View Full Version : the bigger ones

21st June 2007, 12:21 AM
Hey again... its me, guy who asks loads of questions.

I just wanted to know some tips for sailing with bigger sails (7.6+). In the last 4 days, iv been able to take out my Naish Redline 7.6 and love it for sailing overpowered. If anyone wants a super fast sail that handles conditions well, try it. But this isn't a Naish add and no, im not sponsored by naish (robby, if you read this gimme a call ;) ) but I did fall three times before the wind got too strong and I switched to my 5.8 (lol I like sailing overpowered a lot :) ). waterstarting sucks with big sails like that, especially without wearing a wetsuit or life jacket/boyancy aid to help you get the sail out of the water. Once I get the wind under it, im up and away, it just seems to take SOOO long to get the sail flying, and the more overpowered you are, the sail just doesn't want to stay still (the mast starts to point into the wind) and its impossible to get it up in control.

So I was wondering if anyone had any tips to get the sail to thte surface and flying easier. I do like the one I discovered, where you get the sail perpendicular to the wind, get on the board and sit on the opposite rail that the sail is on, which lifts the mast and pulls the sail to the surface) but after that, its hard to get it up. Cams I guess make a big difference too. I just find, especially in chop, gettting it up sucks and really tires me out.

So if anyone has any great tips on getting the sail flying faster, let me know! I want to spend more time practicing my carve jibes and jumps rather than struggling in the water trying to get the sail flying (I have no problem with 5.8 down as they are swim into wind, drag sail across your body, free clew and up you go)

Tks for the help anybody...


21st June 2007, 03:35 AM
Good morning,

For what it's worth:

Use the highest-content carbon (lightest mast) you can afford. Carbon masts with 100% carbon are the lightest and make a world of difference when trying to get the sail flying.

When the sail is down in the water, swim to the tip of the mast, turn the mast into the wind, then lift the tip only. The wind should start to get under the sail and help you get it up.

In low wind speeds, none of the above will be much help, so get an Easy-Uphaul and I can guarantee that you will always be able to break the sail from the suction of the water. I use them on my 7.5 and 8.5m sails.

Hope this helps,



Del Carpenter
21st June 2007, 10:44 AM
I second Windman's recommendation of the Easy-Uphaul whether you use it with a harness hook or just with your hands. It changes the angle of the pull which gives you a mechanical advantage. I use one (or a version I made myself) on all of my booms. With smaller sails I use it just with my hands, for the bigger sails I use it with my harness hook. It really helps get sails that first 6 inches or more out of the water. They also have an "Easy-Waterstarter" which I have not used. The two sailors I've talked to who had the "Easy-Waterstarter" said that works for them too.

21st June 2007, 11:13 AM
The trick about lifting the mast tip out of the water is good.

Also, wearing a life jacket helps a lot. It may look funny, but it will save you a lot of energy on the waterstarts. Some kayaking lifejackets are good for windsurfing because they leave lots of room for the harness.

21st June 2007, 03:03 PM
floatation vest is mandatory!

you can swim around your sail if you feel like it...


you can also just have the mast rest on the board between the back straps and just shove the nose of the board into the wind, wind will then automatically catch under the sail. With one hand on the back of your board and the other lift your sail you should try swimming slightly into the wind to make sure the clew doesn't dig into the water.

== minimum effort, minimum time

if your sail should still be flyable but on the wrong side of the board you can try waterstarting with the clew pointing towards the nose (fun trick) or just like when preparing a beach start have the wind/sail move your board around and then "boomshaka" flip your sail and waterstart the old fashioned way. Best is to while falling concentrate on keeping the sail flying. After falling after a jump you might get away with just leaving your feet in the straps if you were able to keep your sail flying and just waterstart straight from the straps.

21st June 2007, 06:59 PM
I do go out in lighter winds when I do not hve enough wind to water start sometimes. I like the idea of having that easy uphauler, I just don't wanna spend money like that when I need a 5.0, smaller boom and a new harness (all the stuff is old and falling apart :( )

How did you make your own easy uphaul?


