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stephencrowle
4th June 2011, 06:12 AM
FW is dead in the UK, is it alive anywhere else?

mark h
4th June 2011, 07:31 PM
Still live and kicking in Europe, Holland and Itally just had their nationals. FW in the UK is only for super light wind fun if you hate SUP (I hate SUP, so use FW on sub 10k days only), XL slalom has been the making of popular and growing BSA series. You might have to travel further to get your FW fix:)

SeanAUS120
5th June 2011, 06:00 PM
Getting bigger and bigger every year in Australia. Still +40 guys at a lot of local events if the weather is nice.

In some pockets in Europe the sport is still going strong. I think there will be a good turnout at the Worlds this year with all the Americans/South Americans and guys from the southern hemisphere...

Not sure why its died in the UK?

Unregistered
5th June 2011, 08:36 PM
where is it going strong in europe? how many people?
is the equipment too unwieldy?

SeanAUS120
5th June 2011, 11:26 PM
I don't know about every country specifically, but in the Baltics they are getting nearly 50 guys at the local events, here at the GP in Riccione we have 60. Not bad considering there is 3 other major international events on at the same time..

To be honest, that's a LOT more people than I see going to local slalom events! We haven't even been able to run a slalom Nationals in Australia for the past 3 years due to no interest, when our FW Nationals is getting better each year.

Just depends on the country I guess. The equipment right now is really good. All the brands are going fast and easy to use and we have more boards on the market than ever.

Unregistered
6th June 2011, 12:41 AM
Trouble in Uk is there is just enough windy days for sailors to ba attracted away from Formula/Competitions but not enough to reliably organise high wind events !!

I remember organising events years ago; we`d have plenty sign up (and pay) wind would pick up and sailors would sod off elsewhere !!! Even witnessed it happen at West Kirby, at a speed event. Wind was building up nicely;I thought great we are in for a good event. Somebody phoned Rhosneigre and reported big swell ; cross shore F5. Within 30 mins car park was nearly empty !!! (I joined them for a brilliant day to be honest)

Then we`d have the opposite. ie no wind.. How do you organise any type of racing for 3 kts gusting 4 !!!

Its neither one thing or other in UK but its probably windiest country in Europe (apart from Canaries?) but there is neither pattern or predictability in its strength !!! Rewards those that can sail with a days notice; hence predominance of free sailing in all its guises .

My take on things anyhow !!!

SeanAUS120
7th June 2011, 09:38 PM
Hmmmmmm, that's annoying.

Down in AUS we try to just put our events in super nice locations that are family friendly (seeing as most of our fleet are old guys who usually have kids and bring the wife along). That way people seem to treat the weekend events as a bit of a holiday, rather than just a windsurfing event; making sure they come even if the forecast is lame.

High wind formula is the bomb! I don't know why anyone would leave?

sergio k
8th June 2011, 12:27 AM
In US the 2 popular formula spots couldn't be more different, San Fransisco and Miami,
one is high wind and popular because fleet is very competitive. In Miami now days almost
all regulars have formula board, mainly used for free rides and drag racing across the bay,
reason behind popularity is avg winds from 7-12 kn, it's just practical. But once people
get really dialled in, they realize how much FUN it is.

Unregistered
8th June 2011, 09:38 PM
FW is quite technical and requires quite high ability and high strength to manage the big rigs.
What are the feeder classes providing easier access and requiring less technical ability and strength?

sergio k
8th June 2011, 10:21 PM
FW is quite technical and requires quite high ability and high strength to manage the big rigs.
What are the feeder classes providing easier access and requiring less technical ability and strength?
To be the best you do have to have technique and strength, but isn't that with any discipline??
For req. use or participation in races but not expecting great results (just having fun...) all you need
is basic strength and technique. I love when person that knows very little about the class provides
totally falls info as a fact... But to answer the Q: Any wide modern board gives you fundamentals
to just jump into FW, including even RSX, BIC, Formula EXP...

Ken
9th June 2011, 12:24 AM
I am so glad that my formula sailing is "quite technical, requires high ability and high strength".

I am reasonably skilled, but I am 66 years old, and weigh 78kg. While I don't push my big rigs (11.0 & 9.2) to the limits of most formula sailors, I nevertheless have great fun planing fast in winds where only the long boards are cruising around. I rarely drop the sails, but I do have "easy up-hauls" on my three largest sails so I don't waste my strength up-hauling if the need arises.

Formula isn't that tough, but it can be pretty darn exciting running down wind with a big sail in 15 to 20 knots.

SeanAUS120
13th June 2011, 12:34 AM
The official feeder class is the BIC; which is great because it can either feed in to RS:X or FW essentially. In AUS we also kind of use the RS:X class as a feeder also as most of our RS:X fleet comes to the formula nationals and just chucks their 9.5 on a FW (and do quite well) - including our Olympians! Often the guys who don't continue on with RS:X after the trials but still want to race get involved with FW.

For sure its "quite technical", but certainly that is the appeal?

Unregistered
13th June 2011, 03:22 AM
For sure its "quite technical", but certainly that is the appeal?

absolutely. The very limited appeal to a very small number of people, hence its decline.

Ken
13th June 2011, 11:19 PM
I also think the cost of formula gear causes many to stay away as well as the perception that the "giant" sails are impossible to manage. If you get comfortable with 6 and 7 meter sails as your largest, the 11 & 12 meters sails do seem "giant" and hard to manage. However, once your skill level gets to the point of rarely dropping the sail, staying powered and balance while hooked in is pretty comfortable.

While I only race formula a couple of times a year, I will likely stick with the gear simply because it is wonderful to be planing relatively fast in 10-15 knots of wind when most windsurfers are still at home.

My first choice for fun windsurfing is my bump and jump board in 20+ knots. Second is my iS slalom board in 12-20 knots, then formula in 8-15 knots.

Formula isn't for everyone, but some will find it fun and exhilarating. One side benefit is that after a session on a 9 or 11 meter sail, dropping down to a 7.6 on a slalom board feels like you have a napkin in your hands.

sergio k
14th June 2011, 12:10 AM
[QUOTE=quite technical. The very limited appeal to a very small number of people, hence its decline]

Any course racing is technical, and you have to be great to win, but rec. FW is very easy,
lots of people I know use it as their first board to learn on. Biggest problem is lack of support
from industry, PWA, Olympics, etc... So, it's the class that survived despite all that and only supported
by volunteer efforts... why??? Because it's the most fun, challenging discipline windsurfing has, and you
only need 1 board, 1 fin, 2 sails to cover range from 6 to 25 kn, and you're flying between the buoys...
To start racing all you need to know, how to tack, basic jibes and how to use harness...

Floyd
16th June 2011, 06:39 PM
Ken
"quite technical, requires high ability and high strength"
All windsurfing is /does.(If you are making effort !!)
Segio
"but rec. FW is very easy"
"Because it's the most fun, challenging discipline windsurfing has"
"To start racing all you need to know, how to tack, basic jibes and how to use harness..."

Think thats a bit contentious;contradictory and probably plain wrong on all counts !!

Are we saying Formula is more fun than sailing Hookipa ?? Requires more strength than a wave sailor/speed sailor?? Thats why it died out in UK then?

Personally find racing around bouys a touch egotistical and pointless (there`s only one winner and a fleet of disappointed sailors (well 2 anyway nowadays) But if you enjoy it fine, but dont over promote it at cost to other disciplines.

Ken
16th June 2011, 10:08 PM
Floyd,

The quote I posted "quite technical, requires high ability and high strength" came from post #9. I was only mocking his statement a little, since I am 66 years old and weight 77kg and sail formula.

While formula can be extremely demanding, both physically and mentally, it doesn't have to with proper trimming and staying within one's limits. And as you said, it's the same with all windsurfing (wave, freestyle, slalom, freeride and even longboard).

Strength is no doubt an asset, but focus, skill and technique can compensate for some shortcomings in strength.

Most windsurfers aren't into racing, but when I started windsurfing (and racing) in 1984, I quickly found that "racing around buoys" was "not egotistical or pointless". Racing requires you to sail in directions and conditions that you would not normally choose if freeriding. This forces the racer to improve his skills at a much more rapid rate than the guy reaching out and back for a couple of hours.

I wanted to be a better windsurfer and racing taught me how to point high; run deep; tack and jibe quickly (at a specific point; not where it is most comfortable); maximize the efficiency of the sail & board by tuning and trimming; hover a longboard or formula board at the starting line (keeping the board in a 10 meter box in 20 knots of wind); plus many other techniques. And for me, it was and still is fun.

