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Tips for Sailing Upwind Underpowered or Schlogging


The term schlogging refers to riding when you are underpowered. The simple truth of the matter is that you can’t expect to be able to ride in perfect conditions all the time. There will come a time when you will have to sail upwind in underpowered conditions. There will come a time when you come face to face with the inevitable truth – you are in a schlogging situation.

If schlogging upwind is a big pain in the unmentionables, here are a couple of tips that may help lessen that pain:

Riding position
Chances are that you’re having difficulties schlogging upwind because of your riding position. Schlogging upwind is a balancing act because your heels are way off the board’s centerline. What you should do is place your heels on the centerline, your feet pointing towards 11 and 1 o’clock. Keep the toes of your front foot facing forward. You will find that you will not loose your balance as easily as you did before; it will be easier to keep your balance.  

Sheet in lightly
Because of your poor riding position, as mentioned above, you found it difficult to maintain your balance. And because of that you were tempted to sheet in hard, which doesn’t help at all. Why is that? Because when you sheet in hard the board tends to crab sideways more than forward. What should you do? You’ve guessed it, you have to sheet in lightly. While doing that you should try to keep the mast as upright as possible. Instead of pulling sideways, the sail will pull more to the front. Keep feathering the sail toward the front.

Do not sheet in hard when you feel a pressure increase on the sail. Instead of sheeting in you should sheet out. Rake the sail progressively until the board tracks straight.

If you have any other tips, feel free to leave a comment below.