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Optimal settings for seat harness lines and boom height
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ittiandro



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:23 pm    Post subject: Optimal settings for seat harness lines and boom height Reply with quote

I'm 175 cm tall and I sail with a seat harness in moderate winds on a Bic WindSup, with either an 8.0 HSM Superfreak or an oldish 6.2 N.P. Garda, which still does the job . .

I'm fairly new to using the harness and I usually I keep the boom upper chest-height or chin-height and the harness lines about 30-32 inches long ( 15-16" doubled up). I wonder: with these settings, I don't have the feeling I'm hanging down and out as I would have expected . The harness helps a bit when the winds pick up , but it doesn't make much of a difference.
Usually I sail in around 15 knts winds with occasional gusts to 18 knts or so.

I tried to shorten the lines, but I find it uncomfortable to tiptoe too much in order to hook in. Besides, I believe that on a seat harness the lines must be 4 " longer than on a waist harness because the hook is way down.

Somebody has suggested to set the boom almost at the top of the head. It seems excessive, but I'll try before it gets too cold, hopefully next week.

In the meantime, any tips about how to get that " hang-down-and-out feeling with a seat harness?

Thanks

Ittiandro
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18339

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is STILL no such optimal setting ... or harness line length ... or harness type ... or automobile ... or pizza ... or beer.

Every component and adjustment affects every other component and adjustment, and that doesn't even begin to account for personal ergonomics or preferences. I'm your height, and I wouldn't be able to reach the boom with ANY comfort with 30" lines. Some taller pros use lines in the upper teens. Head high booms is asinine for any kind of sailing I've ever seen. And you're not going to get that "hangin' out" sensation unless planing, at which point you should usually be able to hang almost ALL your weight down and out in the harness. In 18 kt gusts you should be planing easily on that 6.2. If not, I'd worry about that before raising your booms a foot above normal.
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out this video from Jem Hall

http://www.jemhall.com/kit-setup.html

The harness line length should be long enough to get and keep the rig away from you. You are not eating boom on the cob, you are windsurfing. Arms should be straight when sailing, otherwise the lines are too short....Get the lines the length that is comfortable for your reach and then adjust the boom height so that it is useable for your sailing conditions.

My lines at my height, 165 cm, are 26 inches, my arms are straight when sailing and I set my boom so that I can slog in the harness. That puts the top of the boom clamp at 3/4 up the mast sleeve opening. I also use a seat harness. I have tried going longer, but my arms are short and the reach becomes too long. As Iso says, finally it come to personal preference. And sailing style and sailing conditions.


KMF
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 288

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Formula uses the highest booms and even they don't go more than eyeball high.
Height kind of relates to board width in a way. However most longboard guys go no lower than the collar bone with many in the chin high range. They also use seat harnesses, many also have adjustable lines but I don't think it's mandatory.

To some degree boom height is less about overall height and more to do with arm and leg length, especially with a seat harness. I'm 182cm but have very stubby legs, so mine stays on the lower side (shoulder on longboard).
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18339

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmf wrote:
Arms should be straight when sailing, otherwise the lines are too short....

Don't buy that for an instant, Ittiandro. Even Nevin Sayre, who "invented" the straightarm concept, changed his mind. How on earth can we adjust sheeting angle without pulling the boom towards us (and thus unhooking) if both arms are already straight? How comfortable are locked elbows? Why would some much taller pro sailors use lines a foot shorter? And last but not least, locked (or fully flexed) joints are more subject to injury than anything in between.
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ittiandro



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
kmf wrote:
Arms should be straight when sailing, otherwise the lines are too short....

How on earth can we adjust sheeting angle without pulling the boom towards us (and thus unhooking) if both arms are already straight? How comfortable are locked elbows? Why would some much taller pro sailors use lines a foot shorter? And last but not least, locked (or fully flexed) joints are more subject to injury than anything in between.


Hmmm, there is something I’m missing here…

First, I thought that sailing with flexed (or bent) arms contravenes one of the basic principles we have always been taught, because, as any beginner has experienced, it destabilizes the sailor and ends up in falling..

Secondly, extended arms don’t prevent you from temporarily flexing your arms to pull the boom towards you to adjust the sheeting angle and/or unhook and then reverting to straight arms.

Thirdly, extended, straight arms don’t necessarily entail locked joints. You can extend the arms without locking the joints.

Finally, you say that “locked (or fully flexed) joints are more subject to injury than anything in between”. Locked is the opposite of fully flexed. Perhaps you mean”…locked or fully extended …”

As I said, there may be something I’m missing here. May be you can clarify

Ittiandro
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well personally, and no disrespect meant here, I will take my instruction from a professional windsurfing instructor with the credibility of Jem Hall, or Matt Prichard etc, rather than some dude on this site who I have never seen sail.