Comparing oneself to others is human nature, be it in the office, in your car, on the running track, soccer field, swimming pool, billiards hall, etc. etc. We all want to see how we measure up against our peers and sailing around some buoys is just one of a hundred ways we can do it. Wanting to race a windsurfer is not so unusual, is it? You too are probably involved in some "egotistical and pointless" competition on occasion, correct?

sergio k
17th June 2011, 12:32 AM
Ken
"quite technical, requires high ability and high strength"
All windsurfing is /does.(If you are making effort !!)
Segio
"but rec. FW is very easy"
"Because it's the most fun, challenging discipline windsurfing has"
"To start racing all you need to know, how to tack, basic jibes and how to use harness..."

Think thats a bit contentious;contradictory and probably plain wrong on all counts !!

Are we saying Formula is more fun than sailing Hookipa ?? Requires more strength than a wave sailor/speed sailor?? Thats why it died out in UK then?

Personally find racing around bouys a touch egotistical and pointless (there`s only one winner and a fleet of disappointed sailors (well 2 anyway nowadays) But if you enjoy it fine, but dont over promote it at cost to other disciplines.

by most fun discipline, I mean racing discipline... and also, freeriding in light wind locations

if there was >18 knots regularly in my location, chances are I would be on my wave board with a 5.0 m2,
but our winds are 7-12 kn

Floyd
17th June 2011, 01:36 AM
Thats different !
Apologies.Misunderstood your post.
Good sailing.

Ofcourse I was Ken
Responding to the overstating case for Formula

BelSkorpio
17th June 2011, 01:43 AM
Not that long time ago, I was talking with an ex formula competition sailor.
The way he explained it, FW can be one of the most exhausting disciplines.

Often they need to carry the wide board + 12m gear (quite heavy) on very wide sandy beaches for a long distance to reach the water. Arriving at the water, already tired, heated up and full of sweat, they often encounter a strong shore break where they have to go through, trying not to drop the 12m sail into the water and manage their way to the more clean & open sea. There somtimes waits a huge swell with lots of chop, very eager to tear down all that nice but rather heavy equipment. Do you get a little bit the picture ...

Don't get me wrong, I like FW. But I've seen a competition going on at the rough baltic sea in Poland and I say "Respect, to all FW competition surfers out there !"

sergio k
17th June 2011, 02:02 AM
Not that long time ago, I was talking with an ex formula competition sailor.
The way he explained it, FW can be one of the most exhausting disciplines.

Often they need to carry the wide board + 12m gear (quite heavy) on very wide sandy beaches for a long distance to reach the water. Arriving at the water, already tired, heated up and full of sweat, they often encounter a strong shore break where they have to go through, trying not to drop the 12m sail into the water and manage their way to the more clean & open sea. There somtimes waits a huge swell with lots of chop, very eager to tear down all that nice but rather heavy equipment. Do you get a little bit the picture ...

Don't get me wrong, I like FW. But I've seen a competition going on at the rough baltic sea in Poland and I say "Respect, to all FW competition surfers out there !"

again, it's all about local conditions, open ocean + nasty shore break + FW (70 cm fin) - is one tough proposition, we have 1 race like that in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and it's equipment carnage, I come in hopes that conditions would be more favorable, but in 99% I don't go out, and help out others to get back to the shore... But, most locations have good, no shore break, access to the water. And you don't have to be macho - you can carry board than sail to the water...

Ken
17th June 2011, 02:39 AM
Yes, Formula is a pain in the butt if you have to launch through shore break. No easy way around it unless you have help - thanks sergio. I have had to do this many times in the shorebreak and 25 knot winds in Corpus Christi Bay.

However, most of my formula sailing is in lakes. I carry a small mushroom anchor with a float, and take it out with the board to 1 meter of water and tie the board off. Then I get the sail and attach it on the water. I have a mechanical U-Joint so it's not hard to connect the sail to the board. I reverse the process at the end of the day. I keep the board moored in the water if I take a break. I simply don't carry the entire rig in one piece any more.

Always looking for was to make it more fun.

Unregistered
17th June 2011, 04:23 PM
hang on, i just want to get my ducks in a row.

Ken in post 11 mocks the assertion that FW is " quite technical, requires high ability and strength" and does so by offering himself as an example of a 66 year old who can handle the FW gear.

Ken then goes on to say in post 14 "If you get comfortable with 6 and 7 meter sails as your largest, the 11 & 12 meters sails do seem "giant" and hard to manage. However, once your skill level gets to the point of rarely dropping the sail, staying powered and balance while hooked in is pretty comfortable."
this contradicts his mocking of FW being quite technical and requiring a high skill level doesnt it?

Ken then goes on in post 17 to talk about his racing experience. He has raced since 1984 and got to a level whereby he can "keep(ing) the board in a 10 meter box in 20 knots of wind" on a start line.
so Ken you are a very bad example as you may be 66 but you are highly experienced and have obviously raced a number of classes with a number of different styles before arriving at Formula with a relatively high skill level.

sergiok says in post 10 "For req. use or participation in races but not expecting great results (just having fun...) all you needis basic strength and technique"
he then says in post 21 "we have 1 race like that in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and it's equipment carnageI come in hopes that conditions would be more favorable, but in 99% I don't go out, and help out others to get back to the shore" so the equipment is unwieldy and technical and requires a high skill level. Sergio freely admits that he does not have the skill level to race this equipment in these conditions. of course not everywhere is like ft lauderdale but many places are and 70cm fins and 12m rigs are unsailable in a lot of those places and very difficult in a huge number of others.

there is nothing wrong with FW but it is quite technical and it does require a high skill level and quite a bit of strength. It is an extreme( can be spectacular) version of windsurfing and has limited appeal as a racing class.

Floyd
17th June 2011, 04:54 PM
Sorry Ken and Sergio
I have to agree with unreg and have said in other posts/threads many similar things re your posts but hey wot the hell.Nobody is perfect !!
Think Ken does build up Formula but must have a few holes in his feet by now !! (errrrr, shot himself there a few times)

But Ken`s enthusiasm even over forum is infectious so keep it up and keep sailing Ken.

Afraid I didnt understand the mushroom anchor idea but I`m not a formula sailor. In shorebreak? Calm ? Why ?

nakaniko
17th June 2011, 07:55 PM
I think I understand the mushroom shaped anchor idea, as it is a (good) idea to avoid the long walking to go back to the beach to have a rest; to find the anchor Ken attaches a flaoting object. I used to do the same to find the end of the chord attached to the stern of my boat, when in deeper waters, leaving one of the two sets depending from increasing or decrsing wind. Now I'm thinkin to do something to attach it no to the board but to the tip of the sail, for avoiding the board to knock in the boat and for meking visible the sail to the nasty motor boats often running too near the sail layng flat in the water surface (I fear it can happen they run OVER the sail...)
On the opposite I was planning to carry with me a micro umbrella-style anchor for long trips in my lagoon with the Serenity, but carrying it with me in a backpack or if really tiny in the drinks-strorage-box of the board where there are the heads of the fin screws.I'd have to find before something to calculate the weight of the boat (board) to width of anchor ratio.
Ideas...

Sailboarder
17th June 2011, 08:34 PM
The anchor is a good idea. I sail on a lake too, on a longboard, and my preferred lauch point is bordered by pointy rocks.

When it's windy, it's is difficult to carry both sail and board since you have to take a few steps on the slippery and unstable rocks. Loosing balance could mean a hole in your sail or board! So I usually bring the sail in the water first, then run to shore and back with board before the sail is pushed on shore.

I will use the anchor to bring my board to water first, and come back without rush with my sail. It will also be usefull with the kids. They are unable to carry the stuff over the rocks, so they usually do the human anchor waiting for me. Trouble is, they will sometimes just leave their equipment there and get out quickly because they feel cold. I'm then stuck with two kits in the water!

Thanks for the idea!

Ken
17th June 2011, 11:42 PM
If I am contradicting myself, that is not my intention. In a nut shell. Formula isn't for everyone, but it is the answer to planing in light wind conditions if that is your goal. However, some of the new "light wind slalom" boards (Ultrasonic) my be a better solution than formula (if you aren't a racer). Even with the Ultrasonic, you will still need a big sail, mast and boom to plane fast in 8-10 knots.

