View Full Version : Aero with cammed sails, any experience?

11th March 2007, 08:36 PM
To get the best of my Aero 127 in freeride mode, I'm thinking of getting a twin cam 8.5 (Tush Lightning alternative to a T-bird no cam 8.5).
I know the Aero is NOT a race board. Anyway, why shouldn't it benefit from the extra bottom end of a cammed sail?
Modern cammed sails seem, to me, to rotate even more smooth than no cams, at least in the bigger sizes.
Any experience are appreciated.

12th March 2007, 03:53 AM
Cams are used in order to have a rigid leading edge. This means that the sail fore section always holds its shape, be it filled with wind or not. In fact, when you start to sheet in, a no-cam sails uses the first part of the wind pressure to get its designed shape: rotated, with the batten front ends aligned to the leeward side of the luff, and a proper profile. With a cammed sails, such shape is built in, so that each amount of wind can be used for propulsion. In this sense, a cammed sail could have better power than a no cam one. But the point is that cammed sails are usually intended to deliver their best performances at high speeds and to be used in higher wind ranges than the same sizes in different designs; so leeches are usually more twisted and loose and, despite their better efficiency, cammed sails are no more powerful than different models. In my experience, I can tell you that I use comfortably my Sonic 95 with a 6.6 TR-2 (competition race sail) when most of my buddies are out with sails around 5.5 or smaller.
To this scenario of course one has to add the higher weight of a cammed sail.
In the end, while I agree with you that modern cammed sails do rotate very smoothly (and as a user of Maui Sails race designs it is very obvious for me to agree), if I was in your shoes and in order to achieve better low end on a freeride board, I'd rather look for a no cam sail.

12th March 2007, 02:47 PM
Thanks Geo
Are you saying that at equal size a no cam sail will deliver the same og more power than a cammed one?
I do have experience with cammed sails of different size, but my concern is whether the Aero will benefit from one.
I guess no..:p

12th March 2007, 03:32 PM
I would not talk of "power", but rather of "low end". In my experience a (modern) no cam sail would generally have better power at its low end due (generally) to the possibility to set it correctly keeping a (relatively) tighter leech. While a cammed sail is generally designed to be set with a very loose leech and would not work nicely when set differently.
Use of cambers in itself does not impair low end power; actually, at the beginning of cam development, cams where used to hold a very deep draft and enhance low end power. My opinion is rather based on how modern cammed sails are generally designed. Anyhow, I must reckon that my experience is limited and Tushingham might have developed "super high torque" cam sails with their Lightning models; but I would be surprised of this.
If low end power is desired, I'd go with a no cam freeride design. If both low end and high stability at speed are desired, I'd go for a cambered sail, but in a bigger size.
More, you should consider what the board is designed for. It would be of little of any use to put a cammed sail on a board/fin than can't reach the speeds that added stability is needed for.
To answer directly to your question: it seems to me that no-cam sails are generally more focalized on low end power than cammed sails of similar size; with lightness coming as an added bonus.

12th March 2007, 04:31 PM
Hi Per

I sailed the AE 127 with a 5,8 NP RX2 in flatwater/moderate chop.
I used the stock freeride fin, wind 20-25 knots I think( its a year ago).
The combo worked fine for me.
Never tested it with 7,6/8,5 race sails, as intended, maybe later this year.
I feel, I can better get the "sailing on the fin"(freeeride-freerace) feeling when using a freerace/race sail.Also transition from slogging to planning gets more freeride like.
When using camless sails (S2/Gator/Grind) you have to use the turn downwind, move back on the board and pump, or use a wave som offset.
In my opinion the board has no problems with cammed sail, the freeride character of the board will benefit, the choise of the correct fin for this setup is another game. :-)


12th March 2007, 08:17 PM
I am sorry, but I have to disagree with some of the observations made here. I actually think that the Lightning will not allow you to get the best out of the aero.

all the leading edge stuff is all true, but more crucial here is the location of the centre of effort in the sail. The point of cammed sails is to lock the centre of effort down and forward into the sail so that every ounce of drive is pushed down into the board.To accomodate this - and to make boards fast - slalom and freeride boards have straighter rocker lines. In layman's terms, faster boards are straighter for longer.

