Tuning Tips by Tiesda You

Footstrap tuning

The first thing to consider when setting up your footstrap position is to decide if you want to have them in the entry level setting, the inboard setting or the outboard setting. The GO 122 and 133 are the only models in the range that has only inboard or outboard options. We figured that if you're riding one of these boards, you wouldn't be a beginner so we didn't include entry-level options.

For all other models, the three positions cater for the beginner, the intermediate rider and the advanced rider respectively. The three positions are shown on the diagram below. Your board would be delivered with a printed copy too.

Footstrap tuning is divided into two groups: back strap position and front strap position. The straps should be fitted in that order too, since the position of the back strap determines the ideal position for the front strap. We definitely recommend using matching settings for the front strap and back strap. For example: if you choose to use the intermediate settings, make sure both the front and back straps use the intermediate settings. It would be very difficult to sail the GO with the front strap in the advanced position and the back foot in the beginner position. In fact, that would be pretty much impossible unless you were a contortionist.

Beginner position: you'll that these positions are very much centred on the board. They're close to the mast track where the sail connects with the board. Having straps in these positions is designed for sailing in very lightwinds, with small sails and little power - this is how beginning windsurfers sail. The board will remain stable, you can manoeuvre the board by raking the sail forwards and backwards. Some people also don't find the need to fit the footstraps for beginners altogether, which is fine as well. They are designed to help you stay steady and you don't have to worry so much about where your feet should be while sailing forwards.

Intermediate position: these settings are for windsurfers who are confident with windsurfing with more power and larger sails. To use these strap positions, you need to be at the stage where you are windsurfing with enough power in the sail that it allows you to hang off the boom, arms extended, leaning back with the only wind in the sail keeping you from falling back. You're pretty much planing, and skimming over the water and a fairly exciting speed. Because the intermediate strap position is further away from the centre of the board, it allows you to apply more power from the sail and into the board.

Advanced position: these are the positions that are the furthest away from the board's centre, and compared to the intermediate positions, they allow the rider to put that much more power into the board to generate more speed. As the name suggests, you need to have relatively advanced skill to windsurf in these positions but it's not beyond reach. Once you've progressed from beginner position to intermediate position, you're on a learning curve that will quickly see you blasting in the advanced positions, enjoying the thrill of pushing the board to its limits and windsurfing at pretty high speeds.

Once you've decided on whether to use the beginner, intermediate or advanced positions, it's time to screw the straps in to place. Always start with the back straps. You'll notice that the inserts for the straps have two or three holes. This allows each strap to be adjusted forward or backward in 2.5cm increments. If three holes are present, the middle hole is the one we recommend - this is the position we've been using when we test the boards and it's the position the majority of our team riders use. If you select the hole in front, the board would give you more control and planing is easier. If you select the hole behind the centre hole, you will get more power from the fin but control will be more difficult. In some positions, we have chosen to only have two holes to help save weight - in this case the back hole tends to be the option we use and therefore the one we would recommend. The front one would be used if you need more control and easier planing.

Each strap is fixed via a screw at either end of the strap. If you are going to use the middle hole for example, always make sure you use the middle hole for both ends of the strap - it'll give you a strap width of 15.5cm - a common width that works for many people. Of course, if you have very small feet, very large feet or wear boots while sailing, you can select a different hole that would increase or decrease the strap width by 2.5cm.

Remember to place the K9 insert in between the board and strap - it will greatly reduce the chances of the strap twisting. Also ensure that you fix the strap with as much screw tension as your arms can apply. Many people under estimate how much screw tension is needed, which means that the strap will sit loose, twist and over time, also undo itself. In the worst case, a screw can shear out and leave you with a damaged hole.

So now your back strap is set.

For the front strap, we also recommend the middle hole. If there are only two holes, we would recommend the hole that matches the one you selected for the back foot, whether it's the front or back hole. If you are particularly tall or short, or if your riding style requires a shorter or longer stance, then you can select a different hole that would increase or decrease your stance in 2.5cm increments.

So your straps are set, now it's time to fit the fin

Fin tuning

Because our GO boards are fitted with the Tuttle fin box system, you don't have to worry about the position of your fin - it's fixed. However, do consider carefully what size fin you will fit. It's importance is often underestimated, and by a lot. See it this way: in different wind conditions, we tend to change sail size. Well in different wind conditions, you should also be changing fin size. Yes, it's that critical, and the wider the board, the more critical.

The GO 155, 166 and 177 have Deep Tuttle fin box systems. This allows the boards to use normal Tuttle fins and also extra large, extra powerful fins that normally come only with a deep Tuttle head. Fit one of these and you can be sure to have huge power reserves to get you planing and speeding upwind in lightwinds.

Mast-track tuning

For mast track positioning, we simply recommend the middle position. This middle position is clearly marked on the board and just to make it as clear as we could, we even printed recommended position' next to that mark. When we test the board and when our riders use the boards in competitions, we all tend to place the mast track on that mark. Our board design evolution has lead to that exact position and not surprisingly, that is why it's the centre of the track.

Some adjustment is of course possible. This will allow the board to adapt to your personal preference or the prevailing conditions on any given day. If you need a bit more control in overpowered conditions, moving the mast track forward a little will help. If you want more power on the fin, moving the mast track backwards a little will help.