View Full Version : Keep Going Upwind. Why?

26th May 2011, 09:44 PM
for some strange reason my rig keeps going upwind spontaneously and i use up 90% of my energy to get it to go more downwind. Why is this?

26th May 2011, 10:24 PM
Hi Nicolo,
What boards... what sail sizes... what fin sizes?
What sort of windspeeds and chop conditions?
Do all of your "rigs" do this?
How much are you "closing the gap"? (Perhaps too much which puts the CE of your sail back
behind the fin on your board. Easy to fix... stand the rig up a little straighter fore and aft).

26th May 2011, 11:44 PM
Hi Nicolo, are you sailing on a river with a strong stream ?;-)
Otherwise try setting mast track forward and/or boom lower.
A smaller fin may help pushing the board downwind as well.

27th May 2011, 12:24 AM
im on a 130 lt freeride and the sail i used was a 6.2 but i also am going to use a 5.0 when i get the right wind conditions. i have a 42 cm fin and i am trying to find a smaller fin not only because they told me it would bring me less upwind but also because where i sail there are very shallow points and my fin hit sand banks several times (causing violent catapults) but as i am 17 and i went in debt to get this rig i do not have much money.

mark h
27th May 2011, 01:01 AM
I bet you have your harness lines to far forward!

27th May 2011, 01:13 AM
Try a 32 cm fin, no slalom but freeride. That will help a lot.

27th May 2011, 03:10 AM
Aren't there some older and skilled windsurfers to check the problem and suggest you what's the remedy? I don't know what's your spot, but I personally know some good riders from Rome that usually go out in the (beautiful) spots you are lucky to have around, in some trips in Sardinia they gave me a lot of good suggestions, I can say that if now I can easily waterstart it was bacause of their help.
Anyway in Venice Lagoon I always use for seaweed but also for shallow waters only anti-seaweed fins, raked back 45', no catapults but progressive slow down

27th May 2011, 04:09 AM
mark my harness lines are where North put the HTS (harness-line trim system) so i guess thats not the problem. belskorpio im trying to find a 32 cm fins (used) but i have no money and my dad who LENDS me the money (notice that he records everything and right now i am in 300 euro debt) will refuse to lend me more for a fin. he says that i have spent enough money this year on windsurf and that i should only start improving my rig when ive earned a little more. nakaniko i will now ask some people at the beach if the problem insists. thanks you

27th May 2011, 05:39 AM
How long have you been windsurfing? Are you just new to the sport?

27th May 2011, 02:13 PM
42 cm is way too large for 6.2 and 5. Agree with Belskorpio, 32/34 would be much better. Also your sail maybe too flat; it is the one with the batten problem? Over-hauling is counterproductive as you need more lift to get comfortably downwind.

27th May 2011, 03:46 PM
Don't give up Niccolò, money problems are common at you're age, but I wish I had it, instead I've got (not much) more money but also spinal problems and 43...
What's yuor favourite spot? Bracciano Lake? Fregene, Anzio, Campo di Mare? It sounds a little strange you have problems of shallow waters there, as Tirrenian Sea is know for deeper waters compared to my muddy lagoon.
BTW, I'm 90 kg and with my old 125 litres board and 6,5 I was using the stock 40 cm fin or 36-38. so for your weight and a 6,2 peraphs a smaller fin would be better, sure way smaller with the 5,0 sqm sail; but imho at least with the 6,2 you can go on also with the fin you have if you correct your stance. But in my experience a fin bigger than needed causes tail-walking (not few times it happened to me as I'm a big-fins maniac...), but it doesn't push the board upwind, imho. Sure to not push too much on board edge when planing? Anyway the best thing is to ask some older rider to watch you riding, they will for sure understand where is the problem.

27th May 2011, 10:15 PM
Typically you can take a saw and cut down the fin some 5 cm, then use a file and sanding paper (preferably wet sanding) to shape the new tip. This would at least make you fin fit your sails better.

Might also help some with preventing going upwind.

27th May 2011, 11:37 PM
Its definitely your fin; its way too big.(I use a 38 on 7.5 and its fine for freeriding)

As a general rule multiply sail size by 5 and add 3. (so a 5metre would need, (5x5) +3 = 28cm..

Also move harness lines back; helps get rig forward. (ie CoE forward of cetre of resistance will make you bear away.)

28th May 2011, 03:12 AM
I'm not so sure that Niccolo's father would be so happy seeing his son cutting the tip of the original fin of the board. And therefore making a new efficient leading edge is not a few minutes work, I've already done it but is a long work that need a lot of time. MMmhhh
So pheraphs taking a look to the huge "finnen" section of windsurfen in ebay.de can solve the problem in a decent way with 20 euro, the price of a pizza with friend. I've bought this way a lot of fins and other windsurf stuff
http://cgi.ebay.de/Weed-Duo-Cut-24-TB-Finne-Wolfgang-Lessacher-/140555913580?pt=DE_Sport_Wassersport_Windsurfen&hash=item20b9c9096c wonderful this one
an other tuttle fins

28th May 2011, 12:23 PM
Cutting down a fin is in my experience a pretty trivial thing, and works well, especially if you reshape the tip to be squared off, i.e. omit any nice pointy tip that is demanding to shape. That is, a new tip that looks more like http://www.select-hydrofoils.com/en/fins/pro-series/srx-freerace/ (can be even more squared off!) than http://www.select-hydrofoils.com/en/fins/pro-series/ride/ .

28th May 2011, 05:29 PM
i dont think that cutting the fin is appropriate as nakaniko says. btw i sail at talamone, in tuscany, where the first 200 meters from the shore very from 1m depth to 50cm, and with small waves (30 cm in height) my fin touches the bottom when im between two waves. i have been windsurfing for 2 years now. i will show my father this thread and convince him that a new fin is essential. thank you

28th May 2011, 08:28 PM
Hi Nicolo,
Do you know about "foot steering" and "railing" your board.
It sounds like you may be standing slightly off center on your board (on the upwind side)
or you are putting pressure on the upwind rail with your heels.
This tips the board so the upwind rail is lower than the downwind (lee) rail and your board does exactly what you are telling it to do. It goes upwind.
You must "rail" your board a little to go upwind when you are not planing (i.e. slogging), but when you are fully planing, you need to keep the board flat, or you need to position your rig a little differently to compensate (this is not fast).
I agree that the your fin is a little large, but having too large a fin will not cause your board to go upwind unless you tip the board slightly lee rail down and push very hard across the top to the fin.
This is how formula racers go high upwind, on very large fins.
Check that when you are planing that the same amount of "splash" (water from under your board) is coning out on the downwind side as the upwind side and the position along the rail is the same for both sides. If you are tipping (railing) your board upwind, the splash will mostly come out the downwind side and where the splash (if there is any) on the upwind rail will be foreard of the splash on the downwind rail.
I'm pretty sure the fin you have can be compensated for very easily, so the fin size is not your real issue.
If your fin was the issue and you were sailing extremely fast, you would be asking why the board goes
out of control and tailwalks (the classic symptom of having too large a fin.

28th May 2011, 09:47 PM
Fin length depends on many factors. A 42cm fin on a 130 liter board may not be too big unless the board is moving at 20+ knots of speed. Certainly if the water is shallow, a shorter fin may be required. There is little relationship between sail size and fin size for a beginner or novice that isn't planing or just beginning to plane. Speed is the issue. In fact, the larger fin can be an asset in light winds, helping keep the board upwind while slogging or planing assuming there is no dagger board.

I use a 42 cm fin on my iS 111 (108 liters) with sails down to 6.6 while hitting top speeds of 31 knots (GPS). Would a smaller fin be better at these speeds? Sure, but upwind issues are generally not related to fins, but instead technique.

Roger's foot/weight placement suggestions should solve the problem. Longer fins can help get you upwind, but don't necessarily cause you to head upwind if your foot/weight placement is correct.

