Author Topic: Learning to tack  (Read 2340 times)

Phils

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Learning to tack
« on: June 15, 2020, 02:11:59 AM »
I am pretty comfortable now gybing and foot switching in both directions and want to start working on tacking.

Do people find heelside to toeside easier or the opposite?  My preference is to try toeside to heelside first.

Any key tips or videos that really helped?

Thanks

Phil

Phils

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 04:35:06 AM »
I just saw that the latest Blue Planet video with voice over has some good tacking instruction.  Robert seems to bring wing overhead before heading up and initiates his turn when wing is directly overhead.

flkiter

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 08:36:03 AM »
Toe side to heal side is easier, ride the board flat up wind and push away on the back hand. This will cause the wing to turn up wind and fly over head. Watch the wing and follow it, let go of the back hand also. Pull your hand that is still on the front handle to you and switch hands, this will make pull keeping you on foil. You'll have plenty of time to grab the front handle with the other hand as you're foiling with the board flat. An over powered wing is harder to change sides of the wind window and you don't need to go very fast. Remember you're changing direction so too much momentum makes it harder. Wear a helmet and impact vest if you have one. You'll be body slammed a few times off the back of the board if you get power in the wing before getting past the turn.

obxDave

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 11:02:02 AM »
feeble tips from an  older klutzy type

- donít over think (we all do anyway!)
- pick ideal conditions. Flat water, sweet spot of wing power. 4m is a great size to start with if the wind allows
-expect not to finish on the foil in the beginning. Just getting the wing rolled over and regrabbed in the other direction is a great first start, even if you fall after regrabbing.  Enjoy the crashes in the meantime (off the back as the wing pulls you back while rolling it is most common)
Robertís method of releasing and bringing the wing overhead before starting the upwind carve is great because it forces you to carve/redirect the board without any input from the wing. (FWIW I got my first decent jibes by session 5 last fall by releasing the backhand well before I started any downwind carve. Same principle). When you get better you can hold on longer before releasing
- Good smooth and steady upwind carve/pivot. When I got too aggressive on the carve Iíd go down fast :P usually catching the new leeward rail.
-I do many of them now a bit overpowered in more chop, and the initial upwind carve is still smooth and steady but I have to finish with a tighter pivot turn just as I regrab to stay up on the foil. With 30 mph winds itís like sailing into a brick wall!  Lighter wind waaay easier.
More tips but then youíll overthink it even more!

Gear that helps you finish on the foil even in those higher winds: a foil wing that has great top end speed AND low stall speed

Have fun!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 11:03:37 AM by obxDave »

obxDave

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 11:13:10 PM »
Not sure how much video helps but this is a link to some (very) spazzy first toe to heelside tacks back in Dec. Happy just to sail away upright

https://youtu.be/DcF4WuP2aPk

Here is a more recent Slo mo vid of tacking now.

https://youtu.be/Np32-Fam59I
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 11:25:57 PM by obxDave »

Phils

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2020, 05:15:51 PM »
Finally gave this a serious try today.  6 attempts, no success but there is a glimmer of hope.  I was able to bring board completely around several times but messed up hand switching.  On my last try of the day I had my new front hand in place with board turned but my back hand grabbed the middle handle and I couldnít power up. Fortunately, no crashes onto the foil which is always my biggest fear. I agree that toeside to heelside is the way to start.

PonoBill

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2020, 08:13:32 PM »
I'm not getting anywhere with tacks either, but my closest attempts were when I visualize bringing the wing over BEHIND my head.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

obxDave

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2020, 03:35:50 AM »
Finally gave this a serious try today.  6 attempts, no success but there is a glimmer of hope.  I was able to bring board completely around several times but messed up hand switching.  On my last try of the day I had my new front hand in place with board turned but my back hand grabbed the middle handle and I couldnít power up. Fortunately, no crashes onto the foil which is always my biggest fear. I agree that toeside to heelside is the way to start.

I'm not getting anywhere with tacks either, but my closest attempts were when I visualize bringing the wing over BEHIND my head.

Curious if you guys are still working on it? What size wing and wind/water conditions are you practicing in? What specific foil?  Getting the board around with a regrab attempt is great! My first upright ones were a wobbly dead stop but I could at least get just enough power in the wing to not fall in and eventually pump up onto the new tack. Thatís after plenty of falls and not even getting close. Iíd always reserve a few tack attempts for each ďlearningĒ session even if I wasnít feeling it.   Also the whole parking lot skate board routine helped a lot (with helmet and lots of pads).  Keep at it, and donít give up and just plow the fields!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 03:45:12 AM by obxDave »

Phils

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2020, 07:23:54 AM »
Definitely still working on it.  Your video above is very helpful and I have watched it more than I care to admit.

I only tried twice yesterday.  On a good attempt, I come around fine and get my new front hand in place but sink and fall before my rear hand can repower me.   A bad attempt is very ugly. 

