Hope your summer is going well.
I've gotten a serenity and have been out on it a few times with an 8.5 retro.
What a great board!
I'm looking for some jibing tips to help get the girl around in timely fashion and without ending up in the drink.
I can tack it successfully but boy is it a challenge to jibe in any amount of wind.
I went into an impropmtu race on the weekend against small sailboats and beat most of them. Small lake, gusty winds 0-12knots. If I could have stayed dry on the downwind jibes and sailed her straight downwind I would have won for sure.
Any tips appreciated!
Yes the Serenity is a great board and maybe I can help a little.
Jibing the Serenity is very much an old school technique and is a little delicate as you have to react to what the board is telling you.
First a long smooth jibe. I place my front foot about 1 ft behind the mast on the windward side of the board and put as much pressure on it as possible, bring my front hand back to touch the harness lines and put the rig as far forward as possible. As the board starts to go away from the wind the back hand goes as far back as possible and the back foot as far back as I can and place the rig way over to windward, bringing the front foot parallel with your back foot. As the board goes through the wind change your feet and the sail and step forwards.
The board can be turned just with rig pressure but to speed it up a little you can put pressure on the opposite rail to where you are turning.
Now the delicate part, depending on the speed you are going will determine how the board will react. The Serenity is not a planing hull but if you are well powered up as you go away from the wind the board may try to plane. At this point if you are far enough back it will foot steer like a short board for a second but will change back as the board slows down. Tricky.
Once you have the technique there are no problems jibing the Serenity and it can do fast tight jibes.
I have found sailing down wind it is best to use the same technique they use in the Americas cup. Keep pressure in the sail and speed. So the stronger the wind the broader you can go but it is a very delicate angle. As if you go too broad you just stop and everything goes very unstable. I have also found it is best to try and keep the board in displacement mode and not let it try to plane down wind. So learning to feather the sail is important.
There is a link on the Free Forum on page 2 of a video of me sailing the Serenity which may help.
What Russell has provided is pretty good.
However I found the biggest secret to comfortable sailing on the Serenity is fin selection.
What fin are you using?
The stock fin that comes with the board is probably the hardest fin you could find to jibe on the Serenity.
I've found that a 60-64 cm vertical race fin is far better overall and makes the board much easier to jibe.
Hope this helps,
Once I know what fin you are on, then I may provide a bit more info on the technique I used to jibe the Serenity.
My technique is a bit different than Russelll's.
Yes Roger, I have only tried the stock 70cm fin. I have a 64cm drake race fin (stock from a ff158) that I could try.
Great tips Russell - thanks.
No problems Joe if you have any questions on sailing the Serenity just ask as I love this board and have many enjoyable days sailing it both cruising up the coast and doing race training. It is such a good physical work out.
I do not have the luxury of another fin other than the ones supplied with the board and will be interested to find out how you get on with the 64 cm. The small fin does come in handy if the wind picks up after I have done a upwind session up the coast as I change over to it if I'm over powered for the down wind run.
In the video the shots of the board on the beach are with the small fin as there were waves so I tried it with that first but changed back to the 70 cm after 1 run. Unfortunately I did not get footage but by the end of the session I was having fun jibing onto the waves and riding down the line on the soft shoulder as the tide dropped. However I did not think about coming back in and it did cause some problems with the 70 cm fin. I am not very tall. When I went in the tide was high and there were no waves in the corner of the beach.
Roger. I am interested in your suggestion of a race fin but surely this will change the balance of the board a lot. As it will be at least 2-3 cm further back plus is much narrower and thiner. So I would like to hear the advantage of doing this over the small fin supplied.
Have fun on the water.
In my experience, using a smaller (like 60-65 cm) race fin changes the Serenity from something "not very Serene" (It throws you into the water when the pressure on the fin changes from one side to the other as it goes through a minor "neutral load" condition) to something far easier to sail, as good or better upwind, and noticeably faster (less drag and much easier to sail).
I've sailed Serenities with weed fins from 53 cm (way too big) down to 28 cm (a little too small and have found that both the Tangent Dynamics 32 cm and the Lessacher Design 32 cm work really well, don't cause too much loss of upwind ability, and make the board really easy to sail in shallow water or weedy conditions.
The stock fin in my 2008 Demo Serenity has never been wet as I consider it simply too much fin and people who are demoing/trying the Serenity for the first time have a much better success rate and far more fun with a 60-64 cm Deboichet Concept, 58-62 cm System B CNC Race fin, or 32-42 cm Tangent Dynamics or Lessacher Design Weed fin.
Hope this helps,
Thanks Roger for the reply.
I understand your point of view and for sure it is much easier with a smaller fin especially off the wind in stronger winds and you can sail it in shallower water.
If this is a common point of view are Starboard going to change the fin supplied with the board in the future.
For me I would love to try it with an even larger fin say the 75 cm in the very light winds but there is no hope here of getting one.
Your jibing technique will be different using a smaller fin as you say the fin is less likely to throw you in.
So if you have time can you please post it. As I will keep my advice ( if wanted ) to using the Serenity with stock 70 cm fin.
Hope you have a good summer.
Thanks Roger & Russell
I will try the 64cm fin next time I'm out (hopefully on the weekend) and report back.
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