View Full Version : Should I give up the Go180 and buy something new ?

16th April 2008, 01:04 AM
Hello, I am new to the forum and looking for your advice,

I live in Romania and in the summer go to Constanta or Mamaia - Black Sea where I can windsurf on the sea - salty water but not as salty like Mediteranean, or on the lagoon-lake nearby - fresh water.

The conditions in the summer are generaly:

on the Black Sea:
- 10-20kts sidewind or from sea to land,
- waves from 0.5m @10kts to 1.5m-2m @20kts

on the SudGhiol Lake:
- 5-20kts mainly from nautic base to the lake but lower near shore at the base
- none to max 0.6m waves

I weight 87KG, and own a Starboard Go 180L (~255cm/100cm@13KG) with 60cm fin, an ancient Bic Calypso longboard ~320m/65m@20KG with 25cm fin and 60cm daggerbolt.
The have a 7mp Severne no cam sail with C60% mast and an ancient 5.5mp Art non-transparent, 0%carbon mast :D but with 5cams.

I can lightwind windsurf pretty well, jibe, tack, use harness, use footstraps in front positions but can't plane unless the wind is 18-20kts on sea and use the GO180 and 7.0 sail, but because of the big waves, board size and nose design it's almost impossible to control, the planning consists of several chaotic jumps until I give up planning or I fall.

On the lake there is not enough wind or I don't have enough technique to plan, I can go further into the lake to try but when I come back there is little wind and it takes decades to return upwind non-planning.

Thus, I use 90% the ancient Bic Calypso which does OK in lightwind and on sea/medium waves (even planes in 20kts), while the GO sleeps in the tent.

I'd spend about 600euro(~900$) budget to upgrade something:

- Buy a 9mp-10mp sail and go with GO180 on the lake?
- Buy an 130-145L board like starboard carve 2007 and go on the sea?

*It's not like I can't plan at all, I went to Rhode Island last summer and planned with ease with a JP X-cite 145L 6mp to 7.5mp sail in 16-22kts.

16th April 2008, 03:29 AM
Tzur, if i were you, i'd invest in sails. The boards you suggest will not cut it in waves you say you get (1.5-2 m!) and you may want to work on your stance on the board because if you need 18-20 knots to plane with a 7 mē there is something wrong. i weigh more then you and with a 7.6 i can plane 13 knots ... when i get the rare 20 i'm on a 6.2 and still planning so there's a slight problem there i think. I may be the front-footstrap thing.
THe 180 in waves? ok, i nearly drowned using the 139 in 3 m swell with 26 knots, i'm not sure a 180 in those conditions is a very safe option.
My primairy advice to you: work on your stance first, expand your sailrange then when you can plane in most conditions, buy a board that accomodates your sailrange.

16th April 2008, 02:57 PM
I get your point CrazyChemical, I guess I'll order a new rig although it's extremly expensive in larger sizes.

The local dealer has the Bic Speedster 8.8, 9.8 and 10.8 complete rigs with masts C60 540 (for the 9.8 and 10.8), boom 230-280, extender, rigfoot and bag at ~1000euro.

Should I go for the Bic Speedster at that price or look further for a better deal?

What size should I buy, in how many kts wind speed range can I use each ?

How hard is it to uphaul such a big sail ?

Is it possible to use the big sail on sea or there I just need a smaller board ?

16th April 2008, 08:14 PM
My advice, check if you can't find a second hand mast and boom, that way you save a lot of money seeing as masts tend to (and that is if you don't abuse them like some surfers tend to) last longer then sails so if you really want to invest: invest in the sail and try to find a good second hand deal on masts and booms.
Seeing as you weigh about as much as i do i might be able to give you an idea of the sailrange you'll have. These are off course minimal to maximal ranges, most surfers with big rigs tend to go over what i'll advice you, myself inclueded.
7.0: 14-20 knts
8.8: 10-15
9.8: 9-14
big rigs are hard to uphaul if you don't do it correctly. The bigger the area the more water you'll catch when you crash and if you want to uphail the monstr directly from the water you'll catch a hernia. What i always do, i do it in steps. Rather then pulling the lot strait out i make a sideways motion. i pull the mast towards the nose of my board slowly lifting it out the water, that way the water on the sail will flow off and you can much easier lift the rig from the water.
big sails on sea ... well, that is far from what they're made off but seeing as a lot of slalom competitions are on sea i suppose you can do it. When i use 7.5 > on sea the sea is usually very calm, very little swell or current and enough wind for me to fly out. But if you've got 2 meter waves ... well ... personally i'd get out a small enough board and a middle size sail depending on the windspeeds. But it's hard to say, i have no idea what the conditions really are on the black sea. there's already a big difference between the adriatic sea and the mediterranean sea though both are connected ...

