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Old 24th September 2010, 08:46 AM   #2
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

Hi Jeff,
I think your fear of tacking smaller (narrower) boards is something we can fix with a little
change in your "tacking technique"!
First let's get all the important parameters so we can stay on the same page.... OK?
How much do you weigh?
I'll take a guess that you learned to tack on your old Mistral One Design... right?
The 103 liter F2 you have is a 277 Ride... correct?
OK, I used to love the F2 277 Ride I had when I was sailing on F2s.
Here is what I think may be happening:
Since you learned to tack on the Mistral OD, you normally step well forward of the
mast foot when you tack comfortably.... right?
When you started tacking on your Carve 145, you probably noticed that you could no longer step
well forward of the mast foot and turn around while holding the rig as the front of the board does not
float like you Mistral OD.
So, you probably do what the videos suggest and sneak your new rear foot right around front of the
mast foot and then practically "jump" around to the other side so the nose does not have time to
sink out from under you.
On the 277 Ride, you have a bit more float in the front (due to the longer nose) but less width so
less stability side to side.
OK, here comes the part that you most likely need to change.
Since the widest part of both the F2 277 Ride, and your Carve 145 is BEHIND the mast foot, it makes
no sense to ever step in front of the mast foot and cause the nose to sink.
Try this:
When you want to tack, rake your rig all the way back (progressively) and sheet it all the way in until it's
at least to the fore and aft centerline of your board (again, do this progressively).
This will drive the nose of your board right up into the wind,and if you keep the rig raked all the way back and continue to swing the foot of your sail well past the centerline and over onto the other side of center, the board will continue to turn well past heading straight into the wind. We call this a "faster tack" in our
"A Taste of Windsurfing" instruction.
Now, the board is facing straight upwind (or a little past), and you have not moved your feet (except to get them out of the footstraps and over the F&A centerline of the board.
So, simply step over the raked back mast with your new back foot and "straddle" the mast facing the back of the board. Resist all temptation to either step forward on the board or pull the rig up from it's all
the way back and sheeted in past the F&A centerline.
Slide your new back foot under the foot of the sail and slide it back until the board floats level F&A.
Then swing your new front foot over the mast and allow the sail to pivot out to perpendicular to the F&A
centerline, pull the rig up until the boom is level, and sheet in.
You just completed a "faster tack" on a shorboard, and you stayed in the widest most stable area of the
board, and you never moved your weight off the F&A centerline.
Try this! It works well and allows me to tack 90-100 liter shortboards and I weight 180 lbs.
You need to also learn to manage the fore and aft (F&A) balance as well, so you can uphaul these
little boards. Normally you end up with your front foot all the way back against the mast foot and a bit of
a wider stance to center your weight over the front to back balance point of the board.
So, to summarize, drive your small narrow boards up into the wind by raking back and sheeting in;
keep your weight behind the mast foot, keep your body weight "centered" over both the side to side and
fore and aft centerlines of your board.
Let me know how this works for you. I've taught several hundred beginners and they seem to pick this up
in their first 10 minutes on the water.
Hope this helps,

Last edited by Roger; 24th September 2010 at 08:51 AM.
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