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Getting into the Footstraps
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9058

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of a sudden, we have our champion of posters, isobars, jumping in the arena with his back foot first mantra, ready to defend it to the death against all challengers...

Good heavens, where will it go from here? Scores of battles, if we are lucky. He's a big fish on the line.
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 337
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My prediction of this thread in another page or two. Crash n' burn or train wreck? Why choose when you can have both!



Perhaps there is a place for both FFF and BFF as well?
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 337
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my take on front first or back front. Take this from someone who recently got comfortable in both straps and planning (see other thread). I am by no means an expert. Personally at my stage of progression the front first FEELS natural and "seems" more logical. When I am slogging it is impossible to be at the back of the board close enough to the rear strap. As I drive my board up to speed i can eventually start to move back down the board. The faster I go, the further back down the board I can move. Eventually my front foot is near the front strap which always reaches there first. I then can slip the front foot in. I then continue to drive the board forward, pickup MORE speed, at which point my back foot is now close enough to slip in to the rear strap. For me the usual process is beach start (or water start), hook in to the harness asap (to minimize fatigue and maximum TOW), get low and drive the board, front foot, back foot. If blasting and I hit a lull then it's the opposite. Back foot out, front foot out, unhook, get upright, scan for more wind.

Also, for me, I am at the carve gybe learning stage. EVERY carve gybe video I've seen demonstrates to remove your back foot at entry while blasting and carve the board with he front foot in the front strap.

I suspect there is a time and place for back foot first. At my stage, as a progressing intermediate freerider, I have not found a need for back foot first. Perhaps this will change as my skills improve and I delve in to different conditions and disciplines. My 2 cents.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18605

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mamero wrote:
My prediction of this thread in another page or two. Crash n' burn or train wreck? Why choose when you can have both! Perhaps there is a place for both FFF and BFF as well?

What a concept! I've preached that for only 20+ years.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18605

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mamero wrote:
If blasting and I hit a lull then it's the opposite. Back foot out, front foot out, unhook, get upright, scan for more wind. My 2 cents.

Of your entire post, the only thing I question is taking the BF out first. At the far side of that lull is a gust. Gusts LOVE to catch us by surprise and either yank us out of position or catapult us. We have at least three lines of defense against that, including sail handling, the low squat you mentioned (very useful on small boards in extremely gusty conditions), and an anchored back foot. Thus when a lull knocks me off a plane, I take my front foot out and move it forward, keeping my back foot anchored in preparation for that gust. I've done it that way since my 3rd or 4th day on the water in 1980, and as of last week have seen zero reasons to do it any other way. A) I just don't get sufficiently steady wind to risk a crushed foot just to follow the herd mentality, and B) that's how I have reacted in all my sports since I was about 5 years old: when some force tries to topple me, I stick the leg towards which I'm falling further out to prevent the fall and oppose the force. Having the rope (or sail) pull our back foot off the ground (or deck) is the first and usually final step in losing the tug of war.


Last edited by isobars on Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 2189

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nobody objects to your partiality for mushrooms, magic or otherwise, Mr Goudy. . But if you don't wish to start a war, never advocate putting the milk in the cup first before pouring a cup of tea!

Only a contrarian wishing to make a name for himself would preach such a cack-handed way of doing things! Rolling Eyes
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1697

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:

1. Why do we have no other choice, especially putting that foot on the centerline where it's 100% asset rather than adding the whole new problem of weighting the windward rail?


The back foot is on or near the centerline, where it helps control side to side trim. The front foot moves from immediately in front of the front foot strap to inside the front foot strap. There is no change in weighting the windward side of the board.

isobars wrote:
2. What's the point of putting that front foot in its strap before planing?


That's not how it's done. The front foot is moved back to inside the footstrap when the board is near or barely planing, to smooth the ride, improve power transfer from the rig to the board, and get the board fully planing.

isobars wrote:
You've presented a common false dilemma: "leave the back foot out until more wind fills the sail and we have more board speed to avoid sinking the tail and stalling." It ignores a key element of most WSing and a vital part of the BFF technique: finesse. In this case that means that just because that back foot is in its strap doesn't mean it must be weighted


Unweighting the back foot changes the sailor from having three points of connection and control of the board (mast foot, front foot, back foot) to two, which moves the weight and board trim forward, so that the board has to plow more before planing. Also it's precarious. Also when that back foot disengages its a substantial change of pressure to the board. The finesse move is to reposition the front foot 6", from immediately in front of the strap to inside the strap. This disturbs the board much less than your unweighting the back foot, then extend it to the back strap (the classic beginning windsurfer "starfish" position, with arms wide on the boom too, and boom low.)

