View Full Version : Boards too small ???

4th October 2012, 11:00 AM
Why are so many sailors sailing boards that are basically too small ???

I see it everywhere I go. Canaries, Uk etc etc... See sailors wallowing about; fluffing gybes moaning about poor conditions, saying wind isnt what it used to be blah blah blah but insist on sailing small "fashionable" boards with expensive bullet proof wave sails when all they need is a decent freeride with perhaps 15 litres more volume and 5cm more width and a metre more sail ... Its reaching epidemic proportions...

I reckon so many get carried away (not literally) with the "kode/quad etc etc" type hard sell/ego boost/wave head syndrome when really they should be on the mundane (seen as) carves and planing instead of moaning and belittling freeride kit....

Perhaps I`m looking for it but it seems there is a scenario sailors go through.. Leran to sail (on big kit) , get mid sized kit and improve then flog it all buy wave kit and then stop sailing (or take up kiting)
Some realise there is the right size kit for the given conditions; keep 3 boards and sail the wave kit when its advantageous... But its getting fewer !!! Its the one board only syndrome but they have the one board that hardly ever works !!!

4th October 2012, 06:09 PM
I can't speak for the one board sailors other than they probably don't consider it to be fun on something bigger, so they try to make the best of it in marginal conditions.

For us multi-board sailors, we occasionally choose a board that is too small, thinking/hoping that there is enough wind to get planing. We do this because the smaller boards (& smaller sails) are generally more fun if there is enough wind.

4th October 2012, 09:46 PM
Hi unregistered, why does this bother you so much? Just let them get on with the wallowing about and not getting on the plane. Just blast past them a few times and they will soon give up and go home.

5th October 2012, 05:50 AM
I don't see that "problem" around here anymore. On the contrary, there are now very good waveboards for our regular conditions. The EVO range started out like that and has changed the mind set of many. A bit of wishful thinking though can happen to anybody, as the smaller gear is more fun to sail. Try a 60 liter board the next time you get bounced about on a windy day, and you'll see why they are so nice in the right conditions.

Another trend setter was the Hypersonic, when slalom in general had become too complicated, with very narrow range boards, and people were lossing interest. Starboard came with a board that have the widest wind range I've ever seen from one board, and that reignited the sport and there are now very good slalom boards for lightwind days too.

5th October 2012, 11:49 AM

I know perfectly well the qualities of small boards and having had an Evo since they arrived I also know very well what they are capable of and what they are not !!!

Simple fact is that (even with the Evo; which is not such an early planer) many sailors miss out on great sailing days because the very kit you mentioned just doesnt work. Yes we all know how board development has gone but what hasnt changed is the peculiar mind set of so called "high wind" or " wave sailors" who (at many venues I visit) bemoan conditions and those people who are willing to adapt and use suitable kit..

Out of interest Krister how many days do you actually sail in a year ??? I suspect in UK there are only around 80 sailing days (F3/4 +). Discount those when you are at work. Discount those when you are doing family/social...Discount those when its too cold and you are around 20 ??? All these UK wave sailors probably sail a dozen days a year in conditions which are suitable for the kit they have ????

Yes sailing small boards is fantastic but its the icing.. Its exactly why so few windsurfers are left.. They get bored waiting to use the small kit...which is all they have..

5th October 2012, 04:21 PM
I'm afraid I have to agree with the topic starter.

Just checked my spreadsheet.
This year, I have up till now 23 WS sessions of which only 5 with my small wave kit, i.e. a 83L FSW board which I only use starting from 21+ average. BUT, I still remember these 5 days as the best of the season ! So, I think that EVERY windsurfer should own this kind of kit, despite the fact that one might only use it a few times per year.

The mistake that many make is that they get so stoked about using this equipment, that they want to use it all the time. Wrong of course.

Look at me, I have 4 slalom boards (planning to reduce it to 3) which I used in 18 of my 23 sessions. I would be missing out on a lot of fun if I would not own it. Unfortunately the bigger the kit, the more expensive it gets and the more you need of it. This could also be an important factor regarding this subject.

5th October 2012, 04:55 PM
Wave sailing maybe another story but one freeride board that works 90% of the time is possible. In my case a 65cm/103L board with sails from 5.5 to 7.8 covers 12 to 25 knots. There are very few days in the year where I use smaller sails and I prefer to go biking below 12 knots. Depending on the wind, I may also take a 93L or a 112L slalom board, but I could use the 103 in the same conditions with nearly as much fun.