21st June 2007, 10:00 PM
Hi Thomas,
What mast are you using? (What carbon percentage...?)
Are you sailing the GO 139?
If so, you should be able to uphaul a 7.8 m2 rig even in overpowering conditions.
Are you using your legs/thighs to pull the sail from the water, or are you using your lower back muscles?
Have you tried using your wrist (with your hand on the upwind back footstrap) as a support so you can get the sail to fly?
Lots of little "tricks" here.
Check out this link:
It shows how you can add a short piece of bungee cord and make your
current uphaul into an "Easy Uphaul".
If your uphaul is not short enough, or if the lower loop is bungee cord already, simply tie a few figure 8 knots in the uphaul to shorten it and untie the bottom knot on the uphaul and remove the bungee cord, replacing it with a loop of line so you can hook it on your harness hook.
But really, on the GO 139, waiting around in the cold water, arranging things for a waterstart, is a bit of a waste of your sailing time.
Climb back on the board and uphaul (using your legs hips and the big muscles in your thighs to do the lifting) and you will be back to sailing in a few seconds vs a minute or two while you arrange everything for a waterstart.
If you fall in a good position to waterstart (i.e.the rig is upwind of your board and the clew is toward the back) then waterstarting makes more sense and doesn't take so much time from your sailing.
Otherwise, if you need to get the rig across the front of your board, and flip the sail to get the clew back, you are using about 10 times the energy it takes to simply climb on the board and uphaul.
Hope this helps,

21st June 2007, 10:44 PM
I was sailing the go when this happened. I find that when you go to uphaul, the board swings down wind, the sail is than backwinded when you pull it up and it sucks. I have no problem uphauling, I just don't like it too much :) . If I don't have to rip up my hands (after uphauling a lot, my hands get very sore).

I am using a 35 % carbon mast. Unfortunatly I couldn't afford a higher % but I got a great deal from someone who got it for christmas (brand new 2004 never been used for 60 bucks CND!!!!)

As for the sail, the whole cams thing make a difference trying to get the sail up right? My Naish redline is awsome to sail, its sweetspot is pretty overpowered. If you would hold the uphaul, than sail would go all over the place sometimes in the gusts. Other people were on 5.8's and about 30-50 pounds heavier. Its a great sail, just wished it wasn't so hard to get out of the water.

Soon, I will have the tabou rocket though. that is 115 litres which is plenty to float me (I can float on my friends 105 hypersonic and uphaul) so I should have no problem getting up with that either. I just like how waterstarting gets you in position to sail right out of the water. Uphauling involves more problems in choppy conditions and gusty conditions.

tks for the help,


21st June 2007, 11:30 PM
The waterstarter works a treat & you could make your own. Would proabably look even worse than the genuine article, but for a lazy git like me in big sail conditions looking cool's less of a prioirty than taking it easy.

21st June 2007, 11:43 PM
You guy's make me feel like king kong. i'm not the biggest ,or strongest guy around, but uphauling a 9.5m race sail without easy uphaul, in 15 to 18 knts, is no problem.

I only started using an easy uphaul with my 11m warp race sail.

Now i'm confused?????

i'm either much stronger than i thought, or my technique is better than i dreamed????

(Try turning the board with your feet while uphauling, so that the tail of the board is sitting under the mast base, for added bouyancy, with easier positioning of the mast to face windward)

Truthfully though, i'm not extremely strong, and i'm not that much of an expert yet. Just the average "joe windsurfer".

Oh!?!?!?!?!?! Why don't you try this ?
Don't drop the sail at all. If you don't drop it, you won't need to lift it.

So, all the fuss about uphauling handkercheif size sails in medium winds seems like someone should say,,,, get tough!!!!!!!!

Windsurfing aint no video game!!!!!!!

I don't know a windsurfer worth his salt, without hard "ripped up" hands.

See them like stripes in the military. :D

22nd June 2007, 12:56 AM
? i would rather rip up my hands sailing than rip up my hands uphauling... lol you should see them after two days ago... wat a sesh, but yah... uphauling isn't a problem, if you read above, I just don't like doin it... Iand its hard to waterstart ah nvm, tks for your opinion jjay, just wondering if their were any tips to make things easier and more effient (less time getting going, more time sailing...), but I see some people don't welcome these questions...


22nd June 2007, 06:32 AM
Really, it about the physics about what's going on. There are some techniques that allow us the opportunity to focus on one thing or another about our dilemma, but what everything comes down to is the basics - properly presenting yourself to the wind. Transferring the clue to the proper tack, or freeing it from the water, is learned through experience, but more importately, what tends to work best for you. There are complicating issues, such are opposing tidal influences, so everything isn't always that simple. Sometimes I think that local opinions from other windsurfers can be the most useful in many circumstances. Don't be afraid to ask at your local spot. Except in the most urban and esoteric spots, most folks would be happy to offer their advice.

