Great Forum... Needing some advice, I am 5'8 170lbs looking to sail in 15-25mph winds where there would be slight chop as wind builds (harbor conditions). I've been windsurfing about 6 months, over a 2 year span due to colder weather. I learned Longboard skills on a Windsurfer One Design, and 2 months ago moved to '95ish Hifly Maxx(325cm 168L) another longboard with daggerboard, largest and only sail is a Retro 7.5. The Equipment is not mine.
My ability is the following(most likely with terrible technique, make you experienced guys cringe): I can pivot jibe, sail backwinded, quick tack, tack from backwinded, light wind funboarding type stuff. I can use a harness(longboard in harness may be different) and get to the intermediate footstraps always, outer straps when the winds good. I havent jibed while planing, and cant waterstart regularly(only when the board falls into perfect setup, uphaul when setup not right). I tried an older narrow 115L F2 Sputnik the other day and had a miserable time on it, couple of good reaches, failed on my jibe attempts, dumped during tacks, waterstart issues. I had 0 balance on the board, I was under the impression that at my weight a 110L-120 L board would be good for 7.5 sail in 15-25mph.(eventually would like to sail in 5.0-8.0 range)
I have a Start board available to me, should I use that instead of the Maxx, to get better at planing and jibing, more shortboard feel? Can i get to the next level with my current gear? What would be a good board to help me progress if I were to make a purchase, after my experience with the F2 I guess the Carve 122 is out of question, should i get a GO 139 or bigger? or should i take lessons over the winter in aruba and buy next spring, or at least buy a book or DVD? or should I shut up, get off the internet, and practice more?
--sorry for the long post-- sorry if this is a re-post---
RE: First Shortboard
Since you have a Start board available, and you have a 7.5 m2 Retro, I'd suggest using that combination ( a little larger Retro would really be better if you have < 12 knots of wind often) to develop your basic shorboard "skills".
Tart with the foot straps in about the middle position (front to back) and try to get them all the way back and outboard as soon as you get comfortable with them a little more forward and inboard.
The idea here is to continually keep learning, but challenging yourself.
If you continue to reconfigure the board at a rate that gives you a little
challenge all the time.
A mid to large sized Carve (161; 145; or 133) would be alot easier to learn on than the older narrower F@ as they are significantly wider.
The GO 139 would be OK as well, but it's a bit on the small side for someone your size. Perhaps look for an older GO 150-170.
These boards would make your learning curve much easier and expedite getting your skills to advance.
Lessons could help, but why Aruba?
Try somewhere with slightly more beginner friendly conditions.
I'd suggest Bonaire.
No worries with offshore winds, getting blown out to sea and being rescued, etc.
Books and videos can be good, but they just give you alot of things to try once you get out on the water.
TOW is the real answer, and TOW with lessons can advance your skills really quickly.
Hope this helps,
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