View Full Version : Why Board Maker lie about actual volume ?

6th February 2007, 04:26 PM
I don't understand it at all .Volume is so important , it can mean
if you can sail back to shore when the wind drop or you have to swim .
It can be dangerous . Why do they lie about the volume ?
Albert .

6th February 2007, 05:06 PM
I don't think that they lie on purpose, but the marketing material is often created early on, before anyhow has had an opportunity to check the volume in a tank.

Another reason is of course that the developers trust that they are so experienced that tank testing isn't needed. And they just don't seem to learn...

I agree that it is really annoying when volumes don't match. This is especially true when we are talking about boards with a liter amount that is about you bodyweight in kg. Then 5 liters matters A LOT :-(


7th February 2007, 01:11 AM
In my opinion, I think casting the issue in the framework of a lie takes the situation a bit too far. In reality, the idea of absolutes in characterizing the volume of boards, the actual area of sails, or even the size of fins can be very subjective in nature. When you get down to it, the deviations are truly quite small in the scheme of things.

What I think Starboard has tried to do in marketing some of their products is to find a relative balance between physical and performance characteristics. I don't want to suggest that this marketing approach makes perfect sense, yet I believe a certain degree of liberty exists here in characterizing a product that doesn't necessarily imply deliberate deception. Overall, the width of boards these days definitely plays an important role that can affect relative flotation. Of course, this is arguable to some degree, especially considering a sailor's level of experience and ability. Yet, I think that the virtual volume thing only really comes into play with the higher caliber performance models that are designed to appeal to the more experienced sailor. If a few liters can make or break your comfort zone, one can always go with the next size board up in the model line to lessen the risk of swimming in.

When a sailor picks a particular board for a session, there is never a guarantee that the conditions will hold up. I have to be honest here concerning my 5 board quiver. I don't know the actual volumes of any of my boards, and I should point out that a couple of them are total sinkers if the wind dies off. Believe me, I've ended up swimming on occasion. Windsurfing is a dynamic sport that isn't without some degree of risk. However, in contrast to kiting, where no one has a board that will float them in, windsurfing offers a much more credible format to slog in.

7th February 2007, 07:18 AM
I thought I read something to support what SteveC is referring to.

While I can appreciate what Starboard might be trying to do, I think you should keep the volume measurement as accurate as possible, and put something in the marketing material about how it rides like a larger or smaller board (and reference the 'it rides like a' there).

7th February 2007, 02:28 PM
I am rather on the same line with o2bnme. While I think SteveC is quite a bit too much diplomatic.
When I bought my RRD 281 it was specified at 103 lts.; the following year, the same board was specified at 99. My RRD 278 was specified at 90 lts. the first year, after that at 88, and is reported at 84 on the ISAF list. After that I do not rely much about volume specs; I prefer to look at the board, volume distribution, max and tail width, rail thickness, and make an idea by myself.

Volume is a technical spec, and as such it is supposed to be accurate. Board makers that fail to be on spec are actually generating troubles to the users. Carelessness and marketing reasons probably do the damage. Reliability of specs is one of those things that one does not notice much, nevertheless I am sure that over time it could silently add up to the reputation of a board maker.

IMHO it is too much complicated to describe a board behaviour size wise in terms of one single number. Therefore, mandatory to be right on spec, and then add the "best wind range of use" as a further guide. To me, "it rides like a..." could be not accurate enough since a board could behave totally different when schlogging, sub-planing and full planing.

8th February 2007, 12:58 AM
what if sailmakers don't say actual sailsize? say sailsize 6? one maker makes 6.3 and other 5.8. and later say, its comparable to 6.0 this or that sail? like boardmakers say virtual volume. could be true, one sail more powerful than other, but that is told in description of sail anyway. m2 is m2 and liter is liter, additionally can say feels smaller or bigger. what if someone says board 245 and actual lenght is 239: it feels shorter? it feels wider? virtual lenght width? finally you dont know what you get.all other measures are correct, weight +- 6%, but volume. :D buying 1 liter of strong beer, virtual volume 1.5 liters?

8th February 2007, 06:28 AM
Perhaps geo is right, and I'm just being diplomatic here. Actually, he right. But, let's look at the bottom line. Regardless of what's being marketed, the bottom line is success with any design, even with the less experienced sailor. When you really get down to it, when a board like the iS101 is promoted as a great board, irrespective of it "actual" specifications, aren't the results in the bottom line? It has been a core board for Kevin Pritchard, and highly recommended in the line overall by Ian Fox. Is this board a dog? I can't think so, given KP's performance. Look what AA accomplished sailing the Isonic line. It's hard to argue with a successful game

But really from my personal frame of reference, geo is right about the following guideline.

