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Unregistered 4th October 2012 11:00 AM

Boards too small ???
Why are so many sailors sailing boards that are basically too small ???

I see it everywhere I go. Canaries, Uk etc etc... See sailors wallowing about; fluffing gybes moaning about poor conditions, saying wind isnt what it used to be blah blah blah but insist on sailing small "fashionable" boards with expensive bullet proof wave sails when all they need is a decent freeride with perhaps 15 litres more volume and 5cm more width and a metre more sail ... Its reaching epidemic proportions...

I reckon so many get carried away (not literally) with the "kode/quad etc etc" type hard sell/ego boost/wave head syndrome when really they should be on the mundane (seen as) carves and planing instead of moaning and belittling freeride kit....

Perhaps I`m looking for it but it seems there is a scenario sailors go through.. Leran to sail (on big kit) , get mid sized kit and improve then flog it all buy wave kit and then stop sailing (or take up kiting)
Some realise there is the right size kit for the given conditions; keep 3 boards and sail the wave kit when its advantageous... But its getting fewer !!! Its the one board only syndrome but they have the one board that hardly ever works !!!

Ken 4th October 2012 06:09 PM

I can't speak for the one board sailors other than they probably don't consider it to be fun on something bigger, so they try to make the best of it in marginal conditions.

For us multi-board sailors, we occasionally choose a board that is too small, thinking/hoping that there is enough wind to get planing. We do this because the smaller boards (& smaller sails) are generally more fun if there is enough wind.

mcross19 4th October 2012 09:46 PM

Hi unregistered, why does this bother you so much? Just let them get on with the wallowing about and not getting on the plane. Just blast past them a few times and they will soon give up and go home.

Krister 5th October 2012 05:50 AM

I don't see that "problem" around here anymore. On the contrary, there are now very good waveboards for our regular conditions. The EVO range started out like that and has changed the mind set of many. A bit of wishful thinking though can happen to anybody, as the smaller gear is more fun to sail. Try a 60 liter board the next time you get bounced about on a windy day, and you'll see why they are so nice in the right conditions.

Another trend setter was the Hypersonic, when slalom in general had become too complicated, with very narrow range boards, and people were lossing interest. Starboard came with a board that have the widest wind range I've ever seen from one board, and that reignited the sport and there are now very good slalom boards for lightwind days too.

Unregistered 5th October 2012 11:49 AM


I know perfectly well the qualities of small boards and having had an Evo since they arrived I also know very well what they are capable of and what they are not !!!

Simple fact is that (even with the Evo; which is not such an early planer) many sailors miss out on great sailing days because the very kit you mentioned just doesnt work. Yes we all know how board development has gone but what hasnt changed is the peculiar mind set of so called "high wind" or " wave sailors" who (at many venues I visit) bemoan conditions and those people who are willing to adapt and use suitable kit..

Out of interest Krister how many days do you actually sail in a year ??? I suspect in UK there are only around 80 sailing days (F3/4 +). Discount those when you are at work. Discount those when you are doing family/social...Discount those when its too cold and you are around 20 ??? All these UK wave sailors probably sail a dozen days a year in conditions which are suitable for the kit they have ????

Yes sailing small boards is fantastic but its the icing.. Its exactly why so few windsurfers are left.. They get bored waiting to use the small kit...which is all they have..

BelSkorpio 5th October 2012 04:21 PM

I'm afraid I have to agree with the topic starter.

Just checked my spreadsheet.
This year, I have up till now 23 WS sessions of which only 5 with my small wave kit, i.e. a 83L FSW board which I only use starting from 21+ average. BUT, I still remember these 5 days as the best of the season ! So, I think that EVERY windsurfer should own this kind of kit, despite the fact that one might only use it a few times per year.

The mistake that many make is that they get so stoked about using this equipment, that they want to use it all the time. Wrong of course.

Look at me, I have 4 slalom boards (planning to reduce it to 3) which I used in 18 of my 23 sessions. I would be missing out on a lot of fun if I would not own it. Unfortunately the bigger the kit, the more expensive it gets and the more you need of it. This could also be an important factor regarding this subject.

Farlo 5th October 2012 04:55 PM

Wave sailing maybe another story but one freeride board that works 90% of the time is possible. In my case a 65cm/103L board with sails from 5.5 to 7.8 covers 12 to 25 knots. There are very few days in the year where I use smaller sails and I prefer to go biking below 12 knots. Depending on the wind, I may also take a 93L or a 112L slalom board, but I could use the 103 in the same conditions with nearly as much fun.

Krister 5th October 2012 05:02 PM

When I kept track of my windsurfing sessions I did about 80 sessions in a year, I don't count anymore so now I don't really know. I have boards ranging from the HWR Formula down to the 50 liter speed-board though, so there is always something that is suitable if I have the space to bring it. On longer trips to a wave spot I like to bring the Formula board or a Hypersonic too, that way I'm guaranteed to get some planning in.

Another good trick is to use an adjustable outhaul on the wave boom too. One doesn't have to tune it as often as one would on a Formula or slalom board but it helps a lot when the conditions change.

BelSkorpio 5th October 2012 06:04 PM

Hi Farlo,

A lot depends of course on the weight of the rider. I think that medium and heavy weight riders generally need more boards.
I'm 87kg and would have a lot of problems planing with a 103L + 7.8 sail in 12 knots average. I would need at least 15 knots average. A bigger board would help and lower the minimum wind force again.
In 25 knots average, probably I would not dare to go on the water with a 103L and a 5.5 sail, unless it was a flat water speed spot. Probably I would use my 83L board with a 4.0 or 4.7 sail.
But probably you were not talking about average wind speeds.

Farlo 5th October 2012 07:36 PM

Hi Belskorpio, I will use the 5.5 in 20/22 knots average up to 25. I could certainly use a 4.7 in the same conditions but sailing mostly on inland lakes I prefer to rig bigger with lots of downhaul. Also I like to sail a bit overpowered. BTW I think you might handle much stronger winds with 4.7 or 4. Anyway even the 5.5 doesn't get out quite often, may be four or five times per year. So 103L is not too big, not too small either.

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