Getting frustrated (plus some random video)

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14 years 11 months ago #1116 by jase_mk
Hi folks. I'm newish to the club, you may have seen me kicking around over the last few weeks.

Over Christmas I treated myself to a sparkly new (relatively) Carve 131 to replace my prehistoric Mistral Shredder (old style 295) and managed to get out on the water two or three times during that windy spell last week. Now admittedly, the 5.5 sail I was using was also archaic, but I just coudn't seem to get going as effortlessly as I'm used to.

I was out a few weeks earlier on my Shredder with the same sail in less wind and was blasting about like a nutter all day. On the Carve last week, it just felt like there was tonnes of power in the sail trying to rip my arms out of their sockets and not a great deal of forward motion - a bit like being pointed too high upwind. After a while I decided that it needs to be pointed off the wind a fair bit to get going, which helped. I also found it pretty difficult to sheet in despite my lines being in the same place they were before, which resulted in lots of out of control, nose in the air type moments.

Any tips for an old timer coming onto new equipment? I know I need a new quiver of sails really - I'll keep an eye on ebay over the next month or so.

Grabbed a few seconds of video on my mobile of people making it look far too easy:

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14 years 11 months ago #1120 by mike g
Hi Jase. Welcome to Brogborough Lake!

Your lines could have felt wrong due a variety of factors. Firstly, if it is an old sail then it would have felt quite different on a board of the same vintage. The mast tracks used to be much further forwards and therefore resulted in the mast being raked back more than on a modern board. When I sail on the front of the tandem the mast track is further forward than a regular board and my harness lines need to be moved forward to compensate. When I go back to my regular board, they need moving back again or else they are in the wrong place. Another big factor would be that the centre of effort in the sail moves further back as the wind increases. This happens far more on older sails than modern ones so the change in wind strength would in itself necessitate the lines being moved back. On a modern sail my lines might need moving back an inch at most but on older sails it can be several inches.

Ideally your lines should be positioned at a point whereby you have an equal load on each arm. If you have to pull really hard with your back hand then move them back until they feel right. Some people like them a little further back than the balance point so that during normal sailing they have to pull with their front hand but in enormous gusts they are balanced (due to the centre of effort moving back). A common mistake is to have them too far forward and sail along without fully sheeting in the sail, in which case they may feel balanced but the sail is not working as designed.

With regards sailing the Carve, it is indeed a very different beast to the old Shredder. The strong winds may not have helped you because the rig is at its most powerful when you are trying to bear off and get going. It is only once you are up to full speed that it goes light and you feel comfortable. I aim to get the rig forward (to bear off the wind), drop low by bending the knees (to handle the power) and straighten my front leg (to push the nose off the wind and prevent being hauled over the front) when getting going. As you accelerate, gradually move back towards the straps and put the front one in first. Pushing through the toes helps to coax the board up onto the plane, as does gently bouncing the board and lightly pumping sail with just the back hand (whilst hooked in). Once you are up to speed and in the straps, you should find the carve to be an easy ride and particularly forgiving in manouvres such as gybes.

Thanks for the video clip. Was that taken on Saturday?

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14 years 11 months ago #1122 by jase_mk
Thanks, that all makes perfect sense. It did feel like my lines were too far forward, preventing me from sheeting in. Also, the sail felt like it needed to be thrown forward a little and the harness lines were preventing this. Reason I was reluctant to move them back too much was because I knew they were spot on a couple of weeks back - mast foot position never occurred to me, but now that you mention it... :roll:

Thanks again for the advice, will keep at it (and keep an eye out for sails in the meantime)

Video was Saturday, yeah.

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14 years 10 months ago #1129 by jase_mk
This seems like a bit of a bargain:
2004 North Disco 6.9, currently no bids at £80 and based in MK.

It say's it's a freestyle sail. What's the deal with that? Presumably a bit lighter in the hands and less grunt than a blasting sail? If so, that sounds like my cup of tea...

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14 years 10 months ago #1130 by mike g
Freestyle sails tend to be good for getting going (since guys competing need to get planing asap so that they can do their next trick) and also handle well in transitions (gybes and other tricks). Compared to freeride sails they are usually not as good at their top-end / when overpowered but then you just change down to your smaller sail. They are also quite good as crossover sails when venturing into waves.

I've not sailed the Disco but a search on Google should tell you whether people like them. North sails are pretty bulletproof so as long as there is no visible damage it should last you a few years.

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14 years 10 months ago #1131 by jase_mk
Bingo. No bids, picked it up for £80. Gotta be better than what I have right now. Looking forward to giving it a go at the weekend if time and weather permit.

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