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Modern Stance for Maneuverbility?

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Created by SongofWind 1 month ago, 31 Mar 2020
SongofWind
17 posts
31 Mar 2020 3:19PM
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I know the "modern" stance as advised by most coach is to use a waist harness and a slightly higher boom--neck height when standing close to mast with the sail upright? But I prefer to put boom at shoulder height or just under, with a seat harness (a very low hook height) and short lines (mostly 22 inches). Short lines allow me to sail in an upright stance with the sail fully sheet in, in straps and my butt not touching water in chop. Much less spin out and better upwind.

I've tried raising the boom to see the effect but soon return to original height. With a high boom when planing in straps, I find all the weight is in the back foot and I have a feeling of pulling out of footstrap of my front foot (especially with modern slalom boards), which is very unsecured and TIRING! The board also slows down more going over chop. In terms of maneuverbility, in fact a lower boom is much better. With a lower boom, my arms are parallel to water surface so easier to push or pull the sail. Easier gybes (plane out of some for my level), duck gybes, waterstarts. In fact I fall more in gybes with a high boom. More difficult waterstart (need to stretch more to get sail upright, thus requires slightly more wind) and even uphaul (easy to fall backwards). I question whether using a waist harness is productive at all, especially one needs to raise boom height. Anyway most moves are done hook out, so does not depend what harness is put on.

I know PWA slalom guys use a high boom, but that's their setting with wider board. I personally don't sail wide boards as I don't need to or I choose to. What do you guys think? How about the wave discipline? Feel free to share.

remery
WA, 484 posts
31 Mar 2020 3:42PM
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I'll be interested to see some responses. I get the same feeling with modern slalom gear... heaps of weight on my rear foot. I have to shove it in the strap so fast I often jam my mangled toes.

I remember wavesailing in the old days I had hardly any weight on either foot and could prance around like a ballerina. Maybe its the extra 15kg of gut that's the problem.

Grantmac
244 posts
31 Mar 2020 3:57PM
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Are you talking about slalom or wave? Beacause you won't find any half decent wave sailors trying to make a seat harness and 22" lines work and nobody who does any discipline of windsurfing at a high level is using 22" lines either.

SongofWind
17 posts
31 Mar 2020 4:03PM
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Grantmac said..
Are you talking about slalom or wave? Beacause you won't find any half decent wave sailors trying to make a seat harness and 22" lines work and nobody who does any discipline of windsurfing at a high level is using 22" lines either.


I mostly sail slalom. In fact, some boards are old style, read late 90s narrow board. I've sailed proper wave break twice on a 74L *board Kode, with 4m sail, with 26 or 28(?) lines, boom at usual shoulder height. So my waves experience is very limited.

Basher
206 posts
31 Mar 2020 4:42PM
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Haha, is this a question about stance or is out about the type of harness you prefer?
And of course those two go hand in hand.

But there are some issues here that need debunking.
Firstly, a seat harness doesn't necessarily have a lower hook than a waist harness.
Secondly, if you are in 'upright stance' then the pull of the rig is outwards and, if you view the sailor from the nose of the board backwards or else from tail of the board forwards, then the hook sits on the radius of a circle where your hands are more or less at the centre.
Your harness line length is then determined mostly by the length of your outstretched arms when they sit close together open the boom. And in that 'perfect 7' stance, 22 inch lines are much too short.

It's also helpful to talk about what sort of kit you are sailing on. With a bigger rig, the rise and fall of the boom is much greater, and the boom is obviously high when slogging but drops much lower as you get in the straps. So we tend to talk about boom height as being shoulder to chest height when sailing along.
Chosen boom height is mostly about personal preference, and it's only beginners who are told to use a higher boom to help them unload the back foot and to get more mast foot pressure when heading out.
A competent wave sailor can use a low boom and still apply mast foot pressure. Some wave heads say a low boom is good for wave riding, whereas a higher boom helps when you are jumping.
Slalom sailors use boom height adjustment for control, in conjunction with mast foot position. In windy weather they might drop their boom a bit or else shift the mast foot forwards a touch, or both.

I suspect the highest booms are used by those on bigger sails. As has been said, sailing a wide board where the straps are set outboard does complicate these matters.

