RE: Problems going upwind
First, I hope you are recovering well from your heart catheterization and that all is well with your coronaries. You are far too valuable a national windsurfing resource to get sidetracked with health issues!
I'm on a FT158 with either a Retro 10.5 or 8.5 depending on conditions, with the stock fin.
Thanks for your clarification on setting your hips. I think I'm finally with you. Wow, I just didn't have a clue about using the waist/hips properly, THANKS! Just a few fine points and I'll be set to work on this:
If I understand you correctly, you're sheeting in with your shoulders and torso, keeping the shoulders parallel with the rig (ultimately when fully sheeted in the shoulders are parallel with the board's centerline); but at the same time you set your hips by by twisting at the waist facing your hips forward while pushing across the fin with your rear foot and pulling/lifting with your front foot (in effect scissoring the board upwind (without chaning the anle of attack of the sail) and tilting the fin slightly to windward to maximize it's lift).
If I got that right, what initially confused me was that I had read that while sheeting in the shoulders and hips should generally remain parallel to each other and move together, both facing the rig - probably another good example of something that is often true but with key exceptions...
If I have this correct, does it follow that since you can't set your hips until you've got real board speed to head upwind that it's really a two step process: First sheet in fully powered on a reach (hips and shoulders parallel to each other and almost parallel to board's centerline, and THEN 2) set your hips and initiate feet scissoring to begin your climb upwind?
One last point: If you're already locked down (sheeted in and raked) when you BEGIN setting your hips and scissoring, are you ALREADY fully sheeted and raked for upwind OR as you set your hips are you also at that time sheeting in aand raking back that final last bit for maximum upwind performance?