RE: First Time Planing!
Thank you for your advice last week. I managed to get out both days this weekend in quite different conditions. Saturday was about Force 5 and seriously choppy ; the most challenging conditions I have been out in to be honest and there was a regatta going on so it got a bit hairy with passing yachts!
Anyway, Saturday was more survival than anything else, but with the mast foot back in the center of the track and concentrating on my foot placement and stance, I was not luffing up and found that I could drive the board downwind a little with my front foot pushing and my back foot pulling in(if you see what I mean). My feet being in a better position also meant that I had much more control of the board from a trimming and steering perspective even with the small waves doing their best to ditch me. Stacked quite a few times but not as much as usual. I am beginning to feel how sensitive this board is which I think has been part of my problem.
Sunday was only Force 2 gusting 3 at times so was far more sedate. This was great because I got to practice a lot of the other things. The tacking technique you described helped lots. More confidence and stability, less falling in - in fact no falling in. It was funny, but I tried a few with the step over the mast and then a few with my front foot wrapped around the mast foot and going around the front. I ended up tacking smoothly and in a controlled way quite unlike my normal wobbly all over the place strategy. Balance on the entry helped a lot and once round the mast I seemed to be able to drive off with my front foot again to get the board to rotate that last bit.
As for staying up wind, both days I managed to reach out and back to where I started no problem (cross winds both days with tide in the same direction). This is again new to me, but I didn't miss the walk of shame back up the beach with my kit!
Thank you. So many things have begun to take shape this weekend. Balance, stance, steering with my feet, keeping the rig more upright and beginning to feel what the board is reacting to and why. Very exciting because I now think that I have a basic semblance of technique that I can take forward and have the confidence that I am able to sail my Carve. Can't thank you enough.