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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    footstrap and stance width

    When planing do you ever feel the stance being too narrow? That is, front and back straps are too close to each other? If feels much safer to have front foot between the strap and mast, back foot being in strap. Back foot makes catapult unlikely, and front foot forward adds even more security. Had some equipment breaking catapults leading to this.

    But now I realize that learning to jibe involves using the front strap to carve the board downwind.

    Occasionally when feeling safe (no gusts, no chop), I sail with feet in both straps. But there's no way to add MFP using the front strap. Shorter sailor would probably be happy with the current setup.

    Should I add more footstrap positions to the board, as i'm already using the maximum width?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015

    Welcome. Would be good to state what gear you are using and an indication of how tall you are and level of sailing. The vast majority of boards have very similar footstrap placements in terms of stance width and personally at 180cm tall (6 footish) I have never had a problem – unless you are of odd proportions then changing the strap placements is not an answer. A different board might help though. An intermediate board such as a starboard carve will have a lot of options and will have the straps a little further forward and in-board to make them easy to use. An all out slalom board will have the back strap directly above the front edge of the fin and the front will be referenced from that, both out on the rail (harder to use when not fully powered up and confident). In either case a number of options for strap width should be there to account for your natural stance.

    I think the issue you have is down to technique. Mastfoot pressure refers to the weight you transfer through the harness lines through the rig – taking weight of your feet in the process. The key tip is to lean forwards and twist forwards slightly in your stance. It does link to catapults in that when you commit forwards you are in danger of catapulting however the solution lies in reading the wind by looking forward and upwind for gusts and developing the fine rig control to dump power when needed. Leaving your front foot as described is going to cut the catapults but will lead to a number of problems so it’s a habit you need to break. Look for videos on stance – upwind stance / technique is also worth a look as that relies on good mastfoot pressure technique. Have a look at this.

  3. #3
    Sounds like you're nervous in committing to the straps and that's a learner thing.

    Are you setting the mast foot in the middle of the track – or making the mistake of putting it too far forwards?

    Footstrap positions are rarely wrong and you shouldn't be adding new ones.

    What board are you sailing and how do the footstrap positions compare to other boards, when measured?
    Now back in the UK.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jknhismassivevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    As already said its unlikely that there is anything wrong with the footstrap positions providing that its a standard board and you aren't a giant.

    From that point there are lots of little things that could be making it difficult for you, as Basher says the mast base too far forward is a problem if you are not 100% competent.

    One of the areas I would focus on is rig stability and body position, most learners and intermediates struggle with the acceleration phase and end up catapulting. To help with that make sure you have probably max downhaul on your sail and minimum to medium outhaul, you want a fullish sail that accelerates smoothly. Low DH and high OH are the source of many woes! Harness lines should be relatively forward hand focussed so that you have to use a bit of muscle to sheet in, with that set up you can practice getting in the straps, up to speed and settling down without being fully sheeted, this gives you more space to get into the straps and commit to the harness. Don't use short lines it just reduces your ability to respond to the changes that will occur with the wind and sail.

    With your setup established its worth doing some drills of beachstarting getting up to speed in the straps and harness and then practicing decelerating and getting out of straps and harness then accelerating again. I know its tempting just to blast to the other side but if you can 20 or 30 more practices every session it makes a difference as you get the muscle memory working and the stress levels dropping.

    Keep us up to day and post some photos of your kit so that we can see how well tuned you are but most of all make sure you are enjoying yourself!
    The Windsurfer Formally Known as JKRR - TWFKJKRR or "Him in the Red Shorts"

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Your sailing position on the board naturally moves back when you rake the sail back so it sounds to me like you are either unable to do that due to too much power in the sail, or you need to better develop your stance once up and planing. The amount of weight distribution on your front foot depends on the position of the mast foot and the height of your boom. If you feel you need to be able to apply more pressure through the front foot when it is in the strap the quickest way to do that is to lower the boom. You can also experiment with mast foot position. In terms of technique, you should be twisting your hips slightly to face more forward rather than across the board and your hips and shoulders should be behind your front will note the front strap is not parallel to the rail..........copy its angle with your hips.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    There is a common theme amongst bigger intermediate sailors to go overpowered (I know i did this a lot) and that might also be an issue here. Maybe try a smaller sail that what you have been doing and concentrate on early planning technique. It should be easier to get your stance right and learn to avoid catapults if you are slightly underpowered. It is a mindset thing of looking to be possitive with the power you have as oposed to taking additional power and adopting a defensive / stay in control approach. The former makes you a much better sailor - although is possibly not as much fun in the short term.
    Last edited by BottomTurnBob; 3rd January 2018 at 08:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    OP what do you weigh ?

    I,ve had a couple of boards that benefitted loads moving strap position ( Forward and in)
    Went to far ( forward) with an old F2 style ( experimenting) and found board stalled terribly in gybes...but that was way forward..

    I moved fronts forward about an inch and brought inside fastenings as close to centre line as possible on a Goya fxr 105.. For me transformed board but I was using it as a very high wind/ wave board.

    The idea that strap positions on boards can cover entire range of weights and uses is flawed. Yes, generally fixings will be correctly placed, especially so if you are around 75kg..( ie boards intended load)

    Whole idea about setting a board up is to make it comfortable for you. If that means moving straps....move them.
    I used a 4mm piece if plywood fastened down by sttrap fixings with various holes to mount straps to..not permanent but so I could experiment. ( I weigh 105kg)
    On rear I mounted two aluminium strips accross given fixings and then tried straps at various places more inboard. ( on a Ray and a Carve) Set it up to experiment with but used it on carve for 2 seasons..

    Way I look at it we should be standing as close to centre line of board as possible, moving outboard to counter rail lift if/ when it starts occurring. If folk immediately move to outside straps when no lift problems have occurred are missing out on easier control, more comfort, easier gybing and probably speed. Its simply wrong to assume a board is faster if you stand on rail.
    Outside strap positions are a necessary evil...not always needed, especially by heavier sailors.
    Last edited by Alphie; 4th January 2018 at 11:02 AM.

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