View Full Version : Is Starboard F-type good for me?

29th January 2007, 05:52 AM
Hi all.

I'm a beginner after one season of renting gear at my local spot (lake, usually around 5-15 knots), mostly large boards with centerboards and ~6.5-8.0 sails (my weight: 85kg/187pound, I'm in a decent shape).
I tried F-type once last summer and it was a blast for me - even though I was on a 200 l+ centerboard thing right before this one felt very stable and it was fast!

I was offered a good deal on 148 F-type and 7.5 Gaastra Matrix (no cam) sail. (Is it a good size for starters, anyway? Can't picture myself handling a 9.0 beast at the moment, but I'm learning fast)
However, I got opinions, that on very light winds this board will be no fun (slogging <-- I read the definition, but what it really means?) and instead I should get a modern longboard (which doesn&#39;t really thrills me, but I never tried one).

I am pretty much hooked with that board (recommended by a guy from a local store over here (former FW racer and a now also a respected trainer)) but I forced myself to ask a question here before running to buy it the first day I saw it.

Also let me mention, that I&#39;m in the situation (work), when I am mostly limited to weekends, not the windy days. So I want to maximize my time on the water. Plus, I&#39;m not really into tricks and stuff, I prefer to just cruise/plane around with a decent speed, even in the light winds. And again, I was told formula-type boards may not exactly be what I want.

Please advice and thanks,


29th January 2007, 07:19 AM
Hi Marek,

I am of the opinion that the first board you own should be one you can use and enjoy in 90% of the conditions you get at your local spot. Otherwise you won&#39;t get enough time-on-the-water to improve.

For 5-15 knots and 7.5 as your largest sail, a modern longboard or hybrid is the best choice. Something like the Starboard Phantom or the Exocet Kona would be good.

When you can afford a second board, an F-type would be fine, but first you need something that can go fast in light winds.

29th January 2007, 08:58 AM
Hi marek,

While James above has offered a conservative, and probably a very pragmatic view, it would have never sustained my interest over the long run. Hanging tough on sub-planing conditions wouldn&#39;t have offered enough. Nevertheless, James has presented a reality that many face. As a result, you need to be honest about your conditions. When it comes down to it, I&#39;m really an advocate for more than a single board. Without having to develop a complex sail quiver, one can target subplaning and planing conditions with a couple of boards to start. That way, a sailor can leverage off the conditions available. A bit more expensive, but based on strategy that&#39;s founded on your realistic opportunities.

Spend premium dollars on the mainstream requirements, but allow for the possible alternatives. The mainstream doesn&#39;t have to be the lightweight alternative, especially if you understand your local conditions and your ability to participate.

Only you can truly appreciate your local conditions, yet I would highly recommend coordinating with local sailors to learn more about what&#39;s going on. Others can be your door and threshold to understanding the possible alternatives. Ideally, you want to enjoy the sport with others, so communication means quite a bit.

29th January 2007, 02:21 PM
Hi Marek,

I absolutely agree with James. You still seem to be early in your career, and your possibilities to go when it is windy are limited.

Get something that ALWAYS allows you to have fun on the water, be it 5 knots of 20 knots.

I do think that your first pick should be the Exocet Kona. The step-tail really works. It offers you a long efficient board in sub-planning conditions and a modern short board in planning conditions. The 7.5 m2 sail also ought to be just right (but get the one-design class sail rather than the Matrix).

Starboard does not yet (?) have a step-tail design, but the Phantom ought to provide comparable suitability.

You don&#39;t have to consider a second board before you are much more experienced.


29th January 2007, 07:32 PM
I have a good deal of experience with longboards and i can tell you that in light iwnds, with a 7.5 m?? sail these kick the living *** out of racing boards. We own and older Fanatic 340 (3.4 meters long, 70 wide) with which, if i use my 7.6 arrow sail Craze on, even in lightwind,i can easily start working with footstraps and with my harnass. So for you that seems ideal considering you are a beginner.
Further more longboards offer you a bigger sailrange then formula boards. I also recommend the exocet Kona, the Phantom is to clumsy and would not really give you that speed edge you want. You can check out the exocet website, there is a link dedicated to the Kona range.
My personal favorite is the kona surf because it has more planning potential but as it has 180 liters you can still use it in lightwind conditions with a large sail.