Which is why every windsurfing school and major instructor (Peter Hart, Guy Cribb, Andy Brandt/ABK, Dasher etc) teach the front foot first technique. If someone's primary thought about windsurfing is "I'm afraid of catapults" then getting into to the back strap first may alleviate some fears. But for the windsurfer interested in early planing, sailing fast, planing through jibes, sailing upwind efficiently etc...the sailor interested in improving their windsurfing, FFF is the way to go. BFF iss clumsy and inefficient (neither of which matter on sinkers in high gusty winds...the one situation where BFF works as a survival technique.)

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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 771

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
manuel wrote:
If you are powered enough to put back foot first, do it, it's safer.

When underpowered to powered, we don't have much choice but to do front foot first and sometimes even leave the back foot out until more wind fills the sail and we have more board speed to avoid sinking the tail and stalling.


Windward was being funny, but as long as we're here, your comments -- particularly "we don't have much choice but to do front foot first" -- still raises these questions:
1. Why do we have no other choice, especially putting that foot on the centerline where it's 100% asset rather than adding the whole new problem of weighting the windward rail?
2. What's the point of putting that front foot in its strap before planing?
3. What do you do with it when not yet planing?


It's a lot simpler than this, because on a fragile plane, we need more weight forward.

A fragile plane coupled with a non-planing friendly board and crazy chop is achieved with a rear foot quite forward, let's say in between front and rear straps. It's on the rear foot that sets the plane off being completely over the center line of the board.

However, the more wind, the more volume outback, the less tail kick, the farther back can the rear foot be to the point of being the first one to enter straps.

Something else, the plane can be achieved by wind strength, wave strength or both! In a wave situation, getting in the rear strap first without much wind in the sail in choppy conditions will be very challenging. As the rear foot control the board trim, we can easily lift the front foot. How does one control the board trim with the front foot out of the straps and lifting the rear foot up when heading down a wave???

One tip about the front foot first, I tend to leave my foot out slightly until I get the rear one in. When jibing ditto.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18605

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manuel wrote:
on a fragile plane, we need more weight forward.

A fragile plane coupled with a non-planing friendly board and crazy chop is achieved with a rear foot quite forward, let's say in between front and rear straps ...

... or with the weighted front foot forward of its strap, for the same effect on board trim. It's all a matter of where our center of gravity is (and, of course, how much MFP we're exerting).
... or with just harness line MFP, for a short time. If I suspect a lull will last for only seconds, I sometime leave both feet in their straps and hang almost ALL my weight in the harness, but that's a challenging temporary balancing act, not a normal posture.

manuel wrote:
the plane can be achieved by wind strength, wave strength or both!

... and/or MFP, pumping, ooching, or even yanking the whole board off the water to break the surface tension and setting it down planing (that pretty much requires both feet in their straps, but is doable with any board volume).

manuel wrote:
In a wave situation, getting in the rear strap first without much wind in the sail in choppy conditions will be very challenging.

That's true with or without lots of power, but with my weighted front foot forward near the board's pivot point, I'm pretty much in control. That makes getting the back foot in its strap a matter of FINDING it more than balancing. In gnarly conditions getting in the back strap is my top and sometimes almost only priority. When I'm fighting for control before getting strapped in when planing flat out in very rough water, for example, nothing gets my heart out of my throat like stabbing my back foot home and hooking in, in either sequence. With my back foot in its strap and my front foot forward of its strap, I'm not only launch-proof but can shift my cg and thus board trim intuitively and instantly to manage any gust, lull, chop, pump, etc. without having to move either foot (or hand) position.

manuel wrote:
As the rear foot controls the board trim, we can easily lift the front foot. How does one control the board trim with the front foot out of the straps and lifting the rear foot up when heading down a wave???

If we lift the front foot, our total weight minus our MFP comes down on our back foot. If the board tail is not moving fast enough to support that, the tail sinks. I thus shift my weight among all three feet (front, back, and mast foot) as required to achieve the desired longitudinal trim subconsciously.

manuel wrote:
One tip about the front foot first, I tend to leave my foot out slightly until I get the rear one in. When jibing ditto.

That's an excellent idea. It's safer, easier, and more versatile.
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1697

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
manuel wrote:
on a fragile plane, we need more weight forward.

A fragile plane coupled with a non-planing friendly board and crazy chop is achieved with a rear foot quite forward, let's say in between front and rear straps ...

... or with the weighted front foot forward of its strap, for the same effect on board trim. It's all a matter of where our center of gravity is (and, of course, how much MFP we're exerting).


With weight on the mast foot and the front foot forward of its strap and the back foot unweighted, all of your weight is forward of the straps. This is plowing...the waterline is long and the board does not release. Manuel describes a typical wavesailing launch situation...it would be a mess going through whitewater with weight that forward and your unweighted foot dangling aft. Which is why you'd only see the starfish position in heavily gusty conditions at any wave venue. The usual priority launching in waves is getting planing in lighter winds. So of course it's FFF.

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