Progression for a 10 year old
You helped me learn to windsurf about 9 years ago. Now perhaps you can help my 10 year old son, Ben. He is about 43 kg's and 1.5m.
He had about 8 lessons over summer in January of this year. But other things and winter got in the way and he hasn't sailed since. I will try to get him out again in a couple of months when the temps climb a bit.
He used a range of boards during his lessons from short and 1m wide with centreboards to 70cm wide konas. So in a light breeze, he can move around the lake tacking etc without falling too often, using a 2.6m hotsailsmaui microfreak.
I now want to take him out with me, using my boards. I guess my main objective, apart from giving him as much fun and TOW as possible, is to make sure he is on the right board to progress to planing sailing, because I think that is what will hook him, [ as it does most people ].
The sail he will be using is a 3.2m HSM superfreak with 100% 340 rdm mast and alu boom.
The two boards of mine he could use are either an RRD longrider, [ 340 x 70 x 180L x 14.2 kg ] or a 2002 Go170. He has tried the Longrider and likes it, but hasn't tried the Go.
What is your take on these two quite different types of boards as a progression tool to planing? I would have thought the Go, being more stable, wider and lighter would get him going sooner with such a small sail, but there is a school of thought that the more directional Longrider, with an easier transition to planing is a better board. I wonder if the added weight of the Longrider would stop him from planing with such a small sail?
Lastly, I'm not adverse to getting a different board, one more suited to his size, if that would be a significant improvemnt for him. There are a few kids boards out there....
Nice to hear from you.
So, has your son sailed without a centerboard/center fin/daggerboard yet?
Having him learn to "rail" a board with no center fin is going to be the trick.
The GO 170 planes very early for light weights, so if you have enough wind, and
can get him out on the GO I think he will like it better and plane sooner.
A smaller GO 140 would seem even better, but they are pretty rare.
One of the older Pro kids formula boards might also be something to consider
if you can find one.
I just wish you had access to a 3.3 m2 Retro Ripper.... probably significantly more low end
power than the Super Freak due to more designed in draft!
Thanks Roger. He hasn't learnt to rail a board yet. What I was planning to do was go out on the Longrider myself, with him on the Go, and I'll take along a short tow rope pre-tied to my rear footstrap. So if he goes too far downwind, I can just tow him back up wind.
Not a huge range of older EVA boards around here. Probably the best chance would be a 2005 Starsurfer if I could find one. But I think the 135L version was heavier than the 2002 Go170 so that would seem to be as good as anything else I could get.
OK, sounds a bit like you are going to try the "tether" between the boards that I have used for the last 5 years in the "A Taste of Windsurfing" program.
A couple of tips.
First, a a short solid rope will pull the board out from under your son.
Get 2 8-10 foot long pieces of 3/16" line (braided nylon is good) and tie a piece of 3/16" or 1/4" bungee cord in the middle. Buy a cheap 2-3 foot bungee cord and cut the hooks off the ends!
If your Go 170 has the bow eye, or the 2 screw holes under the nose for the tether attachment,
tie the line on at the front of your son's GO 170.
Then, tie the other end to your mast foot (just put a loop around the UJ and tie in a bowline on a bight) .
This way you can encourage your son in a quiet speaking voice (he's < 20 feet away so no shouting or yelling needed).
If you tie it on your footstrap, your son will be doing all the steering and he will be steering you.
Encourage him to try to keep slack in the rope.
1/ Help him to focus on the line, not his hands/feet/ etc.
2/ Keep you within speaking distance.
3/ Allow him to "imitate" what your do with your rig (sheet in/ease sheeting angle/ tip the rig
to steer a little.
He will suprise you!
He'll be sailing up your wake with slack in the rope in a few minutes.
When he is able to stay upwind and set his own direction, untie the tether between the
boards and just sail along behind him.
His progress will AMAZE you!
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