Friday, August 30, 2013

Speedsurfing Tuning Tips 4

by Pierre Milutin

Previous article from the same series: Speedsurfing Tuning Tips 3

9. Board trim

Dont get fooled by what are the best riders riding. A ot of people will see Antoine Albeau or Dunkerbeck winning non-stop, and people think those are the quickest boards on the market. No true!

It goes like this. The biggest names on the PWA tour have the same length and width like the production boards, but the catch is the bottom shape. They have different bottom shapes then what we get on the market, so they are still custom made boards. The bottom shape of your board can determine your preformance on the water to be faster or slower in chop! All boards nowadays go fast on flat water.

So the first thing to look for is a good V in the middle of the board. We call that a chop eater! Second thing is a good double concave. This can absorb the chop way better than a single concave or no concave! And last, the first 30 cm of the tail to be flat, but with a V in it.

Another thing to look at is the rail at the back "the tail". If the rail is way to sharp then you could have some good crashes due to spinouts or chop problems. Thats why you have to pay a lot of attention to what speedboard to buy. Most of the production speedboards are built for flat water. So you ride them in choppy waters, it can be very dangerous. But, mind you, all the speedboards go allright in choppy waters to a certain speed! Once beyond 40 kts in chop on these kind of boards… it can be very dangerous to your health!

Again, all the pros have completely custom made speedboards and have the logo of the sponsors on there board.

So, to get your speedboard running fast it always has to sit on the tail in total controll. If your are not in controll then you have to set your mast track position and boom height to gain control. When I say control, that means when a good to a mega gusts hits you, the nose of the board does not rise and go out of controll. it produces power and keeps the trim of your board down while smoking of the tail.

Before you bare off the wind, always try get to top speed crosswind and slowly start going downwind. Create a big arc - this will generate more speed and power.

Once your are off the wind your front leg always has to be locked in and straight, and your back leg a little bent. It is extremely important NOT to put pressure on your back foot! Ease it off a good 80%!

If you put a lot of back foot pressure you will overload the fin and create drag which will make you go slower big time. And if in chop, you will most likley spinout and loose controll.

The next thing is through the transaction of goin fast across the wind to baring off slowly downwind is to keep your sail as still as possible. If you move the sail too much with your hands, you will loose a good percentage of your power and speed. Your sail has to be very well trimmed for this to happen.

10. Harness lines

Harness lines should always be long 28 to 30 inch. I sit at 34 inches for speedsailing when windy! Why long harness lines? Because you want to keep the sail more upright so you can produce the more power. If your harness lines are short, then the sail will be much closer to your body, so you cant really lean out properly. When you do lean out, you will drag the sail with you causing the sail to tilt too much, causing control problems and depowering your sail. In that situation it comes very easy to spinouts, because you got so much power in the sail theat it is forcing you to stand up straight over the fin, making a lot of back foot pressure which will cause the fin to spinout - especially in chop.

This is in strong winds. As the wind gets light to medium, then you want to shorten your lines because you want to kepp the power on. If you have long lines in light to medium stuff, you will be leaning out a lot which will cause your body weight on the board to be lighter so there is no pressure to drive the board to get it to go faster.

I play with harness lines from 28 inches to 36 inches, depending on the wind strength and this is also valid for slalom or drag racing with your mates.


Next, the final article from the same series: Speedsurfing Tuning Tips 5

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