My point in pushing formula as a 66 year old windsurfer is just to point out that the "giant board, giant fin, giant sail" paranoia out there may not be fully justified. Yes, it's big and cumbersome, but if a 66 year old, 77kg guy can manage it, why not all you 20 - 50 year old guys/gals? All I am trying to do is provide my perspective on formula sailing, nothing more. Formula gives me more days on the water, and I see that as a good thing. The other option is an SUP or my old Superlight. I simply choose to plane on my formula board rather than glide around on a longboard.

The anchor thing is for one major reason, I don't have to carry the entire formula kit in one piece to or from the water. Where I generally sail, the shoreline is protected from chop, so the board/sail attached to a float doesn't normally wear or damage anything. On a busy day, there may be a dozen anchors and buoys at my sailing site for all sizes of boards and rigs. I only do this when I am sure that the wave action won't do any damage to my gear. Why bring your rig to the beach of you can leave it in the water? The anchor is a 10 lb. vinyl coated, mushroom shape anchor, purchased from West Marine. A few guys even use rocks or cinder blocks as anchors with milk jugs as floats.

Yes, I have a lot of experience, and my comments regarding racing were intended to show that you will likely gain experience much faster if you race. This isn't true for everyone since there are some highly committed sailors that push their limits 100% of the time. However, after watching windsurfers "do their thing" for 27 years, most don't push their limits and stagnate in their progression. Racing is one way to get you off your complacent butt. Bottom line - if it's fun and you are happy with your level of progression, go for it, it's fine with me.

Many of us need a push to get to the next level, regardless of the endeavor.

sergio k
18th June 2011, 12:00 AM
Wow, let go over it one more time:
1.I'm 50 years old, 62kg, 165 cm, walking thru large shore break , from what I see, you have to be physically bigger/taller to clear it with 10-12m2 sail, just don't have enough static leverage, or extra
cash to replace gear... BUT, great majority of races are done with good access to the water, small or no shore break, I do participate in those, and do OK (I do it just for fun and I'm not very competitive).
2. To win in FW race you have to be technical, physically fit and size helps also (so in slalom), but to participate all you need is basic technique and avg. physical fitness level, we have guys that being windsurfing for year+ participating in events. If it was easy to win - what would be the point??
3. For req. use in light wind locations(7-12 kn avg), no excessive shore break, not super shallow it's the best option even for beginner if you want to plane and not seat on the beach waiting for the wind to build...


QUOTE=Unregistered;50092]hang on, i just want to get my ducks in a row.

Ken in post 11 mocks the assertion that FW is " quite technibbcal, requires high ability and strength" and does so by offering himself as an example of a 66 year old who can handle the FW gear.

Ken then goes on to say in post 14 "If you get comfortable with 6 and 7 meter sails as your largest, the 11 & 12 meters sails do seem "giant" and hard to manage. However, once your skill level gets to the point of rarely dropping the sail, staying powered and balance while hooked in is pretty comfortable."
this contradicts his mocking of FW being quite technical and requiring a high skill level doesnt it?

Ken then goes on in post 17 to talk about his racing experience. He has raced since 1984 and got to a level whereby he can "keep(ing) the board in a 10 meter box in 20 knots of wind" on a start line.
so Ken you are a very bad example as you may be 66 but you are highly experienced and have obviously raced a number of classes with a number of different styles before arriving at Formula with a relatively high skill level.

sergiok says in post 10 "For req. use or participation in races but not expecting great results (just having fun...) all you needis basic strength and technique"
he then says in post 21 "we have 1 race like that in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and it's equipment carnageI come in hopes that conditions would be more favorable, but in 99% I don't go out, and help out others to get back to the shore" so the equipment is unwieldy and technical and requires a high skill level. Sergio freely admits that he does not have the skill level to race this equipment in these conditions. of course not everywhere is like ft lauderdale but many places are and 70cm fins and 12m rigs are unsailable in a lot of those places and very difficult in a huge number of others.

there is nothing wrong with FW but it is quite technical and it does require a high skill level and quite a bit of strength. It is an extreme( can be spectacular) version of windsurfing and has limited appeal as a racing class.[/QUOTE]

Floyd
18th June 2011, 03:26 AM
Aplogies
I totally misunderstood use of anchor.Thought it was for helping rig/launch in shore break. Its simply leaving kit at anchor in calm water whilst you have a beer ??? Great idea !!! I`m for that one !!

Great thread. Nice to see folk with something to say again !!! Even if you dont agreee with it all !!

Do reckon Ken contradicts himself now and again but what he has to say is always said with enthusiasm and help in mind.
I like how he often tells us he sails in a light wind area but then tells us about 25knot boardspeeds and boards getting blown down beaches.!!!
I never contradict myself !!!!??? Honest

Still reckon all other sports are for people who haven`t tried WS.

Couldnt get Formula in my car ! Do I really want to sail in winds where Formula would shine above others ?? No not really ! I got 73 days in last year with 124 litres my biggest board !! Is Formula more technical ?? I dont think so;no more than many other aspects. (I`ve been trying to beat 40 knots in open sea for past 4 years ?? Thats pretty technical with GPS;fins;board choice;cams or no cams.Vmax 2 sec or 10. Auto time intervals or fixed; mast choice.RDM/SDM/Flex tops.VMG;best angle.Highest average? 1 hour/3 hours.Tides Down loading trak logs/filtering/spikes/arguing in pub/.List goes on and on. All aspects of WS can be as technical as you want to make them.
Or you can just go and sail.

Dont think its valid to claim one discipline is more technical/harder/easier than any other. Its up to you with them all.

Years (and years) ago I used to race Windgliders. Harnesses were not allowed. Dagger boards had to carried over your shoulder and we`d race for 1 hour in any conditions. In those days (82 ish) we`d have fleets of 20/30 easily. That was hard work but any harder than now ??? There`s only so much effort you can put in.



Good sailing.

Ken
18th June 2011, 10:24 PM
Floyd,

I agree, good discussion and a fun thread. I hope others take something away from it that will be either helpful or inspirational.

In Dallas, Texas, we get good winds October - June, then the three months of summer pretty much "suck" for windsurfing. Summer is when the formula board comes into play and gets used quite a lot.

This year has been exceptional in Dallas for wind. I will be out today in 15-25 knot winds for my 49th sailing day since Jan. 1. We have 5 days in a row with the same forecast, but it's HOT. 103F (39.4C).

No need for formula today, but I did go out on it about a week ago in 5-20 knot winds with a 9.2. When the weather is hot, our winds are EXTREMELY VARIABLE. On a few 1km reaches yesterday on a 5.0 sail, I would encounter winds ranging from 5 to 20, to 10, to 25, to 15 knots. You can watch/see the dark patches of swirling wind on the water moving towards you, so it keeps you on your toes. Other times you may plane on relatively steady winds for some distance, jibe and then slog all the way back. It's a pain, but better than staying at home.

Good sailing

Brett Morris
20th June 2011, 09:39 AM
Formula is a sport, and to win in any sport you need skills and fitness at a bare minimum.
To win a Europeans or World title you need to be semi or total Pro.
That said, that level of commitment is not required to enjoy Formula Sailing and racing.

I see windsurfing as predominantly a light wind activity, at venues that aren't necessarily perfect.
Sailing in 7-12knots is fantastic fun, especially when you can sail anywhere you want because of the ability to sail up and down wind.
When I see the majority of windsurfers and kite-surfers for that matter sitting on the beach complaining about the conditions, I almost have to laugh.

Wake up and get with the program.
Get a big board and sail, clock up considerably more time on the water and improve you skills + enjoy the more competitive scene if so inclined.

Owning one board and 2 sails will cover you from 6-25knots at almost any location (not beach breaks though). Seems to me that you are crazy not to have piece of kit like this in your quiver if you want to actually go windsurfing instead of talking about it....

Unregistered
20th June 2011, 05:39 PM
what size sail will you be using on a formula board in 25 knots of wind?

Floyd
20th June 2011, 06:15 PM
Brett
I`m afraid I think you are showing your ignorance of both sailors and many places they sail in.
I sail at two venues.
East coast UK and Leucate France
At neither do I witness people moaning about lack of wind;they stay away and do other things.Formula does not provide the excitement sailing in stronger winds does. It simply cant.Other things can.
Trying to replicate the feeling of F5 + sailing in F2 is simply barmy and impossible.
Like riding a fireblade fitted with a moped engine !!!
Fair enough if you enjoy F2 sailng, I`d rather be elsewhere looking forward to sailing in F5 sometime in the futre.
Part of the attraction is the unpredicability.
Also many venues generally get 20knots + or almost nothing where even Formula would be a waste of time.Sailors around Leucate are lucky..Its either blowing or there is none. In uk we are blessed with the lot. I`ll sail when its suits; you sail 365 days a year and I`ll enjoy my 80 or so days.

