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The Short Board Tack
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1294
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevinkan wrote:
tacks are natural
tacks are good
not everybody does it
but everybody should

getting back to the boat ramp launch at Treasure Island... backwinding and tacking get you there faster with less effort than the alternatives (swimming, walking, excessively cursing)... and it makes you feel good... and it keeps you out of the water when the sea lions are hanging out in the cove.

when the wind is really light, sometimes backwinding on one tack and sailing normal the other is the easiest transition and minimizes falling in


I actually do better in a strong wind at TI in the cove. I think it's because I really read the wind on the water, and I'm prepared for the variations. However I'm only backwinding on a starboard tack. So for me the trick is to make that first tack on the far side of the cove. I do that and I'm golden.

Steve
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1294
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnl wrote:

Plus you just don't get this. Windsurfing is MORE than just going back and forth, jumping and jibing. There is a LOT more to it. Maybe not for you but I have hope for the rest of us. Some how you equate taking the time to learn something new in windsurfing to be a waste of "windsurfing time". And you wonder why people leave windsurfing and go to kiting? It's because they want something NEW and challenging! Learning new windsurfing skills keeps windsurfing fresh. I have no idea why you constantly discourage this.


John, you're dead on about this. I have a friend who said to me "I'm taking up kiting because I want to learn a new sport. Don't you ever want to learn a new sport?" Well, for me freestyle is a new sport. And it can satisfy me for a lifetime. Too many of my BAF'er friends are now kiters, and guess what they're doing now: BAF'ing on kites. I'm not about to give up windsurfing at my age to invest 3 years to be proficient at kiting, so that I can kite at a fraction of the launches I can sail now, and so I can do a fraction of the things I know how to do on a sailboard. I encourage all of my BAF'ing friends to take a clinic with ABK or a lesson with Jason Voss, but nobody will do it. There's some kind of mental block where they just think they don't need lessons. Hey, I've been playing guitar since I was 10, I'm still taking lessons.

Steve
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1294
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coachg wrote:
tstizzle,

I feel I can sail much higher when backwind sailing but that is just a feeling. I have never tested the theory which is why I said I'm not sure if you can sail higher when backwind sailing.

Coachg


I definitely think backwinding is more effective. When I backwind I pinch high upwind, knife the sail through the wind and lean into it with front hand pressure, light backhand pressure, and already I'm going upwind, and I never slow down. In a tack I have to push the nose off the wind to get going, and there is a definite stall involved when switching sides. Of course I'm talking about slogging, not planing, and I'm talking about my own personal skills.

Also, there was at one time a video of two guys tacking out the channel at Palo Alto on a low tide. One was a Pro (I think) and he tacked. The other guy Bob, who everyone who ever took a freestyle clinic with ABK would know, backwinded. He was far more efficient. If I can find it I'll post it.

Steve
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1294
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnl wrote:
isobars wrote:


I've sailed Delta flood tides, but apparently not at the velocities you guys have seen there, as I've never strayed more than 2-3 miles downwind, and that was largely by choice.


2 or 3 MILES downwind on a flood tide by choice? Are you talking about the delta or in general? If you are referring to the delta, then that is WAY farther than most of us want to. In fact, on a flood the only direction I was interested in going was upwind. Especially when I can get or stay upwind using tacking technique (if the wind is planable) or slogging and tacking if the wind isn't (to get back to the beach). I like to think I left my days of the "walk of shame" (which I did quite frequently in my early days sailing in the Delta) far behind me now.....

Funny, shortboard uphauling, tacking, and pivot jibes are skills that are frequently taught at ABK courses when you have a low wind day. All three skills have really helped me and I still use them to this day....


And don't forget about the lift you get on the far side on starboard. You can just about sail parallel to the shore over there because of the wind shift. Do that for a bit to make up lost ground then beeline straight across. The only time I do the walk of shame is when I fool myself into thinking that I can make up the lost ground on the last reach by doing one more reach. Then I'm usually twice as far downwind.

