>I am sailing an older Seatrend (9'4") which has the standard American fin
>base. Depending on the fin, there is about 2-3" travel available front to
>back. The board has a 14" blade fin and sails well planing and has good
>My question is related to fin position and using the foot straps. I'm
>getting used to the foot strap stance, and find that the board tries to
>point into the wind, unless I steer it downwind when using the straps.
>This is not noticed when the board is planing and I'm out of the straps.
>This steering downwind involves the need to lift the windward rail to
>avoid pointing. I don't have this problem with my 10'6" Mistral
>transition board, but it has two complete sets of foot straps, and I use
>the forward set.
>I am also wondering if subtle changes to the mast position, harness lines,
>etc may mitigate my "problem". Any pointers (except into the wind :-)
>) would be appreciated...
The rule of thumb is positon the front of your fin under the***to
you rear foot strap. But then it's not just that simple to solve your
problem that just gets your fin in a good place.
There are numerous exlainations for your problem and your on the right
track in your last paragraph.
Mast Position - Generally speaking your mast should be further back as
your sails get smaller in size. The exception to this might be if you
are under powered then moving the mast position forward helps get the
board on an plane quicker. The problem is compounded by changes in
new equipment. Newer sails tend to have their center of effort built
further forward in the sail. This means that the mast needs to be
further back with certains sails, but newer boards are building the
mast tracks fruther back so everything changes depending on the board
and or the sail. SOLUTION: if you are just beginning to get into the
foot straps you will find it easier to learn by putting your mast
Harness lines; more important than you think. But rather than getting
technical just try to center your harness lines so you can controll
your sail with equal effort from both hands. As you get more
comfortable try to move the ends of the harness lines closer together
on your boom. Length is also critical. They should be as long as you
can adjust them and still be able to push the board over onto the
leeward rail by pushing your weight down onto your feet. It's probably
to error on the short side.
Tah Surh the first posting in this thread gives a good explaination of
the dynamics of the center of effort and steering. It is essentially
the basis of everything I have said here.