View Full Version : Picking Rio Size

13th October 2010, 09:55 AM
I used online sail size calculator, plugged my weight 120 Kilos and sail size 8.5m2 and ended up with the following board size recommendations

Beginner Board 250L
First Shortboard 186L
Smallest Uphaulable 150L

How does Rio M (at 195L) fits with these numbers? I would consider getting Rio L but my storage facility (my apartment and my elevator) cannot accommodate 290cm. I want to get a board that would allow me to progress and learn things like water start, heli tack, pivot jibe and sailing tail first. Are Rio boards appropriate for that or should I consider something else? How would GO 175 fit the bill?

I currently have a 2007 Rio L which I am planning to keep for my daughter who is just getting into sailboarding

13th October 2010, 12:01 PM
Hi jpon2,
The most important issue here would be "Do you use the centerboard on your 2007 Rio L"?
If you are sailing without the centerboard down and are able to stay upwind and get back to where
you launched from, then a Go 175 should work pretty good.
If you only sail in very light winds, with an 8.5 m2 rig (have you considered a larger rig?) and are
not planing, then a centerboard ould seem to be a very good thing for "cruising" in non-planing conditions.
Either board is good for the moves you are suggesting you want to learn, but for water starts and
tail first sailing, the GO 175 would seem preferable.
Realise that moving from the very wide '07 Rio L to the new Rio M or the GO 175 will lose you some
width and for a big guy, width (and the stability it gives you) can be pretty important.
Hope this helps,

15th October 2010, 07:40 AM
This helps a lot. I had a feeling I should be sailing with the board up which is what I have been doing. Not much success because, as someone suggested, I bought a 5.0m2 sail which I am learning now is WAY too small. Live and learn. Someone else suggested that I should get minimum of 8.5m2 and your response suggest I should go bigger. Last time I went out, most guys were using 9 or even 9.5s and doing fine, mind you smaller guys on smaller boards. So, what should I get? I am assuming that I should keep my 5m2 and use it when there is too much wind or let my 16 old daughter use it. Going back to the board issue, GO must be good line because I am still to find one (1) in US that is second-hand.

15th October 2010, 08:56 AM
Hi jpon2,
Yes, finding a used GO board (of any size) in good condition is kinda hard anywhere.
They are very popular and sailors keep them practically forever as there light wind "go to"
If you are sailing with the centerboard up, then you really don't need it so go for the GO 175.
You are a big guy, so lots of width, lots of liters and a big 9.0+ sail are what you will need to
progress unless you have winds that are over 15 knots all the time. Not too many places in the
USA have these conditions.
The 5.0 m2 (if you have a very light mast) should be pretty good for your 16 year old daughter.
Something smaller and lighter might be better but if she is fairly big and strong, and you teach her
the correct way to uphaul and get underway she should have no problems with the 5.0 m2.
Have her use the centerboard at first, until she no longer needs it to stay upwind.
Hope this helps,

19th October 2010, 07:58 AM
First of all, I would like to thank you for your advice. I am learning a lot from your responses and suggestions. My larger sail in the mail and I am hoping that by the next season I will get a board that would help me progress. Here is another thing that is puzzling me...
I took my old board and sail out yesterday. At first the winds was kind of weak but later picked up a lot and experienced guys were zooming all over the place. I kept heading out and often felt that my 5.0m2 was on the verge of overpowering me. I noticed that the "pros" were using sails in the 5-6.5 range and 116-120L boards. The question is have, concerns the way wide boards handle waves, which were causing a lot of problems to me. Provided that I get a larger sail (8.5 or 9 and up) and GO 175 (or Rio M with board up) and a decent wind is blowing will these still pretty wide boards be able to cut through (or skim over) the waves while planning?
Also, is using larger sail in a light wind equivalent to using a smaller sail in a stronger wind or am I overlooking some basic understanding the science of windsurfing? I am asking that because the last time I sailed, I felt a LOT of lift coming from my sail, I was hanging on the boom on the windward side of the board but I felt like the board was holding back and pounding into the waves instead of sliding over them even though I was in the back of the board. I am sorry if any of this sounds stupid but I am trying to learn and understand.