A wave(ish) board like the Aero is more 'banana shaped'. This makes it feel loose and easier to turn and do manouvres with. However, if the sail pushed a 'banana shaped board' into the water, you end up pushing water out in front of you - in other words, the board struggles to plane for much longer. The only scenario in which this combo would work is if you sail overpowered, and literally manage to sail the board completely off the fin (the less of the board is in the water the less the banana shape will matter) - right up to that point the combination will feel heavy and laborious.

an ordinary free-ride sail (no cam) or even better a free-ride wave sail will have its centre of effort higher up, and the sail pushes more forward than down. This will encourage earlier planing (the banana shape is pushed forward rather than down and forward) and the board will feel much looser and responsive.

I have actually tried this and found it to be true for most free-style wave boards and large wave boards

13th March 2007, 01:02 AM
Thanks guys..
As I'm not really into max power sailing (on the Aero at least) I guess I'll go for the no cam option.:D

14th March 2007, 01:44 AM
There is absolutely no reason for why most 2 cam freeride sails should not work fine on an AE 127 in freeride mode.
It is common knowledge that the AE better likes a grunty sail instead of a dead flat wave sail.
It’s a 75 cm wide 127 L board, “banana” rocker is mostly forward, and the tail is straighter rocker.
So it is very clear, that if you want to ride it in fast freeride mode, you have to sail it on the tail/fin, and not surf it on the “banana” part. Its def not necessary to be max powered up.
It’s no secret that the board excels in the wave/freeride conditions and not in the freerace conditions. BUT if you are the lucky owner :-) of an AE 127, and you want to improve the freeride/flatwater ability, you tune it with sail AND fin for that purpose.
If you own a fast freeride board and you want to take it out in more wavy conditions, you don’t use a race sail and big race fin, you probably take a no cam freeride or freestyle or wave sail and a swept freeride-/wave fin. So if people don’t own a board for several different conditions, they choose a board that fits their most common conditions and try to optimise the gear for the less optimal conditions by adapting sail, fin and style for it.
It is also common knowledge that it is possible to reach pretty high speeds on wave (banana) boards, and crossovers (a Kombat can be pretty fast when you go for it).
When changing sail type (cam, no cam, freeride, freestyle/wave) on a board you have to adapt the mast foot pos., boom height, harness line pos., style and a lot more to compensate for the diff. sail characteristics like CE high/low, forward, twist, mast bend, flex and more. That’s what makes WS so exciting.
In the case of the AE I think the problem when extending its natural “habitat” , is not whether it’s a 2 cam freeride or not, but the fin and stance(riding style). The stock freeride fin for the AE 127 can’t take much pressure before spinning out. You have to drive it with the front foot and gain a lot of speed before putting more pressure on the back foot. I clocked a lot of 25 to 29 knot speeds when reaching (not going for speed) with the freeride fin, but be careful with the back foot.
I tested the board with 5,8 and 6,2 RX2(pure Race sail) and 6,4 Severne S2 free move, same day, medium powered. 6,2 RX2 was best in the gusty offshore conditions. Planed to test the board with 42/44/46 spitfire slalom fins same day, but they did not fit the box properly.
Some weeks after I sailed the board with the 44 slalom fin and a 7,0 S2, felt not good, the fin was too powerful for the sail. Never got tested the slalom fins with my 6,2 ; 7,6 ; 8,5 slalom sails, maybe this season.
So go out and don’t let some funny theories spoil the fun. Try it out and in this case it’s not dangerous.
Per I would test it with a cammed freeride sail. But I still think that the fin combo is the “freeride restriction”, even with nocam sails.
Personally, I prefer cammed sails for >7,5 m2 sails for freeride.


14th March 2007, 03:32 PM
Hi LK..
Thanks for adding to the confusion:D
I do actually sail my AE with a 44 fin with good results. The standard 40 really sucks. Never worked for me.
In the latest edition of "Windsurf" there's a picture of a sailor, Allan Cross, going +30 knots on a Kombat with an X15 Tushingham sail. The X15 is made for one single purpose= MAX speed. It's an eight batten four cam machine on a cross over board.... He seems all right... Interesting..
Anyway a T-bird no cam is a seven batten sail with low foot, so is the twin cam Lightning.. None of them are loose wavy types..
The AE will not be a wave board with 8.5 m2... Sooo lots of ?????


