View Full Version : Changing to a Kode 80?

3rd June 2009, 10:35 PM

I have searched through the various threads and have gotten a reasonable interpretation of what I probably need to do but I am looking for any additional comments.

First stats: 70kg/180cm/Advanced sailor/40% sailing larger inland lakes, 30% Colombia River, 20% Oregeon Coast, 10% travel destinations (Venezula/Brazil). Mostly bump and jump, learning the waves when not getting swept off to my doom after yet another thumping. Completely comfortable in all conditions on the Columbia River....it is generally just a controlled playground.

I am planning on changing one of my rigs from my current Realwind 90L 253 Fish to a smaller quicker turning board for riding from 5.2/5.7 down to 4.7/4.2.The Kode 80 comes to mind. I kite or bike in winds less than 5.7.

My second board is a Realwind Powersurf 250 75L which I ride down to overpowered 3.2.

Both current boards are older school boards...narrower overall, longer nose and narrowish tails. They sit well in chop, are easy riding and durable. For my weight I now find them slow on the turn in waves and heavy when jumping. They were what I needed a few years back.

My question is will I find the Kode 80 too close to the Powersurf 250 requiring me to also changeout the Powersurf? They are very different boards and I am thinking that the Powersurf rides like a smaller modern board than its volume since it sits well into the water. Also it seems that for my weight and sailing the Kode 80 and Kode 68 (or equivalent) may acutally be board set that I need?

It may be that I am searching for confirmation bias from others but any comments would be appreciated.

Also can someone comment on the difference in durability between the wood and wood carbon? I am not delicate when handling my gear. I have it for a reason and that is too use it (a hold over mentality from years of skiing) and I am trying to determine if the wood carbon is worth the extra funds or if it is in fact less durable.

Thanks in advance,

4th June 2009, 02:16 PM
The Kode 80 will for sure feel smaller and quicker turning than your old 90 liter board so ti will in that sense deliver what your after. If handles 5.7 well at your weight, but will probably feel a fair bit smaller carrying such a sail. If you predominatly sail powered up 5.7 it will not be a problem, but with underpowered 5.7 you will surely feel you have less board under your feet. It's far from undoable, but worth thinking about before taking the leap. At the other end, the Kode 80 handles 4.2 in a B&J situation well but in wave riding, I would like to be on something smaller in those winds. As you suspect, I think the Kode 80 will indeed feel rather close to the powersurf, despite probably being a bit wider. In high winds, my experience is that the extra with actually do not hurt as much since you at the same time loose a lot of length and that the shorter board will be less blown around. I wouldn't prefer to use the K80 in overpowered 3.2 though, so maybe the powersurf is indeed a high wind wonder.

Complementing with a Kode 68 would make the quiver perfect and give a nice overlap in the mid winds. The 68 works well already with powered up 5.0 so this will allow you to tune the feel you want in the important mid register by changing boards.

An alternative for "safer" and more relaxed light wind 5.7 sailing would be a Kode 86. You'll loose a bit of high wind capability and overlap though. The Kode 86 works with underpowered 4.7 but may start to feel to hectic at powered up 4.7.

Wood or Wood Carbon? I've had good luck with my wood carbon boards, but for ultimate strength wood is a safer bet. It is a tradeoff since the woodcarbon does indeed feel a bit nicer, particularly with bigger sails. In the 86 sie the difference is smaller though (due to the wood construction on the 86 being lighter from the start).

9th June 2009, 02:05 AM

Thank you for your response. Board has been ordered (Kode 80 -Wood/Carbon) and is being shipped and will hopefully be waiting for me to ride in Hood River on Friday.

I have already reconciled that I will probably end up sizing down from my current Surflite...either to a smaller version or a Kode 68. Time will tell.

Thanks again,


9th June 2009, 04:55 AM
Great. Please report back when you have sailed the board. It will be interesting to hear your reactions, it it will take some time to get used tot he new shape or if it feel natural from day one and such things.

Good Luck.

11th June 2009, 12:13 PM
I'm 73kg and have been using the 2009 Kode 86 wood for a while now. I've tested it thoroughly in 15 to 25 knots for freeride, freestyle and wavesailing. It's a top board but I'm getting the sense the Kode 80 woodcarbon will much better match my weight for these conditions. I've been finding the 86 just a little big and wide in the tail to sail at my full potential. 80 should cover this, especially with the light weight of woodcarbon construction.

I've come from years of Fanatic Freewave use, so bit of adjustment to Kodes. I think the Freewaves feel livelier, lighter and more agile than kodes, however kodes are faster, smoother, grippier, far looser and more stable/controlled in chop. I feel these characteristics outweigh the freewave's as it allows me to be more balanced when going for moves, which is a lot more important.
Above the 15-25knot conditions I mentioned, a 68 would then suit nicely. I was thinking of getting the 74 to pair with the 86, but I'm pretty sure I'll switch down to 80 & 68 now.

5th August 2009, 12:29 AM
Hi Ola,
It was interesting to hear your experiences regarding the sail combo for the Kode 86. You say it might fee a bit hectic with a 4,7. But when looking at the recommended sail sizes the Kode 86 it says 6,0-4.0. Could you give your thoughts here?

6th August 2009, 02:28 AM
4.0-6.0 is a bit optimistic, but as a flat water board where high wind handling is less critical and you can use power to pin the board down it's accessible for someone at say 75 kilos. But in waves, when wave riding the sweet spot of a board get a lot smaller. So, while I (at 72kg) wouldn't mind the Kode86 with a 4.0 on my local lake, I wouldn't want to use it on a wave with much smaller than 4.7 (if I had a smaller board as an option, with good waves and 4,0 winds lining up and nothing but the K86 to sail on, I would of course quit wining and just rip it up on the K86 as good as I could).

So, these recommended ail ranges are very "averaged". If you have questions about a particular board, set of conditions, sail sizes and so on it's always better to ask and get specific advice. That's why we're here.

6th August 2009, 03:55 AM
Hi Ola

Just a quick update on the boards...I have been too busy working and painting the house to spend anytime mailing in the past few weeks.

I purchased the Kode 80 as suggested, headed to Hood River for two weeks (mid to late June). It only took a couple of days to realize the 80 was very close to my Realwinds powersurf so I sold the powersurf to a friend and picked up a new 08 68L Acid to quiver up with the 80. Both boards are great rides. The 80 floats in the jumps and is a great ride in the Columbia River swell down to about mid 4.2. At solid 4.2 and up the 68 was the ride. Last five days were 4.2 to 3.2 at Arlington and the Wall. Both boards are faster riding, quicker turning, respond better and jump more controlled and higher than what I have been riding.

On sail size the largest sail I have ridden on the 80 is a 5.2. Powered at my weight (70kg) it felt reasonable but I believe my 5.7 will feel awkward...and so far I have had little desire to ride that combo (gone kiting or biking instead).

I have also ridden the 80 into solid 3.7 lake sailing here in AB. With the typical lake chop and gusty winds is was sailable....great hang time on the chop hops....but in larger waves and swell it would have been not have been so managable. The only reason that I wasn't riding the 68 is that I didn't load it on top of the car....it never blows 3.7 in central AB!!

Next stop Oregon coast in late Aug early Sept...for some swimming (hopefully some riding as well) in the surf with the 80L and my 4.7.....


6th August 2009, 04:56 AM
Sounds great.. Keep the reports coming. And don't be to "scared" to try the 80 out with a 5.7. If you still have some money left now, you could complement with 24 or 25cm Drake Natural fin which will help to power up the tail a bit and help handle the 5.7.