I don't recall anyone here advocating sheeting in on every jibe, but I certainly
second Roger's advice against doing so. Any time we enter a jibe in which our
speed (or skill) is likely to be insufficient to coast through the jibe, whether
because we're barely planing or are planing pretty well but choose to carve a
very wide arc (i.e., coast too far to stay planing via inertia), we'll need all
the help we can get. That includes using any sail power available when it
becomes available, if in fact we do lose so much speed that we have any power
available while sailing downwind.
Board speed in a reach, and especially entering the jibe, should exceed the
ambient (true) wind speed, especially when planing in lighter winds. (As several
people here pointed out, efficient boards under big sails can well exceed
ambient wind speed, so the only time they'd get or need power downwind is when
and if they slow down to below ambient wind ... and planing ... speed.) As long
as boat speed exceeds ambient wind speed, as we'd like it to do throughout the
jibe, we have some headwind halfway through the jibe. In a headwind a sail
exposed to the wind would apply the brakes, rather than drive it forward to
maintain speed. Thus it's up to us in each jibe to know whether and when
"deploying the sail" will provide acceleration or braking. Our guesses and
actions to that end improve in accuracy with experience. It's a pretty sure bet
that if we're having to milk the wind and hold the sail very steady to maintain
a plane as we approach and enter the jibe, we'd better stick that sail out there
and start milking the wind's power through most of the jibe if we have any hope
of planing all or most of the way through. (We'd also better avoid upsetting
either the air flow or the water flow, by making no sudden moves with or inputs
to rig or board.) But that's not powered-up sailing, and it presumes we've
already slowed down so much that there IS some apparent aft wind available after
we pass a very broad reach.
Where Roger and I start to diverge (or I'm misinterpreting him) is in this
> IF you are fully powered up ... then sheeting in to INITIATE your jibe is
indeed the correct thing to do, but once > you've initiated and started your
carve, you stay a little over sheeted to keep the power out of the sail, but
> you are still sheeting out. Think of it this way, if you went into a jibe and
oversheeted to the max, and then tried > to keep the sail at this attitude all
the way through your carve you would end up pointing straight downwind,
> with the sail sheeted in like you were beating hard upwind, and perhaps still
raked back. The board
> would stall completely as the sail backwinded in the first 45 deg. of your
When powered well (properly, IMO), I (as per Cort Larned's lessons in WS Mag)
oversheet (i.e., tilt the mast way forward, sheet in until my boom almost hits
me in the ribs) as I start carving. My boom hand stays very near or against my
rib cage and my mast elbow stays locked at full extension, which means that as
my board and body (including my rib cage) carve through the turn from beam (if
I'm really flyin') or broad reach (if I need to maintain power as I bear off to
insure planing through the jibe) to nearly downwind, my boom hand slides around
from the leeward side of my rib cage until it's pretty close to my sternum. Now
I'm facing nearly downwind and my sail is still sheeted in as much as my rib
cage will allow. I'm still at or above wind speed, ideally, so the last thing I
want to do is deploy my air brakes (i.e., expose any sail to the apparent (head)
wind. My board sure as heck does not stall unless I totally***up; it feels
instead like it maintains full beam reach speed during the second or two I'm not
sailing under power. That's possible if I accelerated from beam reach speed when
I entered the jibe. The only way it can get backwinded is if I wait too late to
spin the sail, in which case I'll get backwinded in the LAST 45 degrees of the
turn, more or less from just past downwind up to just past the new broad reach.
Our divergence (or misunderstanding) proceeds with:
> if you are not going at WC speeds, going in, and you are not about 1-2 m2
OVERPOWERED in your sail size, > guess what? Oversheeting or sheeting in going
into your jibe just KILLS whatever speed and power you may > have available.
If that were the case, 1) why would published tutorials advocate oversheeting
until the sail flip, 2) why don't we all stall when we oversheet until the sail
flip, and 3) how would anyone coast far enough to jibe or do a trick or three
unpowered while planing through a jibe?
> So, for lite wind, underpowered, or just powered up, jibing, you need to keep
> and to do that you need to keep a little power on. To keep the power on you
need to sheet out gradually as
> you turn off the wind. keeping the sail powered to the point that it keeps
driving the board. The minute you
> oversheet or sheet out too much, the power drops, and so does the board, right
off the plane.
