Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thoughts on trimming
Chris and I had a quick call after his Thursday sesh at his home break in Tynemouth England in which he really didn't have a good time. He was overpowered, but regardless, he was having balance issues with the board in terms of trim to the water and was spinning out all the time. For his weight, the footstraps were too far forward, the fin was too far back. It was an easy problem to diagnose and solve from 4,000 miles away and today I just got word that he tore it up on a 5.3 in epic conditions while bigger guys were on smaller sails and the board handled perfectly for him. Sweet!
I was outside rigging and trimming my KA Koncept 5.8 - a sail which I have yet to sail. Being fresh out of the bag, it needed a lot of work, and it was WAY easier to do it in the yard today with no wind than doing it next to the water tomorrow in 45+ knots of wind.
I also spent a good deal of time working the fins I plan to use in the 75 liter RRD X-Fire - again a board which I have yet to sail. The Tectonics fin(s) were SUPER tight in the box, and in addition to the sanding needed to get them to fit properly, the screws I have are too long and the short ones I have are metric threads. Doh! Again, time well spent today so I can run around and get all the necessary parts now instead of tomorrow.
Board trim is mega important. Footstrap position, fin position and mast track position can turn a good board bad, or make a dull board spring to life. Same for sails - I can't tell you how many people I saw on Maui with improperly rigged sails. Many of them didn't have enough (or any!) batten tension. You also need to be mindful that the manufacturer numbers don't always work best for the sail, and rarely do mast extensions give you the indicated amount of length.
When in doubt - ask someone to take a look at your sail. Play with the settings and go sail and see how the changes effect handling, power and balance. Make notes. Make notations on your booms/bases. (or on your sail bags)
There's nothing more annoying than an unbalanced and funky handling rig to ruin your sesh.
(pictured here is my "light air" speed gear - 6.6 Koncept and 98 liter RRD X-Fire. This setup is good up to about 41mph on the GPS and then it hits the wall.)