Tacking advice and help

Hello everyone. I’m trying to offer some advice as well as ask for some advice regarding tacking with the wing.

My first advice that has served me well is, tack the wing first, then let the board follow. If I get the wing over my head and on the other side first, I find that my turn just naturally and easily follows on the board. I have also found a technique wherein I move my back hand from it’s position on the handle forward and actually push or even grab the LE of the wing and manipulate it during my turn. This really helps get the wing through the wind and onto the other tack. Yesterday I made great progress by finally adopting this technique in my heelside (weak side) tacks and it made a huge difference! I pulled off 90% of my heel side tacks yesterday!

I also started trying behind the back tacks. I’d tried these a bit previously but without much success. Yesterday I had very good success and managed to pull off a few fully foiling, I was stoked! The problem I’m having passing the wing behind my back is that my hand and wrist need to rotate on the front handle as I bring the wing from behind me and onto the new side. My wrist and hand just don’t want to rotate that much! A couple of times I was able to use my thumb hooked on the front handle to allow the wing to rotate a bit as I brought it around, which helped, but was difficult. I’m wondering, for those who are doing these types of tacks, do you have any advice for the pass from one hand to the other that would help?

Cheers :beers:

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Practice the handoff on land over and over until it is second nature. You need to be quick and precise to pull off the behind the back tack, particularly at the stage where you are powering back up (losing glide and need to power quickly). I haven’t had any wrist mobility issues in these. I take my rear hand off, grab the front handle with it (overhand) and then immediately pass behind my back. In addition to getting a clean handoff, the other tricks are (i) go into the maneuver fast - the faster you go into it, the more time you will have to execute (ii) be conscious around keeping front foot pressure (it can be easy to fall into the backseat with everything going on behind your back), and (iii) make sure you are going upwind enough before you initiate the tack. If you aren’t going upwind enough, the wing wont flatten out behind you and will want to flip or stall, which screws everything up. Don’t be afraid to throw a foil pump in to maintain glide and draw things out a little longer.

Sounds like you’ve got the standard tacks dialed in, but one thing to play with - instead of maneuvering the leading edge of the wing, use your back hand to “push” the strut to the outside of the tack as you are letting go of the back handle. That will flip the orientation of the wing so that it doesn’t get stalled out. Might be a little cleaner than having to push the leading edge.

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Cheers thanks for the advice. For sure I know I’m going slow through the whole maneuver. I was riding my biggest foil to make it all a bit easier. I figure as I learn I will get faster and can use my faster foils.

You might try it on other foils as well. You want something with glide that can turn. Big foil doesn’t necessarily mean glidey (although it can be glidey). I finally got these when I downsized to a fast 850 sqcm foil.

Spitfire 960. Biggest foil I own.

This really helped me too, what I needed to do to get the heelside tacks down. Funny how on the toeside, I could do a nice clean curved turn, where the toeside they always ended up being very much a pivot, stop, go, and the quicker I did it, the more likely I would stay on foil, and the push made that process quicker.

Maybe useful in context - what is the trick to do the race gybe? Somehow the wing always ends up upside down or going crazy. Is there some insight missing?

Hard to tell whats going on with the race gybe. My guess is that you are powering the wing too much in the backwinded portion of the gybe. Either not going downwind fast enough, holding onto the backwind for too long, or holding the wing too vertically.

To the OP, your Spit 960 should work great for any of this. I figured you were on a much bigger and draggier foil.

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There is “one weird trick” to the race jibe, touch the wingtip to the water after you start carving downwind and sort of roll it along the water until it’s pointing down.

edit: more generally, maneuvers where you want to get the wing upwind of your body, the trick is dragging the wing on the water so you can outrun it downwind.

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Maybe useful in context - what is the trick to do the race gybe? Somehow the wing always ends up upside down or going crazy. Is there some insight missing?
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I find my toe side (regular foot gybing from port to stbd) very easy to do the race gybe. I just start turning downwind and when the pressure is released from the wing turn the LE so it’s pointing straight down towards the water. Then as soon as it pressures up on the back side, let it flip over your head. I find this one of the easiest gybes. However not so easy on heelside! I find the Heineken gybe easiest on heelside. I barely gybe “normal” anymore unless it’s absolutely nuking wind. All these gybes are about timing with your apparent wind. The faster you go the easier they are.

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That would be riding in toeside and out heel side while getting the wing back winded behind your back?

Yes the race gybe never feels good this direction. For me.

I wouldn’t even call it a race jibe. That deserves it’s own name.

Doesnt really happen behind your back. You just flip it over onto your next tack sooner. It is awkward though.

Duck gybe is another fun one and works well going toeside to heelside. Bear downwind and spin the wing (leading edge down) with your front hand. Switch back hands (only holding onto the back handle, front handle is free) and then catch the front handle as it spins back up. It is very powered and you need to go downwind pretty fast.

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Mine look a little different from most peoples and I think the way I do it is a little different. I lead with my body and drag the wing up and over last second. I like it, but I don’t see anyone else doing it this way:

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Nice, almost like you backwind it a bit and let it flip over, similar to a “race jibe”

I managed to nail 100% of my heelside tacks the other day on borrowed gear in light ish winds. Super happy about that. I’ll give your method a try next time I’m out. I have always found leading with the wing easier but everything changes when we improve our skills!

Are you riding in the Gorge? I’m hoping to make it down there as much as possible this summer. I live in Anacortes.

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Yep! I’m in the gorge. Hit me up for a ride when you visit!

I had never thought of it as backwinding a bit but you are right, it has a touch of that. Most of my maneuvers are born from a foil first perspective. I don’t really try to learn wing maneuvers, I learn what the foil can do and then I figure out how to drag the wing along for the ride! :rofl:

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I learned to toe-side tack ‘onshore’ in Mohave following advice from the mayor. This move includes high style points if anybody knows his game. I ride regular. So as you downwind and gain speed over the wind rider takes left hand to push left leading edge down turning wing into a 180°. As the wing is upside down and coming back around in front of you your moving/ pulling it back behind your back and moving into a heineken gybe (i think that’s what it’s called)… so… as the momentum carries it becomes easy to send a regular toe-side tack on the come around. Little did I know then, but the wing flip wasn’t necessary to complete this move. Chris has to be one of the most stylish dudes.