Discovering ULTRA-light wind
I'm back to windsurfing after a four-year stop. Now my time to plane around is much less than before, so I'm considering a board-sail upgrade towards light stuff.
I'm 177 x 72 kg and I still have to practice on my jibe (50%), planing and waterstarting are no problem, though.
My current gear is a 2002 Starboard Go 170, paired with a Neilpryde V6 6.0 mq (I bought it new in 1997!). I learned everything on this setup.
I mainly sail on a small inland lake in winds ranging from 8-10 knots (90% of time) to 20-30 knots (few days a year), no waves, just a small chop when the wind really blows. Usually the water is dead flat.
I really loved my Go, now I guess I'm ready for something more challenging.
Would an UltraSonic + Loft Sails Oxygen 8.5 (no cam!) work for me? Better go for something easier?
Thank you for any suggestion.
If I were you, I would start with the 8,5 m2 sail and keep the GO.
The GO boards from 2000 to 2002 are still competitive in speed and early planning.
With your weight, 8-9 m2 sails on the GO give you very good light wind performance. Buy a good fin for the 8,5 m2.
Maybe a controversial statement, but it is true :-)
GO for the sail first as LK suggests :)
personally for me - longboards work best on inland lakes
especially with wind shadows, shallow water and inconsistent wind/direction
wider boards work for me too and with your weight and 83 cm board, perhaps ok
oh yeah ...
as far as the fin goes
it was a 54 cm fin that came with the board
hope you are NOT using this for the 6-oh? a bit large
however for an 8-oh it will be okay for now
used a 53 cm fin with my 8.5 until i could get a 48 cm
The only thing more is that I'd look for a bigger camless sail for such low winds, I mean like an old Hot Stealth or recent Speed Demon 9,5 (some years also 10,0). Imho you lower the planing threshold a bit, I can say this because here in my not so windy Venice Lagoon I curently have Hot stealth 8,5 and 9,5 and I can feel this.
thank you for the suggestions! I really appreciated. I'll keep you updated.
Agree with previous posts : take a bigger sail to improve your low end in light wind.
However, I'm not sure it's a good idea to think about an UltraSonic with your current NP V6 6.0 m2 sail. This is a bad match mainly because the sail is too small for the board or the board is too big in high wind with your 72 kg weight. Is it doable ? Yes. Is it fun ? No, not really.
If you really want an UltraSonic, then I would choose to pair it with say a Severne NCX 7.0 + 9.0 m2 no cam sail quiver or with a Severne Overdrive 7.8 + 9.5 m2 3 cams sail quiver.
The low wind range limiting factor of the UltraSonic is not the board nor the fin, it's the sail size. Reason to have big sail in light wind is because the UltraSonic is a big board with a big fin and it needs quite a big sail to overcome the drag in light wind. If you take a sail that is a bit too small, the gain in early planing will not be that spectacular, especially with 8-10 knots of wind : you will schlogg in 8 knots lulls and plane in 10 knots puffs with say an 8.5 m2 sail, not really fun to do... If you want to lower the planing threshold later on, you can do so by adding another bigger sail (say Reflex 10.7 or Overdive 11.0 m2) + 62 cm fin. You will have plenty of room to improve your light wind skills step by step should the need arises later on.
I have hade a JP Superlightwind since 2009 wich I use at sea but not in open sea. With 7.6 it starts planning in about 5 m/s (10 knots) and with 9.3 in about 4-5 m/s.
If You have not been on the water for a while it could be a big thing to start with a 10.0 sail or bigger. Perhaps You will find about 8.5 suitable to start with? I had a friend about in Your level and he hade a hard time starting with 8.5, so do not get a so much bigger than that from start.
Inland lake conditions of 8-10 knots 90% of the time, just shouts to me that one of the answers is: buy a longboard. (Those are the conditions I've sailed in most of the time since 1984.)
At non-planing speeds the physics of waterline length mean the GO will always be shloging while a 12 ft longboard will always be gliding. Since you already know how to sail a windsurfer switching from the GO to a more tippy longboard will be a short transition.
Adding an 8.5 or larger sail probably means going to a larger mast and boom as well. Buy the longboard first because it will add more pleasure to more days than a larger rig. If you can't find an old longboard cheaply then consider a 12 ft SUP.
In my March 21 post I forgot to mention I'm assuming you will keep the GO.
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