Old 22nd July 2007, 05:06 PM   #11
HappyHappyJoyJoy
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Hi all guys,

Could you please describe what the front foot should be doing exactly during planing upwind? How is "lifting up" done? Is the front foot rotated forward in the foot strap? Where is the front knee looking? Where are hips and shoulders looking? OK, and is the BACK foot rotated in the footstrap? And is the back knee rotated forward?

Background: Before the recent windsurfing vacations, I tried, with some success, to raise the windward rail with both feet to go upwind, but only in flat water. In chop and in high wind the board had a tendency of getting blown away from under my feet if a gust got between the board and the water during an involuntary chop-hop. The instructor I hired at the vacation told me to rotate everything in my body (feet, knees, hips and shoulders) forward. During this my front arm would be stretched and the back arm would be bent sheeting in. It helped me in the chop a great deal. But I feel that in this stance I cannot use the fin to go upwind.

Could you help me out with the correct stance please?
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Old 23rd July 2007, 11:23 PM   #12
HappyHappyJoyJoy
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

I'll open a new topic for this. I really Roger's advice on this.
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Old 24th July 2007, 10:03 AM   #13
Roger
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Hi Happy,
We can discuss this here just fine.
Sorry for the delayed reply, but I had to have some "in hospital" diagnostic tests run today, and I'm just now getting back to my normal routine.
If you want to plane upwind "on the fin" you need to lift with your front foot in the footstrap to do 2 things..... first you want to keep all weight off the windward rail of the board so the board will roll to a slightly lee rail down position...... and secondly you want be able to "set your hips"
by turning them about 45 deg. from the boards centerline.
"Setting the hips" won't feel good at first and will seem very counter-intuitive, but if you really want the best possible upwind speed, and overall VMG in an upwind direction it's something you need to learn.
If you put weight on the front foot in a down toward the water direction, your board won't stay at the requisite slightly lee rail down roll attitude that gives the fin the best upwind "bite".
The front foot is not "rotated" in the front strap, but you kind of arch your foot (either toes down so your arch yoiur foot up into the strap, or toes up so your toes kinda "jam" beyond the footstrap. This is the only way you can exert upward pressure on the footstrap without having your foot slide out of the strap.
The back foot can be rotated slightly (it's good to try putting your heel in different positions as you push on the rail with your back foot to find the optimum place to "PUSH" across the top of the board/fin with your back foot.
I agree that the more "rotated" stance suggested by your vacation instructor won't allow you to sail "upwind on the fin" but in the conditions you are describing (higher winds, smaller board/rig /fin; and larger chop, you may not be able to easily use the "on the fin"
technique effectively. AND, in higher winds, with the board getting air over the chop, you can't keep the fin engaged enough to make the fin stay loaded.
But, for this higher wind, bumpier water, smaller board/rig/fin sailing, you probably don't need to go upwind so high (unless you are racing in formula races on formula equipment).
Windsurfing is very dynamic, and there are no "universal techniques" that work in all situations, so to sail in a variety of conditions, on a range of different boards/rigs/fins, you need to adapt your sailing to the conditions, board/rig/fin.
Hope this helps,
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Old 24th July 2007, 01:12 PM   #14
Jay
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Roger, just a quick clarification on "setting your hips" at 45 degrees to the board centerline - this is something I am not yet doing and really want to understand: Are you saying to set your rear hip further outboard than your forward hip (effectively sheeting the sail close to the centerline)? I would think if you mean the opposite (rear hip inboard compared to rear hip) it would be harder to sheet in - that sounds like more of a downwind hip position. Or do I have it all wrong?
Thanks!
Jay
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Old 24th July 2007, 05:10 PM   #15
HappyHappyJoyJoy
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

