I am a bit surprised that I never wrote a article about rake & speedsurfing... So here it is:
Rake is a measurement how much the leading edge of the fin is leaning backwards. Speedsurfing fins are found in different rake inbetween 10 degrees till 30 degrees. In general you can say longer fins have less rake, shorter speedfins have more rake.
In the Netherlands speedsurfing scene Rake became a hot item after Martin van Meurs and Boogie developed the C3 X1 and X2 series. Extreme fast profiles, but required a lot of rake. (fin on picture is a c3 X2 24cm 30 degrees rake)
Why would you need more rake??? There are 2 simple reasons:
More Rake= less taillift = more control
De-twist problems, some fins twist the wrong way, by adding more a lot rake the twist turns the right way.
And some difficult reasons:
More rake is according to this graph allowing more AOA (graph found on Boogie his site). This means underneath a v-bottom a raked fin allow the board to generate more lift....?!? Still I haven't really experienced this fact... I have experienced the tectonics falcon f1 design allowing more AOA...
OK, nice to know this theory but what about us?? What would a normal speedsurfer need?
To all speedsurfers: if you buy a select fin it is possible to order a specific raked fin, this is what I do all the time. Some standard select fins have a bit to less rake for amateurs that are going for high speeds.
For most speedsurfers these rake work the best:
If you would use less rake the fin will produce more taillift and the ride feels more scary (I think the board will pop-out feeling). That is why I recommend most surfers to use some rake. Because control=speed.
But I got some respond on the starboard forum from a student in Maritime Engineering. And starboard has copied the right graph! It is TRUE
I was thinking the way Antoine Albeau rides his board, and that is with the tail 99.9% out of the water. Fast for sure, but most windsurfers ride with less taillift, so the tail of the board is still a bit in the water, this fact produce lift, and the biggest pressure would be just in front of the front-footstraps.
Still what would be the fastest:
tail 100% out of water??? fin taking 100% of the pressure??? like albeau???
Or some other configuration??
Compared to albeau I don't see much (pro-)windsurfers ride this high on the water.
When I began blogging I wrote a little article Windspeed vs Height. I did some research to learn what kind of flow normaly enters the sail.
Last weekend I had some time to surf on the web, and I read some stuff on Boogie his blog: Speedsailingdesign.blogspot.com
But more intresting for me was his Google Group Speedsailing design files, I found there a more specific graph of the windspeed vs Height. And again a confirmation with less-windspeed you need less twist in the sail.
Lots of (semi-) pro windsurfers know this for a fact. Also read a long time ago something of Dan Kaseler (gaastra saildesigner) that for Formula a sail with little twist worked far better than a sail with lots of twist.
How should we translate this to speedsurfing? This one is quite hard, in the Netherlands you see 2 kind of windsurfers. I am the kind of windsurfer that does use a little less downhaul on a Neilpryde RSR (evoI), that means a something like moderate twist. But there is also another group of speedsurfers that use MORE twist, this can be fast for some speedsurfers that like to sail complete close-the-gap-style.
But for speedsurfing I don't think we should use little twist in our sails, and that is a problem. For slalom little twist is handy, because with little twist you the board bounces less. I think the best slalomsail can't be the fastest speedsail, because when pulling more downhaul the sail deform in multiple ways (not only twist). Maybe some day big manufactors like Neilpryde, North Sails, Gaastra will produce a speedsails-model and a racesails-model.
There is sooooo much unwritten stuff about sailtuning etc. Because it is soo hard to compare, sails are flexible and there are no "hard" measurements possible. North Sails with their DOT in the top of the sail, that is good for amateurs sailors but still if you trim to that DOT for speedsailing you have 80-90% of the best performance you could have...
How do YOU know if your sail is a good a it gets??? GPS is the answer, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare, ride, tune, compare
or maybe you are lucky and know a fast windsurfer that is willing to comment your current settings.
In my earlier message I sort of said the new Naish sail don't look as fast as the older ones. But these newer pics shown a much better sail for speedsurfing! So to all Naish speedsurfers I would like to say 2009 looks fine! Design looks like a refinement of the older models, it is not my style of sails, but Martin van Meurs showed the older Naish designs are fast with a beautiful twist.
www.KA72.com is now a serious speedreader for your NAVI or GARMIN gps. Still without any costs you can now read all used files for gps-speedsurfing:
-GPX files (garmin)
-SBN files (Navi)
No more BETA version, this is the real deal!!
