View Full Version : Getting out of harness, boom height, back strap and catapults

16th September 2007, 04:48 PM
Hey there Roger and everybody.

I'm happy to report that I'm doing progress on my F-type, yesterday I had a first (planing) session, where I had to actually think how to get back downwind. :)
I was way overpowered on my smallest sail, 7.5 Gaastra GTX (sweet sail, just replaced my 7.5 Matrix recently), but I gave it regular downhaul and tons of outhaul and somehow survived these violent 7B gusts (it was really gusty yesterday).
Also, I set up the mast track almost all the way back (I've read somewhere here that it's better for the chop); it made it more difficult to bare off initially (how to solve that without using all this force?), but then the board would deal better with the chop.

Anyway, I'm still having a couple of problems:

1. Getting out of harness lines when on plane.
As advised by a local formula guy, I set up my boom 5cm lower for these overpowered conditions (normally, I like to keep my boom really high), but then, with all this chop I was unhooking unintentionally a lot.
I have adjustables, but I'll have to cut some rope off to make them go even shorter then their minimum setting (didn't have time for that).
Right now their length is such that I can fit my arm into the lines from my elbow to my wrist.
I wonder how people deal with lower boom position and fixed-length lines.
My arms just seemed to long to commit all my weight into the harness.
I'll try to shorten them, but maybe there are other things I should get fixed?

2. Doing massive catapults when trying to get into back strap.
OK, when I finally get my both feet there it's just sweet, but most of the time I'm scared, because many times I was catapulted really bad when I was trying to get into the back strap. What can be the reason?



17th September 2007, 10:07 PM
Hi Marek,
Hmmmmmmm..... " I gave it regular downhaul and tons of outhaul and somehow survived these violent 7B gusts"...........?
Just a hint here:
If you add alot more downhaul, you open up the top of the sail, so it handles gusts better, and has less power from top to bottom overall.
If you add alot more outhaul (as you did in this case it sounds like) you only flatten the lower panels of the sail and the top of the sail retains alot of power and rigidity that you really don't want (or need).
So, next time you need to "shrink" the size of your 7.5 m2 try using alot more downhaul, and then add a bit more than normal outhaul.
This will prevent your sail from becoming "on/off" and take away alot of the overall power and "pitchiness" due to having the top full and the lower panels flattened.
On your boom height/ harness line length, you can lower the boom, but you need to cut the tubing on your harness lines so you can shorten the lines as well.
Harness line length is dependent alot on the length of your arms (and other factors) so when you lower the boom, you lean out away from the rig further, to the extent of your arm length, but your hips stay closer to the rig so you need to shorten your lines.
Also, on a wide board like the F-Type, you can really get away with shorter harness lines than you would think. Wider boards do not necessarily equal longer harness lines.
Your body is further off the centerline, so you can exert more leverage on the rig.
As far as the catapaults while you are getting your back foot into the rear footstrap, try to judge any upcoming gusts, and don't lift your foot to put it into the strap until you have all your weight on the rig so you won't get catapaulted.
As you get more experience, you will find that getting into the rear strap, without a catapault involved, will get much easier. The fear is something you just have to "deal with" right now, but soon you will be beyond being scared.
Hope this helps,

18th September 2007, 01:08 AM
- Downhaul is one of the major problems, most surfers just don't downhaul enough.
- harness line problem, what type of harness are you using, seat, waist?
can make a big difference, you have to learn to really hang DOWN from the boom.
independent of board (K86&3.7 to iS133&9.5) lines always 28.

18th September 2007, 02:39 PM
- Downhaul is one of the major problems, most surfers just don't downhaul enough.

Well, my dealer says so, too, but also told me that I shouldn't overdo. He said the sail has to have a nice twisted shape, but with too much downhaul it doesn't work well as a sail and the cambers will have problems rotating (this is Gaastra GTX, 3 cams, dedicated Gaastra mast).
He also said just 1cm more/less downhaul make a huge difference, which I cannot see that clearly when I'm rigging it myself :(.

