Learning to Plane

View count: 946 | duration: 3:41 | date: 7 years ago on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let the fun begin!

Experienced windsurfers forget what its like to be a clueless beginner. This is me back in March (2010), learning how to plane - one of the most enjoyable aspects of windsurfing. It may not be pretty, the sail is small, my stance is very upright, and I'm not very fast, but boy it was exciting the first session I nailed it.

I post this here for the benefit of other beginners, to provide them with a bit of encouragement. Everything becomes worth it, all the falling in, all the humiliation, when you progress to this point.

Posted by Henry Thomas, 7 years ago on Friday, March 19, 2010

7 comments:

Ian said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I'm where you were a year ago... I'll be planing any day now and can't wait.

Posted 6 years ago on Saturday, July 9, 2011

johan said...

Having some issues myself to get onto plane. Are around 95kg:s and find the tail sinking even if standing with back foot in front of front straps. Also feels like rear leg is weighted fully. Any hints and thoughts how you do it? Also, Measured the Rocket with my RRD evo and tail is about the same. And the Rocket(145) is aming to the heavier crowd, I just cant get that.. Do you find it digging in the tail? -johan

Posted 6 years ago on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Henry Thomas said...

Hi Johan,

Without having a look at your rig, I am only guessing, but here are a few things you could look at. If the back is bogging down, try moving the mast track more forward. Do this until the opposite starts to happen - the nose starts to sink and then bring it back a bit. This may upset all your other settings, like boom height and harness line positions. So once you find the mast foot position that corrects the tail sinking problem, mark it with a permanent marker. Next work on the boom height. You should be using long 28"-32" lines, depending on your height. Set the boom height so that you can hook in on the water with with a slight lift of your hips - mark that boom position on your sail. Next work on harness line position. Rig up you sail and hold it with one hand into a light breeze and find the point where it is evenly balanced. Mark each side of your hand, this is where you should place the harness lines. Make sure you have enough downhaul on your sail so the second batten down has a tight pocket (is pulled away from the mast), also the top three panels on the leach should be floppy. Set your outhaul to neutral (i.e. not loose and not tight).

Now with your rig dialled in, have a look at the beginning of my [ Getting into Footstraps ] clip and see if that helps. It all about hooking in and getting enough grunt out of your sail to lift you and the board out of the water, followed by trimming the sail as it accelerates because as you go faster, the wind direction changes (its called apparent wind) and comes more from the front, so you as you go faster, you need to sheet the sail in more and more by stepping further out onto the rails. Hopefully that helps a bit - best of luck ;)

-h

Posted 6 years ago on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

johan said...

Thank you. have tried different mast track positions even furthest back(thinking it will help fin to get more lift) However I have not tried it all the way up front just a few centimeters from that, where it made me being able to go further back on the board I remember. I wonder however since my board is quite narrow in the tail area, at least compared to AHD fast forward and the Fan. Shark. Which also my limited biggest sail size confirms (8.0 is max) The rig is trimmed pretty well, mosty using the sailloft bionic sl 8.5m with cambers. I have the boom very high though and read about a heavy guy having it lower to get more push on the frontfoot. Cant recall where it is but around nose height since I feel it is easier to hang like a monkey from it then. I feel unsecure hooking in before being in the front strap in those winds(very gusty area) But it seems that it is what we with more weight may have to do then =/ to get all weight off. Will look at that video again and see if I can spot some more differences =) Thanks once again and thanks for a very helpful and interesting webpage! -johan

Posted 6 years ago on Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Henry Thomas said...

Hi Johan,

I have read lots of Formula pros and others say that you need your boom high - the higher the better - personally I disagree. Mind you, I use a seat harness. I have the boom relitavely low. Low enough to hook in without having the pull the sail back or lift my pelvis up too high. I have found that when I have the boom too high I can't get enough leverage and I get pulled forward - with 30" long harness lines and the boom lower, I can really hike out.

I tend to water start or beach start, place the toe of my front foot on the mast base and hang low with straight arms for a short while, then hook in straight away. Because I use bigger sails than most, they strain and tire my arms if I don't hook in early. Next I bend my legs into a crouching position and sit down into my seat harness. This transfers my weight through the boom and down the mast base to the centre of the board. The sail is then taking more of my weight. My torso is upright, so my arms are bent and I am shifting my body weight around with my bent legs to pull down on the rig. As I build up speed I constantly test the rig trim until I feel that surge (and the associated drag) that it is going to plane. Next I step back into the front foot strap and continue the couch transferring my weight to the sail. This tends to launch me and my board out of the water and onto the plane very quickly. Next I point down a bit, build a bit of speed, then turn up a bit and move my back foot out onto the rail, slip it sideways into the back strap and I am away. At this point the board has another surge of speed. Next I place my back hand just behind the harness lines, and I rake the sail back and sheet out slightly. This continues to accelerate the board and allows me to point much higher into the wind.

Hope all this helps.

-h

Posted 6 years ago on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

johan said...

yes. That forward dragging feeling is what I get as well when hooking in. tried longer line setting(32inches) and it felt better. I think like you I need to hook in early since the sailsize and surge is massive and tiring trying to hang low and put mast foot pressure.. thank you! I think this is what I need.. -johan

Posted 6 years ago on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

johan said...

Went out for a quick session today. Tried the fanatic shark 135 (a bit on the small side) and what a difference. That board just wanted to get going and it felt ok to step back on it, and it was soo much nicer to stand on also... Anyway, did not plane or go too far with it due to the size and the very choppy conditions, so we swapped back and I used mine (RRD evo L 360) The mast foot position definitely helped a bit. Got tired in the arms and had to hook in, but got planing in no time =D I spent the rest of the time just learning to deal with the harness, the chop and gusts. Also tried learning that when speed picks up the back foot steers the board (too much used to light wind cruising). Still, I feel that I will not be able to get to far back on it - but what a feeling just hook in, sit/hang down and get away =) Thanks So very much for the pointers and help. Off course others have said similar things but getting it from you helped more and felt more valid than from some 65kg guy that can walk around the board without it even noticing it =D Will edit what I got from the GoPro and post it to my youtube channel jr555se -johan

Posted 6 years ago on Monday, August 15, 2011

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