Someone out there has a good old weed fin and my be willing to sell and ship it to Italy.

28th May 2011, 09:49 PM

You didn’t tell us if your problems occurred while planing or schlogging. Are you in the harness & footstraps or just using the harness?

I have to totally agree with Roger on this issue. Two things make the board turn up wind, windward rail pressure caused by too much heel pressure, or moving the center of effort (CE) of your sail behind the center of lateral resistance (CLR) on your board. Too large a fin will only make you tail walk.

While your fin obviously needs to be changed because of your water depth-I would tell your dad it is a safety issue-the 42 cm fin is not so large as to cause to cause major problems unless you were really powered up.

One issue I would address is your sail & board size if you are planing. You didn’t tell us what your 130 liter board was. Many 130 liter boards don't work well with sails smaller then 6.5 so a 6.2 sail may not be optimal for your board especially at your light weight. With too small a sail in planing conditions the board becomes very nervous forcing you to sail defensively. A normal reaction to sailing defensively is to apply too much heel pressure which sends you up wind. Also, if planing conditions I would not recommend you consider using a 130 liter board with a 5.0 sail. If 5.0 & 6.2 are your normal sail sizes you may want to trade your current board for a smaller board.


28th May 2011, 11:43 PM
Talamone is the spot where I sailed at lest 50 times in the summer of last 10 years. It's a nice flat water spot with common NW, some waves with rare SW. Yes first 50 metres are of shallow water, stay on the middle and avoid the big rocks covered of seaweed on the left-south, or the super shallow water nier the pier of the camping on the right-north.
But as it is a U shaped bay then you can sefely run untill the bay exit, also in the fatastic deep blue see if you're not alone and you're parents do agree. No necessary to come back every time in the shallow water zone, where you can also hit some bathers even if swimmhing is unallowed there (I know there are some changes know but 2009 was last time I went there).
Enjoy your summer in Talamone, what a nostalgia...

30th May 2011, 04:04 PM
Just wondering what your harness line position is and how long are your lines? if you have them too far forward you will have massive pull in you back hand causing you to press hard on your rear leg causing you to head up. Also short lines will tilt the sail windward causing you to also head up wind.

1st June 2011, 09:57 PM
At risk of contradicting a few on here ....
Too large a fin (when planing) can definitely cause you to head up to wind.

As speed increases so does lift of fin (not lift against gravity but lift against leeward action;ie upwind)

If for a given speed that lift is greater than force down wind generated by drag on sail the board will head up and become difficult to bear away.This is usually precursor to fin generating so much lift it tries to flip board.!!! Point it happens at will be lower for lighter sailor..
There is a correct size fin for given weight of sailor/size of sail and likely speed and conditions.
Too large afin (which it is !) will make things harder. As for getting upowind on smaller fin !!! It just needs to be travelling faster to generate sufficient lift !! (ie head upwind when fully planing;which is always good technique anyhow)

2nd June 2011, 05:26 AM
Just to keep it fun.......

Big fins don't cause a board to go upwind, the sailor steering the board causes the board to go upwind. However, a big fin will go upwind easier/better than a small fin. The excessive lift from a large or small fin given enough speed can cause the board to become unstable and ultimately "turtle" or flip the board because the fin is trying to reach the surface.

Most sailors when overpowered with or without too much fin intentionally head upwind to reduce their speed trying to regain control, but it's not the fin causing the board to go upwind.

I tend to sail with larger than normal fins and the board always goes where I steer it, regardless of the fin. As I said before, I use a 42cm fin in my iS 111 in 20-25 knots of wind with a 6.6 sail and the board always goes where I point it regardless of the lift from the fin. I have done some tail-walking, but always in the direction I choose.

2nd June 2011, 06:19 AM
I agree. I would also point out that sailing down wind is a skill that is learned. I depower in high winds by turning deep down wind as well as up wind.

2nd June 2011, 10:34 AM
While I agree that the weight of the sailor, the size of the sail, speed and conditions play a part in fin size, I think board width-specifically tail width-plays a huge part in the equation along with the type of fin. Without knowing which 130 liter board he has I can’t justify telling him a 42 cm fin is too large for his board.


2nd June 2011, 01:37 PM
the board i have problems with is the 130 lt Thommen FreeX. compared with many other boards its quite thin (67 cm max width). the fin is a meanline 42cm fin that came with the board, and this is why i am confused that people say i should change the fin.

2nd June 2011, 03:31 PM
Keeping it more fun

What device takes a board upwind ??? The Fin is responsible for perhaps 90% (more ?) of the drive upwind?(rail helps aswell?) Without the fin the board would simply never go upwind.

First indication I get that I`m approaching overpowered (irrespectivce of rig) is boards desire to head upwind and both mine and boards reluctance to bear away. Solution? Change to smaller fin. Result ? I can bear away easier and boards looses desire to head upwind ... Yes I know all theory about CoE and CoR but results speak for themselves..One of symptoms of too large a fin is
a) Difficulty bearing away
b) Board heading into wind (without sailor input)
and later
c) board wanting to rail (ie flip)

Changing to a smaller fin can alleviate sall above.

Having said that I would /could use a 42cm fin in a 67cm wide board with down to perhaps a 6.5. Especially if I weanted to stay upwind well and wasnt too bothered about Vmax. But I weigh 105 kg.

As for sailor steering upwind ??? Best progress upwind is made angling windward rail up slightly.Driving off fin and leeward rail; in "theory" board should steer down wind ! But it doesnt; it flies upwind if you get it rightr and balanced. (Railing)

Board luffs up when overpowered for 2 reasons.
a) Sail CoE moves rearwards. (can be offset by moving lines back)
b) Fin produces more lift than required.

2nd June 2011, 09:41 PM
Bottom line..............boards don't go upwind without input from the sailor and or rig. No rig, no sailor, big fin = the board WILL NOT go upwind even if it is being blown along with a few knots of speed.

When overpowered, boards want to go upwind, but not because of the fin. When the pull on the back hand (CoE move rearwards), the sailor typically sheets out, taking weight off the mast base and puts more weight on the rear foot. This sends the board upwind, plus the sailor usually wants to lose some speed so he/she typically adds weight to the windward rail, also turning the board upwind.

When I experience a big pull on the back hand on my smaller sails & boards, if I choose, I can keep the power on, stay sheeted in, muscle the back hand through the gust, hang in the harness to keep pressure on the mast foot, use the back foot and toes to keep the board flat, and accelerated to until panic sets in. I have adjustable harness lines on my sails from 6.6 up to 11.0, so the back hand is rarely overpowered on the bigger stuff.

In overpowering conditions, it is difficult to turn the board off the wind because of the above mentioned sailor initiated dynamics, but it can be done if you are skilled (lots of TOW) and are willing to accelerate through a beam reach so that you can head off the wind. The difficulty is not so much technical, but it is very much mental.

I have raced formula in over 30 knots with a 70cm fin. Upwind is the only point of sail that offers any sanity, but only if power is continually applied and you hang in the harness lines to keep maximum pressure on the mast foot (critical for control). if you sheet out or relax, the board will do a back flip or similar nose high crash. Smaller fins help this situation, but it's the input from the sailor and rig that determines where the board is pointed or what happens.

Bottom line for Nicolo - The fin is not too large unless you are planing at 20+ knots of board speed. Even at 20+ knots, the fin may not be too big as your skills improve and if foot strap placements are eventually moved to the outward most locations. However, a smaller fin may make it easier to learn the basics of planing, jibing, foot strap and harness line use. Tell us where you are skill wise, plus the wind speeds you sail in and what sails you are using.

As Coachg said, the tail width of the board is usually the primary factor in determining fin length. If the 42cm fin is the factory provide fin, then there should be no problem.

