View Full Version : Formula 175 for a beginner?

14th May 2008, 11:26 PM
Hi all,
I am a beginner in windsurfing and I am considering buying a set of second-hand gears recently.

Now, there is a deal: someone is selling his Starboard Formula 175 (yr 2000?), Hypersonic 105, Tectonic fin 42cm and Niel Pryde Diablo sail 7.4 m2.

My questions/doubts are:
1) which board is more suitable for light-wind condition?

2) which board is better to go with the NP 7.4 sail?

some background infos:
1) I am around 55kg.
One piece of info I found on line says Formula 135/155/175 are suitable for surfers with weights at 45-60kg, 60-95kg, 85kg & above. (maybe the data are for experience surfers?)
- I would like a board easy to maneuver.

2) The wind isn't strong most of the time in Singapore.
- I want to spend as much of time as possible on the sea every weekend to practice rather than sitting on the beach waiting/praying for the wind to become stronger. :cool:

3) the board I rented in a local sea sport club is Mistral Prodigy (255L), which I felt stable at first, then 'clumsy' when I tried to go fast on the water with light waves.
- I would like to have a shift as smooth as possible from the starter board to a new board and go for speed when the time comes. 255L to 105L may be a too big a change for me?

Thanks a lot in advance for your kind suggestions/answers.

16th May 2008, 03:54 AM
any suggestion is appreciated. :)

I may have to make the decision ASAP.

Ellen Faller
16th May 2008, 06:28 AM
Roger is travelling at the moment and will probably get back to you soon. In the meantime, I'll offer my opinion and vote in favor of the Formula 175 and not the Hypersonic 105. But let me also say that there are better boards than either for a beginner, and which will be more user-friendly for you. If you have only these 2 to choose between, then get the Formula as long as it is in good condition.
As a self-described beginner, you will do better with the width and volume/floatation of the Formula board. It is a good board for light wind conditions, but usually powered best by a sail 7.0 or larger. As a novice, you may not be able to get the full performance that the board offers, but it will allow you to improve as it will be more forgiving than the Hypersonic. The Hypersonic is shorter, narrower and has less volume. It is also a board that needs good technique to sail. It likes to be fully powered and you have to be ready to go with it and control it. I would not suggest it as a board to learn on, unless you are waterstarting, and already planing and in the harness and footstraps.
hope this helps,

16th May 2008, 11:30 AM
Hi 11onze,
I pretty much agree with what Ellen has suggested, but I wonder, did you sail the Mistral Prodigy with a rig 7.4 m2 or larger?
Did you use the centerboard in the hired Mistral Prodigy?
How much wind do you normally get where you intend to sail this board?
A 7.4 m2 rig is really very small for the F-175, so you won't be getting the light wind performance you expect with a sail that small. 8.5-9.5 m2 free race sails would begin to tap some of the light wind potential of the F-175.
As Ellen has suggested, there are a lot of boards (Start, GO, Carve) that would be alot better for you at your skill level.
, and an appropriately sized for your wind speed you would get better performance than the F-175 with a small rig.
Hope this helps,

16th May 2008, 05:44 PM
Hi, Ellen & Roger,

Thanks very much for the detailed reply.

So far, I have only tried the Mistral Prodigy with 5 m2 sail (also rented) and yes, I used the centerboard (daggerboard).

The normal wind speed is 2~4 knots in Singapore.:)

20th May 2008, 07:11 AM
Hi again 11onze,
Sorry for the delay here, but I was driving to an event in Texas (from North Carolina) and when I arrived at the event site, my laptop "air card" was not getting any reception (Verizon wireless will get a bit of a note about this).
Back to your questions......
The Formula board will not be much of a performer in 2~4 knots.
Actually, there are no boards (the Starboard Serenity being the exception here) that will give you any sort of performance in these nearly non-existent wind speeds.
Long boards (perhaps the Prodigy with a huge sail (9.0 m2 +)) will give a little performance in 6 knots and higher, but most windsurfers find something else to do when the winds are < 8 knots.
So, unless you can travel to a more windy venue, the only possible type of board would be something with a long waterline (a traditional longboard or something more modern like a Phantom 380, Rio, or Kona) and at least a 7.5 m2 rig.
Have you checked with the Starboard distributor in Singapore to see what is recommended and where most of his customers sail to get a bit more wind?
Hope this helps,

20th May 2008, 05:04 PM
Hi, Roger

As for the wind speed, maybe, I have put the wrong data of wind speed. Often in Sunday afternoons, there are many surfers going very fast (which could not be categorized as 'low-wind' condition, I guess)

As for the board, I understand what you mean, I am trying to get a second-hand GO board with a 6.5m2 sail instead of a FORMULA board.


20th May 2008, 10:30 PM
Sounds like a much better plan to me.
If the others are ripping around, the winds are probably in the 12-18 knots range.
Hope this helps,

26th May 2008, 02:33 AM
Hi, Roger,

I have another question now.
If I have the choice between GO 155 & GO 185 (both year 2005), which one is better for me(55kg/168cm)? :)

Ellen Faller
26th May 2008, 06:50 AM
I'll vote for the GO 155. :-)

26th May 2008, 10:12 AM
After reading this, are you sure you don't need a longboard?


1st June 2008, 09:41 PM
Hi, Roger & Ellen,

I've finally purchased my first set of windsurfing gears (second-hand).
Startboard GO 185 + Severne C2 6.5m2

I didn't manage to get the GO 155. But I felt right with 185. Thanks again for all your help and guidance. :)

4th June 2008, 11:10 AM
Hi 11onze,
I agree with Ellen here.
At your weight, the GO 155 is a much better choice.
You do not need the extra volume at 55 Kg. (121.3 lbs.).
Hope this helps,