On Going Upwind
I'm still having difficulty going upwind. I've tried a couple of different
fins (in the vane hope that my problems are equipment-related) and now
have a pretty long pointer type fin on my slalom board.
When I am not fully powered up and not in the straps, I absolutely cannot
make upwind headway. I invariably return to the beach downwind of my starting
position. It seems to me that others can get upwind in any conditions on
almost any board.
When powered up and in the straps, I do much better. I concentrate on keeping
my board flat, I even put pressure on the leeward rail. I steer upwind
by raking my sail back and sheeting in.
While sheeting in I notice that I lose a lot of power as I go from
a broad reach to a close reach. I suspect my sail handling technique
because others seem to just power upwind with the sail sheeted right in
and the gap firmly closed. As I try to sheet in, rake back, and close
the gap, I seem to stall the sail and run out of power.
On Sails In General
My new N-P Wave Slalom (twin CAM) is a nice sail but somewhat longer
in the clew than I expected. I have no problems handling my Northwave
Trilite (5.0) or my N-P 4.7 Wave, both of which have clews in the five
foot range. However, the longer clewed sails seem much harder to handle
because when I start to get overpowered, it feels like the extra clew is
just working against me. AS I sheet in hard, it feels like the clew is
merely creating drag and slowing me down.
On the other hand, I see plenty of others fully sheeted in with slalom
or race sails with great long clews, and having none of these problems.
I have to assume that my technique is all wrong.
I keep my harness lines fairly close together at what seems to be the
center of effort.
Cool sunglasses and a fancy airbrush job..at least I look good on the beach.