2nd June 2011, 10:49 PM
thank god it is also my skill that determines the direction (no need to buy new fin!). i have done 2 years and i really feel as though i have a lot to improve. also, this all happened the first time i used this board, so i can assume that i need to get used to it. i have heard other advices such as moving the mast base forwards and moving the harness lines back, so i will use these advices. one question that i have not understood: do i move the footstraps in or out to go downwind more?

mark h
2nd June 2011, 11:01 PM
Hi Nicolo
I looked up the FreeX 130 (nice board) and see it comes with a 39cm fin. I am guessing that the OFO is around 40cm to 46cm based on the supplied 39cm fin. Most here seem to be pointing the finger at your fin, saying it is to big and sending you upwind. I disagree with them (sorry everybody). My reason for this is: Without seeing your fin, it would be impossible to say for sure if you need a smaller fin. If you take 5 fin brands of the same size, they will "all" feel very different. Example: you would need a C3 Venon 45cm to get the same power/lift as a Select SL7 39cm, 6cm difference. Size alone is not a good guide line as there are to many elements for fins.

I do not think that buying another fin will solve your problem. As Ken say's, a bigger fin will drive you upwind more efficiently c/w a smaller fin, but a big fin will not automatically go upwind (unless you are seriously over-powered).

Without actually seeing your gear set up, we are all just speculating, but I am pretty sure that the problem is with your sail set-up. The HTS is only a guide line, it is marked at the average beam reaching position. Moved back 3cm to 5cm will allow easier downwind runs. On my Norths I have my lines about 5 to 6cm behind the HTS, I always found the recommended setting was very wrong for me.

Also, if you down haul to the max VTS, the sail will breath easier and will allow excessive power to exhaust, this will stop extra pull on your back hand and in turn will stop you pushing against the fin with your back leg, sending you upwind.

Your outhaul ideally should be slightly negative to help downwind, but if your worried about getting back upwind, set it at neutral. Do not set it with positive outhaul as this also send you upwind.

Short harness lines will also send you upwind. If you have a pair of longer lines, try them out, or maybe you can butcher your existing lines to make the longer. Longer lines really help for downwind.

Deck plate and footstrap position will make a big difference as well. Deck plate forward, easier upwind, pull it back and easier downwind, same for the footstraps.

All in all, if your settings are upwind biased, yes your board will try to creep upwind and make it uncomfortable downwind.

Is there an experienced sailor/guru at your local beach that look at your kit for you?

This is just my thoughts and feeling on what might be wrong, and hope you find out soon what the problem is. Good winds:)

mark h
2nd June 2011, 11:08 PM
Basically at this stage, the footstraps in or out dont really make to much difference. Set inboard will be more upright stance for tricks, gybing etc and easier handling in rough seas. Outboard setting more locked down stance for speed and leverage against the fin. You should try both settings and see which feels best:)

3rd June 2011, 01:25 AM
Hello Mark, can you explain again the deck plate trick? I thought that pressing on the front foot would help to go downwind, thus the mast track forward and/or lower boom. Personally I feel much better downwind with a smaller fin, but that's not so much the question: 42 sounds quite large for 6.2 and 5.0 sails, notwithstanding shallow water.

3rd June 2011, 01:49 AM
mark, so i have to put the mast back? i thought you had to put it forward (makes more sense!). and foostraps backward as well?

3rd June 2011, 01:50 AM
and btw, as soon as i get the opportunity i will check my fin, because i think it IS 42cm and you are right it is supposed to be a 39cm.

3rd June 2011, 03:32 AM
Very nice board; as I've had for many years F2 Wizzard 125 litres, design Peter Thommen, seeing your board seems to me to see something of the very nice shape of mine, surely your is much better for materials and construction. From description the board should be great for Talamone conditions, it's described as a board that has no fear of cruising through rough water conditions.
Since first posts I had some doubt that the upwind problem could be caused by the long fin itself. save you money and get a lesson, TWCK school is on the beach, or from expert friend. And so save you fingers in cutting the fin...
On the opposite I disagree with you when you want to keep only ONE fin for all the wind conditiions.
Think at your fin like the "underwater sail" that obviously has to be properly sized according to the sail.
I'm 85/90 kg, In Talamone I had days with the Wizzard with 12-14 knots, then using 8,0 sqm with Select Course 48 cm, days with 15+ ktn using 6,5 and the stock 40 cm or a Prolimit 38, but days with the 5,3 then going down to a 32 cm fin in 20+ knots. Most of them bought on sale for 30-40 euro each, even if new and good branded. Some day also with 4,5, 28 fin, 25 ktn. So pheraphs 42 could be your bigger fin with about a 7,2 in lighter winds, with more wind some smaller fin could help to find the correct balance and not wasting strenght to avoid tailwalking or other side effects.
When you change size of sail should be normal to use the correct size of fin. Having the fabolous powerbox you can find on ebay.de even more cheap good fins then previously suggested by me in another post, when I was thinking at a TU box. They usually fit almost always perfectly in every powerbox fin- Pay attention that fully planing with a 42 cm and a 5,0 in strong wind and rough sea can be a nightmare for your ankles, I've experienced it a lot of times, can even be difficult to come back if not experienced.
As you're so good in languages for your age, I hope you can understant the fin explorer of www.whitewatersurf.de that can give you an idea of different fin sizes according for your weight and conditions (use flachwasser=flatwater freeride). If for smaller sails the result is highlighted in red and only KEIN etc., it means that for your board that sails is too little and out of range and so no fin to suggest; don't worry, select a smaller volume.

mark h
3rd June 2011, 04:21 AM
Like RSX and race boars with sliding deck plates, mast track forward (to engage more of the leeward rail and easier to rake the sail back) on the upwind legs and slide deck plate back on the down wind legs (to reduce the wetted surface area for extra speed). Speed boards for instace, generally have deck plate pretty far back for extra speed (speed boards are for broad courses). High boom also improves upwind, lower boom allows for a better stance when going broad. :)

3rd June 2011, 05:03 AM

All you say is (nearly) correct and obviuosly wide boards will support bigger fins and not just because of the extra leverage available to hold fin in (more or less) correct place.

Stick a really big fin in a narrow (ish) board with a smallish stable sail. You wont have problems (like you say) until

a) going (relatively) fast. At some point board will start luffing up. Even with a stable sail which is not going back handed !!! Fin is producing more lift than sail is producing side force. (ie down wind vector of forces)

b) Going relatively fast you WILL have difficulty bearing away even with the stable and small sail !!! Why ? Same answer as a)

c) Persevering and going faster will try and rail the board. (ie Fin is producing rotation of board because of eccentric thrust of fin; normally countered by sailors weight on wide rail. (Its why cutouts work; wide board but relatively low surface area)

d) You will also have problems gybing a narrow board with a big fin. Why ? Extra drag of fin needs the planing ability of a wide board. The narrower board will literally drop off plane and sink tail; where a smaller fin would allow board to maintain planing because of less drag.

Seriously Ken. Go out and stick a 48 cm fin in as 63cm (ish) wide board and experience being severely over finned. You will change your mind. The board WILL luff up; it will drop off plane in gybes and it will rail !!! Even when not overpowered !!
I have big(ish) cammed sails in my quiver that just do not get overpowered (they just produce too much power;which is different. I`ve sailed a 5.8 cammed North in 40 knot gusts.(last years Defi) With a big fin it would be impossible; with a little fin I can hang onto it in stupid winds without problems bearing away;luffing or railing..
Infact this season I`m plannig on always competing with smallest possible fin !!! My Vmax is better and if I can maintain boardspeed in lulls (with bigger sails and better fitness) I can still fly upwind. We`ll see.

