First day on a new raceboard

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First day on a new raceboard

Postby JRaut » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:00 pm

(Okay, full disclosure: today was my second day on the board, but my first day I only got out for a 30-minute session, and it isn't a 'new' raceboard, it's a lightly used 2012 Airush Sector v2 One Design)

This is a track I recorded w/ my phone from the Racetrack -- a fitting spot for a first go on a raceboard. The wind was blowing about 10-12 knots I'd say, and that was plenty to get me going with an 11m.

For those who care to read, here are a few things I noticed. Feel free to chime in with just how wrong I am:
1) Raceboards are incredibly fun and shit-your-pants fast
2) I was able to get up in some pretty light wind with a kite a size or two smaller than I'd normally grab, so this in my arsenal drastically increases my wind range
3) To get the most out of it, keep the board flat, or even pitched over to leeward
4) Use your front foot to pull on the foot strap to steer you upwind while pushing with your back foot. This is easier said than done. Those little muscles on the tops of my feet have never been so sore. And my quads are aching.
5) Even though I have plenty of room for improvement, I made MUCH better VMG with this board than on both my TT and directional. I think my best on my directional was about 2-2.5 knots VMG. Today I made (an amazing) 5 knots VMG on my best couple tacks. And that was with some pretty light wind.
6) I have plenty of room for improvement. I was only riding efficiently for, say, 10% of the time. And I only made one or two gybes. I tried a few tacks but missed by a mile.
7) I'm hooked. I hope to be ready for a real race next season.

J
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Re: First day on a new raceboard

Postby sc-surfer » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:13 pm

Super stoked for you! I'm wanting a raceboard as well, mostly as a light wind toy. Don't know if I have any interest in racing but maybe...

Looking forward to hearing about your progress.
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Re: First day on a new raceboard

Postby Loscocco » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:15 pm

Nice job!!! Race boards are a lot of fun for bay exploring!!
Look forward to seeing you at the starting line next year.
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Re: First day on a new raceboard

Postby NCKite_Ryder » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:28 am

[quote="JRaut I made MUCH better VMG with this board than on both my TT and directional. I think my best on my directional was about 2-2.5 knots VMG. Today I made (an amazing) 5 knots VMG on my best couple tacks. [/quote]

5knot VMG = Ripping Upwind Average?
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Re: First day on a new raceboard

Postby JRaut » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:31 pm

NCKite_Ryder wrote:5knot VMG = Ripping Upwind Average?

Allow me to defend myself:
It was essentially my first day out on a race board and I did better than 2x as good as on any other board I have.

For those who don't know what VMG is, I'll elaborate. VMG means "Velocity Made Good", which, in a few words, is a measure of how efficiently you're making it upwind. To calculate it, you take the distance you travel upwind (not your overall distance), and divide by the time it takes you to get there. So, if I'm tacking back and forth at 10+ knots over the water making 5 knots 'good', I'll end up in the same spot as a guy in a speed boat puttering along directly into the wind going 5 knots, even if I cover 5 times the overall distance he does.

To take an example, say I'm moving along the water at 10 knots at an angle of 60 degrees off the wind. My VMG is 10 * cos(60) = 5 knots VMG. Even though I'm traveling along at 10 knots, my VMG is nowhere near 10 knots, because I can't go directly into the wind. So VMG is a combination of your upwind angle and your actual speed.

All wind sports are the same in that maximizing VMG is just about the most important thing you can do (well, Course Made Good is arguably more important, and,especially in a match races, it's less important than tactics, but I digress), so finding the best combination of upwind angle and speed-over-water is what many sailors spend lots and lots of time and money on (i.e. boat-specific polar diagrams).

A few concluding remarks: my 5 knots VMG included some botched gybes and a heck of a lot of inefficient riding. I've read that the good kite racers make about 10 knots VMG (racers - update me if I'm wrong please), so 5kts with plenty of room for improvement ain't too shabby in my humble opinion.

J
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Postby jwest21 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:34 am

This thread is really making want to try a raceboard! You throw some nautical trigonometry in there and I'm hooked, haha.

I've found from snowboarding that those "lifting your toe" muscles (shin muscles?) are some of the most unused muscles until you strap a board to your feet.

A few good exercises I always try to do before the winter season are riding a bike with toe clips and lifting to pedal a lot, place a heavy object on your toes and lift and hold or get some Heely's roller shoes and do some rolling around the streets.

Glad you're enjoying the new board and soon you'll be getting that 10knot VMG.
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Re: First day on a new raceboard

Postby Loscocco » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:50 pm

Sherman to Spinner

Total distance: 20.33 km (12.6 mi)
Total time: 1:11:13
Moving time: 1:02:16
Average speed: 17.12 km/h (10.6 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 19.59 km/h (12.2 mi/h)
Max speed: 33.34 km/h (20.7 mi/h)
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Re:

Postby JRaut » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:43 am

jwest21 wrote:get some Heely's roller shoes and do some rolling around the streets.

Ha, though I appreciate the stoke and the advice, I think I'll pass on this one. I thought they only made those in children sizes and their use was restricted to malls.

J
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