Stance is something to experiment with as much as it's something you can copy from others. The key to upright stance is to set the mast foot further back and to then have your front foot straps nearer the mast foot. Watch out that this setting can seem twitchy or 'catapulty' at first. Boom height will ultimately be a function of preference and of your height.
Maximum harness line length is a function of your arm length, with 32inch being the modern average.
In this correct modern upright stance, your bum does not slap the water, and you don't spin out.

The problem most people have with adapting to this upright stance is that they have to unlearn the old school stance - where your body is more in the lavatory position which is why you get bum slap from the water, and where your mast is raked back too much which often goes hand in had with too much load on the back foot, which is, in turn, what causes spinout.

Old school stance can still work OK for blasting in a straight line or for speedsailing. But the reason to go for a more upright stance is that it allows you to move your body weight quickly - adjusting board trim, reacting to gusts, or when going into a gybe etc.
For freestyle and waves riding you absolutely need to be able to react and move fast, but this applies to a lot of slalom sailing too.

Chris 249
NSW, 2451 posts
31 Mar 2020 8:31PM
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Sounds good, Bash, but has the bum out stance ever been the proper "old school stance" in most conditions? I'm not sure if it's ever been considered the right stance, or at least not for about 35 years.

Basher
206 posts
31 Mar 2020 5:38PM
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When people talk about bum slap or 22 inch lines or indeed about spinout problems you know they are in some sort of old school stance.
For sure there's old school, and then there's really old school.

I also see sailors in upright stance who are still what I call 'straight leg' gybers.
For those looking for change - or to solve a stance problem - it's probably worth getting someone to film you.

SongofWind
17 posts
31 Mar 2020 5:57PM
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This is a picture of me. I was on JP FSW94, 5.8 RAF sail and 28 fin. Wind around 18-20 knots. I remember I did not have the 'front foot pulling out of footstrap' problem in that session


PhilUK
45 posts
31 Mar 2020 6:09PM
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On wider tailed boards you are further away from the centre line so if the sail is sheeted at the same angle with respect to mast foot and direction you need longer lines. 22" lines sounds really short to me, even on the older narrower tailed slalom boards.

What do people mean by 'old school stance'?

To me its this from 2005.





PhilUK
45 posts
31 Mar 2020 6:16PM
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SongofWind said..
This is a picture of me. I was on JP FSW94, 5.8 RAF sail and 28 fin. Wind around 18-20 knots. I remember I did not have the 'front foot pulling out of footstrap' problem in that session


I wouldnt be able to relax being that close to the boom.

remery
WA, 484 posts
31 Mar 2020 10:08PM
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Basher said..
When people talk about bum slap or 22 inch lines or indeed about spinout problems you know they are in some sort of old school stance.
For sure there's old school, and then there's really old school.

I also see sailors in upright stance who are still what I call 'straight leg' gybers.
For those looking for change - or to solve a stance problem - it's probably worth getting someone to film you.


I'm thinking that would be me.

LeeD
1432 posts
31 Mar 2020 11:45PM
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As long as you're comfortable.
Some people have long arms. Some short.
Tall people. Short people.
Heavy up top. Strong legs.
And when you wave sail, you are not hooked in.
Been using 22" lines since mid 90's . Works for me and am considered a very good wave sailor.
Does a wave sailor need loops?

LeeD
1432 posts
1 Apr 2020 12:42AM
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And yes, a modern stance setup allows easier turning, hooked in or unhooked.
It allows air spin moves, is less locked down, needs smaller fins, and favors smaller sails or less power.
That is the opposite setup for what's needed for slalom or high jumping.
Where are your priorities?

Manuel7
376 posts
2 Apr 2020 1:03AM
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Sailors have been using both short and long harness lines regardless of decades, same with boom height. Possibly what changed from early twitchy sails was that now we can set harness lines close to each other.

Longer lines will let you put more weight outboard and therefore increase your upper wind range and speed. Similarly it lets you keep the sail more upright while pushing the board downwind for earlier planing. It works both ways!

It also lets you hook in and out with ease and gives you more room to wiggle around (maneuverability) while hooked in going over rough terrain.

The added leverage against the sail makes it much less catapult prone. Arms can also be more extended reducing stress on joints and muscles.

The really nice thing about a seat harness is that it hides our technical flaws. It lets us cheat by seating which increases our range without fighting our gear. I prefer it with sails 7.0 and over.

I do know of two guys here using short lines and lower boom. They definitely need more sail and possibly more board volume too. They upper range seems ok. They are good at low wind freestyle.