Fin choice is a bit of a conundrum. We assume its linked to sail area;which it is but only indirectly. Fin choice is much closer related to board speed irrespective of sail size.
For example in 6.8 (cammed) weather for me at 105kg my expected board speed in a race would be 30 knots or so. I`d get away with a 34 cm fin. My sailing buddy (at 75kg) on same board and rig would be using 6.8 in less wind and subsequent slower board speed (ie 25 knots or so) consequently he`d be on a 40cm or so ??? Which is sort of opposite to expected ??? ie same rig/board. Lighter sailor but bigger fin ???? (but less wind !!!)

Fin size is directly related to board speed.Rogh water; slower speeds bigger fin.

Think we`ll have to agree to differ !! Come down to Leucate this Autumn and we`ll sort it on water !!!
Take care !!

We dont yet understand exactly whats going on with fins. The theory on land doesnt yet quite explain everything we find on water ! Its why sport is fantastic and still developing....

Other conundrum about fins is this !!!

Fin will only work if board is subject to leeway;it needs leeway to get an AoA on both tacks. Leeway is the very thing fin is tryiing to overcome !!! But if it overcame it it would produce no lift against it !!! ??? (Load fin on a dead run; it spins out immediately !!! Think about that for gybing !!!

3rd June 2011, 05:08 AM
Tail walking is not caused by fin !! Its caused by excessive lift of hull;its why cut outs work.As board goes faster it has to plane on smaller and smaller area to balance load. Tail walking occurs when hull lift exceeds load.

3rd June 2011, 12:22 PM
ok thank you. so, in conclusion, what fin would be best for me for my 5.0, with a 130lt (67cm wide) board and 75kg weight (i really can only afford one)?

3rd June 2011, 02:40 PM
A 30cm would be right place to start.

3rd June 2011, 03:32 PM
ok thank you. so, in conclusion, what fin would be best for me for my 5.0, with a 130lt (67cm wide) board and 75kg weight (i really can only afford one)?

As I was thinking, with 130 litre/5,0 Fin explorer answers "KEIN FINNEN!!!!!"
But if you set 115 lt board you get this:

Für die gewählten Optionen

Freeride 115 L (109-119)
Segelgrösse 5,0m²
75 kg Körpergewicht
Flachwasser Freeride

wurden folgende Finnen ermittelt:

Ride 28.0 New
Free Move 11.8''/30.0

With Wizzard I used to sail the 5,3 in good balance with a 32, but I'm heavier, so for you a fin around this size could work. Simply ask a friend to lend you a freeride fin 28, 30 or 32, like the ones provided with FSW boards (that many riders have in central Italy) and try it to feel if riding with it is ok, and THEN look on ebay or in stores near you.

3rd June 2011, 04:20 PM
Hi Nicolo, if you also want to use that fin with your 6.2 in well powered conditions, then I would not go under 32/34. It might be on the large side for your 5.0 but your board is large too. 30cm may work but the gap with your 42 will be huge, unless you plan to fill it with a 36cm in the future.

3rd June 2011, 09:29 PM
Unregistered, Nicolo

I think there is validity to all that both of us have to say. The original question was - is the 42 cm fin too large for Nicolo and I still say no. Does he need a second fin? - Yes at some point. If his is planing on a 5.0 in 20+ knots of wind, then the 42 will be too large. What we still don't know is where Nicolo is skill wise and my assumption is that he is NOT blasting around in 20-25 knot winds, but is in the early stages of planing and managing the footstraps and harness as he is planing. I may be wrong, but only Nicolo can fill us in.

I see no need to start matching fins with sails for Nicolo until he tells us where he is with his sailing skills. For example:

Using a 6.5 sail in 5-15 knots, not planing or in the straps or harness.
Using a 6.5 sail in 10-15 knots, planing some and trying to get into the straps, not hooked in.
Using a 6.5 sail in 15-20 knots, in the straps and harness, trying to make carving jibes. Learning water starts
Using a 5.0 sail in 20-25 knots, in the straps and harness, making some carving jibes and water starting.

You asked that I stick a 48cm fin on a 63ish wide board. For a few years, I raced a Bic Techno 283 (69cm wide). I raced with three fins, a 54 cm in light winds with a 9.2 or 8.4 sail. I changed to a 52cm fin for my 7.6 and 6.6, then the stock 48cm on anything smaller down to a 5.0 on a few occasions. Races were course racing with plenty of upwind/downwind sailing. I needed the large fins for maximum upwind capability. I weigh 78kg.

3rd June 2011, 11:33 PM
im at the stage where i sail with 6.2 15-20 knots in the straps and harness, trying to make carve gybes and improving on waterstarts (not fully mastered it yet) AND on a 5.0 20-28 knots at the same point as with the 6.2 (i know 20-28 knots is quite a range for 1 sail but i learned to windsurf in a wind that did not go below 25 knots in gusts that went above 35 knots, so i am used to inconstant winds).

4th June 2011, 12:46 AM

Good to know your skill level, thanks. There are so many variables when trying to recommend equipment or help with skill development, it always important to know exactly where you are in your learning and skill development, what equipment you have and in what conditions you typically sail.

I found the free x 130 on line and it said it came with the 42cm fin. This board is designed for light to moderate winds (9.0 sail down to about 7.0). That is why the standard fin is a 42. Since your weight is somewhat light (72kg) this is a lot of board and fin for winds over 20 knots. In time when you can afford another board, you need to think about something around 100 liters. Enough to uphaul if necessary and good with sails from about 4 - 6 meters (however, this depends on the type of board - slalom, freeride or bump and jump).

Since you have one board for all conditions, a second fin is a good idea for winds over 18 knots. I would suggest something in the 34-36 cm range. If you go for a larger (7.5-8.5) sail at some point for the 12-18 knot winds, the 42cm fin will be perfect. Good luck.

4th June 2011, 01:29 AM
thank you, mark. yep im sure the next board i get will be smaller. the fact is that im not skilled enough to carry a board under 130 lt yet, but im sure in approximately 2 years i will go for a freerace board between 105 and 115 lt.

4th June 2011, 03:47 AM
Not so bad really your level.
Think about in 1997 when I was a beginner I used to go out in rough waves in Marina di Grosseto, few km north of Talamone, with my first board who was a Mistral Echo 298-138 litres; and I still was NOT able to use the footstaps!
Don't know your goals, but you've a lot of wave spots around home so in the future something wave oriented like an FSW could open you the nirvana of windsurfing, that here in the windless north east of Italy I can only dream about. But If your dream is to become a slalom racer, no question. Big good luck, a romano de Roma

4th June 2011, 05:00 AM

From your experiences you should know quite well what over finned feels like !!

No matter how we wrap it up; diagnose it; recount our experiences a 5 metre sail on a 67cm wide board will need a fin around 30 cm for best allround abilities / easy handling.

4th June 2011, 09:51 PM

Look at the new Carve boards on this site:

111 - 66cm wide comes with a 38cm fin with a fin range of 34-40 with sails from 5.0 - 7.5.
121 - 68cm wide comes with a 40cm fin with a fin range of 36-42 with sails from 5.0 - 8.0.

This isn't apples to apples by any means, but a 30cm fin is extremely small for such a large board. I didn't look at the Carve before I suggested a fin around 34 - 36cm, but it seems to confirm my judgement.

5th June 2011, 02:56 AM

My comments were based on my experiences and not from reading a website ;which poster could have done !!

The ranges quoted by you are a guide and by no means represent ideal at either end of scale..

I use a board of similar size (68 wide actually) and have found by extended time on the water with a whole range of fins from 26cm through to 48 cm that for use with a 5 metre sail and in likely water conditions that brings a 30 cm fin would be (as I said in post ) a good place to start and would work fine.Way better than a 42cm.!!!

