Speed & Crosswind

All speedsurfers have experienced a few days when the wind wasn't broad, or turned tight

Erik Loots with RS:RacingThe difference in windangle has a huge impact on the gear you have to use. But first you have to know where you are comming from (what gear you using in certain conditions). Most windsurfers are going really downwind with 110-125 degrees off-wind. The superstar speedsurfers like Peter de Wit, Chris Lockwood, Martin van Meurs, etc go far deeper 150-155 degrees off-wind (if possible of course)

Oh noo the windangle changed tight!?!

With 1 speedset you can't be the fastest @ 110 degrees and 150 degrees. For every 5-10 degrees you have to change gear for the ultimate performance. The easiest part to change is the fin. You could take a little bit smaller fin for a 'sudden' tighter course. Also a bit more outhaul tensions helps.

Tim Joosten

What if you know
the course will be tight?
The most important is a small board, on tight course smaller = better. Pro's like Peter Volwater are using a Missile XS (with tectonics falcon 26-27cm) from 18kn with tight angles, but even if you're less skilled just take as small as you can handle!!!
I prefer to use quite a big fin with a really small board (carbon art speed 44 + Select S07 25cm), maximize power&acceleration = speed. However if you want to start the easy way you have to take a bit shorter fin. For my CA speed 44 the safe choise would be 23cm or for my CA speed 50 a 27cm. If you are have to sail a full 500m course you'll need a big sail. I am using on tight course a 6.7 till 20kn, but my focus is on 10sec runs. If I have to go for a official 500m race I will sail my 6.7 till 25-30kn just to have a bit higher average speed.

Tectonics Falcon F1
On tight courses (in real world) almost all speedworldcup pro's use the Tactonics falcon f1, just take my word. I know my select fins are always as fast or faster. Still tectonics force the rider to maintain the right stance, some speedsurfers are really sensitive and will go 5-8kn faster with a tectonics falcon f1 compared to all other fins.
I would recommend every serious speedsurfer to try the tectonics falcon f1, for some riders it is magic, for me it was magic 2 years ago, improved my speeds 8 knots. However the select S07 M fins beat those tectonics records again... But I did learn something usefull with tectonics.

Oh noo swell/chop or other bumps?!?
This is quite a difficult one, on spots like gruissan you see some swell, on the North Sea you have sail between waves (also forced to sail tight). When water becomes a bigger mess you have to make you gear safe.

Patrick Diethelm going fastI use a few tricks for crossing chop on tight angles:
-Make your stance wider (wide footstrap position both in middle for example)
-Use a stiff fin no flex and maybe a tiny little bit twist (Select S07 M are my favorites)
-Use a bit bigger sail or move your harnasslines a bit forward
-Use a bit longer fin for more grip
-A bit higher boom position

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.

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