View Full Version : Sail size for a beginner girl

9th September 2012, 08:16 PM

what sail size would you recommend for a 115 lb (52 kg) girl learning to windsurf? She had two short sessions already, so it's not a complete beginner, but still needs to cover the basics (turns & sailing back to the point). Coming from other sports she's a fast learner with good balance.

Learning will be mostly between 5-10 knots of wind on a modern 150-liter board (either my Formula Experience or used Starboard Go or similar).

I was thinking about 3.5-4.0 m2 for a start? Are any particular sail types to be avoided for learning? Budget is important so we were looking for used rigs.

The plan is to learn the basics on a larger board and then move to something smaller, say 115-130 liter where she can progress to harness & straps (and myself use it in higher winds :)).

10th September 2012, 12:33 PM
Since I teach beginners and the majority of them are women and girls, I think you are close to correct here.
I see you wish to purcahse used gear and have a budget.
That can prove to be a huge problem.
Smaller women and girls really need the lightest windsurfing rigs you can buy...regardless of cost.
Buy her something in that size range that's heavy...designed for high winds or wavesailing, and she will hate it because it has no power in 5-10 knots of wind, and actually... it's just too heavy.
My suggestion would be something like a 4.2 meter Sailworks Retro Ripper on a 370 cm Sailworks Backbone trainer mast. Get a light weight trainer boom to go with it and she will love it and progress very quickly.
These sails actually have remarkable power (for their size) and work well in your stated windspeeds.

12th September 2012, 01:48 AM
My wife is at that level, similar weight and she is using a 4.0 WindSUP sail from Aerotech. She's happy with it, especially since it is light and quick to rig. These sails are inexpensive even new, and rig with a normal 370 mast that you might allready have.

12th September 2012, 11:04 AM
women AND men seem to prefer a sail around 4.x at the very beginning
these seem to be available at reasonable prices used
personally even use old epoxy mast cut to size :-)
NOT about performance at this stage :-)

GOOD LUCK & winds

12th September 2012, 10:22 PM
Actually it IS about light weight and easy to handle performance.
More children and spouses are turned against the windsurfing at ANY level
every year due to heavy, difficult to uphaul, inappropriate for the conditions
(I.E. small 4.0 wave sails and high wind sails with no draft used in < 12 knots of wind)
rigs and inappropriate (I.E. tippy; narrow; slippery) boards.

May as wll hand them a piece of plywood with 4.0 m2 area and put it on the oldest tippiiest narrowest
board you can come up with.
If the rig is lightweight, easy to uphaul (mast absolutely the lightest the budget will stand and not
one cm longer than necessary), and provides quite a bit of power and performance in < 10-12 knots
of wind, the "never ever" sailor can spend < 10 minutes on a land simulator, then be sailing on their own,
after about 10 minutes on a tether behind a good instructor.
They can uphaul easily, sail out across the wind (maybe even a little upwind) and sail back to exactly where they started, all in the first 1/2 hour on the water.
We do this all the time with > 100 students per year, so it works.
We get a > 90% success rate with beginners from 8 years old to 80 years old.
Hope this helps,

13th September 2012, 11:16 PM
thanks Roger
there is always the ideal :-)
the poor man's setup has to work for me
the rest goes in my quiver :-)

for children i use the Mistral Aquaglide

15th September 2012, 05:02 AM
I agree with Roger completely on this issue. We use the Chinook rigs made by Gaastra at my school, very light with only 2 battens and a nice deep draft for power. Perfect sail for light winds and small beginners.


23rd September 2012, 12:46 PM
Hi, all. Thanks for insight & helpful comments.

I think we'll go with Hot Sails Maui, DD 3.8 m2 for a start, I can get one year old for pretty good price. The Sailworks is hard to get in our area.

What do you say about this combo: Maui DD 3.8 sail, light RDM mast (min. 60-70C) and light alu boom? Should be light & with enough power I guess, the sail is not a typical hardcore wave model.

(I'd post some links but not being allowed - plus registrations seem disabled)