View Full Version : How to get on plane on Ftype and what is the correct stance - need help.

14th May 2007, 10:39 PM
Hi all,

So I got an Ftype 148 (my first board after 1 summer of renting) - thanks for all the advices here (although many pepole recommened a longboard). Anyway, my Ftype surely drives a lot of attention as it's pretty wide. ;-)
I also got a 7.5 Gaastra Matrix (C55 mast). I am 90kgs.
I'm doing ok in non-planning conditions, meaning that I don't get into the water and can go back and forth all day long.

I was able to get in on plane once, maybe twice and it was when the wind was pretty strong (around 4-5B ) and I did it by getting really, really low (basically by crouching) and trying not to bend my forward foot. However I felt like I need to put a lot of power into holding the rig (I'm not using the harness yet), so I guess I'm doing something wrong.

I'd really appreciate hints on the correct stance on this particular board. When not planning I just keep my forward foot about just behind the mast and recently I try to keep it more on the side, too. But getting way to the end (near the straps) seems just impossible.
When wind is stronger I don't seem to move back my front foot a lot, instead, I move back and bend my back leg a lot (thus this crouching stance I mentioned) - is it correct?
Also, my stern is slogging through the water all the time (so I don't see how could I move back on the board even more), I know I should put more weight on a boom - do I just hung on it like a monkey with my arms straight - that would mean sticking my butt back or getting really low on my knees.

Another thing - in marginal conditions, what should be the apropriate stance to start pumping (and how to do it most efficently)? Does it make sense with my weight and with this sail in 3B winds? (if I will be planing for a few seconds only it's fine - I just want to practise).
I also don't want to buy a bigger sail right now. My buddies who ride smaller boards say I should get a smaller sail for the 5-6B days (when I barely can handle my 7.5 - any hints appreciated), but Formula guys on my local spot say 7.5 is minimum for this type of board whatever the conditions are.



14th May 2007, 10:49 PM
First of all learn to get in the harness. It really makes a difference (competent sailors can get on a plane no matter if they use the harness or not and there's lots of different techniques on this part). When you are in the harness you can concentrate on trimming the rig without using allyour energy just to hold it.

15th May 2007, 12:32 AM
But...everybody tells me: first get on planing, then hook in with a harness and use footstraps. And that's what I see usually... So i figured I need to learn how to start planing first and then move on the the harness thing.

How about my other stance-related questions - any hints?


15th May 2007, 01:49 AM
What Per is trying to say is, to learn how to get into the harness in order to conserve energy.

You are correct. First, you get on a plane, then you hook in and get in the footstraps.

You will probably get a wide variety of advice on this one. I need to think about how to describe this before I respond.

15th May 2007, 02:50 AM
Hi Marek,

Planing early on a short, wide, board is a very technical skill. Also, you probably don't have enough wind most of the time- with a 7.5 you will need at least 4 Bft to get planing, so don't even bother trying in 3 Bft.

Assuming you have 4-5 Bft, here are some tips to get planing:

1. Put the footstraps in the inner positions so they are easier to get into while you're learning.
2. Have a good windsurfer who is about your weight and height try out your gear so they can put the boom, harness lines, and mast base in the right places. Watch the way they sail and imitate it.
3. Try to keep the board level on the water. That means in light winds you will need your front foot near the mast base and your back foot in the middle of the board between the front footstraps. Only when the wind is strong enough for you to put your weight on the sail can you safely move your feet backwards without sinking the tail and tipping the board to the side.
4. When you move your weight back on the board, keep your back foot close to the centerline to keep the board level. Put your front foot in the footstrap first, then turn downwind to accelerate and put your back foot in after you start planing. With your weight supported by the sail, your feet can push the board forwards and sideways without weighing it down.
5. You might be able to get in the harness before both feet are in the footstraps. If so, that will help you transfer your weight into the sail, although it will increase the risk of crashing before you get your feet in the straps.

PS- You should have gotten a longboard. On a longboard it's easier to get in the harness without being planing and in the footstraps. You can learn more gradually, and still sail enjoyably in 2-3 Bft with a 7.5 sail.

