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mahagedorn 19th August 2012 02:22 AM

Formula Freeride
Hi Everyone,
I have a Starboard Formula 161, which I don't race, but use for a light wind board. I can use it up to about 15 knots before it gets uncomfortable with the stock 70 cm fin.. Problem is, my smaller board doesn't fire up until about 18 knots with a 7.5 (I'm 225 lbs).

Before I bought the F161 I used a Bic Techno Formula, which I have to say was much more user friendly than the F161, and would sail more comfortably in the higher wind range. The fin broke out, because it was their first model that still had a trim box (crazy for a 65cm fin)

Anyway, I'm looking for a simple solution to sailing that 15-18 knot gap. I figure I have two options:
1) get a smaller fin for the F161 for higher winds - I was thinking a 50 cm. I would want to be able to use it with my 10.6 NP V8, I also have an old RS-1 9.0 I occasionally use, but also would like to use as small as a 7.5 when the wind is around 16 knots +/-.
2) find a good used bic techno formula - or something that is close to that. Might need two fins for that board as well.

Any thoughts on this?

Krister 19th August 2012 07:45 AM

50cm would be way too small, you need lift from the fin in order to sail the board correctly. A smaller sail is the way to go, a modern sail around 9m2 is fine up to about 20-24knots of wind, or even higher at your weight. You can go down to a 66-68cm fin but that's about it. Reaching will, and should, be a little uncomfortable as these boards are all about upwind and downwind angles.

BelSkorpio 19th August 2012 09:53 AM

I agree with Krister.

I've also had the F161 and believe me, it does not work with a 50cm fin. I've also tried it once and the board felt like dancing around in circles. It needs 60+ fins. Go for the smaller sail or if you can spare the money choose a board like the Ultrasonic. It's so much easier than a formula, especially when the wind picks up. It would be perfect with your 10.6 sail. I use very often a 10.9 sail on it. Planing in 8-12 knots but easily controllable up to 15 knots as well. Super !


mahagedorn 19th August 2012 11:21 AM

Thanks guys! Sounds like a different fin is not the way to go for me. If the wind is blowing 20-24 knots I'd rather be blasting on a slalom board. I like comfortable reaching, and if a different board like the ultrasonic is more suited to that, that may be the answer. I like the specs of the ultrasonic, but I also enjoy the techno formula - My dad still has the old one, it's in rough shape but i took it out the other day and he's got a 50 cm fin in it. I find it much easier to pump than the F161, since it is a bit longer and narrower - It doesn't have such a big bow wave to overcome. Will the ultrasonic feel similar to the TF in that regard?

Ken 19th August 2012 09:04 PM

I can't speak to the 161, but with your weight, your range should be much greater than 15 knots, even with a 10.6. However, if you have the Drake fin that came with the board (I think it did), it is best for lighter winds. I have a 160 and immediately went to a Debouchet R13 70 and at 167 lbs, I can manage the board in up to 18 knots with a 9.2 Maui Sails TR race sail. However I am much more comfortable with an 8.4 or 7.6 if it's around 20 knots. I have even gone down to a 6.5 in 25-30 knots for a couple of races, but that was survival mode for me. These days, if free sailing, a never go below my 9.2 on the formula board since I change over to an iS 111 with an 8.4 or 7.6 when it hits 13+ knots.
Regardless, nothing smaller than a 65 cm fin and a 9.2 should give you control in over 20 knots. It DOES take practice. Also, keep in mind that most formula sailors with big sails are sailing upwind and downwind with little reaching.

I have a friend that is on a HWR, weighs about 190 lbs and sails his formula board in 8-25 knots, using sails between 11.0 and 7.6. He only uses a 70cm fin. He only sails his formula board and never goes down to anything smaller.

mahagedorn 20th August 2012 07:46 PM

I'm not really into upwind/downwind sailing.. but maybe I should try it. In the past I've found that downwind is terrifying, and unbalanced/uncomfortable, always afraid of being slowed by a wave and being catapulted.. maybe I need a chicken strap, because my back foot doesn't feel right in the back strap going down wind.. Anyway, I just want to have fun on the water and it doesn't need to be that intense, reaching is ideal - plus everyone else on the water is reaching, and it's fun to sail beside them.

Krister 20th August 2012 09:59 PM

It sounds like the ultrasonic might be better suited for you then. Personally, I really love the upwind and downwind capabilities, it means you can actually go somewhere rather than just back and forth. But we also have an arcipelago with lots of islands to go around.

Downwind is a thrill but when you get the settings right it is a lot of fun, and not dangerous at all. You'll need to release a lot of the outhaul tension though (with the compulsory adjustable outhaul) and make sure the mastfoot is not to far forward on the board. On the F158-162 models, and also the HWR, I've always been at the very back of the track with the mastfot. The 167wide is different though, but the mastrack is further to the rear to start with and the center position seems fine here (gives a similar distance to the fin as the earlier models did at the very back position).

mcross19 20th August 2012 10:36 PM

I use Ultrasonic with 10.7 Reflex and 8.6 Turbo and it works fine, swap the F161 for one of these you wont regret it.

BelSkorpio 21st August 2012 07:07 AM

mcross is right. I did the same. And I use the same sails, i.e. 10.9 and 8.8.
If only reaching is your main concern go for the US147. You will love it.

Sailboarder 21st August 2012 01:04 PM

What about going upwind and downing with the US147. Is it much better than most boards while just not competitive with Formula boards?

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