Today I did a little last minute tuning on my slalom gear for the Neil Pryde Maui Race Series Championship. My main focus was adjusting the height on my boom since I’m constantly growing taller— yes I’m growing taller. When I test anything I always love to use Scientific Investigation. It’s sounds complicated and nerdy but it’s really simple.
First; I needed to find out what my Independent Variable, the thing that you’re testing, was. This was the adjustment in my boom height. It’s really important to have a good idea of what exactly your testing going into the experiment.
Then, I had to start my test with a Control. A control is your setup before you begin testing. So I went out for a few runs with my boom where it was in the past when I was even shorter! I did this because it’s always good to get a feel for how your gear feels in the same conditions that you will test in. You want to make sure that it’s not the perfect waves that makes your new board feel great and that it’s the actual board itself.
Next; I had an idea of what my old setup felt like in the existing conditions, but what if the conditions changed? If it did it would have ruined my Constant. A constant is the element of a test that cannot change. If the wind would have dropped or picked up it would have been like not having a control, and then my test would have gone haywire!
Finally, after all that hard work I could finally run my test and check my Independent Variable. An independent variable is just a fancy word for data, which is a fancy word for results, which is a fancy word for WHAT HAPPENED! I got lucky with this test and got really good results! Raising my boom only two inches gave me more speed due to better torque over the sail. But as I said before, I got lucky. Sometimes you’ll get bad results, raising my boom could have been uncomfortable and too hard to jibe. Or you could get no results, I know I had to switch my boom up and down at least four times to get a clear idea of my independent variable! But in the end, going the extra mile and following steps like these can really help you in the long run!