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Spinning out - stance, fin/sail size, etc.

 
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jamieinnyc



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:08 am    Post subject: Spinning out - stance, fin/sail size, etc. Reply with quote

I was lucky to spend a week on Bonaire last month, great place. But I had some issues on the water. Background: I'm an experienced windsurfer (since 1985), but almost all of my experience is on my own gear, rarely (once before) travel for windsurfing. I mostly sail longboards (Equipe, Kona surf, Pacifico), but do get out on 105 litter board a few times a year. I typically use big sails and fins in marginal to good conditions. I'm 5'11", 85kg.

Windsurfing in Bonaire, I had a great deal of trouble spinning out. Wind was 14-22 knot range over the 5 days. I was sailing sails from 6.5m to 8.8m, and the following boards: RRD FireRide 135, Starboard Atomic 120, RRD FireMove 120, Starboard Kode 115, and out of desperation a Starboard Carve 150-ish. With the smaller sails, I had fewer issues. With the larger sails, I had to hold back, and even then spun out a great deal.

Lac Bay Bonaire is shallow, and no board had a fin longer than 29cm. This is obviously too small for an 8.8m, but no choice. So, I would guess this is the problem, but I couldn't help but notice that I appeared to be the only one spinning out. I also noticed that I place harness lines further back, and make them longer (and use seat harness), so this made me consider how much stance contributes to the problem. I know that I am used to pushing on the fin and riding a very level board - this is the fast stance for me, but was a disaster in Bonaire. I also tend to use a high boom, and thought this might be an issue too (less mast foot pressure).

I tried everything. Lower boom, more weight on front foot, harness lines forward and shorter, etc. - nothing helped much. The only thing that worked was taking the foot off the pedal, which is not really a solution. One other clue - the RRD FireRide was by far the least likely board to spin out. It's a twin fin.

Any thoughts? Just fins too small? What else contributes to spin-out?
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Waterat Pat



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamie look at the area of the fin not just the depth. If you want a large area shallow fin try a weed fin. It won't point quite as well but will have more area to push against. Technique can play a role also. Get up to speed before really driving up wind with max pressure on the fin. The greater the speed the more lift from the fin. In other words as you get going go downwind a bit more with a light touch then drive upwind as your speed increases.
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jamieinnyc



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waterat Pat wrote:
Jamie look at the area of the fin not just the depth. If you want a large area shallow fin try a weed fin. It won't point quite as well but will have more area to push against. Technique can play a role also. Get up to speed before really driving up wind with max pressure on the fin. The greater the speed the more lift from the fin. In other words as you get going go downwind a bit more with a light touch then drive upwind as your speed increases.


Waterat- Yes, good points, and was definitely cautious about applying any pressure until up to speed. My frustration was that when I had reached that point where it was time to really move, I would move in the wrong direction (sideways). And yes, fin chord is obviously an important metric, as is foil shape. The fins on Bonaire were all small by any measure. Again, on my own gear, I never have problems, but perhaps I am too used to big fins (I typically use 40-50cm fins).

Weed fins are fast, and can provide surprisingly good lift, but I have always hated using them, and have plenty of scars on my shins from fins that stick out beyond the end of my boards. Ouch.
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spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 844
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spinning out is almost always caused by pushing the fin sideways through the water. Some things I noticed in your post were: You're used to big fins, you set your harness lines further back, you use fairly long lines, and you were using too small of a fin for the sail, albeit not by choice. I'll bet that if you were thinking about it, you'd find that your spinouts happened when you either hit a piece of chop that caused you to jolt the fin sideways, or when you were suddenly un-powered by an unexpected lull in the wind, which caused you to weight your back foot too much. The solution is to pay careful attention, and when one of those things happen try to weight the harness instead of your foot.

All these things can lead to spinout, but one thing that I've noticed on my trips abroad to sail were that rental fins are usually chewed up. Before I travel, I find out what finbox the rental company uses, and bring a couple of my own fins. Not hard to stick in the bottom of your luggage, and can make your whole sailing experience more enjoyable.

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www.WindJunkie.net
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1287
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So. how big is the fin on your 105 ltr board? I tend to run a little more
fin area than most guys my size, because I tend to ride back foot heavy.
That compensates nicely for my lack of subtlety. Some people also compensate for a lack of subtlety, by using much bigger sails
than required (this is not me), if you put both those things together,
you develop a technique that is pretty spin-out prone. Do what Spennie says, and just stick a fin you like in your luggage next time, or,
learn to ride more vertical (over your board), rather than horizontal
(hiked beside your board). If you spend some time in a maneuver
oriented frame of mind, you'll want to be more vertical, and that will
reduce your spin-out.

.02

-Craig
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1221

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spennie wrote:
Spinning out is almost always caused by pushing the fin sideways through the water.


Me I'd say it's almost always caused by the fin being loose in the fin box. Smile

Lac Bay is not the place for hammer-down ripping on 6.0+ sails. The bay is way too shallow, and by definition you have to use the "wrong" fin (weed fins are a decent strategy there.) This is why the rental centers carry twin fin boards for the larger sizes. Lac Bay is a "front foot" sailing spot...the conditions are a large part of why it's the cradle of new school freestyle.

I was there two months ago, and did manage some speed runs on a 6.5 one day. It still required a more weight-forward style than I'd use at home, where my fin would have been 2 inches longer.

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Michael
http://www.peconicpuffin.com
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sl55



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are not the only one with a spin-out problem. I started bringing my own Lessacher Duocut weed fins 24 and 28 cm to Bonaire, and it cured the problem for me. My lake at home is always weedy, so I have the whole set of weeders and I am used to them. Lessachers never spin-out and they are fast Laughing
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 566

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go back to Bonaire, take a lesson with one of the locals. They'll give you the necessary pointers to adjust your stance, and to get going with smaller sails. Even better, take a 5-day ABK camp.

I had similar spinout problems about 10 years ago, but in Cabarete. I could not blame the fins, which are normal size there. A few lessons with a good teacher fixed my problems.

The next step was to learn how to sail a freestyle board and fin in Bonaire a few years back. With 10 minutes of ABK instruction and 30 minutes practice, that became easy. I still prefer big fins that I can push most days, but learning to adapt to being underfinned is very useful. And some learning will be necessary, even if you bring your own weed fins, since it's just too shallow.
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 323

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even today you can get a bad fin. A fin that is to small for the sail will be prone to spin out. That said, if you were having the same issue on different boards and fins, and the rest of the crew was not, it might be technique. As posted, get up to speed before heading up wind. After carving up be sure to flatten the board out by pointing your toes. Riding the windward rail will cause spinout. For fun, Try to point your toes enough to get the leeward rail in the water. The board will ride the fin, be very smooth, head up wind well, and be way less likely to spin out......What's really fun, is going into a high speed turn and have the fin let loose. Can you say broken nose. Board and or face. It happens.. Tony
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 323

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spennie. Great Idea about taking your own fins. I'm going to do that on my next trip.....
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