15th May 2007, 03:09 AM

One way of doing this (sailing on the footstraps) is to think that you want to push the board with your foot.
When you´re not planing the loads at play are not big and then stand upright is enough to keep things balanced.
But once the wind kicks in you will have to use your body to balance all the different forces ( in direction and strenght ).
So it's like the sail pulls you and in reaction you push the board using your body anchored in the footstraps and hooked on the boom line.
You can do that not hooked nor in the footstraps but you won't last much :)

As the board increases speed to go on a plane you move towards the footstraps ( out and backward ).
FT 148 has many option to insert the foot straps. Start with them at the more inboard and forward positions. As you feel more confortable start to move the straps more out and backward.

After some time you´ll go to the straps quite quick and will hook when you feel its best for you.

Hope this helps.

15th May 2007, 03:46 AM
Get 9.5 and very soon everything will be all right

15th May 2007, 03:48 AM
OK, thanks a bunch, keep talking, folks ;-).

How about pumping on my Ftype? I have a lot of power to use and I am desperate to start planing :-).
Where should I do with my feet/legs and how to shake that thing most efficiently?


15th May 2007, 02:33 PM

Don't even bother about real pumping before you have got a hang on planning sailing.
What you can do, and almost qualifies as pumping, is to pump with the back hand while you are hooked in in the harness.
It gives a little surge of energy that helps you pop onto the plane. But, you will hardly ever plane if you have your front foot anywhere near the mast. feet back first, lean on the sail, and pump with your back hand.

15th May 2007, 03:31 PM
Hi Marek..
My point was that you can get planing in or out of the harness. It's very individual. But... if you are not able to use the harness you won't have many chances of staying on the plane for long. You will get sore arms and back, and after a short time you won't be able to concentrate on any of the great advices you got in this thread:p believe me, we've all been there:p:p
Have fun

15th May 2007, 04:42 PM
I know, but I just feel I need to learn something first before buying more gear.
I want to get on plane almost every time (no matter for how long), and so far I did it once, maybe 2 times.
The same goes for getting a bigger sail.

And by the way - when it's 4-5B I see people planing on way smaller boards and smaller sails - so does my FT really makes sense in light winds and 9+ sails?

Anyway, what would be your recommendation for a not very expensive 9.5 sail, easy to rig (I mean I'm not lazy or not skilled, I just don't want to spend 1 hour doing that, and that's what I see when Formula folks rig their monster sails over here). Possibly something which I can use with my 490cm/IMCS 29/C55 mast.

It takes me max. 30 min. to get my gear ready (rigging/tuning and attaching fin/base).



P.S. Is it recommended to register and move to another forum (I have no problem with that)?

15th May 2007, 04:53 PM
- before trying to get planing with a harness you must be able to do so without (otherwise you are going to learn how to setup your harness for shlogging -not what you would want to do-).

- at 90 kg 3BF 9.5 sail (makes life MUCH easier, gets you MUCH more plaining TOW == faster progression)!

- 4-5 BF and beginner smaller sail than 7.5 will be easier but still be potentially dangerous for the board.

getting on a plane with that board:
- point board a bit downwind
- push sail with front hand forward
- open sail with back hand a little
- try balancing sail over mast foot/centerline until you feel like you're about to catapult (thats what it should feel like to have POWER)
- keep leeward rail low, try getting windward rail a bit off the water (when hitching a wave)
- look for a little wave you can "hitch" a ride on downwind (doesn't have to be bif, a few cms can be enough)
- balance your weight almost equally between your feet and your rig == hanging your weight on your rig

pumping: different kinds of pumping, for now only out of the harness.
- pointing the sail as described
- hitching a ride as described
- hanging as described
- tiltting the board leeward (windward rail up)
- pull sail towards back of board PUSHING your FEET direction downwind trying to "pop" the board over the resistance.
- do one bigger but not huge one followed by a couple of smaller ones
- remember to continue going downwind, do not go on a reach or even point upwind before you are fully planing.
- whence almost planing you "anchor" your front arm and pump mostly with your back arm (you pull on both but the front hand stops early). Try to push your front arm still further foward and assit your front arm by "flapping" your rear arm not directly towards you but a bit upwards as well. This will assist you in keeping a bit of load on the MF and further power the sail.
- remember to keep windward rail up a bit (a bit higher than leeward), you maintain this with you back foot (don't stop doing so, it helps accellerating the board).
- when almost on the run you inch your front foot backwards and get into the front strap
- push front foot a bit downwind too keep accellerating
- finally planing faster? Now back foot.
- now try your harness


try again

15th May 2007, 05:46 PM
Thank you! :p

How about the sail recommendation (assuming what I wrote about rigging and my current mast)?
Which one ofthe 9.5s you'd recommend?