17th April 2008, 12:48 AM
Tzur- I would get a bigger sail for the light wind stuff. That will be the best way to improve your skills and get more time planing.

I think that Crazychemical's estimate of how much wind it takes for an 87 kg person to plane with a 7.0 is a little low. My "sail size calculator" says that 17 knots is the windstrength needed for an 87 kg person with a 7.0. Check it out-


The calculator also says that with a 9.8, you could plane in 12 knots. That would be a big improvement. It would mean you could plane more easily in the lake, where the water is flatter and better for the GO.

I think your strategy of riding the Calypso with the 7.0 when the wind and waves are very strong (more than 20 knots), or very light (less than 12 knots), is a good one. In summary, this is what I would do-

5-10 knots wind: Bic Calypso and 7.0 sail (non-planing)
10-16 knots wind: Go 180 and 9.8 sail (planing)
16-20 knots wind: Go 180 and 7.0 sail (planing)
20+ knots wind: Bic Calypso and 7.0 sail (planing)

The skills you should work on are getting on a plane, getting in the footstraps, and gradually moving the footstraps to the outboard and back positions.

17th April 2008, 03:42 AM
Hi Tzur

I don't know anything about Bic Speedster, so I can't comment. With regard to size, you need about 9-9.5 sail to maximize lightwind days on the lake. I also think that you should be able to plane in around 14-15 knots with a 7.0. For the coast (20 knots + 2m swell), you'll need MUCH smaller board (around 100 lit I guess + 6m sail), but it's hard to say without knowing the conditions. At this stage, you will probably need to sort big rig first, then to move to a 120-130 litres board before you are ready for the ideal "coast" board. And I bet you didn't know that there are some fantastic conditions to be found on the Danube river ;-)
I've sent you a private message, you can contact me there.


18th April 2008, 03:57 AM
Thank you everyone for your answers, It makes sense now that I definitly need a bigger sail to Go in 10-16Kts. I've studied the windguru archives for europe/romania/constanta and realised there's not very much wind, the 10mp should do the trick.

The sail size calculator fn(windspeed, mass) is great! Very enlightning.

18th April 2008, 01:50 PM
On Windguru, you can find archived forecasts, but not actual recorded data (they warn you about that somewhere on their site). You need to look at the local meteo stations and compare their data to forecasts.
Wrt to sail size calculator, it's an approximate guide and it will help you get you the idea, but it's not written in stone.

With more experience, things do become somewhat easier ;-)

Good luck.

5th May 2008, 01:19 AM
I am back after a while since I've searched what sail to buy as you've adviced.

I've found a good deal, an bic speedster 2006 10.8m^2 complete rig (incl. mast C60 540cm) new / never used, at 550euro, should I go for it, or it's too big for my 180L GO ?

I'd buy it tomorrow and would want to just make sure it's going to be a good purchase.

What do you think ?

5th May 2008, 02:08 AM
What is the width, fin length, and maximum recommended sail size for your GO 180? I'm pretty sure it could hold a 10.8. You might want to put a bigger fin on it, though; maybe 60-66 cm.

5th May 2008, 03:08 AM
I suppose it's this model:
It's quoted up to 10.5. I don't know, haven't tried it, you said you don't have experience with such big rigs. Many sailors don't like them, and with 60% mast and alu boom it's going to be even harder to handle. Maybe you should go with 9.8 if it's available, even 8.8 is a good jump from 7.0.

5th May 2008, 04:07 AM
yes, it's that model in the link. It came with the 60cm fin. Is it too small for a 10.8 sail ?

The deal is only for the 2006 10.8 model. The 9.8 2008 it about 1000euro and comes also with 540 C60 mast.

I don't know either if the 10.8 it's going to do the trick, on the other hand the wind here is generally light to very light (for windsurfing), I was thinking to buy the rig and later to add to the gear a 9m^2 sail, but it has to be taller than 5.40m since the 10.8 sail comes with the unusual 5.40 mast, the 5.20 would have covered more usual sail range.

I'll see tomorrow...