Steve
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13804

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rich1 wrote:
I'm working on tacking my 80l wave board and almost never sail out of them ... I'm further upwind than I would be had I made a good pivot jibe ... Schlogging for me is usually heli tacks or pivot jibes, as either provide a higher degree of success. I know that there are lots of folks out there who can tack a sinker in sub planing conditions but that's a pretty serious skill.

Therein lies the heart of my entire commentary about tacking to stay upwind when wind and current flow in the same direction. Fallen tacks often cost more GROUND than successful pivot jibes, depending on current speeds and TIW (Time IN the Water). In sessions where my first concern was staying upwind, I'd go with whichever turn leaves me drifting in the current the least amount of time. I'd save my tacking practice for sessions with less or no or opposing current, where my first priority could be perfecting my tacks and where walking a mile or two wasn't a threat.

Iíd also ... heck, I DID ... work on the pivot jibes, too. There's doing them dry, there's doing them QUICK, and there's doing them both dry and quick at the same time, to minimize drift, as I alluded to in an earlier post. Thatís another thing I really like about the Throw, Throw, Grab, and Go (TTGG) approach: it works very well at any speed from flat out to slow slogs. At full speed, the buried lee rail turns the board all the way through the jibe. In a slog, especially a very slow one, burying the rail just brings the board and the turn to a halt.

Thus if already slogging and no planable gust in sight, I bear off more gradually to maintain a more even keel and use the sail to snag whatever power is available. But when I reach about 45-60 degrees off the wind, I suddenly -- virtually simultaneously but in the following sequence -- bury the tail (for a pivot jibe)/Throw the back hand away/Throw my front hand across my face/lift both feet off the deck. Burying the tail allows and promotes the pivot, the Throws spin the rig like a top to the new tack untouched by my hands AND accelerate the pivot, and the hop unloads the board so it can pivot unimpeded by my mass during the same heartbeat in which the sail spins. Timed right Ö youíll feel the right time Ö the Throws very significantly boost the boardís pivot speed courtesy of Isaac Newton, and your hands and feet re-contact boom (the Grab) and deck at the same time, with everything -- you, your hands and feet, the rig, and the board -- on the new broad reach, praying and ready for a gust and pumping if thereís a chance or a slope.

Think spin, not r o t a t e , and youíre done with the pivot (OR planing) jibe toot sweet; the ballís in the windís court now, because youíve eliminated that long, delicate, drawn-out, tip-toe through the tulips (and chop and swell) downwind run followed by that excruciatingly slow, hand-over-hand-over-hand, barn-door-style, balancing act, manhandled sail rotation while or after weíve turned the board, all while the current drags us into the basement. For the same reason, I very seldom bother exiting clew first: the fraction of a second of zero power during the spin is more than regained by the far quicker board pivot.

Yes, the old, slow-motion, textbook, Must. Not. Fall., longboard-style pivot jibe chews up leagues of ground in a flood or rip current; compared to it, a RELIABLE tack often does stand your ground better. But until that tack IS reliable, a spinning pivot will often lose less ground than a fallen tack. Maybe its versatility is why many websites worldwide host my TTGG jibe tutorial. I havenít looked lately, but it was in some symbolic (Japanese, maybe?) languages at one time.

Thereís a third subplaning option for which I get no end of grief but often prefer anyway. Itís related to the other reason (besides balance), really the MAIN reason, I do very few pivots or any other slogging turns any more: slogging sucks. It sucks energy, it sucks fun (for someone not interested in freestyle), and on a small wave board it sucks ground. That option is to abandon ship. If a lull eats my plane, whether in a jibe or a reach, and the lull looks deep and wide, I bail. I just jump into the freaking water. It beats the hell out of slogging, it gives me a rest while everybody else does high-effort isometric hulas, it lets me get my wind back if I just finished a good anaerobic riff, and it often gets me to the same place their sheer effort gets them: NOWHERE USEFUL (there are obviously exceptions, but we can often adjust for them.)

