View Full Version : Formula Tack

8th September 2009, 04:15 AM
Can you explain, step by step, how is a formula board tack?

9th September 2009, 05:23 AM
I guess nobody tacks a formula board.

9th September 2009, 06:19 AM
Yes, we do. But you just need to practice a lot more until you get it.

9th September 2009, 06:43 AM
IF you can't tack a formula board, you can't open a door....please....
keep writing, dont sail

9th September 2009, 08:25 AM
There are right way and wrong way to do it, I want to know if I'm doing the right way, and please, if you guys don't have anything usefull to say, don't say anything, it's better for everybody.

9th September 2009, 09:00 AM
I have something to say:
You can either tack on your right side or left side.
Here is a link for how to tack for DUMMIES.


Del Carpenter
9th September 2009, 10:17 AM
Tacking isn't done very often on formula boards because there isn't much point to it. When the board speed is slow enough that tacking might be useful it is also slow enough that jibing is really easy. On a longboard the loss of upwind position during a light wind jibe is enough to make tacking worthwhile. Formula boards are so short and easy to turn in a light wind jibe that the upwind position loss is tiny. And every easy slow wind jibe is potentially useful practice for a higher speed jibe.

I'm an old school sailor who steps around the mast when tacking and for me that means I would be more likely to fall in while tacking my formula board then I am while tacking my longboard. The very short nose of my formula board doesn't give much support to my weight compared with the long nose of my longboard. So, most of the time, I don't tack my formula board.

Andreas T
9th September 2009, 01:16 PM
Of course you tack on a formula board! Otherwise you will be miles after on a race course. You need to tack at least once to get past the windward buoy, and if it is gusty with major wind shifts, you can gain a lot tacking at the rigth place. Sometimes it can be worth tacking to get clean air. The best formula racers can more or less keep the board planing through the tack. The tack is very similar to a normal short board tack. Sam Ireland made an excellent DVD called "Pro Secrets", in which many aspects of formula racing are described, including a chapter on tacking. You can also have a look at Guy Cribbs tech articles: http://www.guycribb.com/windsurfing_technique_holiday_DVD_0076v01.htm

9th September 2009, 06:06 PM
Thanks everybody.
Nonopr, when I grow up I want to be an idiot just like you.

9th September 2009, 06:11 PM
I've seen many sailors getting out of both straps before tacking and I've seen sailors taking only the rear foot out of the straps, pressure the windward rail and taking the front foot off just before placing the foot in front of mastfoot, what's the correct move?

9th September 2009, 07:18 PM
Regarding post # 10.
Keep in mind that I'm talking about FORMULA TACK, a little different from short board tack.

9th September 2009, 11:06 PM
Anyone racing Formula needs good, fast tacking skills, which takes practice. It's no different than any long board tack except for two issues.

1. Since the nose is short, there isn't enough floatation to stay on the nose, which means that you have to move around the mast from one side to the other with no pause in the middle.

2. If there is wave action (.5 to 1.5 meters), it can be tricky. Don't tack on the crest or back of the wave or you will fall in. Find a flat spot if possible & complete your tack before you go over the next wave crest.

It's easier than a short board tack (a lot more stable on the Formula board), but the movement is the same.

I usually stay in the back strap (front foot out near the mast) until the nose of the board goes through the wind. I guess there are lots of ways of doing this.

10th September 2009, 02:55 AM
Thanks everybody.
Nonopr, when I grow up I want to be an idiot just like you.

You just did.......

10th September 2009, 01:00 PM
This is what I do:

Start carving a curve upwind. As the nose of the board gets closer to the eye of the wind, I want the mast hand to slide forwards on the boom, my back foot right behind the frontmost footstrap, the front foot in front of the mast, almost in contact with the mast foot. Sail is still raked back.

Most tutorials I have seen recommend that you sheet in hard when entering a tack. I'm not sure, as we sheet in hard in order to bear off, right? Sheeting in hard just seems to stop the board, I think. I prefer to leave the sail in a neutral position.

OK, the board is almost pointing straight into the wind, and you want to get to the other side of the sail in one movement. Cross the back hand over the front hand and reach round the mast to the boom on the other side. Do not stay in front of the mast, in that spot you'll be unstable. Once you've jumped round the mast, the hard part is pushing the nose down from the eye of the wind while at the same time moving your hands back on the boom and possibly your front foot into the strap for the first pumps.

There is a tutorial that you might have seen over at http://www.carbonsugar.com/technique/the-learning-plateau-and-how-to-climb-off-part-i/
The article discusses formula tacks.

To improve your tacks while sailing alone, you'll use a watch displaying seconds, initiate the tack at :00, tack, and check the time once you're on a plane and hooked in on the new tack. With friends, you can start your timers at the same time, sail upwind and tack every minute. That way you can compare how you do.

Note that the higher the boom, the more unstable you'll be when tacking.


11th September 2009, 12:44 AM
Just check also


good luck, practice is fun in itself.

Del Carpenter
17th September 2009, 04:30 AM
Obviously I blew it in not thinking about racing. Andreas and the others are correct, you need tacking as a formula racer.

19th September 2009, 09:51 AM
It's essentially the same as a standard shortboard tack only in a bit slower motion.

round up, with both feet out of the straps
place your front foot almost on the other side of the mastfoot
quickly step around the front of the board in one fluid motion
backwind the sail as you step around to maintain balance
once your on the other side sheet in so that the sail switches tacks

21st September 2009, 05:44 PM
Recent video of AUS120 includes a tacking sequence up close to the camera during a race in the recent Norwegian FW Championships; wind 25-30knots.


21st September 2009, 10:24 PM
Good video. As you can see in the video, when pointing high, turning the nose of the board from the upwind lay line to dead into the wind is prettly subtle. Once you decide to tack, you take about 3-5 seconds to head up until the board stalls, then tack. Coming out of the straps and rotating around the mast all occur very quickly. Planing tacks can be done in water that isn't so choppy.