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Old 28th February 2009, 10:08 PM   #2
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

Hi floridagirl,
OK, what I posted earlier did not seem to solve your issues.
How about we just deal with the primary issues.
First, what board do you have?
Is it wide (perhaps like the one you took your 3 hour lesson on) and pretty short, or is it long and narrow.
Does it have a centerboard in addition to the fin at the rear?
What size sail do you have?
If you are having problems with your rig powering up too fast, and pulling you off the board, let's talk some tuning tips to make your rig less powerful, and some techniques to
make it power up more slowly, as well as some tips to get your more firmly set on your board so you can handle more power, more quickly.
To depower your rig, you need to downhaul it more, and outhaul it more. Check for numbers written near the bottom front corner of your sail, and also perhaps on the outside of your sail bag.
There should be numbers indicating the mast specifications (i.e. 460 cm IMCS 24-26);
the recommended luff length ( the length of the mast and the amount of extension your base adds at the bottom of the mast); and a boom length.
It's very important that you set your rig up fairly close to the recommendations as you want it to give good steady power and be easy to handle.
Try putting on a little more extension ( 5 cm more than suggested by the mfg.) and a bit more downhaul and outhaul to flatten the sail and allow the top of the sail to be a little looser and "twist off" more easily. These two things will depower your rig to the extent possible and make it more balanced and easier to handle.
Next let's discuss where you are positioning yourself on your board BEFORE you add power to your sail.
After you uphaul, it works best to move back on your board until both of your feet are behind the mast foot and you have your front foot (upwind foot) about 4-6 inches outboard and upwind of the mast foot and also about 4-6" behind the mast foot.
Then place the heel of your rear foot right on the fore/aft centerline of your board and a comfortable shoulder width behind your front foot. Turn your rear foot slightly forward.
This puts you in a very steady, balanced position on your board where you will be able to handle the power from the rig more easily and you won't be tipping the board (which makes it steer in the direction it's tipped). The board needs to be very flat (side to side and front to back as well) before you power up your rig.
Your board needs to be aligned across the wind. You do this by leaning your rig slightly forward or backward to cause the board to turn until the wind is blowing across the board at a 90 deg. angle to the fore/aft centerline.
Using only your front hand (if your rig is light enough) try to bring your rig up in front of your front shoulder until the mast is mostly on the upwind side of the centerline and the rig tends to balance on the mast foot. This puts most of the weight of the rig on the board through the mast foot so you do not have to deal with very much weight.
Now reach forward right in front of your rear shoulder with your back hand and put 2 fingers on the boom.
Rotate your shoulders and upper body (from the hips) moving the back shoulder back and inboard and the front shoulder turns more inboard as well. Just turn a very slight amount, and your rig will rotate with your upper body and begin to power up.
If it pulls too much or too suddenly, let go with the 2 fingers of your back hand and try again. Unrotate your shoulders until you are facing almost forward with your upper body (you will be facing the rig and your shoulders will be parallel with a line running from the mast to the center of the end of the boom), and try again.
Put 2 fingers on the boom and slowly rotate about 5 degrees. Do this very slowly and carefully and your rig should gain just a little power, but enough to start you moving.
I would guess this is the cause of most of your issues with getting underway on your windsurfer.
You are trying to do things a little too quickly and sheeting the sail in far too much, and much too quickly.
If you PULL the sail in with your back hand, quickly, the sail will pull back, and it will pull even the best sailors off the board nearly all the time, if not done gradually.
You have to add the power slowly and gradually increase it.
Hope this helps,

Last edited by Roger; 3rd March 2009 at 09:26 AM.
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