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Stand Up Paddle => SUP General => Topic started by: WaaSup on July 29, 2020, 11:32:11 AM

Title: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: WaaSup on July 29, 2020, 11:32:11 AM
board: 14x23 onesup 276litres, evo, 9"fin
me:      slim build 5'7" male, 54kg
paddle: 72sq inch
style: mostly 2-4hr day touring
only raced once, would like to do more

I'll try to make this short-

Aside from a downwinder I've paddled at most places around Vancouver (jericho-windy, english bay calm/boat wake,  deep cove-various conditions except >10km+ wind, prefer choppy waters, can handle 10km wind upwind with chop. Been paddling 1.5yr and this is my first board. I feel very comfortable on it, and don't usually fall except for the odd large mixed chop from boat wake.
I cannot do much of a tail kick turn since I usually have a 2-3pound drybag with food n clothing under the (front) bungee plus my paddle is small, plus it feels unstable being anywhere near the rear of the board. I'm ok being 1foot away from the kickpad (with drybag up front). 
I plan to get a larger 82sq or 86sq inch paddle pretty soon.

My problem is going upwind, (when I cannot head straight into the wind due to route obstacle, boat route etc.) my board gets pushed sideways and off course. If I go straight into the wind it's not a problem - and I can always sit if wind gets too strong. 

How can I tackle upwind better when not able to go straight into it?    or is this just better suited with a downwind board (since their noses are pitched up a bit more eg. infinity downtown). I find standing one foot back allows me to maneuver better, the rocker line is very shallow on this board. At the same time I've read that I'm supposed to stand more forward to sink the nose so the board is more aero- but it's near impossible to steer.

Lastly: I'm open to getting a new board provided it's lighter and tours as well, however most I see- eg. SIC RS, Infinity blackfish  aren't much lighter and the volume is actually higher. For someone flyweight like me less volume would be more desirable.

Many thanks
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: burchas on July 29, 2020, 03:35:47 PM
Few things from my experience (average 8-10 hours a week) paddling upwind.

- I'd stick with smaller Blade. I'm a strong paddler about 65LB (30kg) heavier than you and my preferred  blade is a 78sqi for upwind. Pushing upwind with a bigger
   blade is ineffective and a recipe for stress injuries.

- I'd try staggered stance if balance allows. You'll expose less body surface to the wind and you'll have better control over the paddle. It will also allow you to stand slightly forward but
  still put some weight on the back foot to trim the board when maneuvering. Try to time the maneuvering when the nose is disengaged going over the bump but still somewhat protected
  from the wind by the bump ahead. If there are in fact bumps in your conditions?

- Try higher cadence shorter stroke with less torque. You can't muscle the elements (that ties back to the blade size)

- I prefer going with some angle to the wind so not to face the full brunt of it. Just switch sides more often which is better for long stretches anyway.

Not clear what has bigger effect pushing you off course -  Wind or Bumps? what's the wind speed you're usually facing? As for board, it's better to chose something that matches your
skill level but leave you some room to grow. I've ridden the both the Evo 1 and 2, touring in windy conditions would not be my first association with this board. That said, as you progress
you may find the board more and more suitable for your needs so don't be quick to dump it.

I usually prefer sharp more pulled-in nose shape for upwind applications but if you see downwind in your future you might have to think what your priorities are before investing in a new board.
As always try to demo as many boards as you can, it will give you a better understanding what shapes works better for you. Width & Volume never tell the full story.

Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: WaaSup on July 29, 2020, 03:54:55 PM
Many thanks for the useful tips.

I do already use staggered stance for tougher conditions but mostly for balance.  But maybe i"ll stagger even more so in order to maneuver the board as well.
I don't opt to tour in upwind conditions but I choose to tour in "any" condition provided I'm able to return home.
I think in a lot of upwind conditions the wave aren't big enough or spaced out enough to maneuver between bumps but I see your point (because I have tried spurts of strong upwinds with large bumps and though hard it was fun and manageable but 1.5hr of back n forth and I was done for the day- no touring there, just a short challenge).