Everything is connected, if you raise the boom then you also need to change how you drive the sail force onto the board. Possibly move your harness lines too.

If you spin out, move your lines back. If your front foot is lifting, the sail force angle is off, most likely harness lines, possibly lack of downhaul too.

What do you local friends tell you?

LeeD
1432 posts
2 Apr 2020 5:17AM
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Riding a wave, you hook out...unless you're just cruising along.
Heading out, most sailor hook in.
If you loop, go new school.
If you jump high, go old school.
Track setup since '85 was track back for sharper turns.
Strap width always wide.
Size of straps allow feet to slide well inside to weight leeward rail.
Nothing new here.

maxi388
QLD, 17 posts
2 Apr 2020 11:58AM
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Nico Prien (PWA windsurfer) talks about how he sets up his sail in this vid. At the 6:00 mark he discusses boom height and harness line length. I would also recommend just watching some recent PWA event vlogs.

I also went and got some pictures that I would classify a modern slalom stance.















LeeD
1432 posts
2 Apr 2020 1:50PM
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Speed slalom stance hasn't changed, only freestyle and freestyle in waves.
Freeride, depends what you want to do.

SongofWind
17 posts
2 Apr 2020 2:57PM
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Manuel7 said..
Longer lines will let you put more weight outboard and therefore increase your upper wind range and speed. Similarly it lets you keep the sail more upright while pushing the board downwind for earlier planing. It works both ways!


How about the wind just enough to plane in both footstraps and I want to go upwind? The sail cannot generate enough power to hold me up if I am too outboard with my butt close to water. I sheet in the sail close to the centre line of board, sail rake back to match CE to the CLE of board/fin but NOT too much to windward (I try to keep the sail upright in windward/leeward plane and my hips high above water with short lines) Yes, I will length the lines for planing downwind.

Another reason I choose to use a low hook seat harness is because I have a bad back. I have tried using a higher hook, still seat harness, but I feel fatigue and pain in the lower back muscles especially for longer runs (2 minutes on one side). A low hook transfer force directly from my hips to the legs, without using lower back muscle. But this is only a personal issue with too stiff a back.

Actually I do not spin out often. I keep an upright stance with my body on top of the board when going over chop. If I change to longer lines with other things unchanged, more likely my hips are closer to water surface, then more prone to spin out.

PhilUK
45 posts
2 Apr 2020 6:33PM
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LeeD said..
Speed slalom stance hasn't changed, only freestyle and freestyle in waves.
Freeride, depends what you want to do.


Your speed/slalom might not have changed, I can believe that. Some people get stuck in a rut.
Pure speed sailing there seems a variety of stances, Mirium Rasmussen did a piece on her FB page at Luderitz last year. For slalom its changed over the years with wider boards, changing from seat to waist harness etc.

www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/General/Extending-arms#2453408

As SongofWind has a late 90's slalom board, longer lines and upright back legs bent might not work so well. Maciek Rutwolski said the PWA slalomers only moved to waist harnesses with the wider boards were developed.

I remember using 22" lines at one point, it kept me on my toes hooking in/out. I wouldn't go back to that.
UK speed sailor Jim Crossley does a lot of fun speed sailing on old kit, I wonder what he does differently. Have a google.


Basher
206 posts
2 Apr 2020 10:20PM
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SongofWind said..

How about the wind just enough to plane in both footstraps and I want to go upwind? The sail cannot generate enough power to hold me up if I am too outboard with my butt close to water. I sheet in the sail close to the centre line of board, sail rake back to match CE to the CLE of board/fin but NOT too much to windward (I try to keep the sail upright in windward/leeward plane and my hips high above water with short lines) Yes, I will length the lines for planing downwind.

Another reason I choose to use a low hook seat harness is because I have a bad back. I have tried using a higher hook, still seat harness, but I feel fatigue and pain in the lower back muscles especially for longer runs (2 minutes on one side). A low hook transfer force directly from my hips to the legs, without using lower back muscle. But this is only a personal issue with too stiff a back.

Actually I do not spin out often. I keep an upright stance with my body on top of the board when going over chop. If I change to longer lines with other things unchanged, more likely my hips are closer to water surface, then more prone to spin out.