"I prefer to look at the board, volume distribution, max and tail width, rail thickness, and make an idea by myself."

Isn't that what's all about? Of course, things get quite complex when a sailor wants one board for everything. Yet, I still think that a sailor must be pragmatic, have an intuitive sense and an understanding of things when things get tougher. The optimum board to use is not always clear cut.

In answer to the Guest that posted after geo, I guess results must be the guide. If the best folks are styling on the certain products, the consumer is in a great position to leverage. Are we like the pros, where simple numbers aren't everything, you've got to decide? I think that I can realistically say this. The measure of a product offered determines its success, for good or ill.

For the true numbers, maybe the Starboard folks can respond. Was the iSonic line a success, particularly the iS101? Did their marketing plan work to everybody's advantage? From my vantage point, the virtual volume thing remains alive.

8th February 2007, 02:06 PM

if the bottom line is just making great boards and delivering them to the public, then why state volumes at all?

Again, tech specs are just that and are supposed to be correct.

Volume can be taken into account in many different ways depending on skill level and sailing conditions. Let me give a rough example.
For a beginner, volume has to do with floatability, and it will account for its total measure.
For an intermediate, it has to do with planing bottom end as more volume will push the board's tail deck out of the water sooner, and it will account for its tail and middle board distribution.
For an advanced sailor, it has to do with the ability to support bigger sails, and rails will be expecially important.
For a pro, it probably accounts for nothing or so.
Now a board maker can address a specific model to a specific group of sailors, but actually he can not know who in the end will use the board. Therefore, it makes no sense at all to alter volume specification and invent "virtual volume" in order to give a hint of the boards actual behaviour.
My Sonic 95 (96 lts. from the IBSA list) should be specified at 96 for a beginner and an intermediate; bigger than that for an advanced sailor, as it can easily carry bigger sails than its competitors, say 105. So, better to call it a 95/96 and state clearly that for an advanced 75 kg. sailor it can start planing at 12 knots with a 7.5 and still be competitive in 25 with a 6.0. It's easier and more useful.

8th February 2007, 02:10 PM
The "virtual volume" thing is absolute crap. It did make some sense at the point where last years boards were narrow and the new boards were wide, like with the very first formula.
Now however, last years board is just as wide as this years model and what counts is the absolute volume. What would the reference for "virtual volume" be? Should it be some normative board from 1998?
Just as length, width and weight should be accurate, so should volume!
Just some food for thought: wouldn't "virtual weight" be a nice concept, or "virtual length"...


8th February 2007, 04:43 PM
Techincal specifications.
They should be accurate FULL STOP.

If they are not accurate then in many countries the goods are being miss sold, as many countries have laws about such things.

It is shameful that you cant beleive the specs.

This is catagorically not just a starboard failing though it is commonplace throughout the industry, mast weights and bends, sail areas, board volumes etc.

There really is no case that holds water for describing something as somthing it is not. Stevec it simply is an untruth, a lie, and is not acceptable.

8th February 2007, 07:54 PM
Well, uh,...excuse me but whom among you have actually measured the volume of your board(s)? If you haven't ever done that, then you don't have the objective data to mount the opinions put forth here.

I think Starboard has said in various places that the board numbers are changed from year to year to distinguish models and/or minor tweaks in shape. While I don't recall explicit statements that the board number doesn't match the stated volume (e.g., the Kombats have had a propensity to have the last digit be the year of manufacture), it is implied.

There is some merit to the notion that if a spec is given it should be the spec, that makes sense in the same way that it is logical to make sure that a clock is telling the correct time. However, in most applications people don't really need the exact time down to the second, though in many applications that is necessary. So it is with sailboards.

If you really need to know the volume of your board, i.e., the floatation, then you ought to have your own tank for testing it frequently...lest all your board dings let in too much water.


8th February 2007, 11:45 PM

board makers could name their products with whatever name they like, i. e.: iSonic 101; and then state its volume correctly, i. e.: 96 lts.. Then I doubt that any one would bother.
Of course, small variations however meaningless would not be a problem; bigger variations are.
As for making up my mind, I am assuming that datas from ISAF are correct.

9th February 2007, 01:36 AM
Come on dudes, who needs to know the EXACT volume of the board??!! Yea like "geo" said small variations dont matter, and big ones do... if it were that big and out of line then starboard would change it, who cares??!!! well not me :) If you wan tto know the exact volume of your board go and try and measure it up yourself, go on I bet you cant. I say just go with Starboard's volumes and if its a liter out :O OH NO :P. Yea thats just my opinion, carry on...

