Fly race on the water.

Now it is time to get this baby in the water and see how she behaves.

 

The balance of the board is good when carrying it down to the beach but you do not want to carry it far as the handle is a bit sharp. Plus even if there is very little wind she swings around a lot.

You have to remember that I am light so my standing position on this board may be further forwards than most people for paddling and further back for turning.

We have had a look at the shape in the first article and I anticipate that I will be trimming the board with the bow about 5 cm in the water to achieve maximum waterline length. Due to the tail kick, I would like the tail to be just out of the water to get optimum water release.

It is important to look at 2 things while paddling. You must try to achieve a small bow wave, if it is to large you are engaging to much of the bow(front). Plus a very smooth pattern coming off the stern(back), if there is a lot of turbulence then the stern is to much under water.

It is important while paddling to keep the board smooth and level. So in this sequence I have placed the boards close together to show that the bow does not move up and down.

Well in Narrow boat (canal boat) terms, she swims very nicely, giving off very little wash. She is so stable it is very easy to make small adjustments to your position with out disrupting her smooth glide.

The next thing I noticed was that there is quite a lot of curve in the out line shape. I am used to a board with far straighter rails. So to keep the paddle stroke parallel to the center line you must start your stroke further out. This is not a problem, you only have to remember not to follow the shape of the board. If you do there is to much turning motion in your stroke. Another interesting thing is that I felt my paddle is to short. I already use a long paddle but I feel I must have it 2 to 5 cm longer. So I have already ordered a new paddle but I will have to cut it down step by step.

As I said this board is very stable so stepping back to do a pivot turn is easy. The only thing you must do is work out how far back you must go. For me maybe it would be a good idea to have a kick pad on the back, there is so much volume I must go right back. When going back fast to do a racing turn I sometimes miss the back. The slight ‘V’ in the mid section also helps to let the board slide.

The only thing now is to test the bow steering strokes we do to do minor correction or turns. Well this is where the bow does not help. If you are forwards to get maximum water line length the bow sticks and you must use to much blade angle to turn, hence slowing the board down to much. So in the next article we will go through techniques to get around this.

You will see that when the bow comes out of the water, the steering works.

So it is onto open water.

The first thing you notice is that the stability  you have on flat water is still there, even with a small side swell.

Going into the waves the bow works very well, you can either choose to use the lift of the underwater shape to go over the waves or the displacement of the deck and go through the wave. Now this is going to take a lot of testing to find out which method is preferred for maximum speed.

Turning is still easy but once you are facing either down wind or with the waves, this is where the fun starts.

If you step back and only use the back of the board and you keep the bow out of the water it is very easy but this will not be your fastest position.

So you have 2 options, do a lot of running around, which is not so difficult but it gives you a higher chance of falling in or use the bow and keep maximum waterline length. The bow shaping has a lot of lift so I found you really do not need to step back, in fact to keep the waterline length I had to step forwards.That is very technical and difficult, as your foot steering changes as the front lifts and then engages again. Plus you have to be careful not to bury the nose.

So overall this is a fun and easy board to use.

See you in the next article as we go through the finer points of the board and find out how to really make this board move and learn to deal with problems.


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