Not sure what programme you are talking about but I sure as hell aint watching it !!!

All my mates must be crazy too. I`ve got biggest board of us all; and thats only 124 litres !!!

We normally end up rescuing the sailors who turn up with much bigger !!!

Three questions
1) Who mentioned 1 board 2 sails ???? Perhaps if you are flying somewhere ??? I said 2 boards /5 sails covering 13 (ish) to 40 (ish) Any conditions.

2) Not only what sail Formula + 25 knots but why Formula in 15 knots + ???

3) If what you say is correct why is Formula dead in UK ??? (ok dying !) Windsurfing certainly isnt. Go to Rhosneigre/East Coast/Soth Coast/ and watch hundreds of sailors not on the programme enjoying themselves in strong winds.

Its a simple fact of life and physics. WindSURFING is a strong wind activity. No matter what you try and do ;big sails ;big boards;long boards;wideboards whatever ;it can not be changed. You are talking about SAILBOARDING which in reality died out years ago.

Ken
20th June 2011, 10:56 PM
Where you live and the typical winds determines what boards and sails you have. I see why Floyd doesn't want, need or would consider a formula board.

From what I have read, most windsurfers in the world are stuck with relatively light winds. What Brett says is 100% valid if you find that you are stuck with winds from 8-15 knots a good percentage of the year or all year for many. I get 20+ more days of sailing a year because I have formula gear. For me and Brett, it's worth it, for Floyd, it's not.

As for unregistered's question about what sail to use in 25 knots on a formula board. That depends on two points.

1. Free sailing or racing? For racing, it's upwind and downwind and racers will carry large sails to maximize their downwind speed. 25 knots is high wind for formula racers and most skilled racers will have a 9 meter as their smallest sail. Free sailing, mostly reaching - something small around 6.5 or 7.5 is doable but no fun. No one will just be reaching out and back on a formula board in 25 knots for fun. We will be on a small board and sail, or practicing on the formula gear, upwind and downwind. I don't practice on my formula gear anymore in winds over 18 knots.

2. Skill level (and or age) also determines what sail to choose. I have raced on my formula board in a half dozen regattas in winds over 25 knots. I used a 6.6 in these conditions so I could finish and survive. The younger guys generally have anything from a 9.0 to a 7.5 in these conditions. For me, it wasn't that much fun (actually, pretty darn scary). I have clocked 24 knots of board speed (on my GPS) on some downwind runs in 1meter chop in a few races. Guys on the bigger sails are a couple of knots faster. I would much prefer to race formula in 10-15 knots.

sergio k
20th June 2011, 11:52 PM
Floyd, sounds like you're one of the people that live in high wind location-enjoy, But, reality is that most of us live too far from high wind meccas, and we're not planning to quit windsurfing (or as you call it sailboarding) just because you dimmed it uncool and passe...
And until you try full speed down-winder on a FW, I don't think you ready to judge the feeling
you get sailing F5 vs. F2, etc... Actually, I sailed both 40 kn with a tinny board +3.6 m2 sail
and 17kn with FW and 10 m2 and both can give you jolt of adrenaline.

Unregistered
20th June 2011, 11:59 PM
I just dont get these folk pushing;shouting about using massive sails in 20+knots of wind oin Formula and then telling us how much skill they need to do it !!!

a) Why are you even on Formula kit in 20+ knots wind in the first place ?

b) Why hang on to 11 metre sails, ever, in anything approaching 25 knots ??? Ego perhaps ?

Wake up "Get on the program" Get some good kit that is designed for 25 knots .


The logistics of Formula just dont make sense in UK. Price of a competitive board; 2 or 3 big sails that can only be used on it. A massive mast and a great big carbon boom. Perhaps £5k ???(or more and replaced every year if you want to be at front).And then you would rather be on the other kit or actually should be on it most days that are worth sailing on. Most UK sailors just can justify that outlay for a few compromised days sailing.

I came to conclusion for me to enjoy big kit it was windy enough to get smaller more versatile board/rig going.. Formula simply replaced the old Div 2 scene with equal failings." It died out fore a reason"" is perfectly correct.

Formula is dead and even at its height only ever represented a tiny percentage of sailing in UK.

Ken
21st June 2011, 12:57 AM
Formula is only dead when Starboard and others stop making formula boards. It may well happen if the market shrinks too much. Should that happen, then the Ultrasonic 147 or other similar boards will replace formula. Much of the world wants to plane 8-12 knots and it takes big boards and sails (9-11 meters) to do that.

Why so much criticism for those of us that enjoy sailing all over the lake/bay/ocean in light winds?

Those that "hang on to 11 meter sails in anything approaching 25 knots" do so because they love racing and or are practicing for racing. It takes skill and technique to do so, so why is that a bad thing. There are lots of extremes in windsurfing (big waves, speed sailing, freestyle, PWA high wind slalom). Is it ego? Sure to some extent, but it's the challenge that pushed many of us to press their limits and IMPROVE THEIR SKILLS.

No one says that the world has to understand it, it's just what we choose to do.

The only thing between the old Div 2 racing and formula is light winds, but formula racing occurs between 8 and 28 knots and has offered a much broader appeal to racers. Div 2 died because it wasn't much fun freesailing on them and it took highly skilled sailors to race them. Just not enough interest to justify making the boards. Formula may go the same route.

Regardless, many of us will still have a big planing board that is fast in 10 knots of wind with a big sail. Maybe unregistered isn't aware that a formula board can reach 20 knots of board speed in 10 knots of wind, and for me, that's better than sitting on the beach.

BelSkorpio
21st June 2011, 01:34 AM
I like FW a lot.
Recreational, i.e.
Planing in 8-12 knots, where no one has planed before ! Beam me up Scotty :)

Except for the US147 or lookalike, which board is capable of delivering this to a 85kg+ rider ?

Hey Floyd, I've also been quite a few times in Leucate.
Even there, many times during the days when the tramontana is having a nap, you can enjoy great FW sessions on the sea side with 8-12k of wind from the east, super stable. When you're not too tired of the tramontana sessions, you should try it once. It's a lot of fun and better than to drink those beers, all day long :) lol

It's like Ken said,
I also prefer the smaller gear.
Every recreational windsurfer does.
No hair on my head that thinks of using FW in 15+ conditions.
But especially when there are a lot of days/weekends without wind, like sometimes in summer with us, FW can be really a big asset.
That's why I'm also interested a lot in the US147.

Floyd
21st June 2011, 06:55 AM
I wasnt knocking Formula .Never said it wasnt cool. (But come to mention it it aint but neither is the way I sail !!!)

I`ve tried Formula and considering cost and its general lack of versatility and fact that I`d rather be doing something else in F2 and on smaller kit in F4 means I`m spending a fortune to sail in F3.Spending 4 or 5 thousand quid to sail in F3 ????

.
I`ll stick to my beers in F2/3.

And just to add insult to injury !!!

There used to be a thriving Div1 and Div 2 racing fleet which developed into racing class we know today.(The long board racing series) We look at Formula as if it offered a panacea for a healthy sport. In its striving for illusive light wind planing it probably destroyed (certainly helped destroy) what was infact a much better racing machine for light winds. Even today with zero development and limited to 6.5 sails a good sailor aboard on old Div2 would leave Formula for dead in under 12 knots around any racing course. IMO we were blinded in our clamouring for planing sailing;all the money;development; sponsorship Kudos went with Formula. The poor old longboard and especially its high performance cousin Div2 were forgotten.The fleets hardly mentioned its champions forgotten.
If you really want to sail in light winds get a div 2 !!!!
Getting a board to plane in really light airs produces a craft totally unsuited to anything but planing. The non-planing hulls (serenity/div2 ?? as if its new and SB invented it ???) should have been where development went. In effect Formula has lead us into a dead end !!! ??? Our sport is littered with money making revolutions ; it should have been a slow evolution. Like they say revolution infers going around in circles ??? SB has contributed loads to our sport;some of it not entirely productive ????

BelSkorpio
21st June 2011, 06:52 PM
Well, we are arriving now at a point where everything becomes very subjective of course.

Some like WS in a gliding mode, others only in a planing mode.
Personally I only like the planing mode.