Infact in offshore winds at my venue I often rig big board/small fin . Board gives me reqd float if wind drops and smaller fin gives much better Vmax (what I`m looking for in offshore) and added control associated with a small fin.In flatish water its amazing both how fast and how much wind big (relative term) board can cope with ! I`ve had 36 knots (10 sec average) from Mistral Syncro 124 RD (68 cm wide) this week.; using a 5.7 and 32 cm fin !!! Have track logs aswell !! My best ever Vmax on 42cm fin is 32 knots !!! No doubt I could have sailed with 42cm fin fine but there`s no way my V max would have been 36 knots dragging a 42cm fin through water !!

Cant believe there is so much argument over an obvious fin choice !!! A 5 metre sail could use much less than a 30cm .The board in question isnt that big !!! It isnt a Formula !!!

And I answered question knowing board poster used was similar size to mine !!! I didnt look it up on some site !!!

5th June 2011, 11:38 PM
You sail with a 5 meter sail on a 124 liter, 68 cm wide board? That puts you in artificially flat water or in the Godzilla weight range. Far from normal.

In real world open water sailing the smallest sail I would use on my 115 liter 65 cm wide board is a 5.5 and even that is sketchy. I would never consider a 5 meter unless in swimming pool flat water.

I weigh 77 kilos and don’t think any fin size will work for Nicolo with his weight, current board & a 5.0 sail in 20-28 knts. That’s asking for a fast trip to the board repair shop.


5th June 2011, 11:45 PM
Think my posts must be getting lost in translation !!! Or Coach G and Ken cant read !!!

I said 5.7 and 32cm fin .Which works great. Race you two anyday !!!

Posters set up is not ideal but a smaller fin would help over his current 42cm.

6th June 2011, 12:43 AM
And I suppose Starboard have got it all wrong too !!!
Look at Flare recommended fins !!!

116 litres.. 70cm wide.... Sail range 5.3 to 7. Fin range 14cm to 28 !!!

Now tell Starboard a 5 metre sail on 68cm wide with 30cm fin wont work !!!!

And go and watch good freestylers making great progress upwind !!

6th June 2011, 01:06 AM
I use a board of similar size (68 wide actually) and have found by extended time on the water with a whole range of fins from 26cm through to 48 cm that for use with a 5 metre sail and in likely water conditions that brings a 30 cm fin would be (as I said in post ) a good place to start and would work fine.

To me this sounded like you have used a 5 meter sail with your 124 liter board. I don't disagree with your fin/sail size recommendation, I just don't think it is realistic to think that any fin size will work with his current skill, weight, board size, a 5 meter sail and 20-28 knts.

I regularly race in the San Francisco Bay in northern CA, US. You are welcome to join us any time.


6th June 2011, 02:12 AM
Then perhaps you should read it again !!!

And read rest of post including......

"Mistral Syncro 124 RD (68 cm wide) this week.; using a 5.7 and 32 cm fin"

And are you actually telling original poster he cant use his 67cm wide board with a 5 metre !!! If not exactly what size fin are you advising !!!

Thought you had some decent sailors in USA;get out a bit more and watch one of them using a 67cm board and a 30cm fin, or smaller !!! Pop down to any freestyle venue and you might learn enough to qualify your tittle !!

Otherwise please explain excactly why a 67cm wide board wont work with a 30cm fin ???

6th June 2011, 03:30 AM
And are you actually telling original poster he cant use his 67cm wide board with a 5 metre !!!

Yes, I am advising him not to use that setup at his weight and skill level in 20-28 knts of wind. Too great a risk of damaging his board. I think he would be better suited to use a smaller uphaulable board & smaller sail in 20-28 knts at his weight & skill level. The choice is his, just my advice.

Otherwise please explain excactly why a 67cm wide board wont work with a 30cm fin ???

Although board width is important I cant overlook the 130 liters which will make that board very bouncy at his weight in 20-28 knts of wind with any size fin unless he was in glassy flat water. Hard to find in 20-28 knts of wind.

Not sure why you are getting so angry but it appears I am not the only one missreading posts here.


6th June 2011, 03:38 AM
Gee, I step a way for a while and things go crazy. By the way, I can read, but I don't have to agree. You seem to be an accomplished sailor and I respect your opinion. We may be on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to fins. I think I use larger than normal fins and you clearly use smaller than normal. Fine, I see no problem with that.

No one suggested a 30cm fin wouldn't work on a 67cm wide board. We are suggesting that something a little larger would be better.

Sure, a 30cm fin is great for a 5.0 sail. I use a 29cm fin on my HiFly 105 Move which is 61.5 cm wide with my 4.5 - 6.0 sails. I have tried smaller fins when it is blowing 25+ knots, but there is too much spin out, plus I have never had a problem with the 29. However, there is a bit of difference between the HiFly and the Thommen. The total equation includes more than the fin and sail. How about the board volume, width, Nicolo's skill level, his other sail (6.5), weight & his typical conditions.

I picked the Carve board as a comparison since it is similar in design to the Thommen. I didn't pick the Flare for what should be obvious reasons - IT'S A FREESTYLE BOARD! Of course it has a small fin,. I was trying to compare apples to apples and you toss in an orange and think you have made a valid point. I also doubt that Starboard has it all wrong for their Carve fin recommendations. I assume they also do some testing before they manufacture a board and supply a fin.

I am trying to help Nicolo and I think you may find that you may be in a minority with your opinions (the only one). I actually have no problem with any one's opinion, that's what is so great about these forums. However, I would stake my 27 years of windsurfing experience and my recommendations against almost anyone, at least in my areas of expertise. I am not a wave sailor, freestyler (other than some basic longboard stuff), speed sailor (although I have documented all by GPS reading for every outing for the last 7 years - average of 70 per year). Plus, I have raced for the last 27 years on longboards, course slalom board, slalom boards and formula boards.

Clearly, smaller fins are faster and can go upwind, but I don't think Nicolo is quite ready for speed-sailing at the moment. If he buys a 30cm fin, I am sure it will work OK for him, but in my opinion, he will have more fun with something a little larger.

6th June 2011, 03:46 AM
And I suppose Starboard have got it all wrong too !!!
Look at Flare recommended fins !!!

116 litres.. 70cm wide.... Sail range 5.3 to 7. Fin range 14cm to 28 !!!

Now tell Starboard a 5 metre sail on 68cm wide with 30cm fin wont work !!!!

And go and watch good freestylers making great progress upwind !!

Unreg, we already know fin size is misleading. A freestyle 20cm has a similar surface area a slalom 30cm so comparison is not good. When talking about fins, surface area, rake, chord, foil shape, stiffness etc has to be taken into consideration. Any decent/experienced windsurfurer will know that for general freeriding, a 30cm fin in a 68cm wide board is not great, yes it will work, but a newbie will be spinning out easily if they are under finned, bad advice.

You are so wrong on this one, just let it go:)

6th June 2011, 04:01 AM
lotrs of BS on this thread I`m afraid Nico.

Will somebody please expalain to me and other unreg why a 30cm fin is (to quote) "so wrong" on a 67 cm board for a 5 metre sail.

It just isnt..

A 30cm fin is inreality quite a big fin. (too big for freestyle !!)

It is not even recommended to use much bigger than 30cm in US box;which according to Ken and Couchg
,would limit those boards to hardly any sails !!!

Good try Ken with last unreg post. Wait a bit longer next time !!!

6th June 2011, 05:02 AM
It's not just a 67cm board, it is also a 130 liter freeride board designed to be used for a 42cm fin. Yes, there are wide boards that use small fins, but there aren't any 130 liter FREERIDE boards where 30 cm fins are recommended or even in the suggested range (calculated guess). Find one if you can, then argue your point.

I doubt that there are any (non custom) freeride boards over 110 liters made that come with a US box that were manufactured in the last 10 years. Why? They carry larger fins that the US box can't handle, as you said. The key word here is FREERIDE, not freestyle or wave.

Also, I fail to understand you last sentence, but nevertheless, it's time for a beer. It's been fun.

