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  1. #1
    Senior Member astroboy's Avatar
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    Slalom board rider struggling

    Hello
    this is my third thread now and I have been on the forum about a year. I have done about 5 months of WS, a very later starter. I transitioned from surfing.

    I have a Starboard isonic wood 122 with a 40 and 44 slalom fin. I have an Arrows 5.6 wave sail and an NP Hornet 6.7 2 cam sail. Everything is pretty old and can take some abuse.

    I have got to tacking, carve gybing, planing in the harness, light wind sailing, flying along like a nut in heavy winds but

    I am really struggling to hold a line long enough to be able to get my feet into the foot straps. I am always about half a foots length in front of them. And if it's gusty it is even harder to keep planing

    any advice on some method that I should try to aim for to get to that 'locked in' stage ?

    cheers (windsurfing while it's snowing is a new challenge for me !)

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
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    Your summary of skills progress sounds a little incongruous to me. Not sure how you can be carve gybing if you are not yet getting into the straps......perhaps you mean flare gybing?
    Firstly, other than practising light wind skills the 5.6 sail is a complete mismatch with the board so I would not advise using that to progress in stronger winds that provide the potential for planning and carve gybing. The 6.7 sail should be fine and the 40cm fin should match it fairly well...the 44 will be too big for it.

    I assume the Isoic you have is 122 with a width of 75cm from a bout 2008/9? If so it is probably the most user friendly Isonic ever produced. Even so it still has the Isonic genes. It needs to be taken off the wind to pop onto the plane and will accelerate fairly rapidly meaning there is not a lot of time to get into the straps..especially the back strap. There is a choice whether you get into the front strap before hooking into the harness or the reverse of that. Personally I prefer to hook in first then go for the front strap. So the process is:-
    1. Go broad
    2. Hang from the boom pushing forward in line with the board with the front foot.....back foot between the straps across the centre line of the board
    3. As the board accelerates, hook in and by hanging down through the harness and the front arm...this will unweigh the front foot..........move it back into the front strap and bring your hips back so that you front foot is again pushing the board forward.
    4. The board should now be planning so start to bring it across the wind by raking the mast back slightly. BEFORE you fully sheet in most of your weight will still be on the front foot so now is the time to go for the back strap. If you leave it until you are across the wind and fully sheeted in you will have too much pressure on the back foot to move it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2015
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    Part of the problem is the board you have is aimed at advanced sailors who want to go fast. The straps are right on the edge and that is the only option. The ideal board for learning strap technique is one where they have an inset option and you can get in whislt not full on powered up and sailing fast. The outside position requires a lot of power being pushed sideways through the fin so the rail doesnt sink when you position your feet that far out and back.

    I would not worry about the straps to much in your position. concentrate on sailing and other parts of your technique. You will find that the faster you go the closer you can get your feet to the straps but forcing them in will not work. In the absense of a board with more user friendly starp options just ignore them. A time will come where you will find your feet getting closer and closer, you will know when you can get in without stalling the board speed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member astroboy's Avatar
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    Cheers
    I just read another post about slalom footstraps
    wow, I had no idea it was so technical, moving over from surfing where there is just the board, your feet and 2 hands

    my mates say I have progressed quickly but I get freaked out sometimes when far out and the wind picks up real hard, the board litteraly takes off like a missile and I am doing everything I can to try to be one who is steering the thing

    I think I need to 'feel' the notion of weighting the front or rear foot and being able to slide them around. Most of the time I am sailing with both feet right up against each strap but the few times I 'forced' my feet into them, I ended up yanking the sail back and going very out of control

    Also I have been using the 44 fin with the 6.7 as it seemed to give more lift but will use the 40 from now on. I am 169cm for 63kgs, ( off topic, but can you recommend the best 3 sail sizes for this board given my height and weight )

    I have a Gaastra RDM 430 and would like to stick with just one mast for as long as possible. Weather has gone super snowy and very gusty, already dreaming about spring, haha

    thanks for the informative posts, I'll try to be more conscious of foot weight and position. As for the 5.6, if it's howling and because I do wipe out and fall off during my gybes, especially when it's very choppy, it is a lot easier to control, so it does help me to nail some of the technique, though not having the crazy speed - if that makes sense. (I got the board for about 50gbp so it was too good an offer to pass up)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sailrepair's Avatar
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    If I were you I would sell the isonic and get something more versatile. You should find your isonic is in demand at the moment as people are wanting boards like that to fit foils onto. Windsurfing is a bit technical but you happen to have a board that needs to be very well balanced with the rig to be fun. It requires down force from the sail to keep it under control and a smaller sail just will not do that. So the board is not going or it is off like a scalded cat with very little in between.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Asle's Avatar
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    I am with Sailrepair on this one. Sell the iSonic. That board is all about going as fast as possible with a far to big sail. It is nothing about learing, turning and a nice feel.

    A Starboard Carve or Atomiq will be much more fun and rewarding.

  7. #7
    Senior Member astroboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. To be honest I have had a wonderful time learning on the isonic and enjoy just about every session. Exactly as you say, it is a very on or off board, doodling along in the summer was great fun, bouncing over the chop has been fun too, but trying to master this board is challenging me.

    I don't think I'd like to get rid of it, but I would love to have a go on something more forgiving. In my area people almost exclusively have slalom boards. Out of the 50 or so people I see I think I have only seen one Atomic and one Carve and the guy on the Carve gave up already.

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