View Full Version : Straight back leg?

14th November 2008, 04:20 PM
Hi Roger,

When I am blasting across the water I typically have a straight back leg and bent front leg (opposite of all the pictures I see). I end up in this stance in order to make upwind performance and even keep a nice beam reach. The most I ever get is two straight legs. Consequently I end up spinning the fin a lot due to the back leg pressure. Is this stance due to harness position or mast track position? My most used gear is a 7.5 retro on a naish vector 114 with a true ames 34 convert or a 44 sweeper depending on the amount of chop. I'm a 6 ft 170 lb guy. I position the mast track in the center. As far as harness goes, I can sail for a couple of seconds without hands. I tend to set the lines so that the sail drifts forward and requires a little back hand pressure. I can't help but feel that I've learned an abnormal stance due to gear setup and hope that fixing this will help unlock more speed, keep better balance in jibes, achieve better sailing angles, ... Thanks for any help.


16th November 2008, 01:27 PM
Hi Kip,
Hmmmmm.... what photos are you looking at?
I suspect that your choice to "balance" your rig so it wants to pivot forward (increases the load, but not as mast foot pressure) and "load up" may be part of your issue.
If you have alot of pull on your back hand, guess where that force "hits the board".
Yep, you got it, the additional pressure on your back hand (to keep the rig sheeted in and from pivoting forward over the mast foot) goes straight down to your back foot, then straight into the fin.
I do not think that having a bit of bend in your front leg, and a fairly straight back leg is necessarily a bad thing, but putting too much (more than is required) pressure on the fin with your back leg and spinning out the fin is definitely not good.
I'd suggest your move your front line attachments to truly balance your rig, then move the back attachment point back slightly (and perhaps get both closer together to about
one hand width total in between) to take a little pressure off your back hand and back leg.
If you are looking at the pro's, what discipline are they sailing.... slalom, formula, freestyle, waves.....?
Some of it depends on the type of board, the sail size range, mast foot position etc.
Also, 34 cm to 44 cm on a 114 liter board sounds a little extreme to me.
Where do you run your mast foot....and why?

16th November 2008, 11:44 PM
Hi Kip,
some of it depends on the type of board, the sail size range, mast foot position etc.
Also, 34 cm to 44 cm on a 114 liter board sounds a little extreme to me.
Where do you run your mast foot....and why?

I agree with roger. Sail and mast foot position matter a lot on how you sail your board. Forward is usually a more comfortable position in my opinion.
Further more, 44 cm fin on a naish vector.... i find that a bit overexaggerated. These boards come with a stock fin of 34 if i recall correctly and my guess is that a 38 cm freeride fin would be it's comfort max.
I use my flow (113 L) with fins between 28 and 36 cm. 28 being its utter comfort minimum and 36 it's utter comfort maximum. Bigger fins will give you a very unbalanced ride which might make you get into positions that don't feel natural.
Also, my guess, the pictures you're looking at are pictures of guys getting into a downwind plane. it's not uncommon for a surfer to bend through his back leg and strech his front whilst completely hangen onto his sail as to get into a plane. This position enables almost full weight to sail transmission when using a waist harness and also, the weight thats left is based fully on the front foot limiting backfoot pressure and maximazing the planning surface. Once you're planning upwind, usually, both legs are streched or, like you say, the front leg is mildly curved as to get maximum frontfoot weight transmission whilst placing the sail slightly backwards to get more upwind controle.

thats my view of it all



17th November 2008, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the reply's. Here is a picture of the stance I'm referring to. My stance is usually reversed of this with my front leg bent more.

The 44 is a bit extreme. I wanted something bigger than the stock 34 size and maybe went a little to far. But, on flat water I can definitely lift the upwind rail and ride the fin. Its interesting if nothing else. There definitely isn't enough board width to control that fin in anything other than flat water.

I position the mast base in the center. No real reason. I haven't played with different positions a whole lot. Crazy, I think your explanation of the downwind makes sense, but then my question would be how do you or do you change your stance to go upwind. Are the articles I've read about front foot vs. rear foot riding only pertaining to wave riding?

17th November 2008, 10:50 PM
basicly on flatwater you could ride a board on one foot. The essence of freeriding is a free ride, just simple blasting, doing whatever you feel is good. A jump here and there, if your foolish enough you try to pop a move or something like it. The idea of simply blasting is the purest base of windsurfing: you put your weight forward to increase planning surface and you lean backwards hanging onto the sail with the maximum of your wieght the wind can counter thus, at one point reaching the planning stage (the photo you gave us it just the stance). once you've reached planning speed and are into the footstraps boards accelerate because your position becomes ideal: more weight on the back whilst, because of the sailpressure that weight is minimal. This in combination with a correct fin gives a hell of a ride. But then, if you stick to this position, something always goes wrong and you end up catapulted (because there is little grip on the board at this point one little windgust does the trick) so you have to change position: your stance becomes more upright (mind, your still going downwind here) and more strait legged (usually both legs have a parallel bend in the knee) with still maximum front foot pressure.
at this stage you wanne go upwind, blasting downwind is fast and i can be dangerous if you don't know what your doing. Upwind is a more secure direction of sailing and you don't end up drifting of like a madman. So what do you do now? you have to do a few things: one is to move the sail backwards giving you a different sailing direction. At the same time you want to hang into the sail again almost to your max and pull your toes up and create a more neutral stance, there is usually weight on both your feet now and in many cases both legs are streched. Once you have your sailing direction the position tends to change again because at this point too much backfoot will kill. So you get into your stance: lean forward, bend through front leg, and curl up your toes.
As you can see there is a sort of metamorphoses going on through every step of the planning way. This isn't something that is tought to you, you can feel it. The sail pulls you into these stances and by applying the right kind of back and frontfoot pressure you can maximaze or minimize your speed as much as you like.
hope this helps