6th June 2011, 03:11 PM
"but there aren't any 130 liter FREERIDE boards where 30 cm fins are recommended or even in the suggested range (calculated guess). Find one if you can, then argue your point"

MINE !!!

Like I said give me one GOOD reason a 30cn fin wont work in a 67 cm wide board !!! Not quote manufacturers "guide lines" !!! Go and try it !!! I have; many have. Many do. The stuff on website is not carved in stone !! Its there to make such as Nicolo go out and spend another $1000 on another board. Its why sport is in such a mess with numbers dropping. Its full of BS like this !!!

"A 30cm fin wont work in a 67cm wide freeride board" ??? But work great in a Waveboard and a Freestyle ?? What utter BS. For years I had to use small freerides in waves (large wave boards are a relatively new phenonomom ) My biggest fin at time ? 32cm.

Loads of early freestylers use large freerides with cut down fins ! Its a good job our generation had a different attitude 20 (ok 30) yeras ago. We`d try anything on any kit to sail in strong winds.Its how we learn and how sport progresses. Its how we worked out you need a smaller fin the stronger the wind !!

Your advice ?? Keep trying same set up ????? 34cm fin ??? Might work ?? Never knocked that.

Ali G `s advice ,dont bother !!!???BS. Negative and plain wrong.

My advice ? Try a much smaller fin as a starting point.Available on Ebay £30 (40 toy money $)

????????????? Strange response from Ken + Ali G

Best thread for ages !!!


6th June 2011, 07:30 PM
I think there isn't so much distance between the opinions written here. Simply there's an ideal setup that we experienced riders constantly look for, and a rainbow of different situations in the real world that doesn't match with the best setup, but still in a way that mean amusement of the rider. Going to denmark last two years I saw side by side riders like me goning out with a 88 litres and new HSM 4,5 in strong wind and riders enjoyng the same with way older sails and way larger boards, with no stress and big smiles.
I mean, nowaday I will avoid for sure to plane with a 125/130 litres freeride board with a 5,0 sqm and a 30 cm fin, more feeling with my score 98 and a pheraphs 24 fin (I had a good day 2 years ago in Marjager Fjord with almost this setup, sail 4,5). But, telling the truth, I've done also many years ago a day in Talamone with 4,5, 125 litres board Wizzard, 28 cm fin, three straps instead usual 4... Not perfect but not so bad! Simply as Niccolò at that time 125 litres was the only board.
So only 7 years ago I was in my usual Lake S: Croce, then finding the pressure valve of Score 112 broken I only had the change to rig the 6,5 and then the 8,0 on my other Score 98, first with the 32, then with the 8,0 with a... 40 cm! A crazy setup, I've been immediatly punished by newly increasing wind so I had to start a tango dance to keep down the board, continuosly tunring downwind and upwind like I stil was on my snowboard!
So imho what's the problem? I'd suggest Nicolò to buy a cheap 30 ore 32 and then keep it for the next "correct" highwind board; without selling the nice Thommen, just keeping it for the lightwind days.
About the Talamone spot I can tell by myself that with thermal NW is absolutely possible to have 5,0 wind and almost perfectly flat water inside the bay, as wind speed up passing over the Talamone hill, obviously things change if you go outside the bay. Take a look on Google Maps if you don't believe me.

6th June 2011, 08:35 PM
Jesus, this must be a nice place!! Sei piu fortunato che pensi, Nicolo. Have fun...

6th June 2011, 11:28 PM
I think Nicolo has enough information to make a decision on what to buy.

I would only add that when choosing a small fin for a board that was designed for larger fins in lighter winds, any experienced sailor would first have to consider how the board will be used. If freestyle or wave, then no doubt you will need a small fin (30cm or smaller is good). 10 to 20 knots freeriding (what the board was designed for) - then the 42cm fin is the call. 20+ knots winds - 34 to 36cm is my call (unregistered says 30cm). I don't think either of us is wrong, just a matter of opinion.

I tend to be heavy on my back foot and like good upwind performance, so small fins blow out too often for me.

My fin quiver: 70, 70, 68, 44, 42, 38, 30, 29, 28, 28.

The four smaller fins don't get used unless I am on either my 105 HiFly or my 80 Tiga in winds from 20-40 knots.

It's been fun, so this will be my last post (hopefully) for this thread.

7th June 2011, 01:03 AM

I couldn’t agree with you more. To quote myself I said “Although board width is important I can’t overlook the 130 liters which will make that board very bouncy at his weight in 20-28 knts of wind with any size fin unless he was in glassy flat water.”

Since he has a flat water option I would probably recommend a smaller sail for his current skill for 20-28 knts. In that wind at his level and weight I would put him on a 4.5 as it would be easier to uphaul and handle.

I am in no way trying to chase anyone away from windsurfing, I am an instructor. I see too many people chased away from windsurfing because they go out in too much wind; too rough a water condition with too large a sail and board. Die hard sailors like us will get pummeled and come back for more, but the average person won’t. That is why I err on the caution side as a positive experience brings people back far more often than a negative one.

Is this a great sport or what?


7th June 2011, 02:25 AM
coachg, i rarely uphaul now, i waterstart most of the time. the only times i have to uphaul is when i find myself far away from the shore and the wind decides to stop. 3 weekends ago i was out with my 6.2 and i was in the water for about 5 minutes with the sail over my head waiting for that damn gust to pick the sail up, but it never came so i hade to uphaul (there was quite some chop and i really struggled to uphaul it!)

7th June 2011, 06:53 AM
In that situation point the nose of your board more into the wind. That way the board is more stable against the swells & when you uphaul the boom will be reachable much quicker then if your board is pointed across the wind.


7th June 2011, 05:32 PM

First you tell Nicolo a 5 metre wont work on his board.End of .!!!???

Then you tell him to try a 4.5 ?????

Then you tell him to head board into wind to uphaul !!!

Thats got to be amongst the worst 3 pieces of advice I`ve ever seen on here !!! (and there`s been some bad ones)

Nicolo sounds to me to be quite a competant sailor already. A 5 will work fine on his board ;not ideal but fine. A 4.5 would make matters worse and uphauling with nose into wind leaves you tacking when sail releases !!!

Just stick a 30 to 34 cm fin in board;put mast track to back and go out and enjoy your 5 metre !!! Forget uphauling unless absolutely necessary.

Other sports are for folk who haven`t tried windsurfing !!

8th June 2011, 01:07 AM
Hello Unreg,

Sounds like you are new to windsurfing so some of this may be confusing to you. I’ll try to explain my advice to you as best I can. The things I considered were wind speed (20-28 knts), sailor weight (72 Kilos), sailor skill (intermediate) and water state (flat or choppy).

First you tell Nicolo a 5 metre wont work on his board.End of .!!!???

Yes. In choppy water Nicolo’s weight of 72 kg is too light to try to hold down a 130 liter board in 20-28 knts of wind. At his weight a 5 meter sail with 20-28 knts of wind will create a lot of power and a 130 liter board will be bouncing all over the place. Very great risk of catapult & board damage. You obviously feel this is a good setup and that is ok. We just disagree.

Then you tell him to try a 4.5 ?????

With flat water all bets are off. Volume plays a much smaller role in flat water as the board is not bouncing up & down. You can greatly exceed a boards sail range in flat water and as an earlier Unreg poster pointed out use a smaller fin to maintain control. A 4.5 would offer Nicolo more control in 20-28 knts of wind then a 5 meter sail. He would be fully planning in flat water with both a 5.0 & a 4.5 but the 4.5 would make learning gybes much easier. Again, we disagree as I’d like to see Nicolo slightly underpowered and you would like to see him overpowered.

Then you tell him to head board into wind to uphaul !!!

