From F175 (2001) to F161 (2007): What can be expected?
I'm not so into the racing scene and so I don't know how formula boards have developped in the past. What can be expected by upgrading from my F175 (from 2001) to a F161 (2007)? I weigh 62kg (136lbs) and I don't want to use sails bigger than 9sqm (because of my physical limitations).
The main question is: Did the boards develop more into "boards for experts/pros" and got more difficult to use? Using a F161 (compared to a F175), ...
... is it more scary downwinds in stronger winds with choppy waters?
... jibes are more difficult?
... is it more difficult to keep on water if you are overpowered?
... is a 70cm fin difficult to control with my 62kg (compared to my 65 cm fin, which is fine).
Thanks for your help.
RE: From F175 (2001) to F161 (2007): What can be expected?
Not an expert, but I moved from the 175 to the 147 and then to the 160.
There is a HUGE difference between the 175 and the newer boards. Performance wise, the newer boards do everything better than the 175. The biggest difference in my mind is that the longer 175 had a big problem sticking its nose on the backs of waves on down wind runs. Getting tossed over the front was pretty easy to do. Now, they just keep going faster and faster without sticking.
Control is better on all points of sail. However, the 160 & 161 are pretty big for your size and with enough speed and a 70cm fin, the board can take off in strong winds. A smaller fin, and mast base placement are critical, plus downward pressue on your booms is important to keep you from flying on a beam reach or upwind beat.
It can be very scary on fast downwind runs, but it is because of the potential speed. It takes practice to get use to it. The board does exceptionally well, it's the sailor that has to develop the confidence.
If you are overpowered, just keep changing down to smaller sails. The pros never go below 9.0, but us mortals do what is necessary. I have gone down to as small as a 6.5 in 25 to 30 knots. I am not skilled enough to manage a big sail in that kind of wind.
Jibing? Frankly, I don't remember how the 175 turned, The 160 does fine, just a bigger step across to the other rail.
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