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Railing a longboard upwind

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Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 1120

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Railing a longboard upwind Reply with quote

I was out Saturday on the Exocet Windsup 11'8" on and off the plane as usual, I was on a fast glide and needed to get upwind so I decided to try something, not knowing how to rail only reading mention of it, I sank the windward rail. I moved the back foot beside the rear strap putting most of my weight there and had the front foot way forward by the mast but out on the windward rail, body leaned forward, hooked in, I leaned way out and put the front hand on the uphaul instead of the boom. The daggerboard was not in the board. I was really cutting upwind at quite an angle with a lot of control as the sail was so sheeted out, great fun.
So I started to read a bit about railing, seems I'm supposed to sink the leeward rail instead, can this be done without beating straps? is the shape of the windsup correct for this? Is railing ever done sinking the windward rail like this?
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Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 1013

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without a dagger board, sink the windward rail. Sinking the leeward rail to go upwind works only with the dagger board down. The bigger the dagger board and the more boxy the rails are, the more you can rail. Something like the F2 Lightning can be railed up to 45 degrees. The Kona One, with rounder rails and a smaller dagger board, works better at smaller angles (15-25 degrees, if I recall Steve Gottlieb's recommendations correctly).

Sinking the windward rail will also help getting upwind on a shortboard, especially with a small fin. Watch freestyle pros go upwind - the windward rail is always dug in. They can go upwind on 16 cm fins as well as any amateur on a 30+ cm fin. Pushing the leeward rail down will work when fully powered and riding the fin, e.g. on slalom gear. Railing angles are much lower than when railing a longboard, though.

I have never sailed the Exocet WindSUP 11.8, only the shorter Exocet WindSUP 10. The 10 has rather round rails and smallish daggerboard. Railing it does not work for me; pushing the windward rail down seems to work better. Part of the problem is that the short nose really likes to dive, so the 11.8 may behave differently.

In light wind, you don't need the beating straps to rail a board - you just need a good grip. EVA decks like on my Kona Mahalo are great for that. Booties also help a lot. You may have to place your feet leeward of the centerline and push down on your toes to rail the board up. Beating straps can become useful when planing on the rail. Some racers don't like them even then, because the leeward strap will be in the water, creating drag.
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a daggerboard= leeward rail down.
No daggerboard = windward rail down. (Schlogging to windward)
Planning long or short board= leeward rail down and riding the fin to windward. The bigger the daggerboard or fin, the easier it will be to lift that windward rail and motor your way upwind.

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