9th February 2007, 02:42 AM
Let's look at the iS101 as an example. *board state 101ltrs +-5%.

101 - 5% +95.95 ltrs. So the ISAF measured spec is within tolerance.

But who really worries that much. When you are in the market for this type of board you know what you're after. For beginners there is so much float that a couple of litres either way is not really an issue.

9th February 2007, 02:38 PM

should one need to know the exact volume of his board, I am totally sure that he would prefer to get it from the board spec chart rather than to measure it by himself; don't you agree?
And yes, small variations are no problem, but what about say the Fanatic NewWave 73 '05 which actually is 66lts.?


Starboard states the iS101 at 101 lts.; that +-5% thing refers to weight, not volume. This is because weight may vary from single board to another being affected by manual manufacturing process, while volume can be determined with enough precision by CAD or using a tank.

10th February 2007, 07:08 AM
Hmm "geo", I was saying I would rather not measure my board up thank you, and i dont particularly care. Fanatic NewWave 75 05, I think that you should take it up with them if it helps you sleep at night. Excuse me is that 2005 I see thats what? 3 Years old, sure(nothing wrong with old boards, I have 2). Have they not changed it now? My guidance on board volume, is.. I use it as a guide to see which board to buy, if the board volume feels uncomfortable for me, then I simply get used to it and learn from my mistake... of not hireing one to find out how it responds and how I feel with a board, the actuall volume is only a guidence of which one to buy... FOR ME... argue what you want, however this is the way I use the board volumes.

10th February 2007, 01:07 PM

You wrote: "... If you want to know the exact volume of your board go and try and measure it up yourself", that is why I suggested one would rather prefer to read it from the spec chart.
As for me, last time I ordered new boards I was not able to see them before deciding, let alone hiring one! More, discussing boards obsolescence in this forum, Ian Fox was suggesting that, in order to use a new board for the whole of its (commercial) life, one could order the new (Star)board immediately after the usual 15 August release and get it in Autumn, of course no chance of even seeing it and catalogue specs the only way to get to know anything on it... More again, I guess not everybody is able (or wants!) to "... simply get used to it and learn from my mistake".
But after all the main point is that technical specs are just that, useful (for one) or not.

10th February 2007, 08:31 PM

Ok yes, I think you are right there, "...technical specs are just that, useful (for one) or not." They are very useful. Do you order new boards without seeing them? Personally I just wouldn't do it, I would have to read a spec sheet on them or something to give me more information on the board. Over here in England there are many ways to hire a board to "try it out", the places that stock and distrobute the boards often do open days where anyone can come along and for a price (??20/30euros) test the new board to see whether it is right before they buy one. http://www.boardwise.co.uk/ubdetail.asp?ksearch=carve&ysID=324 Take a look at that, this is one of many places in England that do that, and on it is a Starboard Carve 133. Anyway, that was off the topic. So you know my oppinion, of the whole board volume issue... It does not matter to me, the exact size of the board aslong as it is a close/rough estimate. However you are older than me and threfore wiser, as you may of been windsurfing for some time... Then you will have learnt from your mistakes, and that is the same for me, I will have to learn that buying the board with the volume I think it has, may be the wrong choice, but to me at the moment it does not matter. Anyway enjoy windsurfing geo, and everyone else.

10th February 2007, 09:44 PM
jamieedodger wrote:
...Do you order new boards without seeing them? Personally I just wouldn't do it, I would have to read a spec sheet on them or something to give me more information on the board...
I do agree with you. In fact, when saying "without seeing them" I was referring to the boards; not to the specs, of course.

It seems to me that our ideas are much closer than expected. After all, I have no time to check for new boards before purchasing and given the fact that shops don't use to stock everything, I happened to buy my last 4 boards from a catalogue (or designer's advice, for my older RRDs). And, of course, I made extensive use of this forum when choosing the last Starboards.
That said, actually I do not rely on specs, since I learned how far from that a board could be. Rather I rely on suggested range of use. I bought the Sonic 95 because it was suggested to be a great slalom board to be used from slightly bigger than my 7.6 down to way smaller than my 6.6. I bought the Evo 83 because it was suggested to be a great wave board from slightly bigger than my 5.8 down to way smaller than my 5.0. Some variations in real volume vs. spec would have made no difference. Get the board and get used to it, since by sure it was designed to work. But I probably am an advanced windsurfer. The same would not apply to some other that needs to rely on uphauling, or schlogging in no wind.
And, after all, again, a tech spec is just that.