If you want to buy second hand stuff, then watch out you don&#39;t buy stuff thats too old. I have an old longboard but i needed to make a few adjustments to the mastfoot before i could use my modern sails on it. Now i&#39;m cruzin on a board thats older than myself with sails that have just come out of the shop :d

have a blast muchacho

29th January 2007, 08:12 PM
Thank you for your input, everybody.

Unfortunately, Exocet Kona is not available for me over here (neither new or used). Any other recommendations? (I want a modern board, though)
The other board I had in mind was Bic Techno2 (also 148), but I haven&#39;t mentioned it as I though this was SB only forum ;-).

Tough choice - I&#39;m hearing many people say F-type is a great board (hey, somebody here please tell me this is a great board ;-)) and I&#39;ll have fun with it as long as there is enough wind for planing (they say otherwise windsurfing doesn&#39;t make sense anyway), and it means quite often for this board as far as I read the specs.
On the other hand some folks (including you) say I should get a longboard or regular freeride...

BTW: F-type 148 has sail range 5.5-10.5 - is 7.5 a good choice for the first sail? What wind would I need to get planning on this board at my weight (187lbs/85kg)?


29th January 2007, 10:57 PM
Marek, often old long boards can be picked up very cheap. I have an f-type I love and use an F2 Lightenng (the old version) I got for free, when the wind os really light. Look in local gear listings or post a wanted ad, but you should be able to get an early 90&#39;s long board for under $100, then you&#39;ll have the best of both worlds as the f-type rocks.

29th January 2007, 11:20 PM
7.5 is a good sail, i use my 7.6 more then any other. Windrange is between 4 and 5 BFT, so between 11 and 20 Knt. I weigh almost 90 and use a starboard GO139 with it which works great even if there is little wind thoguh i still can&#39;t match up to the fabulous speeds i get with a longboard in real lightwind. If i use my 7.6 in less then 10 knts i can still get into the footstraps etc...
Matthew is right saying u can easily get a cheap old longboard but the only thing u need to know before you do is how a modern mastfoot works and how the old systems works. I have a lot of experience with it if you ever need any help. A small side hobby of me and my dad is vintage surfing where we adjust the old systems to the modern click-system and go surfing with new sails on old boards. :d old man, old board, young bloke, new sail :p

30th January 2007, 01:33 AM
Tough choice - I&#39;m hearing many people say F-type is a great board (hey, somebody here please tell me this is a great board ;-)) and I&#39;ll have fun with it as long as there is enough wind for planing (they say otherwise windsurfing doesn&#39;t make sense anyway), and it means quite often for this board as far as I read the specs.
On the other hand some folks (including you) say I should get a longboard or regular freeride...

I&#39;ll say it... The F-Type really rocks!

But don&#39;t limit yourself to planing conditions. That is one reason windsurfing, as a sport, slowed its growth and started declining. Non-planing conditions, with the right equipment can be a blast. I take my Windsurfer Classic out with my 8.0 Retro and putz around. It is tons of fun. I can still do some of the basic tricks I used to do when that was the only board I had. I&#39;m still trying to get the rail ride back in my portfolio. ;-)

For me, Windsurfing isn&#39;t exciting until you get planing, but that doesn&#39;t mean it isn&#39;t fun. I have a lot of fun windsurfing in non-planing conditions. I take one of my yellow labs for a sail around the lake on my Windsurfer Classic or on my wife&#39;s Starboard Start L. I&#39;ve taken two nephews out on the Start for a nice long sail. They had a blast.

30th January 2007, 01:57 AM
Yeah, don&#39;t believe people who say non-planing windsurfing isn&#39;t the real thing. And remember that longboards DO plane when the wind comes up, and can go very fast. Basically, they do it all. Check out the video on http://www.exocet-original.com/forum/read.asp?ID=1793

Some earlier posters had a good idea; you could get the F-type, and get a cheap used longboard to complement it.