22nd June 2007, 07:48 AM
Hi Thomas,
I hope your "some people don't welcome these questions... " wasn't directed at me.
I see several things that could be considered under "just wondering if their were any tips to make things easier and more effient (less time getting going, more time sailing...), " that you seem to be doing that are firly typical of a young sailor with about your experience, who's pretty mch teaching himself using the "school of hard knocks" methodology.
If you had learned to uphaul in the "most efficient way" and learned to use the "crossover" technique to control your rig in higher winds (vs standing there holding the uphaul with the rig flying around) then uphauling would not be hard on your hands.
If you had purchased a 75-80% or 100% carbon mast, you would have been uphauling a rig that's probably (due to the leverage involved) 10-15 lbs. lighter. Much easier to uphaul and control.
If you had learned how to properly "alighn" your board "across the wind" prior to uphauling, you would not end up heading off down wind.
If you "balance the rig" on the mast foot, and get the correct alignment, uphauling is nearly always faster and more efficient that waterstarting.
It osunhds like you aren't committing your weight to the harness.
If you let the harness do all the work, your hands wouldn't be getting "beat up" while you are sailing.
Do you often practice "playing the piano" with your fingers on the top of the boom while sailing? If not, give it a try.
A "death grip" on the boom is very hard on the hands. We all do it, some of the time. The trick is to only do it when it's totally necessary (like carving into a jibe and getting ready to flip your sail).
Everyone here wants you to succeed, I can assure you of that.
But we all have different little "quirks" and tricks that we use and this develops into our "style".
Most of the posters here are only trying to give you the ideas that they think will work for you as these same ideas have worked for them.
Hope this helps,

Del Carpenter
22nd June 2007, 08:19 AM
I'm old enough I don't care whether using an Easy-Uphaul makes me look less strong. It saves my strength for the better parts of windsurfing. For a substitute try adding one rope at about the mid-point of your uphaul that is long enough to reach to about the bottom of your uphaul and has a loop at its end that fits your harness hook. Experiment with the length of the rope and where it attaches. But an Easy-Uphaul will be better.

22nd June 2007, 08:27 AM
no, definatly not. you help me a lot. and a lot of other people do to...

uphauling, I might have to just wait longer and let the sail settle down first... That might help. but are you trying to say that uphauling is lift the sail a bit and let the sail rotate down wind before uphauling?

As for the harness, I do commit 100% but have only just figured that out. I found when I got going faster, I was scared, so the death grip got my arms puling in on the boom, which wasn't good at all. Now I pretty much trust my weight to hold the sail and have figured out proper harness line position (so I can sail with no hands when the conditions are flat :) ). But I have found also, putting your thumb ontop of the boom helps too.

But my hands are beat up because of first struggling to either uphaul and the uphaul "slipping" or because in the lulls, I was pumping to try and figure out the whole technique and experimenting.

Also, last sesh I was learning or trying to learn how to jump, and felt that I would unhook for a bit free-er movment while learning and since I was a bit overpowered (I was on 5.8 and others were on 5.2's etc).

Question though: When jumping in chop, do you bare down wind a bit, than gain momentum and carve or turn upwind to hit the chop with maximum speed? I am trying to get all the extra boosts I can get with my Go 139 and trying to get it out of the water

And I wasn't commenting on any other poster either, I was just a bit shocked at Jjays reply. Sorry if it caused any confusion. the sarcasm kinda hit me wrong maybe. The whole "windsurfing isn't a video game" and "So, all the fuss about uphauling handkercheif size sails in medium winds seems like someone should say,,,, get tough!" kinda got me a bit worried that people were getting the wrong impression about my questions and treating me like a kid who doesn't work hard and is a "complainer" and wants everything to come to them. To anyone who thinks that, I just want to get better, faster since we don't have ideal wind all the time here.

Thanks for the replies, it does seem a bit stupid to be asking about uphauling techniques...

and roger, I am going windsurfing tomorrow and should be (and will rig) to be fully powered to overpowered. My friend is or will be there too and he has a camera (hes a pro photographer) and so we take turns shooting each other. He is a very good sailor and I compare his stance to mine. It is one of the reasons that I have improved so much (other than asking a billion questions on this forum). This is after all my first season