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Thread: Upwind Planing

  1. #1
    Junior Member hamptonw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Leeds, Kent


    I'm finding that at the end of every session I'm ending up way down wind from where I started after being unable to resist the temptation to blast off on a broad reach whenever the wind picks up. Consequently I then have to suffer a tortuous beat to get back to my original launch point when it is time to come in. I am finding it impossible to maintain an upwind plane. This Saturday I was out on my Carve 145 and a 7.0m, in a F3+. Surely it should be possible to plan up wind with that kit in those conditions? Any tips as to how to improve upwind planing performance?
    One day, I will sail again...

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    keep yer speed, it makes the fin the work.

    try a bigger fin if all else fails.

  3. #3


    That board should have no problems getting upwind. A few things you could try...

    - when you set out, resist the temptation of a downwind blast. Beat as high as you can for a couple of runs just to guage how strong any current might be. Also, if you make ground upwind at the start, your sailing will almost certainly improve as you won't be concentrating on losing ground downwind.

    - as Adrian says, keep your speed up and gently nudge upwind pointing up until you feel your speed dropping, then bear away and pick up speed again and nudge up again. Keep all your movement smooth, but you'll find that in marginal conditions, you don't just point upwind and go, its a kind of zig zag and it works well if you can use any lumps in the water to nudge up, i.e. ride the back of a wave to edge upwind. No sudden movements though

    - swing your hips forward in your harness as this will keep pressure on the mastfoot and balance the weight you will be loading on the fin

    - don't oversheet. If you sheet in too hard you'll kill speed.

    - apply a little more outhaul to your sail. If your sail is too baggy, it will pull you onto the plane but it'll make it harder to point upwind.

    - don't try to point upwind too soon. Bear away to get on the plane and rather than suddenly changing direction, build your speed up and gradually turn upwind.

    - put in a couple of tacks rather than gybes as you don't lose any ground

    - if it really is marginal planing conditions, only bear off and try to plane when you are confident that a gust is strong enough as you can lose a lot of ground constantly bearing away to try to get planing. If you're not confident of planing, then stick with your feet further forward and sheet right in and point as high as you can - then try to move your gear as little as possible. Its boring, but it'll make ground upwind off the plane. If you point too high you become very clear that you are moving sideways as much as forwards.

    good luck.

    Trying not to work too hard.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    Check out Cribby's site:

    I've found that his suggestion of rotating the back foot so the heel moves forward along the rail, with the toes still in the strap, really helps. I think because it it digs in the windward rail driving you up wind.

    I personally find slogging up wind is harder with a large sail, i.e 7.5m, although this might be because I've only used it three times!

  5. #5


    Will, I agree with a lot of stuff that has been posted here but I would
    take a different approach.
    At the moment the board starts to plane, and you're grateful. You go,
    'whoopee' and you head off in some direction, whilst holding on for
    dear life so not to fall off.
    This is normal.
    But you need to take control, mate. You need to start driving the
    board and then directing it to where you want to go. Look to where you
    want to go and visualise sailing there. Become aware that to go upwind
    you need to get the board planing and then head upwind but without
    losing speed. As adsrian suggests, pinch to tight to the wind and you
    drop off the plane and end up just going sideways. Bear off too much
    and you fly off downwind, never to return.
    Take control. Sailing upwind is a subtle process involving getting
    planing and then pointing high as you can, keeping your weight
    forward on the board, and edging towards some upwind goal.

    PS Hope your exams went well and you've now got some spare time
    for the expected wind!
    Now back in the UK.

  6. #6


    OOOPS. Forget that last bit. It's Harry doing the exams, isn't it?
    Five of my English Lit students are supposed to be doing exams right
    now but they are down the beach most of the time in this hot weather.
    Can't say I blame them....
    Now back in the UK.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    so we've finally all discovered basher's occupation - he's a school
    master, albeit probably quite a cool dude of a teacher.

    Hence all the mid day and afternoon sessions during half term,
    school hols etc. Good luck to you mate!

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