View Full Version : upwind technique - slalom boards

26th May 2009, 05:25 AM
would someone (racers, team, Peter?) please advise on the technique for making the highest upwind angle with decent speed on slalom boards, in medium winds?

I am trying to practice fig.8 slalom but I think my upwind technique needs to improve to make the marks all the time...

Chris Pressler
26th May 2009, 06:28 PM
Hi Cholo,
consider you should fit a good trimm first. Not too short fin, mastbase in the right position, well positioned harnesslines and not too hogh boom position!! Additionally you could play around with you footstrap positions. Get them in outside positions.
Try to sail further upwind than the mark is placed in a figure 8 Slalom race and stay close to the mark after the jibe.
Upwind sailing in general needs enough sail and it helps when you lean your front shoulder forward. Keep the sail closed and try to find the right angle towards the wind. Sometimes it helps to sails less hard towards the wind and when you feel enough power, you can try to win some more meters againstthe the wind.
At the start it should work better staying closer towards the boat.

Hope it helps,

26th May 2009, 07:05 PM

what also helps a little is sailing overpowered and set the sail little bit flat, and as you push the fin a bit more open the sail slightly more compare to sailing downwind...

You will notice as soon as a gust comes and you will get overpowered and the sail will be slightly more opened it throws you upwind a lot.

Small analogy...imagenine sailing really overpowered like downwind speed sailing...when you look at the riders what happen when the stand more upright and open the sail a lot (almost holding the boom only with one hand) --> they go with a lot of speed upwind.

Ps: the analogy is too ridical but gives some ideas what works for upwind sailing.

27th May 2009, 10:26 PM
Maximum power and speed, then "ride the fin" by sinking the leeward rail with as much weight on the back foot as possible without pushing the fin out (spin out). This gives you the best upwind angle, but with the loss of some speed.

29th May 2009, 06:00 AM
when I sail centered and slightly underpowered I can easily ride the fin leaning on the leeward rail (it's soooo pleasant!). But then the gust hits and I am slightly overpowered with some chop and I see the good guys increasing both angle and speed, some even put the board flat, while I am not increasing the upwind angle, unless I sheet out the sail but loosing a lot of speed. It's not a matter of fin.

In those cases usually my front foot is not loaded any more and I struggle to keep it in the the strap. I can gain some angle without loosing speed by pushing like hell with the back foot. But soon I get tired... Also it happens that I push my sail so much to the back that it is digging in the water. This last thing suggests me to move the mast back, but the unloaded back foot suggests me to move the mast to the front... So I don't know what to do...
My goal is to learn a better technique for VMG that does not involve so much back foot pressure...

any help?

29th May 2009, 02:09 PM
Hi Cholo, look at this post: http://www.star-board.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5019
May help.

31st May 2009, 07:10 PM
Chris, I think it is the boom too high (too much lift of the board from the sail?). All the other things you suggest I am already aware of, so it must be that one.
With that set up I have very good speed because the board is out of the water, but probably the tradeoff is the upwind ability...it's not easy to find the right compromise!
Anyway, that's just theory, I haven't had the chance to try in the water.

Mim, I totally agree with what you say (stand up, flat sail and open) but that's overpowered mode, in those conditions it's easier to gain upwind.
In slightly underpowered to well powered mode a more fat profile to the sail _should_ increase the upwind angle, but it also loads more the back foot... does it help (by experience)?

Chris Pressler
1st June 2009, 02:42 PM
Excellent Cholo! You can play around a bit with your mastfoot position and your harnesslines length. Get the mastfoot by a half cm forward and your harnesslines a bit backward.

Good luck,

3rd June 2009, 04:50 AM
hi Chris, still no chance to try out in the water, maybe next weekend...time for more thinking:

your suggestion is in addition or alternative to lowering the boom?

harness lines longer I guess?
Why a bit backward?

Chris Pressler
3rd June 2009, 05:49 PM
Could help you to sheet in a bit more.