Physics of Landsailing
“…Science is thinking empirically about reality. Science is acquaintance, not knowledge. It can never be absolute…”
- “Osho” Rajneesh.
Landsailing is a very demanding sport requiring
exceptional skills, eye-hand-leg co-ordination of a very high caliber,
dexterity, mental perspicacity and high reflexes. There are many types
of Landsailing crafts of which class – 3 and class – 5 are more
often used. Controlling the craft requires controlling the sail the
operation of which is almost akin to normal water boat. You are required
to navigate with your legs and the sail you control with a sheet rope
– just pull the rope to sheet in and refrain from pulling the rope for
It has been well documented that sailboats have the
potential to go faster than the accompanying wind! Land sailing crafts
can reach 2 to 3 times the speed of the accompanying wind, of course,
under ideal situations. Under normal wind conditions, a land sail may
reach even 50 mph, but you can cruise within a safer speed of about 20
to 40 mph bracket.
The most important aspect of land sailing is the
total balance you get in relation to the center of gravity of the craft
and the center of action, which should match, merge or coincide. The
weight should be evenly distributed in the front, in the mid-section and
the rear side. An appropriately balanced sail with that of the mast is
bound to build the sail in proper shape; with a ‘twist’ that is
idea. What is twist?
The wind has force and this force makes the sail to buckle as little as shown in the figure and this buckle is known as the “twist”.
If the center of action or effect of a land sailing
craft and the center of gravity are not matched or, even slightly out of
balance, then the craft is apt to lose speed as there is bound to be a
waste of energy in trying to invalidate out of balance.
It is a very absorbing sport and in the USA, it is customarily sailed on the dry lakes in Nevada, in small parts of Oregon and in California, mostly the Southwestern side.