View Full Version : Best set-up to get comfortable with planing

12th September 2006, 12:36 AM
Hi Roger / Ellen,

In your experience, what is the easiest type of board, sail, and footstrap set-up for a less-aggressive intermediate to build planing skills, usually in 10-15 kts?

My girlfriend (5'8", 145) has been sailing a mistral prodigy and sometimes a Bic Melody for about a year with up to a 6.9 m sail. She is comfortable in the harness and inboard straps on the Prodigy, and when it's really windy she can plane in the inboard straps (although it sort-of scares her). We've been trying the outboard straps on the prodigy with a longer fin and the 6.9 sail to lower the planing threshold, but she has trouble getting in them without sheeting out / rounding up / dropping off the plane. I've told her the usual tricks like hanging from the boom, bearing off the wind, pointing the toes, etc but it hasn't clicked yet and I'm wondering if there is an easier board or better teaching technique to use.

We're going camping in Rodanthe this weekend and bringing the gear.

17th September 2006, 10:07 PM
Hi James,
I haven't fotgotten you. Please be patient and I will give you a thoughtfully crafted answer.
My first guess is that your girlfriend is not yet committing her weight to the rig.
Even on a board a blocky and bulky as the Prodigy, if she steps out to the outboard footstraps and applies and of her weight to her feet, the board is definitely going to react to "weight steering" on the upwind rail and promptly turn into the wind.
Maybe her new "mantra" needs to be to get going a little faster before moving out to the rail, sheet in a little more slowly as she moves back on the board to prevent any sort of "rig steering" and then THINK LIGHT" and make sure virtually all of her weight goes onto the harness and rig and keeps her from putting weight on her feet.
I'll be done with the Trade Show and demos in a few days and hope to have more time to devote to giving good answers here on the forum.
Hope this helps,

23rd September 2006, 01:26 PM
Hi again James,
OK, I've thought this out, and I think the Prodigy and Melody are definitely not anywhere near the top of my list of boards that plane easily in 10-15 knots.
One of the smaller GO boards (Go 140 Go 155) or perhaps the newer GO 139 would be alot easier for her to control.
Also do you have your 6.9 m2 rig on a really lightweight mast and boom
For women, rig weight can be crucial to feeling eager to press their personal limits.
Other easy to plane on boards would be the mid size Carves (122; 133, 145).
Now that I have the Gemini (Tandem board) it might be interesting to take her out on the front of the tandem and see what she's comfortable with.
Also try her on some lighter weight rigs in the 6.5-7.5 m2 range.
What I know from working with women is that what you think she's capable of, and what she thinks she's capable of are often two different things. Let her progress at a rate she's comfortable with. Maybe planing is not smuch fun for her, and it's not that she doesn't have the techniques as much as it is harder due to the larger rig, etc.
Look me up when I'm back in Hatteras and we'll see what we can do to make planing easier.
Hope this helps,