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Tips on catching waves in light wind
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wsmtbskate



Joined: 09 Jun 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Tips on catching waves in light wind Reply with quote

I finally made it to Nahant, MA on Thursday to try my hat at waves for the second time. Wind was very light at 8-10 mph NE/E , onshore to side on, waves 2 feet at 7 seconds (according to magic seaweed), low tide, sailing an Exocet Winsup 10 and a 5.8 wave sail. I was happy to be able to get out and had fun being 'amongst' the waves, though I only caught a handful, and short runs at that.

My problem was that with the wind side on to onshore, when I turned down wind to catch a wave, I would lose power in the sail, then lose velocity, and the wave would roll past/under me. I tried various tactics like pivot jibing right before a large wave so I would be perpendicular to the wave. Then I tried sailing faster on more of a broad reach but the wave would roll me over as it struck the side of the board. Going broad reach then turning further down wind as the wave came seemed the best but still not great success.

I found that weight forward, sail forward helped to get on the wave, at which time I moved back...but also several times I buried the nose and off I went.

It was only my second time out, but pretty fun stuff.
thanks in advance for any advice.
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bred2shred



Joined: 02 May 2000
Posts: 646
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A 5.8 is pretty darn small for 8 to 10mph breeze. It's not going to give you much power. You would likely be better off on a sail in the upper sixes to lower sevens. Sail out past the break and then turn around and get lined up as you start sailing in. Keep looking back to spot a wave that's forming. If you're in position to catch it when it gets to you, give the sail a few sharp pumps to squirt the board forward. Once you're on the wave, take a step back to keep from pearling.

It sounds like you're trying to go down the line in onshore conditions. That's going to be real tough if it's light. You're probably better off going for backside rides if it's heavily onshore. That will allow you to beam reach and maintain speed to catch the wave. You can't just pivot jibe in front of a wave and expect to catch it, especially if you're light on power. You need to be able to match the wave's speed if you want to catch it.

Also, don't expect to catch a wave on every trip out and back. You could very well spend much of the day sailing out and back without catching much of anything, then all of a sudden one pops up that gives you the ride of the day to make it all worthwhile.

sm
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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What bred2shred said.
I sail an Angulo 10'10" in similar conditions and use an Ezzy 7.0 for most of it. I get going on the outside with as much speed as I can muster and try to line up with the swell coming in before it rears its head and be right at the right point as it does so. Sometimes a couple of pumps of the sail does the trick if I have not obtained enough speed from the wind alone. As you found out, you do not necessarily stay on one spot on the board, but get your weight forward for the catch if necessary and carefully move back as the board catches the swell. No sudden, jerky movements. They need to be smooth. How much and when and where will come with time on the water in waves. (TOWW)
Windward1
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Sailboarder



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never sailed at sea, and only played once for maybe an hour in boat wake. I am therefore not sure if the following is relevant to your case.

I use a Kona One. The key for surfing the mini-waves was to stand a bit forward with the front foot to catch it and, most importantly, to put most of my weight down on the boom. Once you are in, you can pull back the front foot, and slowly release the pressure on the boom, or even pull up to avoid pearling. Sometimes, I didn't even need to move my feet. Modulating mast foot pressure like that is much easier than moving your feet on the board since it doesn't jerk the board at all.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2400

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

onshore requires pumping underneath the peak and then riding the wave heel side, other wise known as backside. so one sets up to catch a wave from downwind of the peak and outside of where it will break. yet, if one tries to far outside, early, then the power of the wave does not add to the power of the sail. if one tries a place too far inside then the wave may over take and flip the kit. trial and error. err toward being too far outside first.

board/sail size choices.

i tend to rig bigger if the wind is puffy offshore or, most commonly, onshore. lots of people may not be aware of this because the WS media and industry types claim that smaller is better. in ideal situations, ofttimes, they are correct. when it's 8-10 side on, they are not. i use the 11'8 windSUP and a 7.5 most often. i have compared it with the 11'5 curve, and windSUP 10 footer lots.

the 11'8 is a beast. it catches everything super early and way off the peak, and way into or off the wind. the price: it's a beast. all these boards can be enhanced thru fin choices BTW. larger and smaller depending on wind and surf magnitudes/directions/power.

the windSUP 10 and curve 11'5 require a bit more wind and critical placement and timing. 8-10 with a 7.5 or so does not handicap them severely, but does require experience to get the most out of them.

again, in onshore conditions, one must pump toward the peak from downwind in such a manner as to "backdoor" the peak. when done perfectly, the lip may break immediately behind the sailor's back. sometimes the lip breaks on my back. thus, i'm getting the board and my hips barreled.

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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that SUP surfing waves has been a huge help in training me to catch waves underpowered.

I was out in a light wind wave session one day a few years ago, and during a break on shore a friend yelled at me "what the hell are you doing in the footstraps?" I was confused. He said "what do you do when you're surfing?" I said I don't surf. He threw something at my head (in a friendly manner).

On a SUP (or surf) board we walk around to wherever the weight is needed...often times that means moving to the front of the board to get the nose down so we slide down the wave. An appreciation for just how much weight and board trim is needed to get surfing has helped me immeasurably. And sometimes you need to get your front foot out of the strap.

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Michael
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2400

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the step tail giveth and taketh away, esp on the 11'5 curve or kona one. stepping forward has little reward to slide down the wave. windSUP's 11'8 and 10' don't have that set of attributes quite so dramatic. has to do with extra power needed to release for that surfing plane with the higher step tail and less rocker, i guess.

if one is sailing in light wind and fairly onshore, trying to catch the wave with the kit pointing too much toward the beach diminishes or negates the sail power. some situations when dropping in one can get the sail backwinded....

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http://www.epicgearusa.com/
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wsmtbskate



Joined: 09 Jun 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 6.8 wave sail too...it sounds like I needed more power and pumping.
Great advice for my next wave sesh. Thanks again
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 412
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When surf is less than 2 1/2 ft. I use a 7.5 Ezzy cheetah on my 10' Starboard windsup in winds of 5- 12 mph. I only weigh 150. Previously I was using my 5.8 Ezzy wave se. and had much the same experience wsmtbskate mentions. With the 7.5 catching waves is super easy.

The 6.8 should help alot!
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3334

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A simple approach with onshore is to sail in the trough as close to the wave as possible with speed on.
When you see a clean section breaking sheet out while turning sharply downwind, slowing down to 4 knts to wait for the wave to start lifting the tail.
Then sheet in to match speed. The wave will provide the power if you catch it but add a little with the sail if needed.
Once you get that down, practice turning upwind and sharply downwind on chop on one continuous move.
On the wave face later get lots of speed in the trough as above and turn toward the wave and back downwind wind as before.
Do this as quickly as possible

Same method to catch onshore big waves from in front of the wave.
Turning up and then back down in onshore big waves often stalls the board but you find yourself in the pocket using the wave power.
With this method you usually go over back if you blow the move, instead of a ride in the washing machine.
If the waves just roll past you, speed up more and get more forward


Last edited by keycocker on Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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