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Skate sailing: FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

Copyright © 1996 - 2009 Anders Ansar. You are welcome to use pictures and words as long as you include a link to my pages.

Why do you use high skates?

It makes us taller and able to carry a taller and generally faster wing, especially in light winds. The height of the wing is restricted by its center of effort not being above your shoulder or you have to resist the wing's top from going to leeward with your muscles.
The drawback of high skates is that you are more prone to falling, which means you lose many hundred meters in a race, especially in strong winds and on rough ice.

Another advantage of high skates is that they make less resistance when sailing on ice covered with snow or with water puddles as the boots are above the snow instead of dragging in the snow.

What happens if you fall?

Firstly: You don't fall on good ice. The times you fall you know beforehand it may happen and you can avoid it by not sailing on ice with snow drifts, water puddles, hard ridges hidden in snow....
  Most times a wing sailor falls nothing happens except he slides several meters on the ice. If he falls forward in for example a snow drift he may dent or break the wing - but none has broken his bones soo far.

Do you recommend wearing a helmet and padding on knees?

Yes, and we usually also use elbow padding and some wear hip pads.

Can the Ice-Wing be used on rough ice?

You risk to fall if there is something that might slow you down suddenly e g semi frozen patches of snow or stiff or deep snow drifts.

Do you think that this should become an Olympic sport eventually? (Authentic question.)

Possibly. It is a fast and quite spectacular sport which can be kept much more inexpensive than the current DN ice boats.

What happens if the ice breaks?

Skate sailing on unchecked ice is dangerous! Before sailing we make sure the ice is safe by checking it with an ice stick while moving around on skates.

Checking the

This picture is from a day when the ice was too thin and there were even areas with no ice. The sailors have sticks in their hands which are used for checking the thickness of the ice. 
Sailing through the ice in a wing sail is of course very dangerous as you may become unconsious - drown in the wing.

The best tactical compass for sail boats? You see the wind shifts directly on the compass! No figures to read, write or compare. Can it get simpler?  The position of the white pointer directly shows where the direction of the wind is between best lift and worst header, in oscillating wind shifts. Picture on to the right is an animation. 

Next in Skate sailing index is Plenty of scope for much faster skate sails.

Back to Skate sailing index.

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Modified July 2009. Counter: 6331.