FW is expensive, I agree. There is a lot available with us on the 2nd hand market, but still ...
In general, the less wind there is, the more expensive the gear gets.
But time is money. And I want to spend my WS time as economical as possible.
Because I can only do my hobby in the WE's and holidays, it gets extremely important to have the right equipment for all possible conditions, even the conditions that are less favourable (i.e. FW conditions, in my case).
If I were able to windsurf any day I would choose, I probably woud not invest in FW equipment. I also would wait a few days until the wind would pick up to be able to use smaller gear. Unfortunately, I am not in this luxuary situation.

So you see, it's for all of us different.

I will always encourage any gear that will make it easier to windsurf (in a planing mode) with less wind.
Although I think that we nearly reached the limits with 8 knots and formula gear (or the US147).

Ken
21st June 2011, 09:38 PM
Another thing that is killing formula is the PWA. Someone can help me out here with any facts that I may be missing or have wrong.

At one time, almost all the top sailors in the world were racing formula (I don't think the PWA was sponsoring formula at that time). Their web site doesn't provide any history.

I am guessing, but it seems logical that the PWA needs sponsorship money, sponsors need spectators and spectators don't want to watch formula (too far off shore to see anything). Freestyle, waves, slalom (near shore), super X and indoor were the call for the PWA. This does make sense because the events offer spectator appeal.

Lots of windsurfers want to do what the pros do, plus there is the potential to test yourself with the PWA's top sailors if your skills advance to that point where you can become a PWA racer. However, I fear that it's a tough way to make a living for most of the guys on the tour. Freestyle is now hot, slalom is hot, waves have always been hot, formula is cool. That's the way the wind blows.

COACHG
22nd June 2011, 08:16 AM
It has been fun following this thread. All I can add is location, location, location. Like real-estate, formula appears to be driven by location here in the US. Florida, San Diego & the S.F. Bray area are the 3 places that I know of with strong formula fleets. So what do they have in common that keeps formula popular? Obviously not the same type of wind.

In my opinion formula is very good for long reaches in any direction. Formula is not good if you have to do lots of sail handling like in tacks & jibes in my opinion. I think up hauling, water starting, tacking & jibing 10+ meter sails becomes too much work for the average freeride sailor which is why most prefer large freeride boards with 8-9 meter sails. Also, doing a 180 degree turn with a formula board can be uneventful.

But once up & running the big sail can become light & easy to handle which is why I think it is great for long reaches. Formula offers you the ability to explore that can't be matched by any other windsurfing kit. A 20 minute upwind sail by freeride gear is only a couple of minutes on formula.

So what does Florida, San Diego & S.F. have in common? Lots of open water! Places to go. Why should one need to learn to sail a big sail in F4? Because in S.F. it may be F2 where I launch in Berkeley but F4 @ Alcatraz. Racing in the bay gives us the skills to explore the bay.

Is formula expensive? Not here because of the large racing fleet & the fact that the top sailors turn over their gear every year. Many sailors racing @ the nationals didn't want to take their gear home so they dumped it for a song. I bought a 2010 Exocet for $1200 from a team rider. No damage & only used 7 times. A guy that finished 3rd was selling a whole kit for $1800.

So like I said at the start. Location, location, location. Here, formula fits. Besides, if I sat & drank beer on F3 or lighter days I'd get fat.

Coachg

SeanAUS120
22nd June 2011, 09:28 AM
Think I'll leave the previous comments on this thread where they are... but just to reply to your PWA comments Ken and share a bit of history of Formula/PWA for those interested:

Yes, a lot of the top sailors were racing formula. Many actually still do, although only at major events like the World Championships or the National Championships in their respective countries. The list of people who still actively compete in Formula (including both who 'follow' the FW tour and those who just rock up at the Worlds) and also do the PWA includes Steve Allen, Antoine Albeau, Micah Buzianis, Peter Bijl (he’s back after a few years with visa issues keeping him from the tour), Arnon Dagan, Ross Williams, Alberto Menegatti, Kurosh Kiani, Andrea Cucchi, Wojtek Brzozowski, myself … there is more, but those are the ones I can think of who regularly do PWA events. I don’t think the number of top pro’s doing formula has declined by more than 10 in the last few years, but certainly there is more growth in ‘new’ faces appearing on the PWA than there is in the top level in formula which I think gives a skewed impression of the status of the class in the past few seasons.

The PWA didn’t really ‘sponsor’ Formula per say… Formula has been its own independent class for over 10 years, however for two seasons around 2005-06 the PWA incorporated formula events on the tour. It was actually quite successful despite a few events in Hungary and other places that had almost no wind, however during this time the PWA was starting to lose sponsorship money for the tour overall and they decided to restructure and re-design the entire tour concept, in a way to make it more marketable for new media opportunities like ‘live-coverage’ etc.

To do this they cut a lot of things. They cut formula and they cut Super-X and gave up trying to secure indoor pool events. So Formula wasn’t ditched for popularity declining reasons or anything, far from it… it was simply a business decision to make the tour more compact and easier to market to increase the viability of media coverage for the tour. The ‘spectator’ argument for windsurfing is still really strange to me… there is only 2-3 events in the world where you actually get spectators (Sylt, Fuerteventura and any event in Poland). I think this year in Korea for the PWA we had about 8 people on the beach. Don’t know why people bother chasing spectators… this is not football.

In some ways, formula leaving the PWA is good for everyone else because it would drastically reduce the amount of people able to do the tour if it remained part of the PWA. You have to qualify to get on the PWA tour (or apply for wildcards which are voted on by a committee for entry) and entry numbers are restricted; so only the top guys could race. The drawcard of formula for many people is the opportunity to get on a race course with Antoine Albeau or Steve Allen or the top pro’s in the world. You can’t do that in PWA.

Right now, the industry doesn’t really support formula in the same way it does the PWA. Starboard does a great job sponsoring riders on the formula tour and giving a great platform for news coverage of formula events, however I don’t see too many other brands doing this (apart from maybe NP). I don’t think this is necessarily the brands’ fault, they need a return on investment and I don’t think at the moment the formula class provides as great a return as the PWA does in terms of the things brands like to see (magazine articles, great photos, brand exposure, FB talk from all the riders). Formula has always been a ‘participation’ class with the great hook that EVERYONE can compete with the pros on the international scene and is also doing a lot to support the grassroots of the sport by supporting National events etc. The PWA does nothing outside of the PWA. I think the formula class has to restructure itself a little in the same vein as the PWA did a few years ago to increase its media profile and hopefully reignite the industry’s support of the class. I am trying to push a lot of this stuff myself… also there is some new rule change submission we will vote on at the formula class AGM in Puerto Rico in 2 weeks that may help.

Sorry about the long post but I thought the history might be interesting for some! I don’t know whether anything I’ve just written are reasons why/why not the formula class is being perceived that its declining. From what I’ve seen in all my travels, its declining in some areas (the UK being the example cited here) but in other places its actually starting to increase in popularity (Australia and Greece are some places I know this to be true). I think that’s just the windsurfing industry in general … not so much specific to a class.

PS. I have only had an 11m as my smallest sail in the past 2 years and regularly take it out in 30 knots. Haha. I kind of like the feeling when you go downwind and at any moment you could die. Literally.

Unregistered
22nd June 2011, 11:57 AM
AUS120,

Can you share a little about the rules change that is going to be voted?

Ken
22nd June 2011, 11:59 PM
Sean,

Thanks for the PWA / Formula history lesson. I know some of the PWA guys still sail formula, but the events seem far and few between. The average windsurfer doesn't hear about formula racing anymore unless you search the web to see what is happening.

Although the racing has declined to just a very few events state wide in Texas, they all include a formula class, and the number of formula sailors stays pretty stable. It's a good kit to have when the the winds go light.

I admire the skill it takes to hang on to an 11 meter or even a 9 meter in 30 knots, and I know the "death wish" feeling of running downwind fast in big chop. However, I do my best to stay in control, even if I have to go to an embarrassingly small sail, or even skip some races if necessary. When the fun factor is replaced by the fear factor, I drop out or race slalom instead.

SeanAUS120
24th June 2011, 08:41 AM
Ken: "The average windsurfer doesn't hear about formula racing anymore unless you search the web to see what is happening."

EXACTLY. To me that's the main thing the formula class needs to change. We just don't hear about it. But to hear about things, you need to build the platform for the news to be spread... I think the FW class needs to do a MUCH better job of media coverage during the events, a much better job at giving the sailors access to the media (hi-res photos and videos that they can send to their own sponsors, the magazines back home and spread on FB etc) and it also has to somehow build a platform that 'National' news can be housed somewhere, not just only the international events.

Rather than sit here and whinge about it, I'm putting my hand up to do something about it. There is a new website for the class being launched at 'some point soon' (not sure exactly when) which I'm trying to push to cover these areas just mentioned.