15th May 2007, 05:55 PM
People on my local usenet group say a lot of good things about Sailworks Retro 9.5m. And it's no-cam.
Would that be a good choice?


15th May 2007, 07:11 PM
Hi Marek.
Tushingham Lightning (British brand, very good sails that last) 9.4 rigs on a 490 mast. It's not soo mast specific. It's a very early planer and has only two cams so you can rig it easily.

15th May 2007, 07:35 PM
I am a fellow beginner too. I have a Go 139, which I guess isn't that much of a wide board (80 cms) and wahat I actually just got into the straps for the first time last night. I can always get my front foot in the strap no problem. So try and get going, while having your front foot in the strap. Most of your weight will go on the back foot so make sure its on the centerline. After you get going, what I would do would be to start wiggling your back foot untill it touches the side of the back strap. once you know where it is, bear off a bit, point your front foot toes (to even out the board a bit better) hang low of the boom (but not crazy low) and quickly but not jerkely but your back foot into the strap. The first time will feel a bit wierd at first (especially when you learn on only outboard posisions) but after you are in, you might have to bear away by pushing with the front foot and pulling with the back foot. BUT REMEMBER! NEVER LOOK AT THE STRAPS! It pulls in your butt and elbows which may lead to catipults.

After you are in and comfertably going, try and hook in by pulling your belly botton up and forward and quickly back again and you should hopefully be hooked in too.

Once in the straps, you sometimes realize how forward your lines are, so move them back to around 1/3 of the way down the boom.

Good luck, I know the feeling, first time in the straps, you feel invincible. its far far less scary once in the straps. easier to combat catipults, easier to steer/deal with gusts. upwind is easier. after a while you can even get into the straps without planing! its not comfertable, but it works.


15th May 2007, 11:32 PM
Gun Booster 9.5, cheap AND good.

16th May 2007, 12:20 AM
Hmm... with my F-Type 148, I get it on a plane in the lightest winds by first, putting my feet in the straps. I head downwind a bit and make sure the sail is as powered up as possible. By this point, I have already put my front foot in the front strap. The back foot is near the centerline of the board just behind the front foot. I put the back foot in the strap right before I start to pump, but after I point the board slightly downwind. Having your feet in the straps at this point will only work if you get the correct synchronized motion during a very aggressive set of pumps.

I'm a lot lighter than you (65kg) but this should still apply. The key is to pump with your feet too. It should be like a dance -- you want to get the board on top of the water so you have to lift it. First, you pull with your arms (start with your front hand sooner than your back; pull with back hand longer than your front). As you finish the pump, you should be pushing with your back foot across the fin. This will load the board up in prep for the pop. Then, you lift the board with your front leg as you prepare for the next pump. This should lighten the board, so when you pump the sail, the board will be free(r) on top of the water. You should keep the board heading downwind and actually try to push the board downwind with your front foot ... it should feel like the board is slipping through the water.

In the lightest of winds, I do this a couple of times and I'm planing. Then I do a few smaller pumps that don't involve lifting the board. We don't have any hard core formula guys on our lake, but we do have people with traditional formula gear. I'm planing as early as if not earlier than they are. I believe this is a combination of my pumping and my weight.

Regarding sail size. I use my F-Type 148 with an 8.0 Retro and a 9.8 V8. A friend who weighs 85 kg has a 10.6 V8. He isn't quite as efficient as me, but he is learning fast. He tried the F-Type in pretty light winds ... on a day when I was able to pump up onto a plane with my 9.8 V8. He was able to get it on a plane no problem. We were using a 70cm formula fin this day. When I'm using my 8.0, I go down to a 66 or 68cm fin depending on how powered up I am. I rarely use the 56cm fin as the amount of pressure I put on the rear foot spins the board out when fully powered up and heading upwind.

