View Full Version : controlling speed

12th July 2007, 10:59 AM
Alright. I have become addicted to speed! I live to be overpowered and fly around at high speeds passing people. It is so much fun!

Today was a bit different. I was lit up on my 7.6 and was ridiculusly overpowered some times. The power wasn't that bad I can deal with that fine. It is just when I go faster, the board just gets harder and harder to control and I get anxious about eating it or going to end up wearing the rig... My board is a Go 139 from 2006. not the ideal fast board, but its all I have untill my new hypersonic 111 comes :) next week!

But let me paint the picture today. Storm came through, storm passed, lots of wind for about 30 minutes. I was nicly powered at first, comfertably going and in both straps, feeling very relaxed, dragging both hands (one at a time) in the water to make sure im trusting the harness. I am going across the wind and upwind. I go upwind to start when the wind is nice (the meter said around 13-16 knots) and than feel like I want to take a speed run, so I bare away and feel the speed. I get going fine and than start heading upwind again to regain my upwind from launch position. I quicky tack and hook in, but am faced with a Massive gust (reading was about 17-20 knots) so I really lever against the sail and scramble for the straps. I am going pretty fast (my personal best speed for sure) and am starting to feel out of control. Sometimes I would hit the chop and would spin out, so I would sheet in and bare off to gain control again. Most of the time I just didn't feel good. Wasn't feeling "solid" in my stance. I was bouncing all over the place even though Im only pushing maybe 40 km/h. I have sailed fast and powered up and am fine and very comfertable. Its when I really get powered up that my board seems to stagger and drag, instead of cleanly accelerate. It almost feels like its struggling to keep up with the power the sail is giving.

My set up. Go 139 like I said before, mast track closer to back (quite far back), boom around neck to chin, harness lines around 28 inchs long. Sail is downhauled .25 cm from maximum setting, outhaul is high wind setting (again very close to outhaul max recommened). sail is a naish redline 2006 7.6. Sail isn't the problem. it feels fine, isn't twitchy, feels well balanced and I can sail hands free no problem. Fin is the stock racing 48 cm, footstraps are front foot middle hole on outboard setting and back foot is furthest back whole on outboard setting.

I can't think of anything else except my stats. I am 65 kg or around 145 pounds, 6 foot or 183 cm and am in a waist harness (dakine nexus 2007) my footstraps are so where I can see all my toes when staring down at them except my little toe (someone said thats the ideal tightness).

I did write a lot, and tried to be very detailed, but can anyone help me out? I want to go faster, but it seems like I am doing something wrong. I will try and get some pics of my stance to show you soon (next time out and it will be on my new hyper!)

Thanks a lot,


12th July 2007, 09:16 PM
Hi Thomas,
So, you are using the "specifications" for downhaul and outhaul, right?
And you have the manufacturers (Naish in this case) recommended "best mast" for the 7.6 m2 Redline (Naish does not seem to specify the "best mast" on their 2006 website, but let's say you have a top of the line race/slalom sail so the best mast is probably the 100% carbon Race 490 cm).
So, do you have a 490 cm 100% carbon race Naish mast.... or something else?
Unless you rig the Redline 7.6 m2 on a mast that's the same as the one the sail was designed on, all the "specifications" get a bit more "non-specific".
More downhaul when you are getting overpowered (even well beyond the "specs") is the normal remedy here.
You fin size is pretty big for higher winds, your control issues and the "draggy feeling may be due to too large a fin.
Something around 40-42 cm would probably be better and give you more control.
And, you need to "tune" your mast foot for the conditions. If the board is getting out of control and perhaps tailwalking, you need to move the mast foot slightly foward to "settle" your board.
There will be a "sweet spot" where the board is very "fast and loose", but you still have "just enough" control.
You can move the mast foot further forward and get more control, but the idea here is to keep you board as "free" as possible but still have "just enough" control.
Free is fast, so don't go for so much control that you slow your board down and get it pushing too much water where it can develop a harsh bound/rebound cycle that's even harder to control.
Little moves of the mast foot (1/4" here) can make all the difference and getting the mast foot in the correct place for the conditions is something you need to learn and keep in your "tuning for speed" notes. It changes from day to day, how you tune the rig, what the surface conditions are.
Hope this helps,

12th July 2007, 11:16 PM
ahahah... no, unfortunatly I have a very cheap 490... cost me 60 dollars since someone bought a 490 instead of the 460 he needed. It is an ART mast. 35% carbon.

so you are saying a big deal of control goes when you have to big of a fin? like the board starts getting too much lift and you loose the control a bit?

Also the mast base. I never was tailwalking. Or at least I don't think I did. So im guessing the mast base further forward makes the weight of the rig keep more of the board in the water?

Also, since I just sold my Go yesterday, my new hypersonic 111 is coming to replace it. Does this stuff still apply to it, and most if not all boards? I can understand that there are specific things for each board (like fin size with the hyper with the very deep double concaves and mast track positions with the different bottom shape etc).

What causes spinout? It seemed like I was in control and going a long fine, than a gust would hit, so I would sheet out a bit to get the apperent wind back, and than absorb the power and than get back out into my straight stance. It seemed that when I was going upwind or across the wind and I hit a piece of chop, the tail would just give out and the board would start sliding sideways :( untill I either corrected it or kissed the boom hard.