The rule change I submitted was to reduce the sails to 2 rather than 3 during an event. There are also submissions from others to reduce the fins to 2 and also to push brands to make their sails coloured, rather than clear monofilm so we can actually be SEEN out on the water. I won't go in to too much detail on each of these submissions as there will be details on FW.org soon, but I feel like all of them lean towards making the sport easier, more compact to travel and 'simpler' to market so that the box-concept of the class can be better explained to media during events etc etc.

Email me if you'd like more details ;-)

@Ken you don't think hi-wind slalom is just as scary as hi-wind formula? I find formula a bit safer than sailing maxed-out on 5.5m in choppy conditions! haha.

Unregistered
24th June 2011, 04:38 PM
I dont understand why some people have to sell or promote the discipline thay are invoved with ??
Fair enough organise an event a race or something but this craze some enjoy of over promoting / trying to get new sailors involved baffles me.

They then seem justifiede in moaning when the numbers they expected dont materialise. Formula is dying out (in UK) for a reason.Big deal. Unless of course you have 50 or so boards to sell ?????

And
I`m posting because somebody mentioned Leucate. I live there.Its 10 knots or so today. No formula in sight.We hardly ever get easterly . When tromonatane blows (upto 40 knots generally , Id guess once a fortnight on average) there are thousands of sailors betweeen Racou and Franqui; hundreds on the Etangs and perhaps 5 Formula sailors who leave their kit at home untill a race is organised for them !!!
Which answers problem. Formula (lie all racing disciplines) needs smebody to organise; somebody to lay course; somebody to man rescue craft etc etc. Thats why ts dying everywhere !! It does not and never has represented the sailing going on. Overall its a tiny and diminishing percentage of sailors but they tend to be the vocal ones informing us all on websites. Thanks but no thanks.

11 metre sails in 25 knots on metre wide boards is plain crazy !!!

Unregistered
24th June 2011, 06:31 PM
the proposal to reduce the number of sails in FW is plain crazy without a corresponding lowering of the maximum sail size or a limitation on the upper or lower wind strength sailed in.
It will reduce participation not increase it and make it more elite.

If you really want to increase the number sailing FW then reduce the maximum sail size and change the courses sailed. If you get rid of very deep runs( or at least reduce their frequency), you will no longer need huge sails and correspondingly huge masts and booms. The large rigs are a fundamental barrier to participation.

the "growth" of FW in some areas hides the fact that FW is not widely popular or easy to get into. The growth can be attributed to people wanting to race windsurfers more than it can be attributed to people wanting to race FW. If you had a class with easier entry routes and more useable equipment it is likely that the growth of that class would be much more than FW.

The problem, as ever, is a lack of vision of what could be and thus a lack of any direction and a general thrashing about and tinkering with things that wont make a difference( 2 or 3 sails, coloured sails? i mean really?) rather than fundamental vision, direction and recognition of reality.

BelSkorpio
24th June 2011, 06:39 PM
I agree that 11m2 in 25 knots is crazy, but ok if they like it, why not.

I disagree that you hardly ever get eastern wind in Leucate.
Each time I've been in Leucate, it was about 50-50.
3 days Tramontana, 3 days wind from the east. You see this pattern recur very often.
Eastern wind is great for FW.

But I understand that when you live in Leucate, you probably are only interested in Tramontana.
You are lucky to get enough of it.

It brings us back to the very good conclusion of COACHG. It's all about location and in my case TIME.

SeanAUS120
24th June 2011, 10:29 PM
Ok, maybe its better I explain the rule changes and the 'vision'... hehe.

Everything I mentioned is part of a vision to try to restructure the state of 'international' formula racing. Yes, there are other aspects of the sport but a lot of them are out of my hands so I'm sticking to what I know which is the top level of the formula pyramid. A lot of the things I suggested are part of an idea to increase the media viability of the sport in general. Will that help participation? Probably not directly at all. Will that ignite some interest from the brands to better promote/push formula? Yes, absolutely.

Imagine with the brands more directly involved, there could be more formula news in magazines, online, on the riders/brands social media etc; basically everything that already exists quite well for other windsurfing disciplines. I'm not completely interested in "participation" as a means of measuring a sport's success. I know formula is going to be a niche class inside of windsurfing as a whole, and even if the participation tripled, it would still be a small niche compared to slalom or just general freeriding. But it is still the only professional course-racing class there is... and I still believe that to be an important part of windsurfing. I think with better push from the brands, media, sailors themselves and a general ‘overhaul’ of the class’ website and branding – there could be a bit more done to increase the ‘desire’ of people wanting to try the sport. If you want to increase participation, you need to make people want to desire to do the sport. The actual participation increase is more so looked after by windsurfing clubs, local/national events etc and the grassroots of the sport. Changing anything on the international scale won’t help too much I think.
Back to the rule changes….

If you get rid of very deep runs( or at least reduce their frequency), you will no longer need huge sails and correspondingly huge masts and booms

We will likely never get rid of deep runs in the courses, as that's mostly the point of formula, however the 2 sail rule I suggested has the EXACT intention of reducing the size of gear, the cost of entry and the amount of gear you need (which further reduces cost of entry). Imagine this goes ahead and with 6-months development up the brand's sleeve there is time to change the sizes for FW. For example if brands were able to develop sizes in the 11.5, 10.5 bracket, it would mean you no longer need these horrific 570/580 masts (granted, some brands have already built 12m's on smaller masts but with +50cm extensions which is just as bad I believe) to cover the sails... you could have 2 sails built on a SMALLER mast and also a SMALLER boom. The smaller boom being a 225-275cm equivalent which a lot of us have already for our big slalom sizes. One boom, one mast, 2 sails... perfect combo for all conditions. It should also help the guys who travel to events by plane... there's a ton of us only bringing 1/2 sails to the Worlds because the excess is too much (I am only bringing one sail!).

The sail colour change: That wasn’t my suggestion but I do support it. I’ve been to a lot of events where we might be on the same beach as a Laser or 470 event etc. You watch 40 Lasers go out and race and 60 formula guys afterwards… on the same stretch of water the Laser event looks bigger. White sails; pure and simple. You can spot them a MILE away. All the windsurfing sails are clear, bar a few, and you just can’t see them on the water. It’s almost like we went out of our way to make windsurfing invisible in the last few years… Then some guy comes out on a Mistal OneDesign during the formula and he’s the only guy you can spot on the water! Case in point.

The colour change is just a ‘suggestion’. Nearly all the brands already do this with their freeride sails but have traditionally kept the race sails super light. We’ve figured out you can get coloured monofilm at the same weight as clear now, so maybe its time to politely push the brands to make us more visible as a sport no?

Still not sure about the ‘easier entry routes’ problem. Formula still seems super easy to me… especially when we have established feeder classes in most countries like BIC and RSX. Get a kid to jump off an RSX and formula is the easiest thing the world. Jumping from a 7.8m BIC sail to a 9.0m formula sail is actually not such a massive leap for a 14-15 yo. We have had no trouble converting RSX kids to formula in Australia as most of them usually can sell their RSX and buy a decent second-hand formula setup with change left over (maybe not the fin though!).

sergio k
25th June 2011, 12:43 AM
Sean, totally agree with you on proposed changes:
That's the reality of the sport since equipment got so much better, 1-2 fins, 1-2 Sails,
one boom,one mast, one board. Actually, 99% of the time I use 1 fin and 1 sail, second set is collecting
dust. On sail color, also good idea, for marketing, visibility and also safety.
One thing, on sail sizes, make sure you take in consideration windsurfer's size,
for example: my current max sail size is 10 m2 and small 9 m2, since I'm 62kg 165cm,
what works for someone 100 kg + doesn't apply to us lightweights...
I would also remove registration board restriction to ANY 1 board you bring to the event, that
would promote development. In my view, registration, freezing design for 2 years, no customs, etc..
doesn't help to grow discipline just allows bigger brands to monopolize and make a bit more money.
Example, we have no restriction like that on fins, and in the last 5 years that's where big changes/
improvements were made by small guys like Kashy, Ifju,etc., etc... we all benefit as design trickle down
if proven good.

Ken
25th June 2011, 02:35 AM
From Unregistered - "I don't understand why some people have to sell or promote the discipline they are involved with ?? Fair enough organise an event a race or something but this craze some enjoy of over promoting / trying to get new sailors involved baffles me."

Why would you or anyone care one way or another about a faction of windsurfing promoting itself because they find it fun and exciting? "Over promoting"? This is one thread and it's not often that formula is discussed on this forum.