I'm not sure what size fin are you using? The board comes with a much smaller fin than I find useful on the board. This is probably just my sailing style entering the equation as I know Starboard had a reason for selling them with a 56cm fin (I would love to understand why this was the chosen size). I find with the bigger fin, I can pump more aggressively and then get the board to rail up and fly freer in the light air. And in the heavier winds, I find it floats over the chop much better. $0.02 YMMV

16th May 2007, 12:54 AM
Hi Marek,

I'm of a like mind with Per regarding the harness. Also, as James suggested in his first and second points, set your footstraps inboard and get your rig properly set up for your size, particularly focusing on correct boom height and harness line position.

In my opinion, to have any real luck planing, you need to be in the harness first. In reality, you need to be hooked in to have sufficient control over the rig. Initially, don't worry about pumping your sail, as you want to understand the subtleties of the wind's power, how it affects the kit as a whole, and how it ultimately promotes the transition to planing. Pumping helps to stimulate the planing process, but I feel it really is more of an advanced technique you can introduce later after mastering the core basics.

As mentioned by others above, you want to bear off the wind to help develop sufficient board speed to allow you to start moving towards the straps. On many boards, it's actually possible to have your front foot in the strap when you initially bear off the wind. In any case, as you gain speed and begin to move further back on the board and get your front foot in the strap, you should recognize that in the process you are beginning to rake the sail back. Simultaneously, you need to start applying power with back arm by drawing the sail towards the rear of the board. At this point, it becomes increasingly more important to get your back foot in the strap, because it establishes your proper stance and balance position for the board to start riding on the planing section of the rockerline. Once in the straps, your speed advances greatly and allows you to footsteer the board and begin heading higher into the wind without losing speed. There are many subtleties to stance, board and rig positioning that you will learn over time. Also, as your skill gains consistency and strength, you can start experimenting with outboard strap positioning and other tuning adjustments to improve performance.

Overall, please remember the importance of being hooked in to gain the needed leverage over the rig. Truly, an important first step to effective planning.

16th May 2007, 06:22 AM
Hi Marek

I have an FT158 and weigh 85kg. For me there are several ways to get the board on the plan - my approach depends on the amount of power available (sail choice & available wind cf fin size) ...

The critical feature for all is to get the "bow wave" behind the board's rocker at least to the front foot straps, and the minimum of board in the water - by the way I would start with the straps in the middle or outer positions, spaced to a comfortable stance. I don't find the FT sails in displacement (schlogging) mode well - the pilot's job is to transition to planning as efficiently as possible - and the transition usually needs work.

With adequate power: my rear foot is over the FT logo, centre line using the toes to keep the board flat (side to side) or slightly canted away from you to leeward, front foot in front strap with little or no toe pressure to keep the board slightly nose up; hook in if using harness; shift your weight back and out - the board should rise and accelerate - you can assist this by using your legs to pump the board forwards/sideways/bow up to get the board on top of the water and/or flutter pump the sail with your back hand (short sharp pumps to give bursts of power); once the board is up and going shift the back foot to the rear strap in one or more steps.

With little wind/power: my rear foot is over the FT logo, centre line using the toes to keep the board flat (side to side) or slightly canted away from you to leeward, front foot towards mast with little or no toe pressure to keep the board slightly nose up; as the gust comes in shift the front foot to the strap (with little or no toe pressure) and then full body sail and board pumps can get the board up onto the plan - using your legs to bounce the board can also help; once the board starts to go, then flutter pumps and leg pushes can get the board flying.

With heaps of power the board tends to really stick: must be more aggressive - use the front foot to push the nose to broadreach+; front foot in strap - keep the front from diving; back foot further back and out toward rear strap (keep your weight back and lower) - as the board pops and goes, into rear strap; hook in as soon as you can; keep weight in mast foot, use heel pressure to stop the windward rail and nose getting out of control - critical in over-powered conditions.

Fins: stock 64cm - 8.5-9.5; 56cm - 7.6; 70cm - I've used occassionally with 9.5 (my largest sail) to get planning in very light, but drags.