If you are suggesting you can't go upwind in marginal conditions using longer lines I'd say that's wrong. One of the advantages of longer lines is that you keep the rig well away from you, at arms length, and that helps the sail work more efficiently.
For heading upwind you can lean forwards more easily with longer lines, whilst the rig is more behind you to line up CofE over Cof LR

You then relate hook height to back problems. I don't know you but I do know that most back problems in windsurfing relate to bad sailing stance, where your muscles are contorting to deal with uneven load. You keep mentioning that your butt is too close to the water and that alone is a sign that your stance is wrong. If you look at all the pictures posted above none shows the sailor's arse near the water.

My instinct says you may have your mast foot set too far forwards and your foot straps set too far back. But rather than me speculate on the internet about someone's stance, I'd suggest you need to get someone to video you sailing and then compare your stance with others.

Spinnout is caused by too much load on the back foot, and that does not relate to line length but to stance and to the harness line position on the boom .

LeeD
1432 posts
3 Apr 2020 12:43AM
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Spin out among decent sailors is caused by bad fin, or too small for wind and boardspeed,
Most often just a badly shaped...foiled...fin.

LeeD
1432 posts
3 Apr 2020 12:49AM
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PhilUK....
Possibly you are studying all different stances now,and maybe DID NOT in the past.
Did you know people are different?
Some long arms.
Some short arms
That kind, anatomical. Stands to reason they rig differently.
None of it matters, as long as you can sail fast, comfortable, and for a long time.
Don't pretend to be the professor of sailing stance. Useless endeavor and an exercise in theory.

Manuel7
376 posts
3 Apr 2020 12:59AM
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What Basher said + when I head upwind most times in both straps (lucky to be light enough) sometimes I place my back foot in front of the rear strap to be hanging farther forward.

My upwind stance has to be the ugliest stance someone would ever have! My front leg is super bent, body hiked out forward with sail "behind" me. When I used to have an uphaul line I often grabbed it so I could lean even farther out.

Now I just let go of my front hand. This is all done in marginal winds at the end of a session using a twin fin board.

Waist harness aren't as good as seats when it comes to hiding flaws, same with multi fins, same with gusty winds, rough terrain, current, etc.

When using a waist harness your abs should be doing the work. You want to drive your hips out into the harness. Your bum hitting the water shows that the sail reached a point where it was leaned too far windward.

Sails are most efficient when nearly upright, mast tip over the board. Now with short lines with an upright sail you will lack body leverage to deliver proper drive onto the board. That's why short line sailors tend to have their sail leaning towards the wind.

One thing that long lines let us do too is deal with great gear height variation while going through waves hooked in. We have more amplitude and range. It's easier to drive the board back down to maintain planing over white water and such.

This isn't the best image but it gives you a sense of commitment when trying to get the most out of our gear when heading upwind. Keep in mind that this is an 8.5 sail with a massive boat like board (really) so physics will differ and as you can imagine maneuverability is not an issue!

PhilUK
45 posts
3 Apr 2020 1:57AM
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LeeD said..
PhilUK....
Possibly you are studying all different stances now,and maybe DID NOT in the past.
Did you know people are different?
Some long arms.
Some short arms
That kind, anatomical. Stands to reason they rig differently.
None of it matters, as long as you can sail fast, comfortable, and for a long time.
Don't pretend to be the professor of sailing stance. Useless endeavor and an exercise in theory.


I'm no professor, just observant.

BTW, did you get the hang of that Tabou 100l Speedster in the end? I recall you asking on the old UK Boards forum you were struggling and wanted some advice. Something to do with the footstrap position and flying over chop. I knew someone who had the previous years version and the footstraps were further forward on his year's board.

LeeD
1432 posts
3 Apr 2020 3:14AM
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Thank you, PhilUK.
For my 72 kgs, the Speedster was easy in 14-21 mph winds with 6.6 sized sails. Good speed, 80% planing thru exit on jibes.
The problem became in 17-27 mph winds, with 5.8, 3 cam sails, when an 85 liter fsw's and 5 meter sail was more than adequate, with the bonus of easier landing on jumps. Speed not different because we sail in deep water at the downwind of a 4 mile fetch. Knee to lower thigh high cross windchop is common, as is jumps where the tip of the fin is 6' or higher off the water. Those are bump n jump conditions, not slalom or freeride.
Rear strap one hole forward of back setting, front straps one hole back from front setting, making a stance just over 22", mast track 22.5" from center of front strap, 33 and 35 Tectonics Phoenix fins.
I now use the Speedster 100 as one of my light wind boards in flat water.

