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Barry 29th September 2011 06:12 AM

The right board for beginner to intermediate
Hey there,

I'm new to the sport of windsurfing although a veteran world traveled surfer.
I recently gave windsurfing a go while on vacation in Turks and Caicos.
I had a blast and am now hooked! I've been back twice to Turks and Caicos and windsurfed for a week each time. I was using short very wide intro boards there.

I'm back in Maryland and I'm interested in getting my own board. I weigh 165 lbs or 75 kilograms. I found a rental location here that had Hifly - Motion boards that were 219L. I used them a couple of times with no problem. They also have F2 185L and 165L boards. I haven't used the F2 boards yet.

Most of the sailing here in Maryland would be on the Chesapeake Bay or a branch of it. Typically brackish water with winds on average from 5 to 10 knots. Occasionally summer days pushing up to 13knots. I've been out in up to 16 knots winds and was comfortable and able to get back to my starting point (using a 6m sail).

On light wind days, I sometimes still find it a bit challenging to return upwind.

I've been eyeballing the Starboard line of boards. I like them. My question is, which one would be best suited for me, if I am an aggressive learner and want something I can use beyond beginner stage windsurfing. In my mind the big decision is between a 175L and a 151L. Is the 151 going to be too small and advanced? Should I be looking at a Rio, Go or something else?

As an alternative, the owner of the rental place here in Maryland sells his F2 boards at the end of the season at great discounts. Should the choice still be in the 175L or 151L range? The smallest he has with a daggerboard is 185. Do I need that?

Thanks for any opinions! Looking forward to shredding!!


Roger 29th September 2011 09:44 AM

Hi Barry,
Might be good to get involved with a club like Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association (BABA) if you live on the north end of the Chesapeake Bay... or Windsurfing Enthusiasts of Tidewater (WET). They have trips, racing and fun events, and great camaraderie.
They can also help you try out different gear and base your purchase decisions on actual experience in the local conditions.
A Rio (S/M/L....appropriate to your size and weight plus the local conditions) would be good and the Rio/other boards with a centerboard or daggerboard are more appropriate for normal Chesapeake Bay conditions (specially in the Upper Ches. Bay).
I'm sure you will find that as your skills progress, you will want to travel to events, down to Cape Hatteras,
over the Dewey Beach, as well as back to the Carribbean.
What is your weight.... that is an important criteria when selecting a board.

Barry 29th September 2011 10:26 AM

Hello Roger,

Thanks for your reply and your suggestions. I have actually called a few members of BABA here in Maryland, in an effort to connect with windsurfers and possible instructors to shorten my learning curve. I drove to Mayo Beach Park last weekend for a Championship Event (that had been cancelled for some reason). :)

You may have missed my weight posted initially Roger, I weigh 165 lbs or 75 kilograms.I've been told I could go up to 185L (suggested based on my weight), but I really feel a smaller board could perform a little better as I progress in my skill level.

I realize there is no substitute for experience and actual time in the water testing equipment, but I do value your opinion and believe it will help me in forming a frame of reference to use as a guide.

So, based on my weight, and the Upper Chesapeake Sailing environment, how would you lean as far as maybe the Rio M or other Rios?

Thanks again for your time Roger, and your willingness to help others get going in the right direction.


Roger 29th September 2011 07:42 PM

Hi Barry,
At 165 lbs. you could do well on either the Rio M or Rio S as a first board.
Any board with at least 160 liters of volume will work, and for the light winds in
the Baltimore/Annapolis area a centerboard/daggerboard will be helpful right a
Something in the 75-85 cm width will be better for cruising in light winds.
The ultra wide Start type boards would be the easiest, but will not give real good
performance and help you advance your skills quickly in super light winds unless
you choose some fairly large sails.
If you get down to Hatteras (after they re-open the island) look me up and we can
get you going very quickly. The BABA and WET folks will know how to find me.

Barry 29th September 2011 10:53 PM

Thanks Roger!

I appreciate the advice. I'll look into the boards.

I wasn't aware you are in Hatteras. I spent 15 years surfing the Outer Banks and Hatteras on weekends when I lived in Virginia Beach.

Hope all is coming along well with the road repairs down there. Thanks for the invite.


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