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Getting up on Low Vol. Boards
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14169

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

Its not that it took me a decade to muster the skills; it was that I lived in Utah and New Mexico, where we never HEARD of small boards until well into my WSing career and where sinkers can bite you in the butt on some large, isolated lakes with offshore winds.

If youve got the wind and venue for it, theres no reason NOT TO own a sinker as soon as youre working on water starts. OTOH, theres no reason TO fool with a sinker unless you get good condiitons for maneuvering and jumping AND can get to a convenient shore if dying winds foece you downwind.

Another tip: When waterstarting any board under about 100-110 liters, I stick my back foot in its strap as soon as I have the sail out of the water. That allows positive, precise control over board yaw (where its pointed) and roll, to facilitate the water start. Of couse, on small boards you cant put any WEIGHT on that strapped-in back foot until youre planing.

Mike \m/
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14169

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

And, IMO, by far the most fun, given adequate wind and terrain.

Mike \m/
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2484
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

Prljack,
Its important to master the skill of getting upwind on a bigger shortboard before you progress to smaller boards. The technique is basicly the same, to go upwind you must be planing and well powered. The difference is, there is no slogging upwind and no big fin. If youre well powered, going upwind is much easier. And, as with most things, its much easier with a positive attitude.




*******************
And, IMO, by far the most fun, given adequate wind and terrain.

Mike \m/
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Bugaboo



Joined: 06 May 2002
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

I agree with all of the comments I read, but didnt see one thing that I assume-but cant be sure of- that most big guys/gals with small rigs will agree with. Namely, Getting up on a small board has two parts. One, actually getting your butt out of the drink and up onto the board, and two, getting the board out from under the water and onto a plane.

I live in the Gorge, weigh 190 lbs and have a 79 liter small board that I use for 3.2-4.2, occassionally 4.7 (Big board is 87 liters). Maybe this is unique to the Gorge, but whenever I am H2ostarting, I use back foot only. When I feel the sail powering up, I hang from the boom and sink the tail so that when I actually stand up, the tail is still under water, sometime about 12. (I actually use my back foot to sink the board and to try to pull it back under my rump). Once Im on platform, I shift weight forward to the wide part of the board where all the float is to begin to work onto a plane.

My point is that you should not think you are doing it wrong simply because you do not pop out on top of the water. Depending on the ratio between your weight and the displacement of the board, the little board will require some coaxing to get onto a plane. Starting partially submerged is OK. Plus, working from an off-plane, partially submerged aspect is a skill that big butts on small boards can use to get them thru the lulls.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14169

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

Tips:
1. Dont get your butt far out of the water til youre planing. I also weigh about 190, and I dont sink my 55 liter board (OK up to solid 4.2), let alone my 60-65 (fine from 2.8-5.2), on most waterstarts, by choice. By the time Im anywhere near upright, Im FULLY planing and putting weight on my planing rear foot -- or heading to shore to rig bigger. I keep my weight on the wide point until Im planing.

2. If Im not planing, I drop my butt or my whole carcass back into the water and relax. Sunken sinkers suck, and once you get em wired, the primary difference between a) standing on a board that size and b) relaxing in the water waiting for more wind is a swish of your butt from in the water to over the board. When Im working my way out to the windline from a sheltered shoreline, Ill often pop from neck-in-the-water to fully standing to see if theres enough wind 5-8 feet off the water to start planing; if theres not, Im back in the water in a second. Once accustomed to this, you can cycle from IN the water to standing straight upright to back IN the water in 3 seconds, with no perceived effort. This makes testing the wind easy, and wastes little effort in trying to work onto a plane. Energy conserved when theres not enough wind to plane easily is energy for RIPPPIN when there IS enough wind.

3. And sinkers SUCK energy when milking marginal wind. The pull in our unharnessed arms = the hulls drag in the water, which can be hundreds of pounds when a big gust hits a sunk sinker when youre upright; its not a scenario I like being in. Thats why #2.

Bottom line: keep yer bottom low until youre hauling it across the water at or near planing speed.

4. Another option when the skills materialize and the winds ALLLLLLMOST there is to get upright, hooked in, back foot strapped in (dont forget theres 100-200 pounds of sail power acting on you, unlike a floater which actually RESPONDS to that force and diminishes it because its on TOP of the water), weight in the harness and on your extended front foot, and let the harness lines do the pulling while you just steer onto a plane -- IF the winds there.

5. Then some day youll learn to pump onto a plane by simply fanning your back hand while the harness lines transmit all the sails power, presuming the wind strength is close.

It all contributes to energy conservation. Sinkes are FAR less work if we wait til the winds there, plane before standing up, drop in the water when a lull drops us off a plane, and let the hardware do the work while we just drive.

Mike \m/
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2484
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:08 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

Some people find it easier when overpowered, the back strap should give more leverage.
I havent found it easier to put either foot in the strap even when overpowered and rarly get yanked off the board when waterstarting. My feet just dont bend that way. Ill just vary the power of the sail by quickly sheeting out/in for the proper amount. But also, we dont usually get the less than 4.0 weather that Mike talks about at the gorge either.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14169

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

I can and a couple of times a year (when Im scared of what I see and feel above the spray) do put both feet in their straps while still lying in the water, but in general dangling that front leg into the water decreases my downwind drift (thus increases apparent wind) and allows me to roll forward as I waterstart in marginal winds. If Im powered up fine, both feet will normally be on the deck, with the back one usually in its strap for more precise board control.

Mike \m/
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2484
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

Mike,
When youre still in the water and feet are in the straps (or rear strap) is the board up on its windward rail? (There is no way I can do this if the board is flat on the water, maybe I got wierdo feet).
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PatrickDietz00



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

When was the last time you needed a 4.0 on LIS?? christ, that happens once a year and when it does the water temp is 37 degrees and the air is 5 degrees.
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PSS74



Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:50 pm    Post subject: RE: Getting up on Low Vol. Boards Reply with quote

Pat, you are right, High winds are a rarity on the sound. Im usually yearning for Formula gear and a 10m sail. My biggest is an 8.5. When I started I couldnt understand how a 175lb person could plane with a 4.0. However last fall
we had quite a few 25+ days, I even went out on my 151ltr and my 5.4 in 35 gusts....I was worked and the board felt like a laser sailboat. But for those rare days (read NorEasters and storms) I want a much smaller board. Off to Cabarete tomorrow. Ill post my findings next week. Thanks everyone for all the advice.
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