Mast base - less power/flat water start at rear (1/4 way up); as power/chop increase shift forward to 50% then 75% - full forward seems too flat for up to 9.5.

8.5 is my most used sail; but the 7.6 (Naish Redline 3 cam - I'm rotating my sails to cammed Naish Redlines and Stealths) and smaller fin is the fastest if the power's there and you're commited ... good luck.


16th May 2007, 12:40 PM
Poor Marek...

He fell for the hype and bought a board that was too technical for a beginner, and now he's stuck with a white-elephant that he can't ride.

How many times has this happened to beginning windsurfers, and how often has it turned them off from our sport forever? :(

16th May 2007, 02:00 PM
feet in straps in light wind (3BF) at 85 kg and harness? straps out and back as well??

16th May 2007, 04:36 PM
Thank you for all the great answers - this forum is just great!
And I'll tame this elephant, don't you worry ;-). B)

BTW: MartinJE, you seem to be similar in weight although you have a larger board (150 vs. mine 148 )- but could you please tell me in what wind speeds you can get your FT planing and with what sails?
I am especially interested in your 7,6 sail (as I have 7.5) - what is the wind range (min. for planing/max. for surviving) for that size?
And I'm thinking maybe for the next season I should get this 9.5 Sailworks Retro... (I guess I'll have to get a new fin for this one as well, right?)

And also - what do you mean when saying:
I would start with the straps in the middle or outer positions, spaced to a comfortable stance
Because I thought beginners should set them in the inner/front position (as close to the center of the board as possible).

Again, thanks.


17th May 2007, 02:39 PM
Hi Marek

I use 7.6, 8.5 and 9.5 on the FT158 in usually gusty/patchy conditions so my thresholds are vague (depends on chop; energy levels for pumping or overpowered).

9.5 3 cam perhaps 10+; 8.5 no cam perhaps 14+; 7.6 3 cam 16+ with the smaller fin. I hang on to the 7.6 to 20 odd gusts, but by then the chop usually makes a smaller board more fun - although on flat water this combo feels very fast. In powered conditions a harness is a must to keep mast foot pressure on.

My 8.5 is a Retro - great power, but I'm switching to Naish Redlines/Stealths for cam stability and pumpability. A 9.5 should be a great lightwind sail for the FT148 at our weight.

As for straps - I've only used the outer positions (rear, to back; front, mid-way for a comfortable stance). I think the mid positions would be a good learning step to keep the board character whilst teaching good technique. The inner positions seem very extreme - I think they would deaden the board too much and teach sloppy habits.

Keep at it - I went from a few lessions to a FreeFormula 157 - time on the water is the key, and keep gently pushing your limits whilst developing healthy instincts not to sail if the conditions are dangerously beyond your current skill levels and equipment.


17th May 2007, 06:15 PM
Great - thank you, and I'll do my very best, sir :-). Did you really jumped into FF right after few lessons and why?

For the 9.5 - do you recommend going to 64 or 70 fin? (my current stock fin is 56 cm...)
Do I just get Drake or other brands are better / as good but less expensive?

I think I'll get a harness now and keep practising with my 7.5 till the end of the summer and then in the winter I'll get 9.5. More time to prepare my wife for this essential investment ;-)).

BTW which harness type would be recommended?


17th May 2007, 06:20 PM
85 Kg:
9.5 ~ 8kts
7.5 ~ 10kts

Try being overpowered all the time. You said you got on a plane in 4-5BF I assume on the 7.5. Get a 9.5 and you'll plane with less wind. Only successfully practicing (getting on a plane regularly will
a) make you happy
b) have you progress

18th May 2007, 07:47 AM
Hi Marek

With the FT158 and 9.5 the stock fin is fine. Bigger can get you planning earlier and higher upwind angles, but at the cost of speed and "leg burn".

I use a Dakine XT Seat harness.

I went straight to the FF157 because I'm self-employed and could get plenty of time on the water - we sail all year here; the FF157 DRAM was not so different from the GO - and I didn't want to feel that either the kit was holding me back or obliged to buy another board too soon. The 2nd year FT158 was a logical progression.