14th March 2007, 05:58 PM
you are quite right - there is a guy on a Kombat with an X15 sail in one of the mags doing 30 knots. The question to ask is why? And does it really add to your sailing experience in a way that you want to experience over and over?

The Aero was designed as a large light wind wave board, which necessarily means the rocker flat is limited. I have tried a 7.0 lightning on both a Kombat and a Syncro and believe me its doesn't work in the way you want it to. Getting to sail it off the fin takes a lot of effort, you drop off the plane very easily and its not particularly quick... so again, why would you bother?

14th March 2007, 06:41 PM
Hi Guys, and thanks..
I've ordered the 8.5 T-bird. It's a no cam, but far from sluggish.
I did 32 knots on my ST115 with a T-bird 6.5 once....
Guess the Lightning has a little more bottom end (I actually had a 9.4 too, once, lovely freerace machine), but the T-bird will win on looseness and manouvres (I could do planing jibes with my 9.4 though..)...


15th March 2007, 02:16 PM
Interesting thread and I think the differnt views on wether a cam sail would be good on the Aero or not reflect that the board is in fact very versatile and can be sailed in many different ways and the more time you get on it the better you can tune your stance to push it into terretories which are not neccesarily the most "core" to the board.

I personally never tried a cam sail on the Aero (I have 117). I messed around with a whole bunch of sails around 7-7.5 though. My experience is that the sail that got me planing the earliest (also in freeride setting) was a Hot Superfreak. This is a pretty flat and very "tight leeched" sail (100% dacron) which is not even fully battened (2 75% battens, the rest full length). The Aero need some care to break the planing treshold and the pumping technique that works with the tight superfreak simply seems to match up extremely well to the Aero. The superfreak is also an ideal partner to the Aero for any kinf of manouver oriented sailing.

I have a much easier time planing early with the 7.0 superfreak than with my 7.5 Speed demon (a nocam freeride/salom). The Speed Demon is still a sail with quite a lot of bottom end grunt, but its far more "floppy" at idle than the Superfreak and this means you need to move it around more when pumping and get a tad more trick to at the same time trim the Aero onto its pretty short "planing surface".

No doubt, the SpeedDemon makes the Aero go faster and maybe also handle lulls better once planing and alltough the Superfreak handles a totally unreasonably amount of wind, the Speed Demon still makes the Aero easier to sail on overpowered mode.

I've also used two other sails in this sail range, but I think the two above is enough to prove my point (which is that different sails are good for different things and optimizing for one aspect usually measn compromising others. And the better you are at sailing your particular board, the easier you can work around shortcomings of a particular sail on that board).

15th March 2007, 02:25 PM

this to me proves even better (if needed) that tighter leech makes for earlier planing, rather than deeper draft.

15th March 2007, 04:48 PM
Hi again..
Actually the Aero is one of few boards that are designed around a sail range (for its intended use) that is non existing...
A BIG wave board, but HUGE wave sailæs do not exist (yet)
Ideally, at my 100 kgs, the best would be a tight leech few battened, high clew 8.5 m2 sail that's manouvreable, light and seriousely early planing...

Didn't see it yet, so anything else will be a compromise.

16th March 2007, 02:07 AM
Hi Per,
The SuperFreak 7.0 and 8.0 are now production items. The 9.0 is this year a custom order, in '08 also production. With it I sail DTL in 14mph wind, my wife freesails it in 11mph wind. The SuperFreaks are by far the best wave sails that my wife and I have ever sailed and they match perfectly with the original Aero. Unfortunatley i had to spend over $10k to come up with a set of big wave fins, although for weed wave fins the Wardog's seem to be excellent.
I am switching over to SOS boards and the SuperFreaks and custom fins are even better matched there.

16th March 2007, 01:43 PM
Hi Dolf
Nice to hear from you again..
I checked the 9.0 Super Freak with the danish dealer. He could not get it (yet). Maybe 8.0 is actually enough for "light" wind wave (ish) sailing even at 100 kg sailor weight. I want to limit the boom to max 235 cm and no more than a 490 mast.