2 Roger - thanks a lot, if I am lucky I'll try that out tomorrow.
2 Jay - yep, you have it all wrong . You should be looking forward at all times, not back! If you feel you can't sheet in enough, move the harness lines backward so you don't have to pull that much with your back hand.
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Old 24th July 2007, 07:45 PM   #16
Roger
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Hi Jay,
No, you need to look at this from a "dynamics" perspective.
Since I cannot go out and sail right now (just had a heart catheterization yesterday) it may take us a few days to get this really sorted out, but the "setting the hips" is something you need to do right at first (and, as I said previously it will be uncomfortable the first few times you do it) to get yourself into the "mode" of pulling upwind and off the water with your front foot, while pushing across the top of the fin paralel with the water surface with your back foot.
So, if you are "pulling" with your front foot, and pushing with your back foot, there's no way the front hip can be inboard of the rear hip.
The main idea here is that your feet (which are fixed in the straps) face more toward the direction the board is going, and then you pull with your front foot and push with your back foot it "feels like" you are trying to "twist" the board at some central point between your front and rear feet.
As far as sheeting in, as Happy suggests, you need to have your harness lines doing that and your upper body needs to pretty much face the rig.
So, the "twist the hips" sort of "twists the board" into a lee rail down roll attitude to and pushing across the top of the fin provides the resistance needed to keep the fin at the correct attitude and loading to give the best upwind lift.
Your stance here is basically "twisted" as well with the feet facing more forward, the hips set at somewhere around 45 deg. and the upper body shoulders facing the rig which is sheeted in and raked back fully.
This is all quite hard to describe, but I can assure you that once you get it everything lined up and your fin "bites" upwind, you will want some more as your board will maintain lot's of speed, and be turned significantly higher than you can get with any other method/stance.
I'll work with you guys on this, just tell me what your board/rig/fin are doing and perhaps we can get you dialed in farily quiickly.
You need good solid planing wind, and you need to have really good speed, then go into upwind mode.
You can't just get planing a little bit, and then jump on the fin (maybe on a formula board, with a 60-70 cm fin) as you need to get the water flowing on the fin to develop the required lift.
If the conditions are marginal and you can't get plenty of apparent wind, you will need to get bigger gear or use the upwind rail down slogging upwind techniques as an alternative.
Hope this helps,
maybe we can


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Old 24th July 2007, 10:14 PM   #17
HappyHappyJoyJoy
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Quote:
Roger wrote:
...
Your stance here is basically "twisted" as well with the feet facing more forward, the hips set at somewhere around 45 deg. and the upper body shoulders facing the rig which is sheeted in and raked back fully.
...
Roger, if shoulders and hips are not parallel, than the hips should look more forward, correct?

I have a Mistral Explosion board 145L and NS Drive sail 7m2 and Tushingham Lightning 9.4m2 (I got afraid to buy the unusual F-type board though I did give it a lot of thought. You see I'd like not to stop after making the carved gybe ang go for vulcans etc.). The NS Drive sail 7m2 is usually too small - I manage to plane only in 12+ knots. I am going to use it tomorrow. The fin is 53cm long and has a straight shape. I bought it for the bigger sail. I also have the 50cm stock fin, which is a little bit curved. I weigh 85kg which is a little below 170 pounds.

Sorry about the heart condition.
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Old 24th July 2007, 10:30 PM   #18
HappyHappyJoyJoy
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Quote:
Jay wrote:
Roger, just a quick clarification on "setting your hips" at 45 degrees to the board centerline - this is something I am not yet doing and really want to understand: Are you saying to set your rear hip further outboard than your forward hip (effectively sheeting the sail close to the centerline)? I would think if you mean the opposite (rear hip inboard compared to rear hip) it would be harder to sheet in - that sounds like more of a downwind hip position. Or do I have it all wrong?
Thanks!
Jay
Jay, sorry, I understand that the question has been asked to Roger. But I could not help myself
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Old 26th July 2007, 12:05 PM   #19
Jay
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Roger,

First, I hope you are recovering well from your heart catheterization and that all is well with your coronaries. You are far too valuable a national windsurfing resource to get sidetracked with health issues!

I'm on a FT158 with either a Retro 10.5 or 8.5 depending on conditions, with the stock fin.

Thanks for your clarification on setting your hips. I think I'm finally with you. Wow, I just didn't have a clue about using the waist/hips properly, THANKS! Just a few fine points and I'll be set to work on this:

If I understand you correctly, you're 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); but at the same time you set your hips by by twisting at the waist facing your hips forward while pushing across the fin with your rear foot and pulling/lifting with your front foot (in effect scissoring the board upwind (without chaning the anle of attack of the sail) and tilting the fin slightly to windward to maximize it's lift).

If I got that right, what initially confused me was that I had read that while sheeting in the shoulders and hips should generally remain parallel to each other and move together, both facing the rig - probably another good example of something that is often true but with key exceptions...

If I have this correct, does it follow that since you can't set your hips until you've got real board speed to head upwind that it's really a two step process: First sheet in fully powered on a reach (hips and shoulders parallel to each other and almost parallel to board's centerline, and THEN 2) set your hips and initiate feet scissoring to begin your climb upwind?

One last point: If you're already locked down (sheeted in and raked) when you BEGIN setting your hips and scissoring, are you ALREADY fully sheeted and raked for upwind OR as you set your hips are you also at that time sheeting in aand raking back that final last bit for maximum upwind performance?

Thanks,

Jay
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Old 26th July 2007, 08:20 PM   #20
Roger
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Default RE: Problems going upwind

Hi Jay,
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.
R
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