Now with 1 Click you can see your track on google earth. I am still amazed how fast this website works. Google Earth feature works fine!!
This is what we need for gps-speedsurfing!! Still I haven't read any approval or comment from www.gps-speedsurfing.com From my little tests all speeds were the same compared to GPSAR PRO, sometimes GPSAR PRO did give a little bit more speed but NO big difference.
I hope GPS-Speedsurfing.com will give some comment soon, because I think KA72.com could be a very good tool for all GPS-speedsurfing users.
Finally some real pictures of the design. It looks like since dunkerbeck left the team they made some more friendly design. I think this is a good development, the older warps are in my eyes a bit to much slalom-focussed. The main problem is that because of that fact the older warps couldn't go very fast on very deep courses.
That also explains why North teamriders used on Fuerteventura speedstrip the RAM F8/9. Those sails are made for speedsailing, but with the new warp F2009 you might have a fast sail for deep downwind too.
Feeling a bit better finally! The worst flu ever, still not 100%, but feel good enough to do some blogging.
There is something intresting to read about on the web, or maybe laugh about.
Smart Fins: http://www.smartfins.nl/
From Holland, a very pretty product. Usefull for speed??? Maybe some "power"-surfers like it.
What do I like:
-New idea, new concept
I hope the developers also thought about this:
-Polished surface, it looks pretty but spinouts quick
-Thick profile, maybe this is related to the polished surface or strenght of material. But a thick profile is not ideal
-cambered profile, so far I know such profile will only work till 110-120 degrees downwind...
Haven't seen or tested anything, so far this could be a gadget for amateur surfers. Or big heavy surfers that need lots of power with reduced finlenght. I am not affraid to get overtaken by this fin, not possible. The idea is quite good, only I guess the thick curved profile isn't very efficient above 35-38kn speeds.
All speedsurfers have experienced a few days when the wind wasn't broad, or turned tight
The 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.
What if you knowthe 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.
I 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
GPS-speedsurfing.com is the most used ranking system for gps-speedsurfing. You can find enough information there. Smart windsurfers can find the fastest gear combinations in lots of different spots.
I am using Wind-surfing.nl stats , this is kind of a local ranking system, with some nice features. I use it together with some Amstelmeer locals. You can see progress per year, exremely fast & easy upload, and it is free!
I have studied almost all sessions of 2008, it is a shame my computer/gps crashed. Also I did had problems with internet connection the first half of 2008. So I am missing a lot sooo valuable information. One of my bigger secrets is/was the information I get out of the gps and the registration. In 2007 it worked great, every session I eliminated some bad elements, and progress was very visible. (maybe you guys noticed it by yourself, but there is to much bullshit about windsurfing & going fast on the internet)
In 2008 I just jumped on with different settings/gear. Of course I know some basics, but the overall balance of a windsurfing set is complicated. Still it is hard for me to predict what combination/adjustment will work the best. To remember every fact my head is just to small, that is one of the conclusions from 2008.
For 2009 I have some 'succes' model of gear/style/settings, and am still preparing it to use it for all windsurfing sessions from now on. This way I hope to speed-up my own development. In 2007 I used a excel-spreadsheet for each speedspot. Now I am trying to make a little MS access database working (to save some time).
Little tip: If you are a bit smart you will become faster just by study the gps-speedsurfing stats!! You do need to become Goldmember, to get the real usefull data.
To start a new pair of surfboots. My old NP 3000-serie boots were a bit used... The grip was completly gone, but more important the boots had several holes. Since we have again ICE in the Netherlands, I chose for NP 5000-serie 6mm boots! Never cold feet again!
A little tip: when you put your surfboots on, don´t pull hard on the boot entry. Put them on like a sock. Otherwise you will end up just like me with 2 big holes in the back of your surfboots!
Also I finally bought a new windsurfingharnass! At Kater funsports they selling a bunch of older Neilpryde models for a very nice price! So I tried a few and one fitted really well. Really happy, because my ´old´ harnass a North Sails Move was just a little bit to big. In the summer (thin clothing) I had sometimes problems with sitting in harnass and giving downforce.
Both Neilpryde as North Sails are size Medium, but North is a bit bigger.
You can buy my old harnass if you like... North Sails Move Airback size: Medium
24 January 2009 I talked with Caspar Verhaagen, before the Windsurfing.NL meeting. He noticed my review on this blog, I am quite happy with my Neilpryde extender. However he did had some comments and I do agree. (actually I experienced a few flaws).
