Sailing unharnessed ruined Craig Masonvllle's (Hi Tech founder) back, and it shortens anyone's shred time. Many factors influence line length. For example, sailing hiked out on long lines is more efficient, but not conducive to spontaneous jumps or maneuvering.

I bought line adjustable by knots (where I tie them, not nautical mph) and played with lengths until I found one I prefer. Whenever I try longer or shorter again, I return to about that same length.


Last edited by isobars on Fri May 24, 2013 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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mattp



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi There Sea Turtle.....

I use the 30" lines, not 26!!!! Great news you had a successful day on the water with your new line length- and you got it right, drop into the lines so you can let them do the work..... Keep it rolling!

MP
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loosescrew



Joined: 28 May 2001
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen to Matt - I couldn't agree with him more!
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hilton08



Joined: 02 Apr 2000
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeaTurtle wrote:
I just used my new 22" lines this past weekend in the Gorge & really hung low in my waist harness. A totally different stance than I had ever had before. It's like sitting in a seat with straight arms & weight on my toes, not my heels. It was a huge change but a successful day on the water... The harness lines never fell out & I had a blast!


3 Questions:

1. If you hang low in a waist harness like sitting in a seat, how do you keep the harness from riding up on you?

2. If your arms are straight when hooked in, aren't they doing more of the work? It seems like your arms should still be slightly bent with tight lines for the harness to carry the load.

3. Did the longer lines ever hook in accidentally when jibing?
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