I know that sailing in higher winds is a garunteed chop sesh, so I just wanna figure out these things before I get out next time

Thanks for the help,


13th July 2007, 04:22 AM
Hi Thomas,
OK, so you have a really HEAVY 35% carbon mast. So, most of the downhaul and outhaul specifictions for your 7.6 Redline are probably not going to be right with that mast. So, you have to develop your own specifications. Maybe your old heavy mast (how can you do that.....I have some 490 75% carbon Joysticks for FE racing and I can hardly pull them out of the water) has the right bend characteristics, but probably not. How much does the top of your 7.6 m2 Redline "twist off"?
That could be some of the problems you are having. The rig is very heavy and the mast and sail aren't that well suited for each other.
Can you borrow a 100% carbon 490 cm IMCS 28-30 mast for a session just to see what your rig feels like on the right mast?
Yes, pushing the mast foot a bit forward lowers the nose of your board and puts more of your board in contact with the water, thus slowing you down. Balance the amount of control against the best speed. Don't overdo moving it forward. Your GO139 and the Hypersonic both respond well to having the mast foot from the center to the back of the slot. You'll have to find your own sweet spots for your rigs, with your stance.
As far as "spinout", it sounds like you are "sheeting out" in the gusts.
This reduces or eliminates your mast foot pressure and the board indeed goes crazy when you suddenly remove the mast foot pressure.
Try to "ease" your sheeting angle very slightly when a gust hits and don't change your stance. These would be my quess as to the root causes of your high wind spin out.
Only "ease" the sheeting angle enough to relieve the pressure, not "release all pressure".
You can easily "ease" your sheeting angle without changing your stance.
If you "stand up" or change your stance, you are going to have some real problems with the Hypersonic as it will roll a bit and may catch the lee rail causing a major yard sale.
If the wind gusts up, ease your sheeting angle and head up to handle the increased apparent wind.
Keep mast foot pressure and steady fin pressure on your board, and I think much of yor spinout problems will disappear.
Also, you seem to think that sailing your 7.6 really overpowered is faster than changing down to the next size sail.
It may seem faster, but it rarely is.
When you are comfortably powered, you go your fastest.
Overpowered has you fighting for control all the time and that's just not fast.
Also, when you think you are going to be overpowered on the 7.6 m2 , downhaul it a whole bunch more, then readjust the outhaul.
Don't try to "flatten" your sail with outhaul as it then gets very on/off and the outhaul only affects the draft down around the boom area of the sail.
Downhaul gives you more top twist (which depowers the top of your sail (the hardest power to handle is the power at the top as you are on the wrong end of the lever here)) and takes some draft out of the bottom of the sail as well.
A couple of years back all the North Sails racers got their new sails and set them up according to the specs. The sails didn't work well at all, but when they downhauled them about 3" more and the top got really loose and twisty, the sails were some of the fastest and easiest to handle at the time.
So don't be afraid to exceed the "specifications" quite a bit as you may find the "real" tuning points are outside the mfg. specs.
Hope this helps,

13th July 2007, 10:48 AM
No offense to any here, but I usually find spinout results from pushing too hard to windward, but also being too far back on the boom. Of course, it's important to twist your stance when riding high to windward to drive the fin a bit, but not too much. While still keeping pressure down on the mast, moving a bit forward on the boom, twisting your body stance in such a way to apply measured lift on the forward strap and downward pressure on the back strap can work to efficiently drive hard to windward with the best speed. It's a balance game, factoring the wind, your speed and a functional windward focus. Nobody really wants to end up far downwind. Best of all, it allows you to address powerful gusts in an effective way, especially with wider style boards.

13th July 2007, 03:35 PM
We all spin out on occasions.We all have control problems at high speed.
Its a balancing act between good upwind ability/early planing against good control in chop or at speed.
Dont swap anything yet. Find its optimum.(Especially rig!) Make sure it is fully downhauled and set to spec. (and beyond if mast is a bit soft; which even with only 35% C masts it should not be. (My big sails rig great on Tush C45`s; they are obviously heavier but IMCS can still be accurate with low content masts.Yes reflex might be slower but to be honest what you are describing has little to do with reflex)
B) Over finned will try and lift windward rail and/or want to push you upwind.If this is case drop fin size.(Fin size IMO is speed dependant and not always sail size) If you are going 25k a smaller fin will drive you upwind. (But you will plane later)
c)Contrary to last post I find spin out can be caused by having lines too far forward.(If lines atre forward you pull rig behind centre of resistance and spin out) Try and keep rig in but forward.(Especially when going for it) Move lines back as far as poss.(Accomodates gusts much better too)
D) If board is "bouncing" and getting air under it this can cause spin out too.Big boards feel harsh on knees.Again you cant have it both ways. (But modern high aspect planing surface boards are getting there) Experiment with mast base position and footsrap placement. And try and let board"move" under your feet.(Dont lock your legs out in anything like rough water)
E) Change down earlier than later. Current sailors are obsessed with carrying massive rigs. You dont need to. This is especially case at coast.Get on a rig thats comfy that you aint fighting.
Main points.
Smaller fin.
More DH.
Good luck.

13th July 2007, 11:45 PM
alright will try and keep those tips in mind as soon as the wind picks up here and I get my new board (since I am without one because the store forgot to tell me details about the website being wrong when I ordered it)...

I didn't switch down a sail size to my 6.6 because it was a storm going through. I was barly planing on my 7.6, than a storm almost a squal came and flattenened me so I yanked on outhaul and downhaul and the sail was really twisting off... I was too lazy and too worried that the storm would pass so I just said screw it and tried to go faster. Sure enough, as soon as the rain stopped, no more wind and I was back to pumping and riding down what was left of the chop to get planing back to the launch.

Would a picture of me sailing be of any help to distinguish what exaclty I might be doing wrong? I might be able to coax my friend into photographing me so you can see if there are any stance issues etc...

Tks a lot for the help,


14th July 2007, 10:03 AM
No need to read all the detailed info above .. sure .. it is all true and will help but the real problem here is your board.

Just relax and chill until your HS 111 arrives. Then report back after a month.

14th July 2007, 05:27 PM
Well, I took the advice of the last guest poster. By the way, TOW will solve all your troubles.