Yes. Nicolo is not a beginner so this changes things. In the early stages beginners are taught to uphaul across the wind because they have a tendency to stall the board if they uphaul with the board facing on a close reach. But a sailor with some experience can overcome the deficiency of pointing close to the wind that a beginner can’t. Uphauling close to the wind does two things. One is make the board more stable in chop, the other is to bring the boom closer to the sailor when uphauling.

Thats got to be amongst the worst 3 pieces of advice I`ve ever seen on here !!! (and there`s been some bad ones)

They could be, but that is why we have forums. I think the advice is sound and Nicolo can choose my advice, your advice or someone else’s.

Forget uphauling unless absolutely necessary.

Again we disagree. I think uphauling is a great skill, especially after blown upwind maneuvers like a hellitack, upwind 360 or backwinded pivot jibe where you drop your sail in the middle of the maneuver. I find it best to balance & uphaul, even with an 85 liter board at 79 Kg. You may prefer to jump in and water start but that is your choice. Doesn’t make my uphauling wrong or right.


8th June 2011, 04:38 AM
Must admit CoachG writing is your strong point !!!
Well written reply .

We`ll have to agree to differ.

One last (and really last) question/point though...

Assuming Nicolo had taken your advice (re 130 litres/5 metre/72 kilo not working) what should he have done when at beach in 25 knots and only his Thomen and a 5 metre ???? Gone home ?? Save up for smaller board???Hardly helpful.

OK two points

Any problems Nicolo would experience on 5 metre would be even worse on 4.5..One of problems with smaller sails on bigger boards is relative lack of movement of CoE .(ie smaller sail;lower CoE;lower CoE less relative movement fore/aft) Its why mast track has to be brought back even though that in itself can cause more control problems(nose lift) !!! (Its actually less of a problem with higher aspect older design sails)
Also 6.2 to 4.5 is too large a gap. Think he already has a 5 anyway.

OK three points
Uphauling is obviuosly an essential and usefull skill but
a) I witness too many beginners getting worn out trying to uphaul when there is ample wind to waterstart.
The more essential (imperative) skill for anyone sailing at sea is waterstarting. If they cant waterstart because of lack of wind chances are they can swim/paddle in. If they get worn out uphauling in strong winds rescue becomes inevitable. (we`ve had 3 in last month needing RNLI, all beginners who should have been practising waterstarts ) (But I`m pretty sure Nicolo is well past that stage anyhow.)
b) Uphauling with nose far into wind is not good advice IMO.(for obvious reasons) (four I suppose)

Anyhow good Sailing CoachG.

9th June 2011, 11:42 PM
I used to have a Powerglide 130 which I believe is a very similar board to Thomen Free x. (Both Thomen;similar shapes/widths/weights)
It worked fine on a 32cm fin but never tried smaller.Had to point well down wind to get it up and running but then it tracked upwind great. Infact its good training to use a smaller fin than ideal/recommended. Think big fins can make you a bit lazy and rear foot biased.Small fin needs more pressure on front foot; needs better technique for getting upwind and will reap benefits for both gybing and control and for when you move down to smaller / wave kit.

Dont think some of posters distinctions between Freeride/Freeride/Slalom are as distinct as made out ??
When does freestyle become freeride ??? Skate is a freestyle but 90% of its owners simply freeride on it. Many folk use freestyle for freeride and vice versa. Is a Futura freeride or Slalom ? I think its up to rider ???

10th June 2011, 12:06 AM

These days there is a distinct design difference between slalom and freeride boards, although both can be used in both ways. I am sure that you know this.

Slalom (race) boards - Light weight (many in carbon versions), wide, wide in the tail, little V in the bottom or flat, hard rails and outboard straps.

Freeride - Usually heavier and narrower for equal volumes (not always), narrower tail, more pronounced V in the bottom, softer rails, and straps set more inboard than the race boards.

There are clear differences in performance and ride in the hands of experienced sailors.

You are probably correct regarding big fin and heavy back foot dependence, but I have been involved in course racing for 27 years and all courses have upwind legs. Big fins have always been the call. Managing back foot pressure is a skill that take some time to master, but there is no reason someone with big fins can't adapt to smaller fins and less back pressure. A little tough for novices and intermediates, but no big deal for advanced sailors.

10th June 2011, 03:52 AM
Hi Ken
Sorry Ken dont really agree.Take for example the Futura (and Fanatic equivalent (?) Ray. Neither are distinct "Slalom" and neither are exactly "Freeride" (a term in itself very user definable) Both in certain situations would perform on a par (and beyond) the corresponding Slalom models (Isonic;Falcon)

We all know the design parameters that we label as "slalom" but in reality performance wise the edges are more blurred than ever between "slalom" and "freeride" .Manufacturers are getting more and more capable at combining both the better qualities of freeride into their out and out slalom boards (Isonics now gybe as easy as freerace 5 years ago) and the performance into freerides once only available in slalom.
I remember the dedicated slalom kit of old which were virtually ungybable (except for exceptional sailors)

IMO the distinction is not made by quantifying design but in objective performance.There`s an assumption the Isonics would out perform the Futura so all racers use them !!! Not convinced it would prove to be the case !!! Its a sort of selffullfilling prophecy ??
IMO in a race between Ray;Falcon;Futura and Isonic the faster sailor would prevail whichever he was on !!!
The more experienced the sailor the more the edges are blurred !!! Antoine Albeau would leave me for dead were he on any Freeride, whatever I was on.
Freerides is almost an insulting term to some;it assumes poorer performance. In reality this is not the case any more.
I see a lot of disappointed sailors stepping up to the "faster" slalom kit and then realising they are no quicker than they were on Tabou Rockets etc.This is especially case at exposed venues. We have many days where Skates and Kodes are fastest on water !!! Where does that leave term "slalom" ???
(And the Skate is Freestyle !!!)
Sail a Fanatic Ray and tell me its a freeride ??? In a race accross our bay I would now choose a Ray over anything !!! (And I`ve raced/ sailed most)

I dont really think upwind legs and racing has any relevance to our sport as a whole. Perhaps its different in USA but in UK I would imagine the number of sailors involved with any form of organised racing is under 1%. Excessively large fins might help to windward mark but I`m afraid 99% of our sailors will never ever race to a winward mark. They want to have a compromise of getting upwind sufficiently combined with that playful feeling only smaller fins can give.
People going out over finned are missing out on the best our sport has to offer !!! Playing !!! Surfing off the front foot !!!

10th June 2011, 07:56 AM
You have to define over finned. To me, over finned means you can not gybe, get or stay in the straps or maintain any control in any direction. So over finned means you can’t windsurf at all so you miss all the benefits of windsurfing.

Here in the U.S. we have three types of sailors. Front foot (mostly freestyle & wave), balanced ( mostly freeride) & back foot (mostly slalom & power sailors). While I do enjoy front foot sailing with my 85 liter board with 21, 22 & 23 cm wave fins, I don’t think the back foot power sailors think I’m having more fun.


That is no small fin Dale is running on his board in 30 knts and he definitely doesn’t look to be out of control or not having fun.

Big air needs big fin & some people find that more fun. I don’t have the courage to attempt jumps that high.


10th June 2011, 05:54 PM
I used to have a Powerglide 130 which I believe is a very similar board to Thomen Free x. (Both Thomen;similar shapes/widths/weights)
It worked fine on a 32cm fin but never tried smaller.Had to point well down wind to get it up and running but then it tracked upwind great. Infact its good training to use a smaller fin than ideal/recommended. Think big fins can make you a bit lazy and rear foot biased.

I agree that big fins can make the rider a bit lazy.. like me.
But imho there is the proper fin for every sails over every board, and also it changes with different wind and sea conditions. So I use to choose a smaller fin if there are waves or rough sea conditions, a bigger if i need to go more upwind and-or the wind is gusty and poor, so I need the maximum lift for every breathe of air coming. In these last situations having a small fin could be frustrating, and I do windsurfing for enjoying myself, not for some mission!
I disegree that Powerglide can be compared to Thommen Free X, Powerglide had and I suppose still has the goal to make peolpe plannin easier, so wide round squared stern made for flat water and biger fins, where Thommen Free X seems more sea and not only flat water oriented, so a smaller fin makes sense. Imho.

