View Full Version : How to effectively pump to plane?

15th October 2006, 03:05 AM

Can you explain/describe how effective pumping works in order to get to plane earlier?


20th October 2006, 06:59 AM
Hi Tom,
Hmmmmm.... I thought I anwered this question already?
Any way, in order to be effective when pumping you have to first ensure that the type of pumping you are doing suits your board and rig.
Doing full body "all that your've got" pumping on a smaller narrow slalom board won't work very well as you don't have the big fin and wide tail that works with this sort of pumping.
Conversely, doing little "flutter pumps" with 9.0 m2 + rig on a wide board is equally inappropriate.
So, let's break pumping down into "categories".
For wide boards and big sails, you want alot of movement aimed at getting your weight off the board so it can "launch" over it's bow wave and get up ot top of the water where the short wide planing surfaces at the back of the board will support your weight once you get the board "porpoising" over the top of the water so the drag created by the front of the board and the rocker transition is no longer a factor.
By pumping vigorously, with your entire body, you can put your weight up on the rig (momentarily) and this may be enough to "launch" your board onto a plane. You can pump maybe 4 or 5 cyles and after that you need a rest. If 5 big pumps doesn't get you planing, doing more of what hasn't worked won't work.
Then you can try "ooching" off the wind, moving your weight slowly and steadily back on your board until it either planes off, or the nose pops up and you start to lose speed.
For mid size and width board (slalom and recreational boards here, <75 cm wide, you need to pump a little less vigorously and work the fin a bit to "shake" your board loose and onto a plane. With modern rockerline free ride and slalom boards you may find that weight positioning is very critical. Try to find the "sweet spot" for your weight and the associated foot position so you board just "slides" onto a plane with a little flutter pumping and a few "jabs" on the fin.
On much smaller and narrower boards, with tiny fins, you can only "flutter pump" really.
Doing anything more "active" seems to simply upset the board and rig so you really do nat gain much if anthing with vigorous pmping.
In all cases, you are trying to get the nose of the board "up" to the correct pitch trim so the board can plane, then use the rig and some flutter pumping to keep it accelerating.
On the wide boards and big rigs, you are basically just unweighting the board so it can "shoot forward" as you pump and maybe achieve a plane (or "semi-plane" at least). Then you can get into both footstraps, and pump the fin hard to continue the acceleration.
Hope this helps,

20th October 2006, 10:10 PM

I was working with someone on an F-Type 158 and 11.0m2 Retro the other week. He was having trouble understanding the &#39;large movement&#39; concept for pumping big gear. What I found was that he wasn&#39;t sure what the actual steps were to an effective pump.

I&#39;m curious if you agree with what I explained to him. ;-)

In order to pump effectively on big gear, you push against the fin with your back foot very soon after you start to pump the sail (after you initiate the sail pump with your front hand and just before you finish the pump with your back hand). This loads the board in preparation for the undulating/porpoising motion. When you finish the pump of the sail, you start lifting your weight off the board to try to get it to break through and onto a plane (remember you loaded it up already so it should pop up out of the water now). A more aggressive example of this would include actually lifting the board with your feet in the straps. Then, when the board comes off the porpoise, you start another pump ... &#39;rinse and repeat&#39;

Ultimately, the rhythm is very important. Getting the timing of the above steps right will get you on a plane with less energy wasted. I think people should be able to mimic the motion on land (no board or sail in hand) before even trying on the water.

Oh, and by the way, I recall a thread answering this question a couple times in the past two months. Maybe you should make a sticky thread that includes links to some of the typical questions people always ask...an FAQ.

21st October 2006, 11:16 AM
Hi o2bnme,
I think you are on the right track here, but a couple of points stand out for me.
I&#39;m not sure why you want to "push against the fin with your back foot very soon after you start to pump the sail".
It seems to me that in order to do a full body "all you&#39;ve got" pumping sequence you are basically pushing the fin all the time, and especially as you pull back on the sail at the start of the pump. If you aren&#39;t "pushing the fin" then alot of your effort is going to be lost. Load the fin up as you start your pump.
Next, you suggest "after you initiate the sail pump with your front hand and just before you finish the pump with your back hand)".
Hmmmmm.... I always thought that I do these big pumps with both hands at the same time. It sounds like you are trying to include some sort of "flutter pump"( where you sheet the sail in and back at the same time) action in what&#39;s basically a full effort pump.
On a full body "all you&#39;ve got" pump you bring the rig more straight back, the idea being to put as much force into pulling the rig back as you can so your weight comes off the board and at the same time the mast foot and feet "shoots" the board forward and up over of the water due to the "direction" of the force of your pumping action.
Maybe I&#39;m wrong, here. I&#39;ll have to go out and see again what exactly it is that I do.
You are entirely correct, the timing and "rhythm" is critical to making any kind of pumping work for you.
Hope this helps,

22nd October 2006, 12:59 AM
Ok as the "He" in question in o2bnme&#39;s post. Let me ask a couple of questions to both of you.