KMF
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18339

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ittiandro wrote:
First, I thought that sailing with flexed (or bent) arms contravenes one of the basic principles we have always been taught, because, as any beginner has experienced, it destabilizes the sailor and ends up in falling..


I've never heard or experienced that in my 39 years at this*. The primary excuse for straight arms was to get our body's air flow wake turbulence away from the sail, and Sayre took that to an extreme and advised rigging so we could just barrrrrely reach the boom with our curled fingertips. Just as he reversed his refusal to use two-piece masts, he abandoned that stiff-arm/fingertip bit, too.

* Not saying no tutorials suggest it, just that it sounds at best like an advanced technique for use by experts trying to squeeze every last foot per hour of speed out of their gear on ultra flat water in steady winds at any cost.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not suggesting a T-rex posture. But even sailing in straight lines, our arms are much more comfortable with a slight bend at the elbow ... something like the same 10 or 20 degrees our elbows naturally seek when we let our arms hang beside us. It allows us to adjust sheeting angle dynamically as we react to wind and surface anomalies or change our path.

Think about the difference between a car with springs in both the suspension (think elbows) and the driver's seat (think shoulders) vs one without one or both. With no suspension springs (i.e., with straight arms), only our seat (in a car)/shoulders (when WSing) can flex to absorb sail impulses. That’s going to get old and injurious REAL fast. (Can you imagine riding a dirt bike with your arms straight? Would you sail in chop standing upright with straight legs?)

ittiandro wrote:
Secondly, extended arms don’t prevent you from temporarily flexing your arms to pull the boom towards you to adjust the sheeting angle and/or unhook and then reverting to straight arms.

What does your harness line do when you pull one hand toward you without pushing the other away commensurately? It falls out of the hook. Pulling both hands closer does the same even more quickly. And that’s just in beam reaching in straight lines on flat water. Add any directional changes or varying wind angles and those adjustments get more pronounced. Add terrain and maneuvering and they can get pretty extreme.

With roller bars, most of the above can be done hooked in to conserve energy and tendons if we extend one arm as much as we retract the other to maintain constant hook pressure. In engineering terminology, the hook carries the heavy DC load while our arms apply the much lighter AC ripple.

ittiandro wrote:
Thirdly, extended, straight arms don’t necessarily entail locked joints. You can extend the arms without locking the joints.

Gymnastics coaches equate all three. Maybe you’re thinking of hyperextension, which is not a good thing.

ittiandro wrote:
Finally, you say that “locked (or fully flexed) joints are more subject to injury than anything in between”. Locked is the opposite of fully flexed. Perhaps you mean”…locked or fully extended …”

Nope. Our joints are most exposed to injury when fully extended and when fully flexed, because the muscles involved lack the leverage (when fully extended) or contractile strength (when fully flexed) to aid the ligaments' efforts to prevent injury.

ittiandro wrote:
As I said, there may be something I’m missing here. May be you can clarify.

And that, folks, is why I tend towards long posts. Short ones leave too many unanswered questions from inquiring minds like Ittiandro’s.

Hope I’ve clarified the issue somewhat without rankling the guys who think the locked out Figure 7 is the only way to windsurf, even for a novice.


Last edited by isobars on Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18339

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmf wrote:
Well personally, and no disrespect meant here, I will take my instruction from a professional windsurfing instructor with the credibility of Jem Hall, or Matt Prichard etc, ...

Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lzEpuc20LQ.

Is there even one moment at which both arms of either sailor are extended, straight, or locked out?

kmf wrote:
... rather than some dude on this site who I have never seen sail.

I fully agree with that point (but it never stops several individuals here from claiming I can't sail). One even bases that claim on a 3-second blooper video.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2457

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ittiandro,

I used to think that there was no optimal setting for harness line length in windsurfing until I tried to use 60" lines and then a couple of 4" lines. After failing at that I determined that there must be an optimal setting based on sailor height, boom height, footstrap position, board type,…… Too many variables for us to give you an exact number but not so many that you can't find an optimal range.

You are correct. Extended arms do not necessarily mean locked out. The goal is to keep as much tension in the harness lines as possible and be able to trim the sail through the shoulders, not the arms.

Your boom height is heavily affected by your mast base position. A forward mast base generally balances well with a high boom & a rear mast base with a low boom. A higher boom will allow you to rake the sail farther back which I find more advantageous in flat water with large sails.

I would suggest starting with your mast base in the middle position & your boom at shoulder height. Sail for a short bit then try moving the mast forward a little & raising the boom a little. Repeat the process until you get comfortable.

Coachg
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