My best attempts have been on my 1600 (better glide vs 2400) and 4 meter wing.  Will try a bunch more when I have those conditions again.  I still have this fear of falling  onto the foil but none of my crashes have come close.

It all seems to happen so fast I am not sure if I am coming around due to glide and yaw or if my clumsy wing movements are pulling me around some.

PonoBill

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2020, 07:58:53 AM »
  Keep at it, and donít give up and just plow the fields!

Not going to happen. Mowing is more fun than anyone could expect, but I want it all.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

obxDave

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 04:40:38 PM »
Definitely still working on it.  Your video above is very helpful and I have watched it more than I care to admit.

I only tried twice yesterday.  On a good attempt, I come around fine and get my new front hand in place but sink and fall before my rear hand can repower me.   A bad attempt is very ugly. 

My best attempts have been on my 1600 (better glide vs 2400) and 4 meter wing.  Will try a bunch more when I have those conditions again.  I still have this fear of falling  onto the foil but none of my crashes have come close.

It all seems to happen so fast I am not sure if I am coming around due to glide and yaw or if my clumsy wing movements are pulling me around some.

So in the case where you fall before you can regrab would you say you have the board pointedpast the eye of the wind or not? and are you falling backwards behind the board, or to the side (upwind or downwind).

I know how you feel. Compared to a nice relaxed jibe everything happens way  faster and timing is everything. Trying to concentrate on carving upwind and bringing the wing over at the same time, all pretty quickly, is like sensory overload.  When I was first learning I was really slow at bringing the wing over, and even pretty slow at carving. If I tried to bring the wing over too  quickly (before I had the wing pointed into the wind) it obviously wouldnít roll. If I tried to carve really aggressively Iíd almost always ďover leanĒ and fall to the inside of the turn.

A 4m is a perfect size to work with, so thatís good. For me being just slightly underpowered was better than being over powered but getting those perfect conditions is never easy.  One thing that also helps in the beginning, aside from having as much speed as possible at the start of the transition, is to release your back hand before you even start to carve upwind.  I think I remember Robert  Stehlik at Blue Planet recommending the same thing. This way you arenít using the wing to help initiate the carve at all (your carve all comes from leg work and the wing is just along for the ride) and you give yourself a wee bit more time to roll the wing over.

Also the carve radius starts out larger buts gets much tighter as you slow down heading into the wind. I know there are proís who can maintain a constant radius and speed but for most of us itís not so perfect.

Anyway good luck! It sure took me a lot of falls to make any progress....

« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 04:42:11 PM by obxDave »

Phils

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2020, 08:17:22 PM »
A few more unsuccessful attempts today.  I changed my front hand grip from my usual palm up to a palm down grip prior to tack attempt and it helped quite a bit in bringing wing over. Came very close once but still not able to grab rear handle in time. My board came across the wind and I fell forward.   I actually think I can get this.  Hopefully before end of month.

PonoBill

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2020, 09:52:16 PM »
Palm up? I can't do anything palm up. I've tried, it just feels clumsy to me.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

headmount

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2020, 11:59:04 PM »
The guy in the yellow wing is good.  He does a clean jibe.   But the guy in the red wing is one of the best guys who is just incredible to watch.  Here, he blasts in max upwind and just feathers the sail behind him and pumped all the way up to right in front of where I took this pic.  So there's tacks and then there's super tacks.

obxDave

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Re: Learning to tack
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2020, 12:53:53 AM »
A few more unsuccessful attempts today.  I changed my front hand grip from my usual palm up to a palm down grip prior to tack attempt and it helped quite a bit in bringing wing over. Came very close once but still not able to grab rear handle in time. My board came across the wind and I fell forward.   I actually think I can get this.  Hopefully before end of month.

I couldnít imagine tacking starting with a front hand underhand grip! No wonder the extra challenge for you....  We Duotone boom wingers get a little advantage for tacking with a wing that will roll easily and a super easy regrab of the new rear hand. When I tacked with my Naish S25 (5.3) everything was way harder for me. But then again I see experienced S25 riders tack like it was nothing, so with skill and familiarity itís clearly doable.

Even now I struggle tacking from heel to toeside with my big arse 6m Echo. Do it all the time with my 4m, and toe to heel is pretty easy now with any size, so there is always another challenge.

The guy in the yellow wing is good.  He does a clean jibe.   But the guy in the red wing is one of the best guys who is just incredible to watch.  Here, he blasts in max upwind and just feathers the sail behind him and pumped all the way up to right in front of where I took this pic.  So there's tacks and then there's super tacks.

Without a doubt! Always gives us something to strive for even if we only make it 1/10th as far :).  Had a few old kiteboarding friends who would always talk about the latest super cool tricks the pro riders were pulling off, but when they went to ride it was just back and forth for hours at a time. I always preferred riding with friends who weíre constantly crashing, trying and learning new stuff...... in all its awkward glory.   Itís a great motivator.....and more real world for me.

 


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