I haven&#39;t figured out how o2bnme pumps up in such low conditions, I can pump and get up in almost adequate condition, but in nowhere near the wind he can.

I have no idea how you are getting the board to porpoise. How can you get that much weight off the board? Are you literally jumping up and down? How does this up and down push against the fin?

For that matter how do I push against the fin without the board turning up wind?

On the superwide F-type 158, where are me feet. My front foot is in or beside the footstrap right? Well then, where is my rear foot, between the rear footstraps? If I&#39;m going to push against the fin it needs to be on the edge. But then how do I maintain trim, even if I do get up onto a plain I need the board to be level or to leeward because with all my wieght on the windward edge it wants to lean to windward and thus carve upwind and off the plain as so a it gets onto a plain.

What is the offical spelling of plain and plaining anyway ,like the wood working tool? Like a aircraft?


22nd October 2006, 04:46 AM
You and me both Roger. I haven&#39;t thought about the mechanics of pumping in a long time. Matthew and I were sitting on the shore just after I proved I could plane in the conditions we were faced with while Matt (sorry Matt) was slogging. And you aren&#39;t alone, at Windfest Hatteras this year, a lot of people were using me as a wind gauge. They would get out there and find there wasn&#39;t enough wind for them to plane. I spent a few hours on the water and only saw a couple people plane a few times. I was ITFS 100% of the time. And that was with a weed fin (gotta love those Tangent Dynamics fins!).

For those who are reading along, here&#39;s some pictures the Go Pro Video (http://www.goprovideo.com)guy took of me. Roger, you remember how light the wind was at Windfest, right? The first day or two were very light. You can see there wasn&#39;t much evidence of wind.


Anyway, back to the mechanics... The reason I describe the motion as front hand first then back hand very soon after is to get a motion that can be translated into forward motion better. I learned to sail on a Windsurfer Classic where pumping in light wind meant scooping air. I guess some of that has stuck with me. I&#39;ll pay more attention to my pumping next time to see if I do this on all my pumps or just the first one or two. If you bear off the wind a bit with an F-Type, I&#39;ve found that by initiating the pump with the front hand works well -- but don&#39;t think that I don&#39;t start pulling with my back hand very quickly. This is how I get the board slipping through the water on a beam-to-broad reach. The back hand&#39;s pull is very, very close behind the front (I think).

And for my description of what my feet do... I&#39;m not sure if I describe it correctly. Again, it is tough to describe. I was trying to describe what your feet are doing to get the undulating motion going. You push down (and against the fin) with your back foot, but then once the pump has enough energy in it, you use that energy to lift the board (and your body) out of the water. When this occurs, you are NOT pushing against the fin. So, when you come off the porpoise and are ready to pump again, you load up the board (and fin) with your back foot to get things moving.

When I&#39;m going all out, I put my feet in the straps and really do lift the board out of the water. To answer your question Matt, don&#39;t think of it as jumping up and down. That&#39;s too rough of a concept. You have to think of this as a dance. Grace and balance. Because of the rhythm, this is a dance.

Sorry (again) Matt, but being 80 pounds lighter than you does help me get on a plane even with a smaller board and sail. Oh, and don&#39;t forget you were using a 64cm fin with that 11m2 Retro. I had a 70cm with my 9.8m2 V8.

How do you get all your weight off the board? You decide you can deal with getting wet if it doesn&#39;t work. Then you go 100% and trust that when you pump the sail, you are generating enough energy to lift the board and you out of the water. I assume you&#39;ve seen me when I&#39;m going 100%...when the board is truly out of the water. I do this with my feet in the straps.

I&#39;ll let Roger give a go at this again. I&#39;m having trouble thinking about how to describe pushing down on the back of the board and how that translates to pushing against the fin.