How about momentum? It carries boards -- even sinkers that don't far well
unpowered -- through thousands of RIPPIN' jibes every day. Look at the people
who jibe while holding the boom or mast with one hand or spinning the sail
through 360 or 540 or 720 degrees ... they're sure not applying any power while
> So, the difference here is whether you are going into the jibe with more speed
than you can handle,
> or less speed than it takes to complete a fully planing jibe.
How about middle ground, when we have plenty of speed to coast for a few seconds
through a jibe but are in solid control? Isn't that our objective on most jibes?
OTOH ... Roger's probably our most technically astute commentators, so I doubt
he's wrong. Yet I believe I'm either oversheeted or watching the sail spin
untouched. Thus I gather our definitions of "oversheeting" and "sheeting in"
To reply directly, remove the SpamDam.
> Hi Endo,
> I always laugh when I see this "always sheet in on jibes" thing.
> I know so many people who "extended" their learning curve by taking
> this advice "literally", some of them right here on this group.
> IF you are fully powered up and at top speed, like the WC racers are
> nearly all the time, then sheeting in to INITIATE your jibe is indeed the
> right (correct) thing to do, but once you've initiated and started your
> you stay a little over sheeted to keep the power out of the sail, but you
> still sheeting out.
> Think of it this way, if you went into a jibe and oversheeted to the max,
> then tried to keep the sail at this attitude all the way through your
> carve you
> would end up pointing straight downwind, with the sail sheeted in like you
> were beating hard upwind, and perhaps still raked back. The board would
> stall completely as the sail backwinded in the first 45 deg. of your
> So, going in, when you are really powered and moving at top speed,
> you oversheet to initiate the jibe, and then sheet out slowly as the board
> turns relative to the wind, keeping the sail a little oversheeted (to keep
> the power
> out of it) all the way to the flip. Then flip way earlier than you think
> you should,
> and get the sail powered up on the other tack, while you are still on a
> broad reach,
> and then come back up to the direction you want to go. This will give you
> the most
> likelihood of completing your "carve jibe" and planing both into and out
> of it.
> What amuses me, is that this has become a "ya gotta do it", yep, oversheet
> into every
> jibe, or you won't be cool and you won't make the jibe.
> Well, if you are not going at WC speeds, going in, and you are not about
> 1-2 m2
> OVERPOWERED in your sail size, guess what?
> Oversheeting or sheeting in going into your jibe just KILLS whatever speed
> and power
> you may have available.
> So, for lite wind, underpowered, or just powered up, jibing, you need to
> keep board speed
> and to do that you need to keep a little power on.
> To keep the power on you need to sheet out gradually as you turn off the
> wind. keeping the
> sail powered to the point that it keeps driving the board. The minute you
> oversheet or sheet
> out too much, the power drops, and so does the board, right off the plane.
> So, the difference here is whether you are going into the jibe with more
> speed than you can
> handle, or less speed than it takes to complete a fully planing jibe. If
> you have too much speed,
> sheeting in will bleed off a little speed, pull the rig over and forward
> where it needs to be, and
> set the rail solidly so you can complete your carve with speed and style.
> If on the other hand, you're not going all that fast, and not overpowered,
> you need to sheet
> OUT at a rate that will keep a manageable amount of power on the mast foot
> to keep
> everything from stalling.
> > Everyone says to sheet in when jibing. How come every video I see, the
> > clew of the sail seems to go progressively out to the side (pointing
> > towards the center of the turn) rather than being pulled towards the
> > tail of the board? (isn't that sheeting-in?)
> I think the "Everyone says" is the funny part, because everyone has to
> sheet out at some
> point (or face a full on stall), so they are saying you need to do this,
> but not telling you that
> you only do it in conditions where it works, and only momentarily to set
> the board and rig
> while releasing any excess power.
> > The videos seem to show that just before the sail flip, the boom is
> > almost perpendicular to the board and the guy is bending his knees a
> > lot while*** on the boom like it was the handlebars of a bicycle.
> Yep, that's the program, once you oversheet a bit to set things up and
> get the EXCESS power off the sail.
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