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  1. #15
    Senior Member Graemef's Avatar
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    So you're a slalom sailor as well as a racer now, interesting, what slalom board is it, lets see your latest result?

    I mean first it was an upwind thread where your expert knowledge confused and confounded with all manner of none sense, now you're a downwind expert and a slalom racer too, my for a twirpy little fee-rider you do get about, is there any aspect of windsurfing you don't view yourself as an expert?
    Last edited by Graemef; 20th June 2017 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #16
    Haha, I've not done a slalom race for years. But I have always gone cruising upwind and down on the various kit I have – especially in summer when we often lack ground swell and when the planing wind is under 25knots, so there's little windswell either.

    We do however get chop and a swell of sorts, and these are very much the conditions I would once have dinghy sailed in. As an ex-world champion and ex member of the Olympic training squad, I do know something about getting upwind and down – even though my dinghy days were many years ago.
    So far this summer I have sailed upwind from Hove to Shoreham beach three times. It's about 6 or 8 miles each way. The blast back downwind is always the fun but hairy bit.
    I first did this back in the day when I had my Hypersonic, and the tail on that thing was so wide that you sometimes fitted a chicken strap in the centre of the back pair – to get in a safer stance for sailing well downwind.

    I have written a lot in this thread but these are ideas to try for yourselves, and what works best will depend on what type of board you are on.


    There seems to be a row developing over whether we pump downwind or not.
    In marginal conditions you can pump the sail to take you downwind in a way that would not work if heading upwind. There are also other ways we 'work' our craft, including ouching to stay on the downward slope of a wave face.

    But the real key to short board sailing is to get planing and then keep the board riding off its fin at speed – or 'flying' as the Formula guys mentioned seem to want to call it.
    And pumping is probably what we do in holes and when a gybe slows us, but not a continual thing like you see in some dinghies or with longboards.

    I watch the PWA slalom when ever it's on and in Cape Town's windy season the top sailors are often there training at the lake when we do our freestyle sessions. In a downwind slalom race, the winner often makes the best (planing) start and then has the best speed. Places do change at marks where one guy mis-times the swell or drops off the plane in a wind hole. But you don't see the sailors pumping all the way down each leg of the course.
    Last edited by basher; 20th June 2017 at 04:03 PM.
    Now back in the UK.

  3. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by richarli View Post
    OK. I'm 9.0m, 56 fin and 85wide futura and going (for me) very fast.
    I'm trying to emulate the slalom guys and go really deep. I'm OK going down the channels between the swell but going directly down over the swell means I "hit the wall" at the bottom of the swell and am living in fear of going over the front. It's scary enough going deep without the additional fear of effectively stopping dead when hitting the back of a downwind swell.
    What's the trick for surviving this please?
    Many thanks
    Just to clarify, I assumed you were asking for advice for surviving hitting the back of a swell and catapulting, not how to sail downwind. Most advice here seems to be how to sail downwind.
    I think the TWS how to make your board fly is this one https://youtu.be/Fz2aIiUX7g0
    Where have you got your straps?
    If you do go over a swell and hit the back of the next one ahead the board will slow suddenly, so in a way its the same as being hit by a gust of wind. So if the 9m sail is rigged for early planing, it might not twist off as much and spill the extra wind, and you get pulled over the front.

  4. #18
    Senior Member
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    Phil in Poole
    Spot on. BTW straps out and back. I'm a competent sailor, just trying to push a bit extra now that I have more time to sail.

  5. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by phil_in_poole View Post
    ...
    I think the TWS how to make your board fly is this one https://youtu.be/Fz2aIiUX7g0
    .

    Thanks for the link.

    That's basic stuff but does explain the language thing, as already discussed.
    For them, 'flying' is indeed the same as 'riding off the fin'. This is classic single fin stuff – but not much help for modern wave boards or for longboards.

    The video explains in layman's terms how shifting the mast foot back can help you lift more board out of the water. You can also change boom height to help load your body weight either on the mast foot or on the board tail – choosing a lower boom for more weight on the tail.
    In simplistic terms, shifting the mast foot back on slalom or freeride kit, and raising your boom, will give the board a livelier feel. Shifting the mast foot forwards and lowering your boom will, in reverse, give you more control.
    (If you want the wordier explanation of why this is so, then just ask...)

    But this is still about sail size and fin length choice first – and then you find the mast foot position and footstrap locations that work with that combo.


    On topic, to sail well downwind you should be riding off the fin and well-powered to stay sheeted in, snaking a path through waves and chop, to sail the most efficient course. Set your sail with an open leech, to allow the sail to twist for the apparent wind.
    If you plough into a wave or catapult then your driving is not good.
    Now back in the UK.

  6. #20
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    I don't know if this is helpful but I have the impression that the risk of catapulting when going deep is reduced by moving the lines forwards. I guess it makes it easier to depower and not overload the mastfoot. Whether it also works for going fast I have no idea.
    The infamous wavewriter

  7. #21

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