Old 23rd September 2010, 11:28 PM   #1
greyghost
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Default tacking and board width

Hi Roger,

I was wondering how much board width would help me in tacking a short board?

I have a 2005 Carve 145 liter (78 cm wide) and a 2000 103 liter F2 Ride (59 cm wide).
I'm an intermediate, (waterstart, harness, straps, working on planing through jibes). I've found that I'm a bit "scared" to go out on the 103 liter board because I can't tack it, and therefore worry about staying up wind.

I can tack my 145 liter board as well a 1991 Mistral One Design without a problem.
I posted on the other forum as I'm thinking that I should/might replace the F2 with something wider, but I'm also wondering how much of it is just me. The Futura 101 is 65.5 cm wide, the 111 is 68 cm wide, F2 is 59 cm and old style ie longer.

I'd hate to buy a FU 101 only to find that it isn't that much easier to tack than my F2.
Along the same lines, I would think the FU 111 at 10 cm wider and more volume would be much easier than the F2?

Alternatively, I might just have to work on my technique with my current boards?

thank you
Jeff
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Old 24th September 2010, 08:46 AM   #2
Roger
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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,
Roger

Last edited by Roger; 24th September 2010 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 24th September 2010, 09:41 AM   #3
greyghost
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Hi Roger,
thanks so much for the advice. Very helpful !

Yes, 277 F2 Ride. I weigh 72 kg.

Also you are correct about how I've been tacking. Front foot always goes just in front of the mast foot, angled towards the rear of the board. Old back foot goes right next to that foot, but facing in the opposite direction. (from the Guy Cribb "twist" move).

At my weight, the 145 liter Carve is pretty forgiving...probably encouraging some bad habits

I'll definitely be trying your suggestions. One question re hand positioning. When you step over and "straddle" the mast, are your hands still on the boom or holding onto the mast? Trying to picture sliding the new back foot aft if you're holding onto the boom on the now opposite/backwind side.

Also, since you've actually sailed both the F2 Ride and the Futura 101, do you think I would notice a huge difference between the two (loaded question ?). It sounds like the Futura would do many things better, but my question was more related to someone of my level and stage. ie is the F2 Ride potentially hindering my progress...or is just a matter of time, effort and persistence and "graduating" to the Futura.

thank you
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Old 24th September 2010, 11:24 AM   #4
Roger
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Hi again Jeff,

Yes, 277 F2 Ride. I weigh 72 kg.
OK @ 72 Kg. (158.7 Lbs.) you will be able to tack any board > 90 liters once you've mastered the techniques I have described.
Perhaps a relavent question would be why you are not jibing more than tacking?
It seems you haven't perfected your carve jibes yet, but that does not prevent you from doing a slower speed flare jibe, and you won't get downwind very much with a low speed pivot or flare jibe.


Also you are correct about how I've been tacking. Front foot always goes just in front of the mast foot, angled towards the rear of the board. Old back foot goes right next to that foot, but facing in the opposite direction. (from the Guy Cribb "twist" move).
If you put your front foot in front of the mast foot (even touching or curled around the mast foot, and then bring you other foot forward that much, you are putting your weight well forward of the boards fore/aft balance point (so the nose will sink at least a little) and this pretty much stops the board dead in the water. If you keep your weight back in the wider more stable part of the board, the board will not slow down so much so you can keep a little railing action going to keep the board turning, even with very little ]
speed. So try staying back and stepping over/ straddling the mast and see if that works for you.

At my weight, the 145 liter Carve is pretty forgiving...probably encouraging some bad habits
Absolutely!

I'll definitely be trying your suggestions. One question re hand positioning. When you step over and "straddle" the mast, are your hands still on the boom or holding onto the mast? Trying to picture sliding the new back foot aft if you're holding onto the boom on the now opposite/backwind side.
I'm very short (5' 6"/167.6 cm) so I run my boom very near the bottom of the boom cutout so I have to hold
the boom head. But since the rig is all the way back until the foot is pretty much resting on the board I find that most of my rigs almost hold themselves up as I switch my hands from the old side of the boom to the new side. Sometimes I just go hand to hand right at the front of the boom, moving my old front hand over the the other side of the boom head, then using the new fronf hand to sweep the rig to keep the board turning. I normally do not throw the rig way forward and try to pull the nose down onto the new tack as if you keep some angle on the board, and keep some way on, the board will continue to turn and sweeping the sail out to perpendicular to the fore/aft centerline just helps the board to turn onto a beam reach on the new tack.

Also, since you've actually sailed both the F2 Ride and the Futura 101, do you think I would notice a huge difference between the two (loaded question ?). It sounds like the Futura would do many things better, but my question was more related to someone of my level and stage. ie is the F2 Ride potentially hindering my progress...or is just a matter of time, effort and persistence and "graduating" to the Futura.
Since you are somewhat afraid to tack the 277 Ride, I would say that in itself is a hindrance to your progress. A Futura 101 at your weight should be easier due to more width and stability.
The 277 Ride was a very nice board, but the wider Futura is most likely faster, jibes more easily and is more stable (if you stay behind the mast foot).
Hope this helps,
Roger
P.S. Give all this a try, several times, but keep working on your jibes!
Jibes are how shortboards are turned around (unless you are racing courses).
For back and forth recreational sailing, a flare jibe, semi pivot jibe (where you sink the tail a bit)
or a fully planing carve jibe should not put you so far downwind that you need to worry.
Tacks are for when you get too close to something to pull off a jibe.
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Old 24th September 2010, 10:31 PM   #5
greyghost
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Thanks again for the advice and great hints.
I look forward to trying out the different techniques, they make a lot of sense.
I'm planning on keeping the Carve and practicing jibes, helitacks, tacks and forcing myself to use the F2 more often. Will keep an eye out for good deals on Futura 101's.
thank you.
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