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Old 24th July 2007, 10:03 AM   #13
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177
Default RE: Problems going upwind

Hi Happy,
We can discuss this here just fine.
Sorry for the delayed reply, but I had to have some "in hospital" diagnostic tests run today, and I'm just now getting back to my normal routine.
If you want to plane upwind "on the fin" you need to lift with your front foot in the footstrap to do 2 things..... first you want to keep all weight off the windward rail of the board so the board will roll to a slightly lee rail down position...... and secondly you want be able to "set your hips"
by turning them about 45 deg. from the boards centerline.
"Setting the hips" won't feel good at first and will seem very counter-intuitive, but if you really want the best possible upwind speed, and overall VMG in an upwind direction it's something you need to learn.
If you put weight on the front foot in a down toward the water direction, your board won't stay at the requisite slightly lee rail down roll attitude that gives the fin the best upwind "bite".
The front foot is not "rotated" in the front strap, but you kind of arch your foot (either toes down so your arch yoiur foot up into the strap, or toes up so your toes kinda "jam" beyond the footstrap. This is the only way you can exert upward pressure on the footstrap without having your foot slide out of the strap.
The back foot can be rotated slightly (it's good to try putting your heel in different positions as you push on the rail with your back foot to find the optimum place to "PUSH" across the top of the board/fin with your back foot.
I agree that the more "rotated" stance suggested by your vacation instructor won't allow you to sail "upwind on the fin" but in the conditions you are describing (higher winds, smaller board/rig /fin; and larger chop, you may not be able to easily use the "on the fin"
technique effectively. AND, in higher winds, with the board getting air over the chop, you can't keep the fin engaged enough to make the fin stay loaded.
But, for this higher wind, bumpier water, smaller board/rig/fin sailing, you probably don't need to go upwind so high (unless you are racing in formula races on formula equipment).
Windsurfing is very dynamic, and there are no "universal techniques" that work in all situations, so to sail in a variety of conditions, on a range of different boards/rigs/fins, you need to adapt your sailing to the conditions, board/rig/fin.
Hope this helps,
Roger is offline   Reply With Quote