For everyone that doesn't know Caspar Verhaagen a short description. He is a dedicated dutch windsurfing enthousiastic. I know him as someone that has done high quality research in windsurfing products. And his products are top of the line (like Caspar Speed fins). With his advice & knowledge he does help a lot dutch proriders, but also his articles in dutch magazines are populair for amateur sailors.
There are 2 comments on the NP X6 MXT extender (all sizes):
1) The knot problem
The knot in the extender can shoot out, through the metal. This happend in my case during a competition!! And I wasn't happy at all. Had to rig the sail again in the water...
I use only the 8-knot, and that one doesn't slip through so far (50 sessions with NP RS Racing)
Caspar drilled a little hole in the plastic on the MXT, and put the rope through that hole. Big advantage of this method is visability. (see picture, red spot is place of the hole)
2) MXT Adaptor
The adaptor to pin mastfoot systems is really dangerous. Maybe you have experienced, or else you will experience the mastfoot to eject from the extender DURING sailing.
I have experienced this with another system, and can guaranty you will crash hard, and on open water the chances of loosing your board is big.
Of course it is possible to fix this problem to with a pin-system, Caspar made his and a few other extenders safe, only this one you need a high acuracy. I won't recommend to do this at home. If you are intrested please comment or contact. Best solution for most windsurfers is to use the Neilpryde Power M-Base, I use this one and it feels very safe. Main advantage of using NP Power M-base is that you can put the rope into the extender, no need to wind it around the extender, and never problems of rope comming loose from extender.
Feedburner is bought by google, so I thought this thing has to be good. And since I use feedburner the blog's audience is much more international. And that is really one of the thing I really try to keep.
Feedburner got 100's of services, I only use a few:
-Email Subscription: Follow this blog by email
-RSS Subscription: Follow this blog by a reader (google,yahoo, etc)
-Feed Stats: check readers, hits via feedburner
For even more blog attention feedburner is a must-have!
For me older gear is quite intresting since I am not that long into windsurfing, I'll take any chance to try some 'older gear' it might be intresting to see what older gear does. Gear older than 5 years will fall in this catagory.
To start my second board (first one was a custom extra heavy...):
Why would I review such an old board? Because I owned this weird colored board, maybe someone thinks this is valuable information. Please do take in mind I was just 50kg...
AHD vs Modern boards
Actually this is the only intresting part, since this board is all about straight-out speed. The volume is 120 liters, you can compare it with current 100 liters freerace boards like the new fanatic ray. Probaly the 'old' AHD has a bit less range, but topspeed wouldn't be to bad. However I don't think I used 100% of the board's potential. However I did learn powergybe, speedgybe, jumps and crosswind speedsailing on this board.
This is the only part I really remember, with my weight those days (50kg). A lot of suddenly-out-of-the-water moments... Yep a lot of fun. Good for technique, improves your subconsious!!
Sails & Fins
For beginners this board isn't to bad. I used it with 8.0 or 6.0, both sails were really nice to sail with my weight those days. I used fins from 36cm till 40cm, quite good fins (brand Fin's).
Should you buy one now?
If you have a very limited budget, and you own old sails (before 2000). This board won't dissapoint you. However, I had to fix my AHD once a month because the laminate around the board was a bit fragile for a beginner, so you might be a little bit handy. If you have newer race sails, this board will be hard to sail free. Also it does got a powerbox, not my favorite system (I lost a fin with this board).
I guess most readers have noticed some ads from Google Adsense. I decided to put some ads on this website a few months ago. Just a little experiment. It is really easy to get a account, and put ads on your website. Also the ads 'automatically' find something related.
First I had to filter some adds, since I thought they were not related or intresting. That automatic search doesn´t work 100% correct. Like ads from scientology, don't like them, and don't want that on the blog.
Were to put the ads on website
Thanks to Dailybits (Herman his blog is really populair in the Netherlands & Belgium. ) I learned a few things, after trail&error I have now 3 ads on the blog. I hope you don't find them annoiing. Sometimes I am even surprised with some good weblinks from the ads.
How much I have earned?
12.70 Dollars total over 3 months... Yep you can´t make a living out of that, but I did buy my domain (www.speedsurfingblog.com) for that money! Still it is nice to recieve some money, I like to put my thoughts into words. And I have got some really usefull comments from you guys!
Enough motivation to keep on blogging and promote windsurfing / speedsurfing