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physiorol 15th April 2009 06:49 AM

help teaching young kids
Hi Guys:

I am trying to teach my kids (8 and 5 year old) to windsurf. We have been using a 0.8m sail mostly. the 8 year old can uphaul, hold the boom and sail along. However he goes mostly downwind.

I know he is just learning and i went downwind alot in the beginning. However, i am beginning to wonder if it is a function of the equipment as even when he does rake the sail back it does not round up much.

The board is 16 years old. Its a fanatic ultra ram about 10 foot long has a center board and is medium width

It seems like with such a small sail even when you move it back there is minimal change in the relationship of sail pressure to lateral resistance.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? New board maybe?

Roger 15th April 2009 09:13 AM

Yes, what you describe is EXACTLY the issue I've been dealing with for a number of years.
Sails smaller than about 2.5 m2 have the CE of the rig so close to the mast (only a few inches at the most) so on many board, it's impossible to get the mast foot far enough back (over the leading edge of the centerboard) to get the CE to align over the CLR of the centerboard/fin combination.
Some folks try very small fins, but I have never had much success with that.
I did some fairly objective testing about 5 years ago with the Aero 115 that had a removable center fin.
I made a 6" wide board with a short piece of aluminum mast/finbox track bonded down the center.
With really small sails (the smallest in the test was a Sailworks 1.2 m2 Retro Ripper) I found that by extending the mast box back over the center fin, the tiny sails could finally develop enough CE/CLR balance that the board would actually sail upwind about twice as well.
So, put the mast foot all the way back, try a smaller fin in the back, but the real answer is to extend the mast box back to put the mast foot virtually over the front of the centerboard.
Then the CE and CLR have a chance of balancing (to go straight ahead) and when you rake the rig back a little the CE move behind the CLR (before you get it so far back that the sail no longer has any drive).
Have you tried your kids on larger rigs.
I find that the Sailworks 1.7 and 2.5 Retro Rippers (on appropriately shortened Rip Stick masts which are very light) most 8 year olds have no problems uphauling the 2.5 m2 and most 5 year olds do pretty well with the 1.7 m2.
Hope this helps,

physiorol 15th April 2009 10:16 PM

Thanks roger. That board has a mast track and i had it all the way back but it was still about 6-8 inches forward of the centerboard.

I have a 0.8, 1.2 and 1.6 m sails that i can try. Perhaps that was the issue. Too little wind for the 0.8m.

I imagine this problem would get worse with even smaller kids eg my 5 year old.

Roger 16th April 2009 09:15 AM

Hi physiorol,
Yes, my tested proved (to me anyway) that the smaller the sail, the more critical it is to get the CE back over the CLR.
Hope this helps,

physiorol 16th April 2009 11:43 AM


I will let you know how it goes.

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