Technical difficulties with forecast feeds, thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, February 14

Heli-tack Help, Please?

I'm still trying to figure out my Heli-tack. Take a look at this video and help me if you can. Thanks!
Click on picture below to view help request video:


  1. heli-tacks are hard and take lots of practice. 1st piece of advice is not to hold the sail directly between you and the wind when you're backwinding. you want to have the power of the sail (near the harness lines) on either side of your body (matador technique)... you don't want the wind in the sail pushing through you but around you instead. this gives you some room to sheet out the sail too. as soon as you get backwinded, start feathering the sail by pulling in your clew hand and extending your mast arm and tilt the mast back a little bit toward the tail. this keeps the boom and power of the sail on your rear hip. if the mast swings through the wind too much like in your video, the sail will overpower you and the board and blow you over. practice backwinding so that you can just stay backwinded in control for several seconds. to reduce the power of the backwinded sail, keep the mast low if it's windy. if the nose of your board starts turning downwind too much, shift your weight onto your back foot and push a little with your clew hand. If your board rounds up while backwinded, put more pressure on your front foot, extend the mast arm and put more mast base pressure or sail pressure to turn the nose back off the wind. These little adjustments let you steer backwinded, and once you learn that, the help tack becomes much easier.

    1. SS, Thanks for the help! I've been able to sail backwinded, and even pulled off a few heli-tacks on big boards, but I am having trouble during the Tack, i.e. bowled over. I think what you are saying makes sense; I'll give it a try the next time I'm on the water and don't fear falling--water temp in the river right now is 42 F.