TECHNIQUE: VIDEO & TEXT


HEELSIDE TACK

Mark Shinn runs you through the vital tips that'll help you nail this upwind turning manoeuvre which becomes vital for riding in waves


TECHNIQUE: VIDEO & TEXT


HEELSIDE TACK

Mark Shinn runs you through the vital tips that'll help you nail this upwind turning manoeuvre which becomes vital for riding in waves

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Unlike the gybe, tacking (turning into and through the wind) is a really useful turning technique when you want to avoid losing any ground downwind. It also feels great to come into the move with speed, push the wing through the wind, relying purely on your board speed to carve through the turn, before using your toeside skills to power up and ride away having gained water upwind

WORDS AND RIDING: Mark Shinn CLIPS: Lukasz Ballinski EDIT: WingSurfWorld Last issue we featured a similar tutorial on the toeside tack – open that feature here

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INTRO POINTS:

Tacking is very useful in onshore conditions as it's a transition that takes you out to sea, rather than leading you back towards the shallower beach, like a gybe.

Practice this move on flat water until you are 100% confident with it. If you don't have it fully locked in on flat water there is little chance of using it to escape a breaking wave!

WING CONSIDERATIONS

Don’t worry too much about the wing other than to make sure that it doesn't go behind you. Think about keeping your front hand over your head. If the wing gets behind you it will pull your weight backwards, off balance and you will stop turning.

Lift the wing above your head just before you carve into the wind. There is no rush to grab it on the other side until you've taken the time to finish your carve first.

Look at the handles when you take the wing on the new side. It makes it much quicker to find them and also helps bring the wing down into position if you look in front of you.

Ensure your leash is not wrapped around your arm / head / neck before starting the carve. As you progress through the tack it will only get worse if it's already tangled.

CARVING CONSIDERATIONS

Don't think of the tack as a transition in which you go from one upwind sailing angle to another upwind sailing angle. Start riding hard into the wind but carve through the wind and finish pointing on a reach (at least 90 degrees to the wind) as this will ensure you stay on the foil and have plenty of wing power to access when you need it.

Avoid the temptation to make the tack in two arcs. This is one, flowing, smooth carve with no breaks and no straight lines.

Your carve needs to be reasonably aggressive. Not super tight, but not a really open turn, either. Concentrate on finding a pace and turning angle that you'll be able to maintain throughout the turn without touching down because you've gone too wide and run out of power.

Compress your knees a little before starting the carve, this will mean the foil drops a little lower in the water. In doing that it allows you to realise this next key point that you may not have thought about:

THE AIM IS TO HAVE THE FOIL CLIMBING STEADILY ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE TURN AS THIS WILL HELP YOU BE ABLE TO EXIT THE TURN WITH SPEED.

FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Tacks can be done on any wing size and any foil size. A longer mast, however, can allow you to carve more aggressively and take more speed through the turn. I'm riding a 100cm mast in these videos.

If you are riding in straps take your back foot out before commencing the manoeuvre – it makes the tacking position more comfortable.

If you decide to switch your feet after tacking, think about putting the wing above your head which will give you some lift to help with the foot switch.

When making the foot switch do it in one smooth movement. Don’t shuffle around with three or four movements. If you're finding that difficult, don't be afraid to put your board on something soft on dry land and PRACTICE!

If you want to ride in waves tacking is pretty much an essential tool to have... enjoy!

MARK WAS RIDING

5m Shinn Resurector wing 4'10'' (75L) board 100cm mast 1200 Suprahydro front wing with 580 fuselage, small stabiliser

WWW.SHINNWORLD.COM

MARK WAS RIDING

5m Shinn Resurector wing 4'10'' (75L) board 100cm mast 1200 Suprahydro front wing with 580 fuselage, small stabiliser

WWW.SHINNWORLD.COM

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