View Full Version : That pesky rear footstrap

19th September 2006, 09:03 AM
Hi Roger,

I was sailing my F-type 158 in 6.3 condtions this weekend with a 50cm weed fin. And I was having a lot of trouble getting into the rear footstrap.

Generally I'd start moving, hook in, start to accelerate, put my front foot in, drive the board through my front foot and it would just take off. I found it impossible to get my rear foot in as I bounced over the chop.

I could get into the rear footstrap by putting my front foot in front of the front footstrap and then putting my rear in and riding the board in that ridiculous position till it really started to move.

What technique am I missing here?

I should add I had the f-type out in those conditions becuase a) I'm working on my waterstarts and wanted to be able to uphaul and b) I love the board. My footstraps were in the inner most positions (but not the chcken strap in the rear).


19th September 2006, 10:21 AM
Hi Matthew,
OK, a 50 cm weed fin can easily have more area than the stock fin, so you may have been a little overfinned.
On the other hand, a 6.3 m2 rig (a recreational sail, not race or free race perhaps) is a very small sail size for a board as wide as the F-Type 158.
And, with the footstraps inboard, you probably aren't going to have the leverage (with your feet and legs) to control even a 50 cm weedfin.
We need a little more information here.
What brand and type of 50 cm weed fin.
What type and model sail.
How windy was it......
How large was the chop.....
Sounds like you may be ready to move your footstraps outboard, and maybe take a slightly smaller or narrower board.
The F-Types do accelerate very quickly, so you may need to learn to
sheet in and rake your rig back a little more slowly to let that "acceleration" build up at a rate that allows you to get both your feet into the footstraps before the board gets going too fast to do so.
If you stick your front foot in, hook in, and then simply "crank" the rig in and rake it back, the F-Type 158 is going to do exactly what you are telling it to do. It will practically accelerate right out from under you.
So, take it a little slower, once you have that front foot into the strap. hook in, then work your back foot into the rear footstrap before you really get your rig fully sheeted in and raked back.
Also, it sounds like you are fully ready for the footstraps to be moved outboard.
That will give you much better leverage to control the fin.
Hope this helps,

19th September 2006, 12:18 PM
Hi Matthew

I agree with Roger. Get those footstraps out :-). I have the FF 158 and on the weekend was sailing overpowered on a 7.6 and even with my 70cm Drake fin, (only one I have) the board maintained great control.

I am amazed how well these boards sail with smaller sails. It must have something to do with the very short length. I was flying over chop which would have given me some problems on my 66cm wide but 270cm long RRD, even with a HUGE 70cm fin hanging out the back :-).

I have also used a Ft158 with a 6.5 and 64cm fin in flat water and had a great time.



20th September 2006, 03:50 AM
Hi Roger/Rod,

Thanks for the replies. I was in Salvo sunday, Wunderground tells me the wind was 18-20mph. I was using a Gun X-Race 6.3 that I got very cheap becuase it's more tape than sail at this point. The fin was a 50 cm True Ames Santa Barbra weed fin, not a very wide fin. The fin felt really good. The chop wasn't large, it felt large to me, but I'd say it was only about 1 foot high. I weight 220lbs so I was probably a little underpowered in the lulls.

I had smaller boards I could have moved onto, but they are much narrower and not of the last ten years. I really enjoy sailing the f-type so I tend to sail it in most conditions.

I'll try what you suggest about moving the footstraps out. I tend to do most of my sailing on the lakes of the piedmont just barely powered on an 11.0 retro. Will moving the fotstraps out help or hurt that senario?

Something I forgot to mention, when I was bouncing over the chop I kept coming out of my harness lines. Is that due to lack of commitment to them or perhaps lack of flex in my knees?


20th September 2006, 07:27 AM
I come unhooked on occasion too. I think it's definately lack of commitment to weighting the harness. You tense up and pull the boom in a bit to counter the pull and you're unhooked.

I've been working a lot lately on weighting the harness fully and riding up and down the sweel with movement in my lower body only. The few times I get it right the chop seems to virtually disappear.

That's one thing I love about the FF/FT and bigger sails. It gives you plenty of time planing on relatively flat water to work on your stance. It allows you to lock into a solid stance which hopefully you can carry through onto smaller gear in rougher terrain.

20th September 2006, 01:45 PM
I got many of the same problems dicussed in this thread.

I have problems with the rear footstraps. I sail with a GO 170 and thunderbird II 7.5 and 2003 6.5 Storm sails.

In august, after learning to plane, I decided to go for the straps. First I had them in the middle position on the board, and set wide so I could get easy into them. This worked, and I was soon able to plane with straps. Then I decided to go for the advanced position, near the rail. I managed to do that, too, but had a couple of catapults. In the second session in advanced straps, I had a bad catapult, that resulted in a ding on the board, and bruises on my leg. It was also due to sailing in about 50 cm chops and beeing overpowered. I had to fix board, and waited two weeks for the next wind to kick in. Bought a smaller sail, too.

Now I can't get in rear straps! It's like I have forgot how to get in straps. The back foot is nailed. I haven't been catapulting the three last sessions while only sailing in front straps. Straps are in advanced position. Front foot in strap, and back feet is right over the fin. I have tightened the front straps, to avoid puting foot too far into, so it's easier to lift the rail. I have got comment from advanced sailors, I have a good speed, and they are surprised a large board can build up that speed so easy. But yesterday I manged to go even faster, by relaxing in the harness. I sailed with a 6.5 storm sail in about 16-18 knots. The speed was scary, as imagination kicks in and I start to wonder what happen if I catapult in this speed. I have been skiing, and racing downhill. I think beginners would be scared and probably bad hurt at that downhill speed, while it is no problem for me. So it's maybe the same for windsurfing? I have to get used to that speed?