19th October 2010, 10:08 AM
Hi jpon2,
OK, If everyone else was on 110-120 liter boards with 5.0-6.5 m2 rigs, the wind was probably in the 16-20 knot range.
You will not be able to use an 8.5 m2 rig in 18-20 knots, but if the wind is < 14-15 knots, you won't be able to plane on even a 6.5 m2 and would need 7.5-8.5 m2 to plane.
Wide boards handle the waves pretty well, but you need to trim the board (by moving the mast foot forward and back) to find the "sweet spot" for your board , your weight, and your rig.
If you are asking is your Rio M or GO 175 going to handle big chop (18-20 knots worth of chop/waves) in the same way that a 110-120 liter board does, the answer is NO.
There's a big difference, but with careful sail size selection, and tuning the board for the sail size and the conditions, you can still have alot of fun and learn a great deal.
One day, you will be on that 110-120 liter board, but going from where you are, to that little board, all at once would be mighty hard to do.
Yes, using a larger sail in light winds gets you into the same "zone" as using a smaller sail in higher winds. It's all about having enough power to get planing, and enough control to handle the power.
If you have too much power (overpowered sailing) you won't have the control and may get catpaulted right over the front of your board (or into the front of your board). If your sail is too small, you will not have enough power to get planing, so you have the opposite problem.... way too much control and no speed to go with it.
So, picking the right size board and the right size rig for the "now" conditions is always going to be a bit of a challenge.
First you have to have a quiver of sails so you have something to choose from.
Then you need 2 or 3 different boards so you can use a board with the correct specs. for the "now" conditions.
But, you first need to develop the skills to plane comfortably and fast, in lighter winds (high winds, and
learning some of the basics is not normally a very good mix. The wind is too powerful and with minimal skills you cannot handle it). Control becomes a huge issue. If you are overpowered, it's easy to get going way faster, with way less control, than you have the skills to deal with. To some degree, sailing a bit overpowered teaches you these necessary skills, but it's hard to pick all the right gear and not be a little too overpowered and out of control, or a little too underpowered and not able to plane.
Where were you on the board (in what set of footstraps?)
Your '07 Rio L will not really start "skimming" over the waves in fully planing mode until you are in the farthest back and outboard footstraps with a larger fin than the board was supplied with.
For your weight on the '07 Rio L you need about a 58-62 cm fin to really balance the width of the board and allow you to get outboard and really "cantilever" your weight off the harness lines and harness to give you the ability of sail on larger sails.
I hope I've covered all your questions.... if not, ask some more!
You are heading in the right direction it seems (with the larger sail) but you need a larger mast and a longer boom to go with them. And you need something in between an 8.5 and a 5.0
Normally a sail quiver is spaced about 1.0-1.5 m2 apart. In the larger sizes you can go say 8.5 to 7.0
to 5.5 to 5.0 or 8.5/7.5/6.5/5.5, (whatever your budget can stand).
There are the "perfect" days (every windsurfer has them, but infrequently) when you have just the right board, just the right size sail, and it's rigged perfectly.
On these days you can do no wrong. What seemed impossible yesterday when you didn;t have quite the right setup, seems easy.
Only problem is, tomorrow, the conditions will change, and what was easy today gets more difficult again.
But that's the "mystique" of windsurfing. You will almost never have things "just right" all the time. The pros get very close to this level and have good days most of the time, but if you talk to them, having the "perfect" setup, rigged perfectly, in perfect conditions still only happens on rare occasions.
So, they make adjustments to make what they have rigged... better. They are "pros" because they
know what to change and how much to change it..... from years of experience.
The rest of the time they have to make the best of what they have rigged, just like the rest of us.
They have the most experience, and tons of gear to choose from, but they are always trying to get
Hope this helps,