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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Overboarded on a wave - How to deal with it?

    I often find that the board that made it easy to catch a wave will resist turning suffficiently tight or securely once on a slightly bigger one. I'm pretty certain that this is a common problem and would be interested to hear how people deal with it. Do you take a smaller board as soon as there's a chance of scoring a slightly bigger wave and just put up with it being harder get out the back and stay up wind? Or do you just let the big ones pass knowing that you won't be able to set the rail securely for a front side bottom turn? Or do you have some particular techniques or strategies to deal with it?

    As always I ideally want to hear from as many forumites as possible. This is not intended as a "Tomas got a problem thread" and I will just sit back and read. If Somebody hasn't got a clue what's being asked or why it's posted in this section I can still hope there are others that do.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 13th October 2016 at 01:02 PM.
    The infamous wavewriter

  2. #2
    I think that it depends a lot on the conditions. If there is a swell with a decent period and reasonably steady side or even side-off, smaller board for sure. If there is more rip, lower period, dumpy and not so reliable wind, big board.

    Also, if there is tricky to get out, a bigger board can save quite a bit of energy.
    Rig - Simmer vMax 7.2, Enduro 5.9, Black Tips 5.3 - 3.7, Tricera 5.0, HSM FL 5.7
    Boards - Simmer Hoogal 84 (custom), Simmer Freegal 100, Flikka 95 (proto), and 83 (tweaked Core line), Fanatic Blast 115

    Moderates, wind and wave community in Sweden

  3. #3
    I think you/we need to fully understand just what 'overboarded' means here – and how the problems manifest themselves.

    I pick a board with enough float to get me out through windless patches or through white water or else to cope with moving water (currents). Besides float, I may prefer good 'get up and go' in these conditions – so that it's easier to plane. So that's about having a board with a fast rocker.

    I might then need that float to pick up the wave in the first place. Once on the wave, float can help you keep speed, especially in mushy onshore conditions. So I'm often on a board that has seemingly a lot of float for my 73kilo weight.

    And I can't really remember a time when I totally over shot with my board choice and then felt 'overboarded' on the wave. I have been on a wave and wished I had a waveboard rocker and not a Euro-style FSW rocker, but that can be partly overcome with exaggerated moves, shifting your weight more and working with what you have.

    So 'overboarded' could mean you've really got too big a board under your feet, or one with too little rocker for a proper wave. What is also likely is there is too much fin area under your feet and that fin lift is lifting the tail too much at speed.

    Really big wave boards also have chunky rails nowadays, and so I guess it's more difficult to engage them in a cranked turn (but I don't have boards like that).

    I also find, crucially, that I can have too big a SAIL once I'm on the wave face and that's where the apparent wind felt in the sail increases with the drive of the wave – usually found in cross off conditions. But solving that issue is about picking the right sail size, and having the rig set to de-power well.
    Last edited by basher; 12th October 2016 at 10:32 PM.
    I have some kit for sale, to make space. Nuevo 86 2014, £490, Nuevo 73 2013 £550, Severne Blade 2015 5.0 and 3.7. All VGC or little used. Don't use private message system as I don't get messages via here – contact via the weather thread!

  4. #4
    Senior Member PK1111's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Personally, I find it's a trade off between length of session, wave count, wave quality and wind.

    If I'm pressed for time, with lots of tide movement and iffy wind, I'll tend to take the bigger board (92 quad) just to ensure I get a good wave count. That does limit the manouverability somewhat, but better to get a stack of mediocre waves than curse the limitations of a smaller board. I don't find the limitation is the bottom turn, but more cutting back up the wave - it just doesn't feel manouverable enough to really cut back up , so longer turns come into play.

    If I have more time, tide window is bigger, and more wind, enough for a 4.7, then I'll try the smaller board (80 tri) and gleefully relish the tighter turning.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Berkeley Ca.
    "overboarded", can you sail to shore, use a smaller fin, move the track back a bit, lower the boom the same amount, and pull lots more downhaul to allow your rig to easily handle the gusts?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    El Médano, Tenerife
    Here (el Medano) you have to sail quite a long way upwind if you launch from the South Bay (where our equipment is stored) and want to sail either Cabezo or the Harbour Wall. So I can only take my smaller board - RRD 82l Twin - if there is enough / constant enough wind to plane and make it 1km up to the waves. In practise this means that I'm normally OK with <=4.7m sail, but when on a 5.2m I sometimes start on the 82l board, find that I'm struggling to get upwind, and so have to change to my bigger board - Fanatic FreeWave 95l (thruster).

    When I get up to the waves on my big board, I often wish that I was on the small board, but obviously just get on with it anyway. The shape being a FreeWave rather than a full on wave shape obviously doesn't help, but I try and remember something that Ola once said: if you can master wave riding on a fast rocker then it will improve your technique, and it can clearly be done well enough to use them in PWA wave heats (eg Victor Fenandez). As Basher says, you have to be more committed and make positive weight shifts etc - you can't be lazy and just rely on having a turny rocker to make it easy. Obviously the thruster set-up helps enormously - I really don't think I could wave ride very well on a single fin FW. Apart from being stiffer (and bigger), the scary thing is dropping down a steep wave on a longer board with less rocker. I find that I have to compensate by keep some weight back as you take the drop to avoid pearling, before leaning forward to engage the rail as normal for a bottom turn.

    There are of course plusses ... the 95 FW planes super easy to get out through the white water, jumps great, keeps speed on a gutless wave etc ... but I always prefer to be on the smaller twin fin - it's an amazingly nimble, loose board which frankly I'm finding hard to replace with anything better.
    Currently writing the World's first Windsurfing Novel: 'Too Close to the Wind' - watch this space!
    ps check out my musings from El Medano: Life on the Reef
    Boards: Fanatic FreeWave 95, Quatro Supermini Thrusters: 94 & 85, RRD WaveTwin 82
    Sails: Tushingham Rocks, gradually becoming Severne Blades.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanks everyone for commenting. Of course, the more skilled you are and the better you know the break the smaller the board you can get away with. In Pozo I expect to be using my thin railed old new wave twin increasingly at the cost of the big kode wave.

    I've had little wave sailing up here north this season. On the few good wave days the wind has typically been extremely variable and I've often been forced to rig almost every sail from 5.5 to 4.2 and even wishing for a 3.7 by the end of the day. And the angle has sometimes changed during the day from dead onshore to almost sideshore (on a few select waves that is).

    As said I didn't intend this as a Tomas got a problem thread. My only real problems are genereally poor conditions for frontside wave riding and getting absolutely totally knackered after a good session.

    With the variable conditions described above the big kode often seems the obvious choice as it's an absolute rocket for getting out and upwind. And with mediocre predictions I have chosen to complement the big kode with an even bigger freewave rather than a smaller or rockier wave board.

    I used to have two problems with the oversized kode wave on biggish waves. Firstly I tended to catch a rail or trip or skip or something and fall on my face on drop in. This isn't much of a problem anymore. It's hard to say exactly what's changed but I believe it's got to to do with a warning from OlaH against "really cranking it" as I had suggested.

    My second problem was outrunning the wave. Although I've figured out that much can be made up for later in the turn by tilting the mast rearwards when going clew first (aka lifting the clew I believe), I would ideally like to be able to take a higher line on the wave from the start. A smaller more rockered board like the new wave twin or a more current thruster or quad would probably help. But there will allways be situations where the board your'e on feels too big or stiff and where better technique could help. I will keep working on getting my hand placement right for a more decisive steering input. But all sort of technique tips or strategies are still welcommed.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 14th October 2016 at 08:25 PM.
    The infamous wavewriter

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