Laser sailing downwind - Vang tension

There are only a number of options to adjust your sail set up in a laser. The vang (or kicker) has probably the biggest influence of them all. In the first place the vang keeps your boom connected to the mast. Without the vang you can end up in some frustrating situations. How to set your vang when sailing upwind in a laser is relatively easy. In contrast to upwind sailing it is really tricky to find the right set up when sailing downwind. You need some time on the water to find the correct setup. In this article we give you the guidelines on what to look for. Watch the video below and read on further down to learn more.


Vang tension to sail downwind fast

When sailing downwind in a laser it is really tricky to find the correct setting of the vang. To learn about vang settings you need to get used to check the leech. The leech of the lasersail will give you all the information you need. If the vang is set to tight you will notice that there is no movement in the leech what so ever. The leech is really tight. If the vang is to loose you will notice that the leech is completely open. This means the twist is huge. The top part of the sail is more open then the bottom part of the sail. When sailing a laser with a vang set too loose it will be really hard to balance the boat. Check this video for a full trim guide on laser sailing.

The right set up is when the sail is ‘working’. If you ease the sheet or roll the boat the leech should open for a moment and immediately move back. When you notice this movement in the leech you most likely found the correct sail setup for sailing the laser downwind. Obviously when the wind speed changes the pressure in the sail changes. Therefor you need to keep adjusting your vang when sailing downwind.
Don’t forget: When you alter your course from upwind or reaching towards downwind, always ease the vang. Also when you stop sailing for a moment make sure you’re vang (or kicker) is eased. Otherwise you put unnecessary stretch on you masts and sail. The same goes for when you take a break a shore, this will increase the durability of your equipment.

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Sailing upwind technique
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