- harness line problem, what type of harness are you using, seat, waist?
can make a big difference, you have to learn to really hang DOWN from the boom.
independent of board (K86&3.7 to iS133&9.5) lines always 28.

Seat harness. I'm kind of confused about what Roger said about shortening my harness lines - I read many times on this forum, that the lines should be quite long, to keep the sail upright (more power).
Unless I make them shorter I will have to learn how to lean down more, as currently my arms seem to long and I'd have to stick my butt out (bad idea?).



18th September 2007, 07:08 PM
Hi Marek,
Perhaps what your dealer is suggesting applies to getting the sail tuned for it's mid range.
Sure, you can "overdo" the downhaul, but it's hard to do so without breaking the downhaul line or something, and I've never seen extra downhaul affect the camber rotation unless you don't add the requisite amount of outhaul to match the amount of downhaul.
Downhaul/outhaul need to be adjusted together so you maintain some balance in the rig.
Lot's of downhaul and no outhaul is most likely just as bad as minimal downhaul and way too much outhaul.
Anyone who says harness lines need to be long, on a wide board like the F-Type just doesn't get what we are trying to achieve here.
For sailing upwind, and reaching, the lines need to be adjusted so your entire body weight in on the harness and there is almost no pull on your arms.
How long is this..........? it's entirely dependent on your physical size, the length of your arrms, the width of your board.
You want to be in the "figure 7" stance, with your arms fully extended (maybe even with your shoulders rolled forward some) so your upper body is as far from the rig as it can go and you still can get your hands on the boom.
BUT, the lines may be quite short as the harness and lines need to "lift your butt" to get all your weight on the rig. The harness lines are not "lifting your butt" up off the board, but rather supporting your butt in the "figure 7" stance with all your weight on the harness and your arms fully extended.
To sail downwind, really deep, on a formula board, you do adjust your harness lines quite long, but you also bag the sail out by releasing most of/all the outhaul to make the sail efficient that far off the wind.
For recreationsl sailing, you will probably never sail that far off the wind (this is like as near to straight downwind, with the rig fully sheeted in and raked back with the board sailing on apparent windspeed exclusively).
As soon as the formula racers round the leeward mark, they shorten their lines alot, and add outhaul to give the sail it's upwind profile to get max. performance upwind.
Again, harness line length is governed by:
Your arm length...
Your height....
Board width....
Your stance (which we hope is the "figure 7")
The type of harness you are using.....
to some degree the kind of board and kind of sailing you are doing.
Small boards/wavesailing/waist or chest harness/ very vertical and "over the board"
stance= very short lines!
Free sailing/mid size/width boards; waist or seat harness/more "laid out to the side" stance = lines adjusted to your arm length.
Formula racing, very wide boards, seat harness, very "out off the board" stance, seat harnesses, adjustable length harness lines and adjustable outhauls= very short for upwind, longer for reaching (formula racers almost never are on a reach) and quite long for downwind with bagged out rig, and a change of stance to face almost forward.
So, harness line length is quite different due to alot of factors, and mostly people tend to have them a little on the "too long" and too widely spread out side of well adjusted and balanced lines.
Hope this helps,

18th September 2007, 07:43 PM
Thanks. I didn't know I need to match outhaul with downhaul.
My stance is "7" and I like to keep it that way. But on videos/pictures I often see Formula racers in more "seat-like" position (which I don't like that much, but must be somehow efficient since they are using it).
I'll try to make my lines shorter.


18th September 2007, 11:46 PM
Going hard upwind
- you "could" adjust your lines if you have adjustables
- you could have a second set of shorter lines on your boom
- you could just do what some other people do and adjust your stance (a 7 is NOT always optimal). I go faster and harder upwind than all the other regulars and tourist blokes here with longer lines AND they are max 1 handwith apart (smaller sails lines tend to almost touch).

Hanging hard from your boom also give you the ability to plane through really bad lulls.
The waist harness really engances this.

This argument sounds a bit like you should look like this... funnny the pros don't, oh well never mind...