I have found a flat water spot, with much less chops than where I sailed before. My idea now is to try to practice raising the back feet while on plane. And try to find the speed it is possible to get into rear strap without sinking the rail. But suspect I will go even FASTER when into both straps and relaxing in harness. The relatively flat water also makes everything going faster.

Isn't it dangerous to catapult at that speed?

And I wonder if you know a way to slow down while in straps and harness, when I feel I am going too fast?

20th September 2006, 02:03 PM
Forgot to add that I feel it's hard to just hang in the sail. Often I have to move the sail back to avoid it beeing thrown forward, or put it more forward to get power/avoiding falling back or turn upwind. Shouldn't it be possible to just hang in the sail without moving it backward and forward much of the time? I am going to ask a advanced sailor to try my rig, but maybe you know the cause?

I feel this is making it a little harder to get in the rear straps, as I need to hang in the sail alone to lift the back feet. Will practice more on balancing the sail in afternoon, anyway.

23rd September 2006, 02:04 PM
Hi Lindbergh,
Sounds like you need a bit more time on the water, to get a bit more accustomed to what things feel like.
Are your footstraps in the full outboard and back postions, or are you running the rear straps inboard over the fin?
You don't want to be "lifting" your rear foot, but more "pushing across the top of the board", like you want to push the tail away from you.
As far as turning upwind, and constant fore and aft rig adjustments, I think you will find that when you are more relaxed in your harness and can "commit" to having the rig support your weight, the weight will come off your feet and go onto the rig.
This will help prevent catapaults, and let you use fin pressure to steer your board.
Push harder across the top of the fin to go upwind, and to "cant" your fin slightly to leeward at the top or root.
To go straight ahead, on a beam reach, ease off the fin pressure and hold your board very flat to the water (rail to rail or roll axis here).
To head off the wind, push a little with your front foot, tip your rig up (rake angle here) a tiny bit and your board will turn off the wind.
Perhaps some of your difficulty in "hanging onto" your sail is due to some boom height or harness line imbalance.
How high do you run your boom? Shoulder height? Chin height? Where?
Can you take both your hands off the boom momentarily?
If you do, does the rig simly stand in one place, supported by your harness lines, or does it fall forward or back? Does your sail sheet in or out?
Yes, you need to learn to "hang in the sail alone" and be comfortable and confident that the sail will support your entire weight.
When you get the feel for this, you can then convert all the power in the sail into forward drive to make you go faster, and it will take all the weight off your rear foot so it's easy to get into that rear footstrap.
You don't really need to "lift" your rear foot, just get the weight off it so you can move the foot easily into the footstrap.
Hope this helps,

24th September 2006, 05:24 PM
Thanks for the very clear details, Roger! Now I have a better idea what to look for when going out sailing.

All straps are in the outboard and back position. After a couple of sessions out of rear strap, I am back in both straps, and able to steer like you describe, though more practice is welcome. The boom is at upper chest/neck level. If I take arms of boom momentarily, I have experienced the sail to stay in place, after trying the Guy Cribbs method for adjusting harnesslines position. But after a local expert adjusted harnesslines more forward some minutes later, the sail went forward and sheeted in(i think, as I do not dare letting arms of for too long) when letting arms of. Got lost adjusting the lines back and forward, then the wind died.. Have also moved mast foot backward, and think it helped. Does this makes sense?

I feel I have to hold back/rake back the boom with arms to avoid catapulting, but suspect I maybe have to move harness lines more back, and hang more in them, so I get enough weight on the sail?

It gets easier every time I am on the water, and i agree with you about the TOW.

26th September 2006, 10:54 PM
Hi again Lindbergh,
Sounds like you are "dialing in" your rig balance and stance fairly quickly here.
When setting your harness lines, it's always a matter of "personal preference".
Some sailors like the rig to be "front handed"; while others like it more back handed.
My persona preference is for the rig to be as perfectly balanced as possible.
I was sailing a brand new NP RS 6 9.0 m2 Formula sail over the weekend and I had to do quite a bit of moving the lines forward to get it where I could even sail it.
The boom was much higher (up in the forehead to top of my head range, but as low as it would go the way the sail was rigged) than I would normally like it, but when one uses borrowed gear, you have to make the best of what's offered.
So, I sailed the Exocet Kona and a new MIke's Lab Formula board with the boom a lot higher than I like it (normally for me just high enough to get my chin over the boom) with significantly longer harness lines.
This made my "transitions" a bit more tricky, but I quickly got accustomed to the setup and had a great time checking out the new RS-6 and these boards. (Thanks to George Isreal!)
As far as where to set your harness lines, that's (as I suggest above) going to be something you have to work out. It's different for different width boards, taller or less tall sailors, and may be sailor weight and strength dependent as well. Whatever you come up with that's most comfortable for you, and allows you to be confident that you can use your upper body weight (and easing your sheeting angle a bit) to control impending catapaults is going to work the best.
Again, TOW is the key to getting into a "comfort zone" where everything balances, and your sailing becomes pretty much "effortless".
But, as you feel the "need for speed", and conditions, boards, and rig sizes change, you also need to experiment with harness line length, harness line balance, and boom height to find the "geometry" that makes your sailing comfortable and effortless in different conditions on different gear.
Hope this helps,