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heli tack advice
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1723

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snapster wrote:
I can probably figure this out much more efficiently by just playing with the sail on the beach, and save myself the trouble of dragging myself up out of the water.


Definitely*. First get comfortable controlling the sail backwinded. This is a great thing to play with in subplaning wind (say 5-10 mph) with a small sail. In a backwinded beam reach setting, try holding the boom with one hand only, in front of the harness lines, and let the sail vent/sheet out. You'll see that if you put your back hand on the boom, the sail will power up and flatten you. Try just touching it with a finger or two behind the boom to get a sense of powering up the backwinded sail. Then learn to do this on the water.

To helitack, round the board up into the wind and pass through slightly (if the wind is coming from 12 o'clock, pass through the wind to 11 or 1). Then lean the mast into the wind, without getting any wind in the sail (the sail is "luffed") Then, as they say in ABK clinics,

Reach back
Step back
Arch back

1. Move your back hand a foot or two back on the boom.
2. Step to the back of the board with your front foot (so your body turns...your back is now to the wind. Extend your back arm as you step back (not first!
3. Arch your back, leaning slightly into the wind. This is to compensate for the wind filling the sail.

Don't flip the sail right away if you can manage it. Hold on clew first for a few seconds to get your balance, then flip it.

Practicing both backwinded sailing and clew first sailing is a good idea before working on the heli (or while working on it.) When you get good at those, you can mess with backwinded clew first, which is used in more advanced tricks.

* In windsurfing clinics, they almost always have you learn/practice on land first, to get the basic mechanics down. This greatly helps when you get out on the water and have to deal with the board. You'll hear people say "there's no substitute for time on the water." Actually there is a substitute for SOME time on the water...thats land practice. And lessons.

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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2746

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PeconicPuffin wrote:

Reach back
Step back
Arch back

1. Move your back hand a foot or two back on the boom.
2. Step to the back of the board with your front foot (so your body turns...your back is now to the wind. Extend your back arm as you step back (not first!
3. Arch your back, leaning slightly into the wind. This is to compensate for the wind filling the sail.


Just make sure the nose of the board is farther off the wind then 11 before using the 3 Backs for flipping the sail, especially in higher winds. When you flip & catch the sail your body will be facing closer to 9 so if your board is still pointing at 11 you will bury the leeward rail & get pulled over. If you get the nose to 9 then the board will simply accelerate in the direction of your catch.

Coachg
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1723

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I largely disagree. The OP is learning in light winds (unless I'm missing something). I regularly helitack at 11 or 1 in light wind and have never had an issue with sinking the leeward rail. I'm doing this on boards 109-150 liters (me at 160 lbs). The advantage of being on a close reach is the reduced power in the sail, so the sailor flips when they choose to as opposed to when they have to.

coachg wrote:
PeconicPuffin wrote:

Reach back
Step back
Arch back

1. Move your back hand a foot or two back on the boom.
2. Step to the back of the board with your front foot (so your body turns...your back is now to the wind. Extend your back arm as you step back (not first!
3. Arch your back, leaning slightly into the wind. This is to compensate for the wind filling the sail.


Just make sure the nose of the board is farther off the wind then 11 before using the 3 Backs for flipping the sail, especially in higher winds. When you flip & catch the sail your body will be facing closer to 9 so if your board is still pointing at 11 you will bury the leeward rail & get pulled over. If you get the nose to 9 then the board will simply accelerate in the direction of your catch.

Coachg

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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2746

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PP,
I guess we have different goals for the Heli Tack. One goal is simply to learn a light wind Heli Tack where you flip the sail around with the nose pointing at 11 or 1. While that Heli Tack version works fine for light wind it is a dead end move. Learning to steer the nose of the board farther off the wind will allow Heli Tacks in high winds & lead to other tricks like an upwind 360. Different versions with different goals.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baeK_Qq7nZk

Coachg
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1723

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delete the words "dead end" and I agree with you completely. Learning the sail work and footwork most easily (in the lightwind heli) helps groove most of the habits needed for the windier version, as learning pivot jibes helps with planing jibes. The OP is starting from scratch. Once the heli is repeatable at all, then yes everything you just wrote...completely agree. (And what's more fun than a planing upwind 360 I ask you?!)

coachg wrote:
PP,
I guess we have different goals for the Heli Tack. One goal is simply to learn a light wind Heli Tack where you flip the sail around with the nose pointing at 11 or 1. While that Heli Tack version works fine for light wind it is a dead end move. Learning to steer the nose of the board farther off the wind will allow Heli Tacks in high winds & lead to other tricks like an upwind 360. Different versions with different goals.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baeK_Qq7nZk

Coachg

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