10th June 2011, 05:58 PM
I`ve re read my post;cant find term "overfinned" anywhere ????? So cant see why I should define it ???
Whats your point ????
Cant see point of video either ??? He`s a marvelous sailor enjoying great conditions on well set up/balanced kit ?? What`s your point again??? Yes its not a tiny fin but no its not massive either ?? Sort of inbetween;the correct one ???

My point was/is
Fin choice can transform a boards performance/feeling.. All depends on priorities. !! Many sailors always set up for best upwind progress (racers) by choosing larger fins. Dropping down a couple of fin sizes can completely transform how the board feels but can loose out "to windward mark" ..

10th June 2011, 06:02 PM
You are right Nakanico but surely thats more of an argument to use smaller fin in Freex ??? (ie 32 was fine in PG130 (managed just shy of 40 mph on it with 32 !!!)

10th June 2011, 09:27 PM
People going out over finned are missing out on the best our sport has to offer !!! Playing !!! Surfing off the front foot !!!

Sorry Floyd. This appears on my computer screen. I'm not sure why it doesn't appear on yours.

My point was the best this sport has to offer is up to the individual rider. For you and I it is slashing swells, for guys like Dale it is launching huge air and for other guys it might be going real fast and I don't think any of us are missing out if we choose not to sail in a different style.


10th June 2011, 10:41 PM
I missed that ;must be my failing eyes !

You are right; I wasnt intending to imply one aspect more enjoyable than others,only that very often folk stick big fins in to"help" upwind and miss out on whats available on the given day/board

Even (quite)big board can feel very playful if finned smaller.(and in some situations are faster)

To be fair I normally carry larger fin than average ? (27 for 4.5 and less/29cm for 5 metre/32 for 5.4 to to 6 /38 for 6.4 and 7 and 42 for 7.5 +)

But I would not hesitate to put 32 in my 124 litre board which is a great combination and its 68cm wide !
(Which is where thread started) Comparing that board with a 42 in it is like comparing two completely different board. With the 32 its loose;playfull. With the 42 it feels slalomy/dedicated. Hence comment enjoying it with smaller fin. Never sailing this board with a 32 would be missing out on its best qualities.

Each to his own !

11th June 2011, 02:19 AM

Back to the slalom, freerace, freeride differences. You make several valid points but there is one major glaring issue that you overlook, which is the reason slalom racers choose slalom race boards over anything else.

Tail width! Popping up on plane after a jibe or staying on plane throughout the jibe can determine who wins and looses in a slalom race. Because the freerace or freeride boards have narrower tails and more defined V bottoms, they simply can't accelerate as fast or get on plane anything close to a full on slalom board.

My iSonic 111 and HiFly move 105 are good examples. Both similar in volume (iS is 108), length and width, but there are significant differences in how they perform. Since the HiFly is narrow in the tail and has a more pronounced V bottom, it is very smooth riding compared to the iS. Top speed wise, I have hit 31.5 knots on both, so for me, the iS is not faster on a speed run. However, since I only use a 42cm fin on the iS, it would likely be faster if I had another smaller custom fin around 38cm. Jibing, the Hifly is smoother/easier/quicker, but harder to maintain a plane exiting the jibe than the iS. If I do come off plan with either board, the iS is significantly faster getting back on plane and can reach full speed much quicker. In the lulls, it also stays on plane longer than the HiFly.

Also, if the slalom race course has a leg that runs deep, the wide tail of the race board allows the racer to run deeper with greater speed than with a narrow tailed board.

For slalom racing, the race boards clearly perform best in the hands of an expert sailor. I can see why intermediates or advanced sailors may not like a slalom race board because of the learning curve and the negatives. It is a rougher ride (almost flat bottom), jibing is a little more challenging, and the outboard straps are a bit challenging to get into (back strap).

One other point regarding the race boards is that they can carry larger sails for comparable volumes because of the wider tails (and bigger fins). Anything larger than a 6.5 on my HiFly, and things get out of balance. The iS easily carries an 8.4 (was on this the last two days in winds to 18 knots.

On this forum, I occasionally recommend freeride (Carve or Futura) boards to sailors that I feel aren't ready for the challenge of the iS. The average Joe is most likely going to have more fun on the freeride boards, but they will be giving up quick planing and acceleration in doing so. If you live where there are steady wind, you won't be giving up much. On the other hand, if the winds are highly variable (where I live), then freeride boards will be slogging a lot more than the same sized race boards.

Don't you think that the PWA slalom racers would pick the best board that their sponsors make. If the Futura was faster than the iS in a PWA slalom race, they would be fools not to ride it. They are not fools.

12th June 2011, 01:40 PM
Thanks everyone for their replies. I now have this problem fixed and can bear away freely now!!!!!! Forum closed :)

12th June 2011, 02:20 PM
WTF???? ok that was not me i swear!!! AS YOU CAN SEE THE PREVIOUS COMMENT WAS FROM nicolo.piccolimini, i am nicolo.piccolOmini. keep commenting i really am enjoying this thread as well as learning a lot!!!

12th June 2011, 03:41 PM
Sorry that was my friend who said that, but this forum really is closed as i have gotten all the help iv needed. Thanks everyone!!!!! :D

12th June 2011, 04:16 PM
ok whoever you are you piss me off!! haha you can check if you want whoever is writing this stiff IS NOT ME as you can see from the names and the person who started this thread! whoever you are QUIT SAYING THIS STUFF!

12th June 2011, 04:38 PM
Ok this is too far, you have overstepped the mark hacking my account and pretending to be me. Just stop it now and tell me the new password because this is REALLY PISSING ME OFF. I was the one who started the forum and again, thanks everyone for their help because I really appreciate it. And hacker, STOP IT NOW!!!! Forum closed.

12th June 2011, 04:47 PM
... i don't have any words... seriously? now you changed it to nicolo,piccolomini (with a comma)... it is obvious that you are not me as you can clearly see from the fact that i am a member and you are a guest. please stop trying to close my forum.

12th June 2011, 04:49 PM
and i am sorry but whoever you are why would you try to close my forum??? if you have a valid reason just tell me please, stop trying to be a smartass.

12th June 2011, 05:09 PM
ok to everyone who sees this, MY ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED SO I AM NOT ACTUALY SAYING THAT. This forum is closed!!!!!!!!!! Thank you everyone for your help, my windsurfing has improved ten fold!!!!

12th June 2011, 06:15 PM
ok then if you really are me then why don't you speak in italian, since i am italian, and then nakaniko can confirm that its me, not you (don't try going on google translate because it is obvious in italian).

13th June 2011, 03:13 AM
take it easy, everyone can see the difference from Nicolò MEMBER of the forum and the fake Nicolò GUEST.
And then They coul use talian translator, but what about ROMAN SLANG?
Anca se mi saria più adato a parlar un venessian ciò
They are just kidding you

13th June 2011, 04:21 AM
hahaha daje!

13th June 2011, 11:57 AM
Ok sorry, i just wanted to get more views on the starboard ultrasonic review thread and eliminate competition.

13th June 2011, 01:02 PM
hahahaha nice

11th July 2011, 05:21 AM
Ha-ha, what a funny thread! I've never seen anything like that!
I think I must fall in love with Italy if I ever visit it! :-)

19th July 2011, 04:20 PM
I believe you have your harness lines to far forward!
All the best.

19th July 2011, 08:31 PM
I get this sometimes too, especially in the footstraps. Wish there was a chart that incorporated a sailor's weight and all the best rig specs. Maybe this is already out there. If so, can someone post it's location please?