5th October 2012, 05:02 PM
When I kept track of my windsurfing sessions I did about 80 sessions in a year, I don't count anymore so now I don't really know. I have boards ranging from the HWR Formula down to the 50 liter speed-board though, so there is always something that is suitable if I have the space to bring it. On longer trips to a wave spot I like to bring the Formula board or a Hypersonic too, that way I'm guaranteed to get some planning in.

Another good trick is to use an adjustable outhaul on the wave boom too. One doesn't have to tune it as often as one would on a Formula or slalom board but it helps a lot when the conditions change.

5th October 2012, 06:04 PM
Hi Farlo,

A lot depends of course on the weight of the rider. I think that medium and heavy weight riders generally need more boards.
I'm 87kg and would have a lot of problems planing with a 103L + 7.8 sail in 12 knots average. I would need at least 15 knots average. A bigger board would help and lower the minimum wind force again.
In 25 knots average, probably I would not dare to go on the water with a 103L and a 5.5 sail, unless it was a flat water speed spot. Probably I would use my 83L board with a 4.0 or 4.7 sail.
But probably you were not talking about average wind speeds.

5th October 2012, 07:36 PM
Hi Belskorpio, I will use the 5.5 in 20/22 knots average up to 25. I could certainly use a 4.7 in the same conditions but sailing mostly on inland lakes I prefer to rig bigger with lots of downhaul. Also I like to sail a bit overpowered. BTW I think you might handle much stronger winds with 4.7 or 4. Anyway even the 5.5 doesn't get out quite often, may be four or five times per year. So 103L is not too big, not too small either.

5th October 2012, 10:40 PM
Hi Farlo,

When we have 25 average on the North Sea, we often have peaks till 35 and a huge swell building up, depending if it's onshore or side shore.
Although the sail size of 5.5 could perhaps still be manageable, it is rather the board size of 65/103L that would kill me.
Even on our big lakes near the sea, without protection of a dam, I could encounter giant chop.

20/22 average up to 25 is something completely different of course, and for sure I would take my 5.5 sail in these conditions, BUT not a 65/103L board. In stead I would also use my 57/83L wave board in big chop or my IS87 + 5.7 or even 6.7 on fairly flat water.

I think that in high winds, i.e. 21+ average, the water state will play a much more important role in chosing the "right" kit.

5th October 2012, 10:45 PM
100 kilos/220 pounds

54 days sailed from APR to SEPT
42 of them on FreeFormula or Longboard 10-oh or 8-oh
11 on 160 liter board with 8-oh
1 on 124 liter LTD and 6.3

most memorable are on the 124 and some on the FreeFormula
best purchases this year = pass to park, FreeFormula and adjustable outhaul
no long board or free formula would have meant 12 days rather than 54 !!!!
now i average two(2) times per week
means happy me, butt unhappy wife - sometimes :-)

6th October 2012, 09:41 AM
Unregistered, how lucky you are. My own statistics are closer to two times per month, ~twenty five per year on which fifteen are 7.8/7.3 days, five are 6.6/6.0 and five are 5.5 or less. This is probably why people on my spot tend to use boards on the large side, let's say 120/130L most of the time. The average Joe here is around 75/80 Kgs (myself 68).

Belskorpio, you are right. Water state makes a lot of difference. However last time I sailed at the sea was 20/22 up to 25 onshore with 1 meter swell. My smallest kit that day was 6.0 with 103L and 32cm fin. Most other people were on 4.7/85L. Nevertheless I managed to stay alive and it was for sure my best three hours session of the year.

7th October 2012, 01:42 PM
i have to be agree... unfortunatelly. i think some people's dream about the optimal condition is not fits to the reality and general just some people afraid of the over power feeling. the sad is they lost lots of fun on a little bit bigger gear and they are able to spend much less time on the water in planning or in fun condition.

this is a big responsibility of the retailers.


12th October 2012, 08:16 PM
I think what often happens is we learn to windsurf as teenagers and get used to the idea of a small board with the volume that suited us back then. And then we typically put on weight as we age and are reluctant to increase the volume of our favourite kit.

Plus it depends where you usually sail, in that you may choose a board which is the right size for your home break, but when you take the same board on holiday you may find the rippy/white water conditions require more float than you have.

There is also a historical thing where people were told that 'sinkers' were the thing to have.
I'd say the advent of multfin boards is changing all this with shorter fins that don't overpower, people are now discovering that larger volume wave boards don't over-power so readily in strong winds and so have a broader wind and sail size range.

A final point is that some prefer to sail high rocker wave boards that don't plane so early i.e. they prefer to blob out and then catch a wave on the way in which is then ripped apart with the looseness of the board they have.
This is the opposite approach from sailing a fast tail or FSW board where you blast out at speed but then find the board rocker too stiff to really shred a wave face on the way back in.