And with regards to keeping the board from bearing upwind on you. I would venture to guess this has to do with how you position the sail during the pumping or when on a plane more than anything. It could have to do with the rhythm too, but I have a feeling it is sail position. You need to make sure you get the sail&#39;s force correct. If you are pumping in a way that effectively positions the sail like you would when heading upwind, yup! you&#39;ll head upwind. If you can keep the sail more full like you would when bearing off the wind, you&#39;ll find you have more force in the sail and you&#39;ll keep the bow from heading up on you. You need to build speed off the wind before you can head upwind effectively. So, when on a plane, be sure you&#39;ve gathered speed before heading up. Otherwise, you&#39;ll most likely drop off the plane sooner than you would like. This is even more important on a board like an iSonic, I&#39;ve found, but I do still do it on an F-Type.

Roger, you should get someone to follow you with a video camera to film something like this and then put a link to the video on this website.

It all happens so fast! It is hard to think through the finer details of what I&#39;m doing.

Ok, enough of this. I&#39;m up in Maine right now. I&#39;ve been doing chores while watching the 25-30mph winds blow off the lake. No sailing for me. The water and air add up to 100, so I could have gotten out there, but I had too much work to do this weekend. :-( So, in order to NOT be tempted, I left all my gear in North Carolina.

22nd October 2006, 11:25 AM
Hi Matthew,
OK, the weight difference alone can make a world of difference, but there seem to be some technique issues here that might get you going significantly earlier.
First, when doing full body pumps to get on plane on a wide board like the F-Type 158, you probably aren&#39;t in the footstraps. The front strap maybe, but no weight on that foot. It just helps to keep you in positon and shoot the board forward when you get all your weight up on the rig.
The back foot needs to be just ahead of the rear footstraps, directly over the centerline of the board (so you can steer with heel or toe pressure).
I&#39;ve found at my weight this "sweet spot" for the rear foot ends up being kind of in the middle of the oval EVA "spot" in the center of the board just ahead of the front of the rear footstrap.
I weigh about 170-175 lbs, you weigh more, so I would expect your rear foot to be a little further forward than mine.
You need to focus all your weight on this rear foot!
So, as you pull the rig back really hard (the clew stays out at more than 45 deg. I think) you are transferring as much of your weight as possible up through your arms and onto the boom.
In order to do this, you kinda "fall back" a little as you pull hard with both arms.
As your weight comes off the board (it&#39;s now supported by the rig, momentarily) the action of the rig coming back and you falling back slightly lifts the board and shoves it forward.
If you have your rear foot on the "sweet spot" (for your weight) the nose will already be at the correct height (pitch axis trim here) for the board to efficiently slide up onto a plane.
The board will actually "bounce" (porpoise) up and over the water.
If you get the rhythm right, your seond pump will occur as the board is settling back and shoot it forward to pop it up even higher.
After 3-5 pumps, if the board isn&#39;t accelerating and up onto a semi plane, you may as well give up.
2-4 pumps really should be enough.
I&#39;ll try to get someone to photograph this.
I&#39;m working with an animator and I think between some very specific video and an animation based on that video, we can illustrate what&#39;s effective, and what&#39;s not.
Also it would be good to separate the "myths" here from what actually is happening. It&#39;s a very dynamic action with many things happening on several different levels, all at the same time. The video could be used to "seperate out" each different level or aspect so those trying to learn the skill could see what&#39;s happening with the sailor, with the rig, with the attitude of the board, and some underwater video of what the fin is doing.
That should nail it down pretty well.
Hope this helps,

23rd October 2006, 08:49 PM
Hey Roger. I&#39;m going to be out at Avon this weekend picking up a repaired sail. Are you going to be around? I can shoot 8.5 fps if you want still photography. If you want video, I can&#39;t help you. ;-) I should be around on Saturday at the very least. My name is my Yahoo ID. You have been emailing me about the Gemini and the Phantom. Maybe we can get a session on the Gemini too.

24th October 2006, 04:37 AM
Hi Bill,
Unless something changes between now and the weekend, I should be here in Avon.
If it warms back up,and the wind blows a bit a sesh on the Gemini sounds real doable.
Where will you be staying>

24th October 2006, 05:03 AM
Thanks guys, that is the best explanation of pumping I have ever read. I&#39;ll give it a try next time I go out.


24th October 2006, 08:58 AM
I&#39;ll probably sleep in my car at Friscowoods if I stay over. I&#39;ll drive down Saturday morning, visit Avon Sailhouse to get my repaired sail and then head to the water. I&#39;ll email you my cell phone.