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Old 8th August 2008, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Shortboard vs longboard technique

I just bought a Rio M with retractable dagger-board. I thought it would be a quantum leap as compared to my very old 310 cm long and much narrower longboard, which I just gave away for a few ...pennies ( so to speak), yet I am very puzzled, because , even with a 6.4 sail the Rio can barely move and even drifts laterally in light winds, while I never had any problems with my Old Bertha ! (I am sure that the Rio M at around 190 lts is quite suited to my 172 lbs weight..)

I have to admit that I am at a quasi-beginners stage, but why a super-light, state-of-the-art and beginners' friendly short board such as the Rio, even with a 6.4 sail, is so difficult to get going, as compared to an old long-board, given the same experience level? True, I never planed with my Old Bertha, but neither did I ever have any problems with it in leisurely cruising around !

For one thing, I suppose the much larger width of the Rio creates a drag , which only relatively higher winds can overcome . But I am also curious to know if navigating with a shortboard requires perhaps an altogether different technique !

What I have been doing all along, based on my previous learning curve, is to tilt the rig backward to go into the wind , while tilting it forward to go off the wind . It always worked !

With the Rio, by doing the same, I do feel the wind powering up the sail, I see the sail inflated and pulling my wishbone away, but even with a fully extended daggerboard, the Rio barely moves forward. It is like accelerating a car with the clutch not engaged ( or, may be, with the brake pedal depressed !)
I guess, I should play with the forward/backward position of the mast, but I would not expect that a few cm up or down the rail could make the difference between moving and not moving ! There must be something else which escapes me !

Can somebody comment on this ? Do I have to re-learn the ABC of windsurfing, with a shortboard ? Any short-board specific tricks ?

Thank you

Franco Vivona
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