View Full Version : What ultra-light-air board?

17th April 2008, 08:50 PM
Hello forum users,
I'm an intermediate/advanced rider looking for the ultimate extra-lightwind machine for the sunny summer days in my beloved lake.. :-)
My current lightwind setup is a 2002 SB GO 170 w/ 8.7 Point 7 AC-0 sail, 490 C100% Point 7 mast and full carbon TecnoLimits XTR boom. I'm getting also a bigger (9.7) no cam rig.
I'd really like to squeeze the most out of those very light days, as they occur very often during our summer.. I like drag racing with other surf club members.
I'm 177 cm x 68 kg. and the board will be used in winds ranging between 6 and 12 knots. Speed is not an issue, I essentially want to spend the most of my time on water planing rather than slogging. :D
Should I go for the Apollo or the F 162 would be a better overall choice?
Any suggestion would be very appreciated.

17th April 2008, 10:48 PM
at your weight, I would pick F162, just better overall range, and with correct fin, it
should be early plainer and more fun, I would also recomend to look for 10-11 or so full on race sail, don't go for no cams sail, putting no-cam sail on formula board, it's like
puting VW engine into Ferrari's body

18th April 2008, 12:03 AM
For a light weight, key for planing in lowest wind is big sail and highly active pumping skills. Considering your intermediate/advanced skills, the Apollo would be far more easier to get planing in low wind because you'll need far less active pumping than that with a pure Formula like F162/161/160. Check out old forum posts by Krister and his experience between Apollo and Formula.

The best combo to plane at or slightly below 6 knots true wind is Apollo + 75 cm fin and a big freerace and soft sail like Overdrive 11.0 IMHO. I doubt someone has ever achieved planing as of 5 knots true wind, any reports ?

If you want to go sailing in any wind lower than what you can achive by planing with your Go and 9.7 sail, a Serenity is a nice complement to your current Go but in non-planing conditions (and a lot funnier, faster and far easier than slogging on a Formula, believe me). However, I'm unsure whether your no cam 9.7 sail would be a good match or not. Problem is you'll need a fairly baggy shape to be efficient in very light wind on the Serenity. Cambers do provide such a baggy shape even in zero wind. Without a camber, you'll need to wait for the wind to get a belly shape in your sail. In addition, very large camberless sails are much less stable in the upper wind range than their cambered counterparts. I'll leave that to raceboard specialists to further comment (modern raceboard sails do have cambers).

In sum, how many times is it blowing 2-7 or 6-12 knots at your place in the summer ? If 2-7 > 6-12, get a Serenity with your 9.7 sail. If 2-7 < 6-12, get an Apollo + 11 m2 sail.

Cheers !


18th April 2008, 01:57 AM
My own experience with a 2007 Apollo might help, on my last four sessions 3 were using a 12.5 Tushingham Spitfire weight 75kilo in winds around 6 knots with 75cm fin I was the only windsurfer on the Lake. Last session on the Apollo blowing 12-15 knots 70 R 17 S +6 fin with a 9.7 AC-2 sail as the wind picks up from here 20+knots the Apollo can be a handful but the new fin made a huge difference. If mainly light winds the Apollo is the board but for a wider range a 162 with a 75cm fin and the right sail would be my choice.

18th April 2008, 02:41 AM
Otrebla- With the 9.7 sail, and maybe a larger fin (60+ cm), your Go 170 will plane quite early and easily. A formula board or the Apollo would be a little better, but the benefit might be too slight to be worth the money.

I think that a fast, displacement board would be better for sub-10 knot winds, especially on a lake where the winds are often gusty and inconsistent. Like JM says, a Serenity would be great. So would any longboard raceboard, like a Mistral Equipe or Starboard Phantom 380 (if you can get one).

18th April 2008, 12:56 PM
Dear posters,
thank you so much for your kind responses. I've read the old posts by Krister, very interesting argumentations. Seems like on the Apollo I will achieve the super early planing I'm looking for, as the non-planing side of the practice is not a priority for me (so, no need for a raceboard or a Serenity.. but I'm sure they're both worth a test ;-)).
One last question: I will use the stock fin for the ultra light conditions (80% of the time), but I guess a smaller fin is required for the top end. I've never experimented with fins, so I need a suggestion: what Deboichet design suits better my needs and weight? Maybe a 70 R17 (reading other topics)?
Thanks in advance.

19th April 2008, 07:15 AM
Have you considered light-wind freestyle? The payoff is an incredible improvement in overall sailing ability. Go board and 5.0 sail. Just a thought.

19th April 2008, 06:39 PM
I already tried some light air freestyle session, but the Go coupled with my 6.0 Simmer Compact seems a bit "static", very hard to move around, very difficult to slog upwind.. not much fun, maybe it's just me. Hence I prefer the planing mode! :-)

As for the fins: Remi, I've read your posts on the R20, do you think this design fits my sailing needs?
Thanks in advance.

Del Carpenter
23rd April 2008, 07:29 AM
I think, if your main sailing surface is a lake, then you have inconsistent or fluctuating winds, especially in the summer when you said you have 6-12 knots. Please think again about long raceboards. With a long raceboard it's "plane or cruise" not "plane or schlogg." With inconsistent winds under 12 knots you can win many of those drag races as your opponents fall off a plane into schlogging while you keep on cruising on a long raceboard. And you'll have more fun because your summer sessions will avoid the frustration of schlogging.

23rd April 2008, 10:46 AM
Have you considered the Serenity ? that is a super light wind machine

23rd April 2008, 02:07 PM
Mmmmh, I think I should give those longboards a go.. maybe I will find a Serenity for a test ride.
It seems that my backyard rack will soon become very crowded! ;-)
Thank you guys for all your inputs.

23rd April 2008, 07:53 PM
Light wind sailing in Force 1-Force 3 Bft can be pretty fun and rewarding provided you've got the right gear. Last summer was particularly hard-hit by very light wind on our lake: we got blessed with winds more than 12 knots for only 9 days from May to August. When I added a 10.6/11.0 sail in my quiver, TOW just doubled in the 7-12 knots wind range. When I added a Serenity, TOW increased 4 times in the 1-12 knots wind range. Serenity was a pure joy during those 4 insane months : kept both body and soul healthy.

Cheers !