No one has to buy our representation of formula, just make up your own mind and do as you wish.

My primary focus on this topic has been that formula is a great option for those that live in a part of the world where the wind is frequently light and they want to plane, plus it's not as difficult to handle the big rigs as many folks think. For me, racing is secondary to having a board that can plane fast in light winds.

Sean's comments above are right on, and anything that could help increase the number of "formula racers" is good for those that love to race formula.

If it wasn't for formula, and the design innovations to make boards go upwind and downwind fast in minimum winds, the whole "wide board" phenomenon may not have existed today. That would have been sad. Nothing wrong with the old "long and skinny" designs if you have the right wind and location, but the wide body slalom, freeride, formula, beginner and freestyle boards have done wonders for windsurfing.

Unregistered
25th June 2011, 04:26 AM
sounds sour grapes to me, I guess unreg bought a load of formula gear only to find out there are no events at his local spot:))

Unregistered
25th June 2011, 07:23 AM
I guess Formula sailors have to promote discipline so they have sailors to beat !!!

As far as

If it wasn't for formula, and the design innovations to make boards go upwind and downwind fast in minimum winds, the whole "wide board" phenomenon may not have existed today

That is plain nonesense. Boards were going wide way before Formula ;Formula just took it that step too far.

And the Leucate thing

I drive coast road passing perhaps 6 or 7 venues virtually every day between Argeles/Franqui. I cant remember last onshore/easterly. If its less than 10 knots nobody sails.Around 13 knots kiters will be out.Around 15 knots kiters and WS.Above 30 knots generally a few kiters and loads of WS but I have never seen any formula;on beach,on Etang or even on a car; in last 5 years. Would be madness sailing formula down here, even on Etangs. No doubt on race events they do but I have really never seen any freesailing.
There`s none in shops either !!! Do a search on shops around Leucate and I`d have a bet not one of tem has one in stock;board or sail. Its dead here too !!!

COACHG
25th June 2011, 09:00 AM
Okay.....Formula's dead some place in Italy. And.......? What's your point? Because they don't sail formula at your spot it shouldn't be allowed or promoted?

I understand why formula is not popular is some spots as I stated earlier, but I don't understand why it should not be promoted.

Coachg

Unregistered
26th June 2011, 04:28 PM
Starboard only promoted Formula to sell 1 metre wide boards and it was at cost of development of boards with real light wind performance ?? What would old round boards be like now had they had same promotion/development but SB (well Cobra) were not leaders in hollow div 2 board construction.

There has been icredible market manipulation by SB;hats off to them. World domination slipping a bit ow though ??? Not all of us were assimilated !!!

Leucate is in France; virtually no Formula around here.

Unregistered
26th June 2011, 04:31 PM
Actually its in Catalonia; but thats not recognised as a country unless you are a Catalan !! (Which I am )

BelSkorpio
26th June 2011, 06:33 PM
Like I said, I understand why you guys in Leucate are little or not interested in Formula, I really do.

But you do have good conditions for formula in Leucate, when the tramontana is silent and the eastern wind blows out of the sea. I've done it many times.

In fact, that's the great thing about Leucate. It's good for all disciplines of windsurfing.
I always use almost everything what's in my surf trailer over there. And that's quite a lot :)

Unregistered
27th June 2011, 12:55 AM
That sort of sums it up then ???

We have (in your opinion) good conditions for Formula but you hardly ever see them out.

Is been light onshore (South East) today. Only people out (WS) were at Racou on thermal onshore breeze with perhpas 5.5`s for 2 hours this PM. Rest of coast deserted of WS ???

Honestly I`ve lived here 7 years and never seen one sailed ????

When there`s little wind there`s not enough for anything;when its windy(ish) folk sail on 5.5`s..

I`ve used my wave board on inland lakes, doesnt make them good for it !!!

Ken
27th June 2011, 11:03 PM
It's not surprising that while a formula board might be a good board to have in many windsurfing locations, most windsurfers don't want to make the move to the big gear. It's like I said, it is costly, plus most intermediate sailors think it's too physically demanding to manage the huge sails. Others may get their fill of windsurfing and have no desire to add more days to their sailing.

Those of us the find formula fun to sail have been pretty clear with our praise of the board on this thread for the sole purpose of eradicating the myths about formula. Just because no one is sailing formula in an area doesn't mean that it wouldn't be the right call part of the time.

We probably have 150 days a year where an SUP would be the best thing on the water. However, I have no interest in paddling around on flat water so I won't be buying an SUP (a few guys in the area do have them and are out when the wind dies). Just my personal choice, not right or wrong as some people might suggest.

Unregistered
28th June 2011, 05:03 AM
Thats fairly obviuos Ken !!! (and CoachG)

The point that all you starboard supporters just will not accet /realise is the level of cynical marketing by the larger companies to promote areas of sport (ie Formula) purely in a an interest to sell large numbers of boards with no thought of either their long termeffect on sport;their real performance or ;more importantlly; their negative effect on types of boards inherently more suitable for the discipline/usage in mind..(ie light wind)

Any body who has sailed a god div 2 (now 20 years out of date) can not fail to realise its superior performance in light winds over anything available ;against Formula its just a riduculous comparison. One works the other just does not !!! Races had to be changed;courses altered , great big sails developed ,all in the name of progress which was infact the total reverse.. Planing became the holly grail because it sells boards not becuse it has real performance benefits. Even today an Od Div 2 would leave a Formula dead in the water around an OLYMPIC saiing course in under 15 knots.... But SB couldnt build Div2 so they destroyed it !!! (Actually gulable sailors did believing the hype did !!!) Nw all the Div 2 have gone to the wall Starboard bring out the Serenity !!! If thats not cynical marketing I dont know what is !!!

BelSkorpio
28th June 2011, 05:51 AM
To be honest, I had never heard about a div 2 boards so I've googled around and found a link that describes a little bit the Olympic class history of board sailing.
http://www.windsurfing.org/olympics01.htm

I understand from this article that you are talking about the round bottom boards, like we used to call them.

I can see that they are far better gliders than a formula board and that they will leave a formula board for dead in winds < 8 knots, but how efficient do they plane when the wind is above 8 knots ?

I understand that you also like to glide with a board, but are you against planing ?
Or do you claim that these boards also plane better than formula boards ?
If so, can you also explain why ? Do you have experience with this ? I mean, have you also tried Formula ?

Unregistered
28th June 2011, 04:48 PM
Argument re round boards v Formula is not really the issue. Div 2 and their like were competely abondoned in the search for light wind planing machines which attracted all the marketing, promotion and money. Courses were altered to favour these new exciting (marketing word) machines.The versatile boards capable of sailing in BOTH planing and none planing mode were made out (by marketing/mags/investment in other areas) to seem slow and boring. (Which they were neither)
Starboard swept up both in results and sales. Now people wake up o fact that 1 metre wide boards ae at best limited and just DO NOT WORK sub planing but al the firms building the boards that did have long gone leaving SB to now sell Serenity ,which in normal SB fashion is as normal a step too far but with SB`s brillint marketing it sels.
I just dont understand why sailors dont see it !!!

If you want to sail in less than15 knots (on all points of sail) without doubt the best bards to have are long boards. The old Div 2 bee the fastest of the bunch. I wonder what Div 2 could hae developed into had SB spent similar time promoting/devloping them .

As fo div 2 V Formula ??? Div 2 were limited to 6.5 sails; for an objective comparison stick same size sails on them and then compare in various winds; fair enough as wind increases Formula would walk away but y which time I`d bet a good (bigish) slalom woud lave Formula ???

Ken
29th June 2011, 02:54 AM
I have raced a Crit DII back in the mid 80's and indeed they were/are the fastest thing around in 8 knots or less. However, DII boards were not popular simply because they took a ton of skill to sail, tack and jibe. Not the progression most windsurfers were looking for unless they were racers. In 15 knot winds, they were almost impossible to sail unless you were highly skilled and even at that, it wasn't fun.

I will take exception to a race between any board and a formula board in 15 knots. Nothing will beat a formula board in 15 knot winds on an upwind/downwind course. Clearly, you have not sailed a formula board with a big sail in 15 knot winds. Yes a DII board will point about 20 degrees higher, but the formula board will be moving at double or triple the speed of the DII. No contest. Downwind, the same thing.

