Use a fin that’s large (or efficient)
enough that you aren’t spinning out even when under or over-powered
and you don’t need to point your toes to keep the board flat,
and small enough that you can keep the board flat with heel pressure
1. Start with a fin within the fin manufacturer’s recommendations
for sail size. Like boards & sails, if you’re bigger,
go more efficient (or bigger - even beyond their specs) & vice
versa. It should be large enough that you aren’t spinning
out even when over-powered or under-powered pointing & don’t
need toe pressure to keep the board flat, and small enough that
you can keep the board flat with heel pressure when over-powered.
Usually you’ll need to increase fin area a bit when increasing
sail area. Compromise: larger fins will make the board plane sooner
but are less maneuverable & vice versa.
2. Start with the mastfoot in middle of track. Set so foot of sail
just touches deck when you’re sheeted in (nearly all the way
to centerline) with board flat. If there’s a gap under sail
move it forward. If sail drags on deck or water move it back. Usually
move it forward a bit for lighter wind, regardless of sail size
but you’ll lose maneuverability & bend front leg, so you
may want to compromise (see #8,9&10).
3. Start with enough downhaul so leech is loose a third of the way
to mast when you pick up the mast base so leech rests flat on ground.
Tighten downhaul if you’re overpowered, loosen if you aren’t
powered up. Ignore manufacturers specifications & recommendations.
The real limits are: 1) so tight that leech is loose nearly to a
straight line from mast tip to base, and 2) so loose there is no
looseness in the leech, & sail gets horizontal wrinkles, or
non-cam battens pull away from side of mast. Either extreme will
limit gust-handling range (& may need outhaul tuning to stabilize
draft), and very low downhaul tension will limit top speed (but
at least you’ll be planing earlier) but there’s alot
more range than most people think. Usually downhaul will move center
of effort back & vice versa (see #5). Keep sail as close to
board as possible (for gap-closing/wind range) & extension as
short as possible (least mast sticking out top).
4. Start with front of harness lines near a straight line from mast
tip to base, & rear between 1 & 2 handspans from there.
Move both towards arm with most effort. It’s easier to sail
with them too far forward than too far back (but you’ll lose
endurance & top speed).Length/spread will change with boom heigt
but not with sail size, and should be such that they’re tight
when legs, waist, back & arms are all straight. Usually move
them back for longer boomed sails. Mark positions with tape on sail.
| 5. Start with outhaul about “neutral”
(no tension positive or negative), generally go tighter (less negative)
for 1 cam, looser (more negative) for 2 or more cams. Tighten if effort
moves back in gusts, loosen if effort moves forward in gusts. It may
vary slightly with downhaul setting (see #3) but you should find one
setting for each sail that’s only very slightly too tight in
light wind (with light downhaul) & very slightly too loose in
high wind (with high downhaul tension). Keep boom end as close to
sail clew grommet as possible. Mark boom length with marker on sail
(marks wear off booms).
6. Tighten battens only until there are no vertical wrinkles
in sail, or looseness in luff sleeve (at cams).
7. Adjust cambers narrow enough to rotate easy even in light wind
with tight battens & light downhaul.
8. Start with boom low enough that arms angle down slightly relative
to torso when sheeted in (see #2) & powered up. Keep lowering
(& shortening harness lines - see #4) until legs get tired before
arms, or you start to come unhooked (from shortened lines), or front
leg gets bent (see also #2 & #9).
9. Start with front & rear footstraps in middle positions. Move
1 or both toward leg that is most bent. It varies with wind speed
like mast foot but is usually hard to adjust, so set for medium-strong
wind since it’s not as uncomfortable to be slightly off in lighter
wind. Compromise: usually, the greater distance between straps (or
fin) & mastfoot, the less maneuverable (see also #2 & #10).
10. Start with fin at middle position (Bic, Fanatic, & older boards).
After everything else is set (as above) move fin, mastfoot & footsraps
as a unit. Further back to raise board’s nose, & vice versa.
For best speed aim for an average 5 degree angle between planing surface
* NOTE: EVERY setting is interrelated, so any one adjustment may require
additional trimming before the rig becomes completely balanced. You
may need to repeat the entire tuning procedure several times before
it’s perfect for you.