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Crazy gusts - what to do?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rangerider wrote:
Anyone think something like the hot sails speed demon would make a difference with its Dacron construction?

It's for that very reason (combined with my aging forearm tendons) that I have my entire quiver built with dacron leeches instead of the non-stretch Technora (Kevlar, essentially) I used to use. Additionally, because Gorge gusts can be almost unlimited on extremely windy days, I have my 3.2 and 3.7 built with PVC windows. The highest, sharpest gusts stretch the window, absorbing the leading edge of those gusts from hell, which often dominate our winds. Those stretchy windows don't cost me top speed, only acceleration as the gusts hit, effectively padding the bumpers of the trucks that hit us all day some day. They work so well that they are impractical with bigger windows.
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Ugly_Bird



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeD wrote:
Only thing you can do to make the best of 1-28 mph winds is to constantly look upwind and recognize the timing of the incoming gusts, their shape, and whether to head off the wind or pinch upwind to stay in the gusts as long as you can, or to avoid the brunt of the severity by getting going earlier before the big hit get's to your sail.


I'm +1 to that. Looking upwind, watching gusts coming and getting ready is the key. Polarizing sunglasses are really helpful for that. Just need to watch for the "black" water coming...

Andrei.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2508

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mast foot pressure converts the sideways lift from the wind to forward movement. sheeting out can be very treacherous.

impeding the board's ability to plane is not productive either.:

isobars vs nearly the rest of us on the BFF vs FFF. may work for a few in very windy spots, but not for the rest of us in most parts of the world. why? if the board has its tail in deep, it resists planing. that makes the sail load and/or slam. ESPECIALLY if the rider is hooked in before being in the straps. this is a never ending debate, with very few folks concurring isobars position.

weed fins suck when not absolutely required

low boom and base to forward add to the problem

pinch in tight to as upwind as one can in gusts, or better, bear way off.

too flat an out haul makes the sail unstable. can make matters worse still further.

being hooked while slogging is bad news.

jibe when it is windiest helps tons too. retaining the plane as much as possible makes dealing with gusts far easier.

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konajoe



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey rangerider, do you understand the concept of apparent wind? And how there is always a change in wind direction when there is a change in wind speed?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jingebritsen wrote:
isobars vs nearly the rest of us on the BFF vs FFF. may work for a few in very windy spots, but not for the rest of us in most parts of the world. why? if the board has its tail in deep, it resists planing. that makes the sail load and/or slam. ESPECIALLY if the rider is hooked in before being in the straps. this is a never ending debate, with very few folks concurring isobars position.

being hooked while slogging is bad news.

Unless, of course, one has the skills to pull it off. It sure takes a load off the body, and that load is maximum when not planing.

Ditto with BFF. With the right skills, BFF has nothing to do with sinking the tail nor with the amount of wind. I've pointed that out many times , but John makes me say it over and over and over because he is of the "my way or the highway " mindset and ignores the many people who hook in to assist getting onto a plane and who go BFF when it suits them. I prefer to have multiple solutions to each objective rather than just one.
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rangerider



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I definitely know how to read the water for the gusts - I went from a total beginner on ancient gear to intermediate short board guy all by myself on my little northern MN lake - this was just a particularly nasty day. I rarely sail unhooked because it is tiring and it seems harder to transfer sail power to the board but I can do it - I just don't like to. When I do BFF which is rare and only in gusty conditions well overpowered I do it without any weight on the back foot most of the time - usually I am that way for a couple seconds and I'm off. The other day though I just felt like I couldn't contain the power in the gusts so I was just slogging with my back foot in with winds that were enough to be ripping if I could make the transition to speed without blowing up - my odds of a catapult seemed to be about 4:1 in favor.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rangerider wrote:
I rarely sail unhooked because it ... seems harder to transfer sail power to the board ... When I do BFF ... I do it without any weight on the back foot most of the time - usually I am that way for a couple seconds and I'm off.

He gets it!

Weighting the mastfoot to plane earlier takes muscle power if unhooked, just gravity if hooked in. But as you know, slogging unhooked requires warning and very quick and proper reactions when big gusts hit. Slogging out to my local windline in winds of 5G30 (that's a 36:1 power ratio!) requires that we sheet out instantaneously if near shore, because there's too much 5 and not enough 30 to actually get planing; all sheeting in will do is bowl us over. As we near the windline, the gusts last longer and warrant trying to plane ... sheeting in and going for it.

That ... or an alternative. My alternative of choice when on a sinker (which is >90% of my sailing) is to butt-sail to the windline in the waterstart position, then pop up the sail and plane away. It's effortless, and the feel of the sail tells me when it's time.

Once out in open water, when I hit a lull I can't plane through and which looks like it may last more than several seconds, I drop into the waterstart position until the next gust beckons, and away I go, rested. If I see a lull coming which I am certain will result in that mode, I may even drop into the water while still planing. I just sheet out to depower, throw both feet into the air, land on the water behind my board tail and straddling it, drop the rig down in the waterstart position, and bob 'til the wind resumes. That involves only gravity, and it works SO much better when WSing compared to when racing motorcycles! Very Happy
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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What helped me the most is the big board / small sail combo. I'd ride 105 with 4.2 sometimes or formula with 7.0.

The idea is that if it's so up and down then the water is fairly flat so a bigger board should work well. A small fin to match sail size will help control issues.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1413

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed Manuel.

A sail size down and a board size up in very gusty (usually offshore) conditions is a good way to go for when we just MUST get out there in those all too common real world winds, or suffer withdrawal symptons.

Some of us long since gave up trying to demonstrate our imagined 'rad to gnar' credentials, by butt sailing sinkers for 50% of the session - and telling anybody who would listen what a great feat it was!

But that's the internet for you!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14632

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuel wrote:
What helped me the most is the big board / small sail combo. I'd ride 105 with 4.2 sometimes or formula with 7.0.

The idea is that if it's so up and down then the water is fairly flat so a bigger board should work well. A small fin to match sail size will help control issues.

Absolutely. When all else failed, I one had a blast ... actually hours of blasts ... with an occasionally overpowered 3.8 on a 240-liter longboard.
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