You assume all of us out here are slaves to the marketing of the BIG board companies. A rather biased view point and certainly not true for me. In fact, I admire Starboard and the other companies that throw money into new developments and designs without any real idea how the windsurfing community will respond. This is about progress an innovation and I think it is a good thing. My only gripe with Starboard is the huge selection of boards that they offer, it's so hard to choose. Just kidding a bit.

Planing is the holy grail for most windsurfers and that's why boards have been getting wider and sails bigger. The majority rules when it comes to sales and marketing. On the other hand, I am also glad to see gear designed for light winds and non planing conditions, since there are still plenty of windsurfers for which it appeals.

Unregistered
29th June 2011, 03:26 AM
Time to stop feeding the TROLL. Unreg will just keeo comming back at you!!

Unregistered
30th June 2011, 12:32 AM
Thats it, when you disagree with a poster call him/her a troll. Sums this forum up these days...

My last post........

Ken read my post !!!

Had Div2 had anything like the developent wideboards had where would they be now ??? Give them equal Fins/sails/masts/booms and 15/20 years development and you really think you could beat one around an OLYMPIC course in under 15 knots ??? (UNDER ....)

Boardspeed a Formula would win but VMG upwind and down ?????????

And you talk of wanting technical sailing but thn pronounce Div2 too hard to sail....Make your mind up !!

Imagine modern Div2....wider beam;flatter towards rear;rounded up front; long water line length.Good sliding track.. Straps to rear...Never happened because Cobra at time couldnt build it so SB pushed like mad for light wind planing machines..

You can look at it how you like.End of day formula is now going same way as old Div2 because it was basically a gimmick; a revolution. Not a true forward step in board design. Its on its way out and for good reasons.

You are just reading from the SB hymn book !!!

mark h
30th June 2011, 12:57 AM
One thing is for sure, its a big wide world out there and every one has a different point of view, as this thread shows:)

Today at my beach, after failing to get my iS137/9m going in 6 to 8 knot winds, I rigged up my F161/11m and had a great session in board shorts. For me this what Formula is about these day's. Would much prefer to be on a 50 litre speed board, but today was still fun. :)

COACHG
30th June 2011, 02:40 AM
Imagine modern Div2

OK, I will. Um….Prodigy?

The U.S. could have put its entire military budget into developing Div. 2 & it would still have died. Starboard & formula didn’t kill Div. 2, it was the windsurfers. Mark H summed it up perfectly. “Would much prefer to be on a 50 liter speed board, but today was still fun.” Other then racing, what was a Div. 2 board good for? Formula offers racing ability for those who want to race and the thrill of speed in light winds –fun-for those who do not want to race.

Formula may be on its way out @ most places but please stop bringing back the dead horse.

Coachg

Ken
30th June 2011, 03:39 AM
There are plenty of good light wind boards available today, both planing and non planing. Adding a new D2 type board would accomplish very little if anything - UNLESS they were for racing.

In 5 knots of wind and on something like a Kona, one will be moving along at about 5 knots of speed. The board is stable and easy to tack and jibe. Get on a D2 board and you will be moving a knot or two faster, but the board will be very tippy (round bottom) and unstable, harder to tack and much hard to jibe, but it will point higher.

If not racing, who would want a D2 board? Maybe some guys that just like the challenge of mastering the board, but certainly not the masses.

I don't think I ever said that I wanted technical sailing, actually just the opposite. Formula is easy to sail, the platform is huge and you almost never fall off. It only becomes technical when fully powered and you press your limits. It is only as technical as you want it to be. Beginners can learn easily on a formula board, but they would give up quickly on a D2 board.

Unless you have tried it, dumping on formula sailing makes no sense.

Unregistered
30th June 2011, 04:17 AM
Been following this thread for a while. Dont agree with all unreg has had to say but its healthy to hear other side of argument.(and its what I hear at our club generally about SB ,ie marketing/promotion over substance) ????

Point nobody has made is cost.

MarkH rigged an 11 metre;most likely on a 520 100% carbon mast and perhaps a 260 (??) carbon boom.Put them on a wideboard with a 70cm fin ??? Might be wrong but there`s no way on earth your average recreational sailor will spend that type of money for the particlular day that kit works on unless he`s already into racing (or plans to be?) Value of all that kit?? 3 or 4 thousand ????

Dont think audience on this site is at all representitive of sailors in general. Most I know own 2 boards; occasionally 3 (and another 3 in garage roof from times past ???) .Totalling what some own on here you could buy on offshore 60 footer. (well nearly)

Sailors who dont race will never buy Formula .Thats why it dies in certain areas;without a racing fleet/events/promotion it will die.

Its a fair point about SB not promoting other fleets.They didnt.But why should they ??? They are in business to sell boards; they build Formula so they promote it !!!??? Fact of life.

Would be interesting to see breakdown of boards sold last few years.. I suspect Formula are selling fewer each year but I wouldnt be surprised if that was case in general for all boards..(Especially SB ???)

There`s one event per year near us for Formula.????? Last year it was blowing F5/6.... They didnt need the big kit ???

mark h
30th June 2011, 08:21 AM
[QUOTE=
Point nobody has made is cost.

MarkH rigged an 11 metre;most likely on a 520 100% carbon mast and perhaps a 260 (??) carbon boom.Put them on a wideboard with a 70cm fin ??? Might be wrong but there`s no way on earth your average recreational sailor will spend that type of money for the particlular day that kit works on unless he`s already into racing (or plans to be?) Value of all that kit?? 3 or 4 thousand ????

???[/QUOTE]

Just avoid putting masses of FW, did not pay fortunes for it. I only get new slalom or speed kit, but my 2nd hand formula kit was cheap.

2nd hand F161 £500 2-years ago.
2nd hand (but nearly new) North 550 mast £150 4-years ago.
2nd hand North Warp 11m £150 4-years ago.
2nd hand HPL 240-310 carbon boom £250 5-years ago

Total £1050 (less than the cost of 1 x new board)

The mast and boom will (hopefully) not break and last some time. And I change my Formula board and sail every 3-years for a newer 2nd hand model. I have not included the cost of fin's as I am a bit of a "fin bitch" and have loads collected over the years:)

P.S. I think you might be right though, less new FW kit is being sold. Not a bad thing as this drives 2nd hand prices up:)

Unregistered
30th June 2011, 05:00 PM
But somebody had to buy it new. If nobody does ( racers stop racing? ) the 2nd hand market will disappear.

By sounds of it you wouldn`t buy Formula kit new ??

Ken
30th June 2011, 10:34 PM
Where I live, selling used formula gear has been somewhat easy, but the prices are also pretty low. There always seems to be someone that has watched "us formula sailors" blasting around that are jealous and want more planing time, so they scoop up the used gear.

However, those of us that do buy new, may at some time opt for something else if formula racing dries up. The ultrasonic 147 offers a lot of appeal because of its light wind capabilities. I guess unreg. will also dump on this board since a D2 would be more fun in under 8 knots and there is no reason anyone needs to be planing in 8-12 knots. I suspect the board will have a range of 8-20 knots, which will be great for many of us around the world.

sergio k
1st July 2011, 12:24 AM
To discuss FW, one has to realize that is has 2 user groups,
racers and req. users. Judging by Miami scene, only 10-15% are racers.
Racers do update boards every cicle or so; req. users, some will never buy a new board, but 25% do.
For me, my current board is so good, I just don't see a reason to buy a new one now, so unless there are some improvements or mine gets damaged, I'm not in a hurry. It might be like that with many, SB160 and 161 are still winning races, etc...

On new light wind offerings:
Even with latest in light wind planning toys like 147, most that do req. formula will not switch to it because,
all you going to be doing is going on the reach BAF, and that gets boring after a while (we have this huge
bay to explore and if you have something other than FW, you'll be stuck in one corner,
while every one else is criss-crossing the bay). Actually I see it purchased by people that 'hate' idea of formula but want to plane early, I know few people like that.

On popularity:
Racing: there're actually a lot of small, local races around the world and it looks like it growing,
just look FW ranking on formulawindsurfing.org and that list is bigger this year and doesn't include some races. Issue with big events, is economy, flight baggage restrictions, lack of industry and PWA support,
it's just too expensive to travel, we use to get big crowd from San Frans and East Coast for our winter races and don't see them anymore, but they still do race locally.
For req. users: In right locations, usually, light winds, not too shallow, supportive windsurfing community, numbers are growing, I know in Miami they are.

Unregistered
10th July 2011, 05:44 AM
yep
as a dodo.

Winterly
19th July 2011, 05:19 PM
I don't know about every country specifically.
best regards

ghrohrs
19th July 2011, 09:16 PM
Maybe, we'll have to wait and find out.