21st July 2008, 06:59 PM
I think I should reopen this thread and ask for your advice further,

I have managed to buy recently a (very) used 9.8 sail, a 100% 5.2m mast and a 100% 2.5-3m boom, I even planned a little with this rig but yesterday I got out in overpowered conditions, got catapulted and went through the sail ripping it.

I think I'll buy a new sail but want your advice first.

First ..... I had real problems uphauling the 9.8 sail in big wind (about 15kts). Could not waterstart either as I had no survival vest and as the board is very short could not place the boom on the tail, no matter how I put the sail and/or pushed from below I could not make it catch the wind from below, lift it's tip etc... I have no problem lifting a 7m sail but couldn't do anything with the 9.8 and I had to swim back to shore. On the other hand the wind was just perfect or just a little strong to ride that sail.

So, first I would like to ask, how can one lift such a big sail in big wind on a formula board ? Are there any tricks or you just have to be a total bull to just pull it.

I am considering to buy a gaastra swift 9.0 sail for the 5.20mast and 2.5-3m boom. The mast is a fiberspar old mast 100% carbon. If someone can suggest a better matched sail I would be grateful.

And finally, about the GO 180. I have problems to put my back foot in the footstrap. I get planning with no feet in footstraps, or with the front foot. If I try to take my back foot of the board I get catapulted, If I weaken the power in sail, the board stops planning. Somebody told me I have to stay lower on my back but I was already hitting the waves. I can easily put my rear foot in the oposite rear footstrap and planning confortably but not upwind, I barely can hold the perpendicular direction. The conditions were ~20knots, 5.7m sail, on lake, gusty wind and dense waves of about 0.8-1m height (and the 60cm stock fin, thats it, the only one I have). I only managed to put both my feet and safely mantain planning and then it was great.

Please tell me if there is a trick here setting the back foot in the lateral strap (I can do it in central strap on smaler boards).

21st July 2008, 08:42 PM
Hi Tzur,
Check out the Windsurfing School forum.
Do a search on "back footstrap" and I think you will find a
wealth of information on ways to get into the rear footstrap.
My guess would be that you are getting in too much of a hurry
due to your fear of getting catapaulted.
Getting a board to plane and getting hooked in and into both
footstraps is a progression, and you cannot "rush it".
The board needs to accelerate and you need to move back at
a rate that keeps the board accelerating, and keeps you moving back
in a balanced manner.
The board will only accelerate so quickly. You need to find out how fast this is and move back at a rate that keeps the board accellerating.
I cannot get to the 2004 archives at the moment to see what the 2004
GO rear footstrap configuration is exactly so I cannot suggest using a
more inboard rear footstrap position (I don't believe there is one if my memory
You need to spend more time in powered up conditions to get more comfortable
in the front footstrap with your rear foot on the board's fore and aft centerline (without getting catapaulted).
Then you will develop the skills it takes to be planing fast in this configuration, then you can work on getting into the rear footstrap.
I think it's a comfort level issue here. You feel that until you get your rear foot in that strap you are open to being catapaulted.
This is not necessarily true.
I agree that you can not "sheet out" to keep the load on the rig at a level you can handle, but you can "ease off", or better still, don't sheet in so early or so much so you bring the power up in a way that does not pitch you forward or over the lee side.
Hope this helps,

22nd July 2008, 05:20 AM
Yes, I was in a hurry to get in the straps, when the board was geting lots of speed it was very hard to ride otherwise, very jumpy. On flat water it's easier but that was not the case. Anyway, I guess that with lots of experience you can ride the GO 180 on sea and lake in big winds but much more difficult than a pure freeride/slalom board.

I think I'll keep it until I master it and also buy a freeride for chop conditions.

As for the big sail, I'll go for the swift 9.0.

sergio k
22nd July 2008, 10:43 PM
on uphauling large sail out of the water, use easy-up-haul set up, or
just buy a bungee cord, loop it few times and tie it on the middle of uphauling rope,
and use your harness and you weight to lift sail out of the water

On getting back foot in in high winds/chop,crazy overpowered cond. - put your back foot in foot strap before getting into harness but keep most of your weight on front foot,

1st August 2008, 12:17 AM
Very usefull advices, it really works, both the bungee uphaul and putting weight on front foot, however I found that it's better to put all the lateral force in the front footstrap but not the downward force that should be discharged through the mast, if you put force downward you'll rail the board and don't plan anymore, pretty tricky, I have to practice more.

Thanks alot.