View Full Version : Board for heavy sailor

1st December 2008, 05:14 PM

I have been sailing for 15 years but have now stopped for 1 year and sold all my equipment but 1 "old" Freeride 102l board. I recently moved to Helsinki/Finland but have so far not sailed here. As far as I now the normal wind breeze is around 9-13knots wihout any angle effect from low pressure, when it then goes up to 20 knots.

During the last 5-6 years I have been sailing with SB Formula boards and my above mentioned freeride board. My question is whether I should stick to the Formula class or go with an Isonic or Futura? I'm looking for early planning and speed (upwind/downind is nice to have, but early planning is more important). I won't be able to test any boards.

I will just use it for weekend surfing but still want to feel the thrill of sailing at decent speed and having a lively board under my feet.

I'm 1,88m tall and weight 93kg. I planning to buy 1 board and 2 sails (easiest to get here are MauiSails, Severne and Neilpryde). Any suggestions? By the way, would someone be able to recommend a decent wetsuit/drysuit? I'm originally from Brazil and the water over here is too cold for me (even in summer). :)

I will not be able to sail during the next 4 months but want to place an order at the local importer to guarantee I have a board when the season starts.

All tips are welcome.

1st December 2008, 09:16 PM
Hi Birmoser

It's not an easy question Formula vs. slalom for lightwind recreational sailing. I've sailed Formula for 2-3 seasons, and then gave up, now my "lightwind" gear is iS122+9.0.
If you have steady, average 9-13 knots, you can go for a larger slalom (133 for example), paired with 9.0-9.5 sail. You will lose:
1. some early planing
2. some up/down wind angles compared to Formula
But in my opinion it's worth it the moment you stomp on the rail for an exciting fast gybe ;-) The handling is just so much better it's incomparable. Of course if the winds are fickle/holey, etc, you'll clock much more tow on a Formula.

Wetsuits: I can recommend Gul Delta. Very high neck collar and T-zip make it almost 100% dry, except in face plant wipeouts ;-)

I forgot about the sails: go for 7.5/7.8 + 9.0/9.5

2nd December 2008, 01:53 PM
Thanks for your comments Screamer. Fully agree that the handling and gybe of a slalom board are so much better and more exciting than formula.

If I go for the slalom boards (which I will most likely do), do you think the 133l is big enough for me or would I benefit going with the 144l? I have not seen many people using the 144l so I assume the 133l is big enough since even the heavy sailors are using it. Can anyone comment what the main advantages/disadvantages of those 2 boards for someone of my size would be?


2nd December 2008, 03:40 PM
I haven't tried 144 so can't comment. Personally I don't like (and don't need) a board wider than 75cm (iS122) in order to cover as much range as possible. I think for you a 133 is big enough, I've sailed it and have a few 95-100kg buddies that use it.

Since you cannot try the board, be careful when you try to evaluate wind strength, especially inland lakes. On a few lakes I know, slalom is rarely used, only Formula (or a daggerboard) works on most days.

Chris Pressler
2nd December 2008, 05:52 PM
Hi Birmoser,
both sizes, 133 and 144 work excellent with a 9,0. In my opinion the 144, the board has the same width with 85 like the 133, is better in upwindsailing and starts earlier to plane. Both boards can be used in all Slalom competitions. 85 is the width limit. On the 144 you will have fun with a sail bigger than 10,0 m, too.
I really was surprised by the 144 sailing in 10 to 13 knots. My weight is around 82-83kg. Ws on a Code Red 9,0. Also used the board on sweet water and was flying cross windlows.
The 133 felt faster on the downwind. Tried Kevinīs board in Alacati. Perhaps Remi or Ian have some great comments and feed back on these two boards. But for sure you should choose one of these two sizes, if you would like to have real fun and a lot of planning time in light conditions.

Best decision,

10th December 2008, 01:01 AM
Thanks for your comments Chris and Screamer.

Made my mind up about the board. I'm going for the Isonic 133l. I got in contact with my distributor and he has a great offer for a new Isonic 133l 2008 (40% lower price than a 2009) + North Ram F8 9,9m2. Does that make a good cominbation or should I go for a 9.0m2 sail. Seems that most are using a 9.0m2.
What about the fin. Is the original fin that comes with the 2008 Isonic 133l big enough?


10th December 2008, 01:54 AM
It's maybe the upper limit (9.9 for your weight), but I think 133 will carry it.
Not sure about the stock fin, some people hate them (I don't), try it first before you spend 200+ eur on a better one.

10th December 2008, 03:59 PM
Hi Birmoser,

Having windsurfed actively in the Helsinki region for many years I think I should pitch in.

An iSonic 133 with a 10 m2 sail will for sure give you lots of TOW during the warmer months of the year. The downside is that there are very few 85 cm wide slalom boards in the area, you will be pretty much alone with this style of equipment.

If you would go with Formula you would for sure have more company. There are typically a number of Formula sailors out whenever there is some wind. As you seem to be an experienced Formula sailor on the heavier side I think as 12 m and 10 m sail would cover pretty much all conditions (until you can jump on your 100 l freeride). Maybe even just a single 11 m2 sail would work, if you have a 6.5 – 7.0 sail on your old Freeride.

I am myself about 10 kg heavier than you and my big board is a 74 cm wide freerace board and a 9 m2 Sailworks Retro (next one down is 106 liters and a 7m2 sail). This combo gives quite a number of days during the season, but does of course not get going as early as a Formula with a big sail.

10th December 2008, 06:23 PM
Thanks for the good comments.

PG, since you have windsurfed in Helsinki region do you know any sailing club where I could leave/store my gear? Windsurfing is already expensive enough and I was not planing to buy a car just to transport my gear (I don't really need a car in Helsinki).

mark h
11th December 2008, 03:28 AM
Hi Birmoser
I'm using a iS144 with 9m and 11m NS Warps. Both these sizes are perfect on the iS144, I could probably get away with changing the 9m and 11m for a 9.9m warp and save some space etc. I'v tried it with a 7.8m warp and personally thought it was far to small for an XL slalom board. I'm using the stock 52cm fin in very light winds and a Select Superfast 48cm on powered up days. The stock fin is the first SB fin I'v liked and as I dont compete, I havn't upgraded it. I'm 105kg and 192cm. Its very interesting to hear the different comments above, goes to show just how big the range is on the new isonics and also the different preferences that people have.

11th December 2008, 11:45 AM
There are some storage space at Mellsten Beach (7 containers), and at Lauttasaari (3 containers) for boards and unrigged sails. However, thay are all quite full and it is not straightforward to get a slot.

Mellsten (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Helsinki,+Finland&ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=60.155432,24.782066&spn=0.02849,0.058279&z=14) is the main Slalom and Formula venue in the area, while there mostly are smaller boards at Lauttasaari (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Helsinki,+Finland&ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=60.146419,24.872103&spn=0.014249,0.02914&z=15).

Convenience, especially for after work sessions of course depends where in the region you live.

Contact me at pg at konafinland dot com and I will try to help you out.