Most winds here are pretty steady when present. Current is not usually very strong.
So actually during tough upwinds when the wind is slightly to one side I often don't switch hands to paddle because I can only really get one stroke, maybe two before the board veers off course. I think wind is the stronger effect that pushes me off course.
10-13km/hr wind speed is where it gets challenging to stay on course.
What board example could you give to a more "sharp pulled-in nose" for upwind?
Thanks again.
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: supmmmm on July 29, 2020, 04:15:26 PM
How bulky is the dry bag that you are carrying up front? - might be catching some wind or pushing you sideways?
Besides whatís already been suggested I would put forth varying paddle strokes- upwind Iím sometimes doing reach strokes rather than straight. Also try throwing in a few straight strokes with the outside edge of blade turned out away from the board (\) not quite this angle going back- thatís extreme - experiment with it. And lastly - make your stroke efficient- upright shaft - avoid yawning with a paddle entering the water at an angle (sometimes on my reach strokes the handle feels as if its further away from my board than the blade) and that old release from the water- make sure itís not too late or your will be pushing instead of pulling water.
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: Jacko on July 29, 2020, 04:31:10 PM
Upwind is always a tough one and really it has to be one of the worst part of riding a SUP. Technique is always something to work on with this kind of thing but even this will only ever get you so far. Boards play a big part in going upwind fast and different boards for different size chop. The Evo is a good all around board but the problem with all around boards is they never really excel at anyone thing. Wider nose and wider tail can be a upwind killer if you are not pushing hard all the time, for me the fastest board upwind is the Edge pro 2.0 as this thing flys upwind into small to medium chop with the cutting nose and pin tail it feels like a ski going up wind and for me i am way faster on this than anything else i have ever paddled.

Heaps of things to work on for good upwind paddling so work on the technique some more and see if you can get a demo on the Edge pro 2.0 as that might just change your world as well.

Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: PonoBill on July 29, 2020, 07:51:53 PM
Three things you might try assuming you're going upwind for a reason instead of just training.

1. Add a kayak paddle to your gear. You can make a second blade that fits on in place of the handle secured by a spring clip. Put the bag securely behind you, sit down, brace against the bag and paddle like a kayak. I've gone upwind against 30 mph wind that way. There is no other way to do that other than being named Connor Baxter.

2. Add a ventral fin just behind the start of the nose rocker. I made a self-steering front fin once that was actuated by a wind vane. Best upwind device ever--it rocked upwind and crosswind. But it was hideous downwind even with it in a "locked" position, because the wind vane could overcome the lock and suddenly steer you hard while you were in a bump. Not good. But a ventral fin will help maintain direction and isn't that big of a PITA downwind.

3. Practice a lot. You should feather every stroke going upwind, and NEVER let the nose get away from you. That takes a lot of practice. And you need a great stroke. Big paddles suck going upwind. You need a higher cadence to decrease how much you slow between strokes. And you need a GREAT catch, which is actually easier upwind because you're going slower, and even with a higher cadence you can take a few more microseconds to plant the blade well.
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: gcs on August 02, 2020, 07:15:00 AM
Great thread. Going to try the staggered stance upwind.
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: PonoBill on August 02, 2020, 09:00:17 AM
Cadence is really everything going upwind. When your blade isn't buried in the water under power you are slowing down and you have no control over board direction. True in all cases, but greatly exacerbated upwind. To get back to the same speed you have to accelerate enough to overcome all the slowing that happened while your blade was out of the water. To keep the nose pointed where you want it you have to overcome however much yaw the wind created while your blade was out of the water--while you're trying to accelerate the board back to the speed you lost.

The simple solution is to minimize the amount of time your paddle is out of the water and keep the stroke power well in front of you. Short stroke, high cadence, and quick recovery is how you do that.

I make about two Burchas' and my choice for upwind/downwinding here in the gorge is a Ke Nalu Konihi 82. It's a little too big and the catch is too vicious, so I shaved off most of the wings and rounded the tip more. It's probably about 79. Still too big, but it's what I've got. It feels like my blade fell off going downwind, and like it's buried in concrete upwind.

Here in the Gorge a 30mph gust is standard. It's 9:06 as I write this and it's gusting to 35. Absolutely typical. I'm a foil nut these days, but morning upwind/downwind runs were my bread and butter for many years. You spend a lot of time looking for wind shadows doing that in Hood River, but you have to get from shadow to shadow. Going from a 95 blade to an 82 was a game-changer.
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: WaaSup on August 03, 2020, 09:23:36 AM
Thanks again all for the info.
I tried some maneuvers without any gear (drybag(clothing/food), waterbottle, phone etc.)and no pfd or leash  in a sheltered shallow lake yesterday (don't worry I was with eight others on the water). My board felt so light and I was able to walk to the kickpad and gentle paddle in circles and also walk onto the nose as well- though this felt very unstable paddling it backwards ha.
 I'll try to slim down and also try a camelback approach to have less weight at bungees. But are there camelback bags that are also drybags?
I'm also going to assume upwind will be a bit easier without all the weight in front.
Title: Re: gear vs rider vs technique- seeking help upwinding/new board
Post by: Billekrub on August 06, 2020, 10:18:17 AM
Pono Bill,

You must be the best person to offer a recommendation for portable and fixed anemometers.  Currently using a cheap plastic tri cup device with rf link to display inside.  It will only last about a month or so before crapping out unless I completely cover the inside electronics with tape to protect from the salt, etc.  Also, it reads low in high winds, or, even in medium winds.

Having a good reading is soo handy when trying to chose the right gear for the session.

The hand held meter is useful but it does not read high winds accurately, always too low.
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