RE: Problems going upwind
I think you "got it" now.
Only thing I see above is the "tilting the fin slightly to windward to maximize it's lift).".
The board (and the fin as it's perpendicular to the roll axis of your board) will not be "upwind" unless you are describing the relationship of the the tip of the fin vs the root of the fin.
The entire board is rolled slightly lee rail down! This is accomplished by the lifting with the front foot.
Otherwise, I think you've got it and need to go out and try it.
Yes, I think the fact that you turn your hips forward (upwind hip moves back from parallel with the centerline of the board and the rear hip moves closer to the centerline of the board so the hips are facing more forward than the shoulders and upper body) is what makes "stting the hips" uncomfortable right at first.
Also, you are not " 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)".
You are sheeting in with the harness and harness lines, not your shoulders and arms. You have to learn to let the rig support as much of your body weight as possible. Your arms become "adjusters" just "tweaking" the sheeting angle and rake angle to get the best performance as the wind speed and direction change.
When you have fully commited all of your weight to the rig, your feet have virtually no weight on them. they just control the roll attitude of the board and do the steering.
Once you get everything set and the board is flying upwind, you can actually steer better and get much better control by making tiny little changes in the rake and sheeting angle of the rig.
Go too high and start to slow down, unrake the rig a couple of degrees and the board will turn slightly off the wind and regain it's speed. YOu may also need to "ease" the sheeting angle slightly as the apparent wind will change as you "foot off" to regain your speed.
Then rake back fully and go back up to the hghest angle that you can maintian the best speed.
Use this to handle the lifts and lulls. If the wind gusts up stronger, crank the board a little higher by sheeting in and raking back some more. Run into a lull..... unrake the rig and ease the sheeting angle very slightly so the board foots off and keeps it's speed.
Try to keep the board at the same optimum roll angle and control the direction with more/less rear foot pressure and the "tweaks"with the rig as described above.
Hope this helps, and let me know how you do with this technique.
P.S. Looks like I'm getting my chest cracked and a new aortic valve installed very soon. The AS the cath found is cutting the flow through the valve by around 50%
6 wweks recovery period.
Hopefully I'll get a 50% increase heart efficiencyflow and feel like I'm 20 years old again.
I'll be offline here on the forums for a few days, but I can work this forum from the hospital OK, I think.