But if you just want one board, longboard is the way to go.

I am a fairly advanced windsurfer, but if I only had one board it would definitely be a longboard.

30th January 2007, 05:50 PM
Hi Marek
We have an F-type. My wife learned to sail on it; and now we both use it when the wind is marginal for planing. It planes really early and is very fast when it gets going. For your weight however I would suggest at least an 8.5 sail if you want to get it planing in light winds.
Sub-planing weather? Has to be the Serenity:p

30th January 2007, 08:56 PM
Hi Marek,

You may have figured this out, but I think the reason you are being suggested longboard is because you said 5-15 knots. It sounds like you want to be planning. For planning in light wind, a couple of knots makes a big difference. Had you said 10-15 knots, I think you would have gotten a different response ie F-Type good, maybe a bit bigger sail than 7.5. Seeing how you&#39;ve demo&#39;d the F-type, you know what you&#39;re getting. Regarding the BIC. Generally these are good progressing boards as they have a tough ASA skin making them durable. Performance will be a bit less. Good luck!

30th January 2007, 08:59 PM
Thanks a bunch, everybody.

I&#39;m getting F-type. I just can&#39;t resist, it&#39;s a sweet board. ;-)
I&#39;ll see how it goes and since this is a good value board I&#39;ll be able to sell it later on and change to something more versatile or get another one (maybe a longboard?).

And I just got a 7.5 Gaastra Matrix sail (with a 490/29 30% Gaastra budget mast). I figured I am too much a beginner to deal with a larger sail right now and this should be a good all-around sail, that I can later on use with another board as well.
I should be also able to rig a 9.0 on the same mast and boom.

I hope I did the right thing. A longboard some of you recommended and F-type are so much different, that it was really a tough choice. Maybe if I could easily buy Kona over here I would get it (the video was great) - especially that I have a longboard-type skateboard and I really enjoy cruising on it. Another issue with a longboard is that it is, well...long - 3.5m must be like carrying a canoe on your roof ;-).

So anyway, I know it&#39;s going to be a more demanding board and that I&#39;ll have to do my best while learning to sail on it but I hope it&#39;ll pay me back.

Thanks again,

P.S. Are there any other modern longboards other than Exocet Kona?

31st January 2007, 12:34 AM
Report back how things are going after you get a few sessions on the F-Type. I&#39;m curious what you&#39;ll find the planing threshold is for the 7.5. I was surprised how light the wind was when I got my 8.0 planing on my F-Type 148. It is a good board for that. Also, don&#39;t forget to pay attention to what fin you get. All you might need is a larger fin ($100~) instead of a slightly larger sail ($500~).

31st January 2007, 10:04 PM
the boards a good choice, you cant beat the wide boards for planing,
the sail, i dont think is great choice , I do not own any newer big no cams ( a naish 6.0 only ),
they just dont have the power ive seen the luff sleeves ona few norths no cams, I was not impressed.
the luff sleeves were cut tight and narrow and needed alot of power to get them to form a good foil IMHO.
You need to have a cammed sail for draft/ depth/camber and ....power to use in light airs.
I am 195 lbs and have an old starboard 155, now its not that wide, in fact pretty narrow by today standards.
With it my sail of choice a Naishs Alana 2 cam!........... not the racy&#39;ist of sails but a deep , deep, draft, set that way in lighter airs, top end is very limited but its got power in the low end to pop the board onto a plane.....
in even lower winds i have a prototype 9.5 ( dont knwo the brand its got a kangagroo sticker on it , alot more power but alot less comfortable /controlable B)
shredulato out ...

31st January 2007, 10:43 PM
While I have a 9.8 V8 which has cams, my next sail is an 8.0 Retro. I replaced my 7.7 V8 with the Retro. I don&#39;t really notice a difference in stability or range between the 7.7 V8 and the 8.0 Retro. I was surprised at this, but pleased, of course.

Will I go and replace my 9.8 V8 with a 9.5 or 10 Retro? I&#39;ll definitely try it out, as I&#39;m interested in seeing how it performs. But I&#39;ll wait until the 9.8 has a few more years on it.