Why bother with a spinning pivot jibe, when a successful and exceptional sinker tack loses even less ground? Reasons include learning curves in general, current speed and direction, having to master a whole new skill rather than just speeding up an old one, the versatility of having both techniques in oneís quiver, and the advantages of TTGG jibes at any speed from slogging to completely overpowered.
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="jse"]
johnl wrote:

Too many of my BAF'er friends are now kiters, and guess what they're doing now: BAF'ing on kites.

Steve


Love it! But I think 3 years to become proficient on a kite is a vast over-estimation. Now days, it is 3 months if you can ride consistently.
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1294
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="LUCARO"]
jse wrote:
johnl wrote:

Too many of my BAF'er friends are now kiters, and guess what they're doing now: BAF'ing on kites.

Steve


Love it! But I think 3 years to become proficient on a kite is a vast over-estimation. Now days, it is 3 months if you can ride consistently.


I'm just using said BAF'ers as an example. Not all struggle with it but many do.

Steve
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sasussman



Joined: 18 Feb 1997
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a tip that helped me learn to tack:

I learned it first on a skateboard about 15 years ago (see www.streetsailing.net for example). I would do it in very light winds, probably about 5 mph, using old gear, with appropriate body/head protection for falls. I found that the ability to keep trying moves again and again, without taking the time or energy to waterstart, combined with the fact that the board keeps its momentum during moves move better than a windsurf board does, allowed me to learn the foot and hand work needed. I did this in a winter off season when I lived in San Francisco, and became proficient at all sorts of moves on it.

Then next season I tried them on the water, and all of a sudden things like fast tacks, heli tacks, duck jibes and more became things I could do on the water too. Now I proficiently tack my wave board, and I find this useful to get upwind, and in crowded conditions it gives me the option to turn both up and downwind. And many times while heading out in real surf, I am able to tack onto a wave at times when I can't jibe on it due to another person being downwind of me. Assuming no one else got on the swell first, this also puts me in the position to have the right of way on this wave.

And an unrelated comment to the guy who likes to jump in the water instead of slogging: where I sail there are sharks and while I'm not unreasonably scared of them, I don't like just floating around waiting for one to sample my legs or feet.
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jse wrote:


I'm just using said BAF'ers as an example. Not all struggle with it but many do.

Steve


Fair enough
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1294
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sasussman wrote:
I've got a tip that helped me learn to tack:

I learned it first on a skateboard about 15 years ago (see www.streetsailing.net for example). I would do it in very light winds, probably about 5 mph, using old gear, with appropriate body/head protection for falls. I found that the ability to keep trying moves again and again, without taking the time or energy to waterstart, combined with the fact that the board keeps its momentum during moves move better than a windsurf board does, allowed me to learn the foot and hand work needed. I did this in a winter off season when I lived in San Francisco, and became proficient at all sorts of moves on it.

Then next season I tried them on the water, and all of a sudden things like fast tacks, heli tacks, duck jibes and more became things I could do on the water too. Now I proficiently tack my wave board, and I find this useful to get upwind, and in crowded conditions it gives me the option to turn both up and downwind. And many times while heading out in real surf, I am able to tack onto a wave at times when I can't jibe on it due to another person being downwind of me. Assuming no one else got on the swell first, this also puts me in the position to have the right of way on this wave.

And an unrelated comment to the guy who likes to jump in the water instead of slogging: where I sail there are sharks and while I'm not unreasonably scared of them, I don't like just floating around waiting for one to sample my legs or feet.


Two things: First, a SUP with a mast attachment does the same thing, lets you forget about the balance and work on the sail handling. And second, once I was stuck on the far side of Tomales bay with no wind, waiting for a puff to get a waterstart. A sea lion bumped me 3 times. Within a period of about a minute. I learned I could manufacture a waterstart when needed, even in the absence of wind.

Steve
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