Harrow
NSW, 3382 posts
3 Apr 2020 12:22PM
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I have my boom really low, hardly a week goes by without someone telling my why it's wrong. Yet I get going in lower wind and keep up with or pass guys using the same gear. I've tried raising it several times over the years and simply hate it.

LeeD
1432 posts
3 Apr 2020 9:39AM
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The one thing I didn't quite understand was why stance age matters for maneuvering.
I unhook to turn.
Wave setups have always been wide stance, big open footstraps, and feet able to move deeper or shallower as needed. New or old has no bearing.
Slalom, still some version of old school?
Freestyle, we need mast track back new school to spin and ride those little fins.
But freeride. Shouldn't we set up the board by what we want to do?

maxi388
QLD, 17 posts
3 Apr 2020 11:44AM
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Manuel7 said..
What Basher said + when I head upwind most times in both straps (lucky to be light enough) sometimes I place my back foot in front of the rear strap to be hanging farther forward.

My upwind stance has to be the ugliest stance someone would ever have! My front leg is super bent, body hiked out forward with sail "behind" me. When I used to have an uphaul line I often grabbed it so I could lean even farther out.

Now I just let go of my front hand. This is all done in marginal winds at the end of a session using a twin fin board.

Waist harness aren't as good as seats when it comes to hiding flaws, same with multi fins, same with gusty winds, rough terrain, current, etc.

When using a waist harness your abs should be doing the work. You want to drive your hips out into the harness. Your bum hitting the water shows that the sail reached a point where it was leaned too far windward.

Sails are most efficient when nearly upright, mast tip over the board. Now with short lines with an upright sail you will lack body leverage to deliver proper drive onto the board. That's why short line sailors tend to have their sail leaning towards the wind.

One thing that long lines let us do too is deal with great gear height variation while going through waves hooked in. We have more amplitude and range. It's easier to drive the board back down to maintain planing over white water and such.

This isn't the best image but it gives you a sense of commitment when trying to get the most out of our gear when heading upwind. Keep in mind that this is an 8.5 sail with a massive boat like board (really) so physics will differ and as you can imagine maneuverability is not an issue!



As a course racer myself I can comment on what is happening in this picture. The sailor has extremely short harness lines as to have as little leverage as possible. He is trying to keep his hips in towards the sail and back towards the rear to get the board railing. He is also trying to get his shoulders out and back to achieve the same thing. The goal is to load the fin to its maximum so that the board goes upwind with the leeward rail engaged. He is holding the uphaul rope as to get his shoulders out as far as possible while keeping the rig upright

This image is from the mens 2016 medal race in Rio, so it would be a 9.5 sail and a 66cm fin. In this race it was marginal planing conditions so he would be holding this position for 15-20 mins in a 25-30min race.


Here's some images of the 2x olympic gold medalist Dorian Van Rijsselberghe going upwind.






LeeD
1432 posts
3 Apr 2020 9:57AM
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Olympic course race stance is nowhere near the "modern" stance. It was used in D-2 before 1983.
I guess we should define what IS the "modern stance".

maxi388
QLD, 17 posts
3 Apr 2020 5:28PM
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LeeD said..
Olympic course race stance is nowhere near the "modern" stance. It was used in D-2 before 1983.
I guess we should define what IS the "modern stance".


Yes the "olympic stance" is different and frankly quite uncomfortable. But it shouldn't be disregarded because if you take the basic principles from it and apply it to general windsurfing you can make significant gains in upwind/downwind performance as well as broadening your wind range and just overall sailing.

I have definitely experienced this after a solid 2 years of rigorous training every weekend. Even trying to implement one aspect of the "olympic stance" can improve your sailing whether you can tell right away or not.

Manuel7
376 posts
3 Apr 2020 3:56PM
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Thanks for the details Maxi! I was looking for a picture such as the second one you posted. Awesome.

We can see how hiked forward he is. If control wasn't an issue, he would also pull his rear foot out to get a touch more forward and in a more natural position. It can be harsh on knees when they are set inwards while dropping off a piece of chop for example.

Anyways this is the ugly upwind stance I was talking about earlier.



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"Modern Stance for Maneuverbility?" started by SongofWind