31st January 2007, 11:23 PM
OOOOPS the sails i saw were gaastraa no cams, my bad , i dont know the type.
Other then that they seemed very underpowered and i wasnt too impressed.
As to draft stability, well judging by the tension of the luff sleeve on the mast yes, probably very stable but low wind power as much as a flat board....


31st January 2007, 11:31 PM
Hi marek,

For many years I was quite dedicated to cambered sails, but I find that I now actually prefer no cams. I like the ease of rigging, they&#39;re much friendlier to jibe, and not as mast specific. Also, they fare better in a surf environment. As 02bnme so rightly pointed out, modern no cams are very stable and pretty rangy overall. That wasn&#39;t always the case, but sail design has come a long way. For someone getting a start in the sport, no cam sails are really the best choice. Keeping things simple and avoiding the rigging and tuning subtleties in cambered sails makes a lot of sense.

However, there is a path to follow where you can have cams or no cams in your sail. Bill Hansen of Hansen Sails offers a sail line, the FreeRace HCL, that is designed to be used with or without cams. You can go with 0, 1, 2 or 3 cams. Really, the best of all worlds. For more information on these sails, check out the following website.


3rd February 2007, 09:27 PM

Get the F-type and a 9.0 sail. You will learn to handle it very quickly. If the conditions are below 9 knots, it is better to drink a beer than waste your time in non-planing conditions.

Windsurfing = planing.

Many companies try to increase their profits creating customer demand and selling boards for non-planing conditions, thus trying to increase the number of boards one shoud buy. Don&#39;t accept this and don&#39;t waste your money.


4th February 2007, 05:44 AM
While personally I would advocate the planing side of things based on my focus and relative opportunities in the sport, I wouldn&#39;t be so hasty to not recognize the realities of other windsurfing interests overall. So many folks like the spirit of windsurfing, but don&#39;t always have the conditions that many of us like to consider as our minimums. The beauty of today&#39;s market offerings is that everybody has an avenue to leverage off of. Really, the driving idea is to improve participation and interest overall, especially in the seeds and opportunity that family participitation might provide in less optimum conditions (the classic summer vacation). Varied market concepts accomplish this result so well these days with different sized board concepts, whether you&#39;re a sailor looking to take advantage of real light winds, or as more heavyweight sailor needing a slighty different strategy that really works.

In reality, I wouldn&#39;t be so quick to blowoff another folk&#39;s opportunities. It must be remembered that fun is truly relative. The bar doesn&#39;t have to be too high to creat interest and fun. Isn&#39;t that what it&#39;s about?

4th February 2007, 08:08 AM
Well said Steve. I like both kinds of windsurfing. I just like having opportunities to get on the water.

Sure, if I want to feel the exhilaration of high winds and the wind isn&#39;t blowing I won&#39;t be happy out there. But usually I&#39;m more than willing to go out and relax on a light wind day.

5th February 2007, 03:24 PM
The board has just arrived and sits silently on my bed ;-) I&#39;m only waiting for the Spring to come now.

Quick question - what strap and mast position would you receommed for a beginner (please be specific if possible, thanks).

Again, many thanks for all your help.


6th February 2007, 01:35 AM
That&#39;s great! Congrats!! So, it is sitting on your bed for the winter? That means you are sleeping on the couch? ;-)

The farther back and to the outside edge of the board, the more speed oriented. This sort of setting will also require more rider input. Typically, you can get more power driven to the fin if you put the straps on the outside setting.

The farther forward and inbound, the more friendly the ride but less efficient the board... that&#39;s how it was described to me anyway. I&#39;ve never had the straps set inward or forward.

Don&#39;t forget you&#39;ve already tested the board. Recall the settings you started out with. Then, when Spring comes around, try slight variations from that point and see if you can feel the difference... if not, vary the positions more from that familiar point.

When moving footstraps, Roger Jackson has a good suggestion... don&#39;t use a powerdrill... you could overtorque the holes. Also, he mentions rubbing the screws with a bar of soap before putting them in the holes. Do a search -- you might find his exact words.