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Roly Gardner 17th November 2009 04:32 PM

99 and 121 Carves
Hello Roger, Hi all,

It has been some time since my last post. I have had a great Summer and continue to enjoy learning and progressing in this sport.
My current ability level is early intermediate I guess, having learnt this year to be more controlled on the plane, in the harness and footstraps. At last I have begun to waterstart which has really made an enormous difference.
My next ambition is to progress to a smaller board as I find my Carve 145 is a bit "slappy" when the wind picks up and the swell/waves increase in size. Both the size of the board and the 52 cm fin make it quite difficult to sail I find.
I have been lucky enough to get hold of a pair of Carves from a guy who is giving up the sport. I had wanted a board of around 120 ltrs as a smaller "big" board if you see what I mean, so my new Carve 121 fits this bill, I hope. I have used an older 120 Mistral this year and found the transition easier than I had expected. I have also got a Carve 99 ltr board which I hope to progress on to in due course.
My query is really when to use which board so as to progress as quickly as possible without getting put off.Should I use my 121 Carve from now on and not go back to my 145? The 121 can take my biggest rig, which is a 7.8m Lightening, so would there be a situation where the 145 would be better bet? Is there a question of the 145 being able to get on the plane quicker for instance, in marginal conditions. If, say, it is 6.5m weather, should I automatically go for the 99 ltr board as both the 99 and 121 ltr boards will take my Pilot 6.5m rig? My smallest sail is a Manic 5.7m.
In essence, should I opt for the smallest board possible given the weather conditions on the day?
In addition,may I have any technique tips in terms of how to manage the transition to smaller short boards please. Both boards also have the ability to have a single rear footstrap as opposed to two parallel. Is there an advantage to a single rear strap set up? All comments welcome!
Thank you.


Roger 18th November 2009 08:56 AM

Hi Roly,
Sounds like the perfect quiver of boards.
You do need a larger sail (8.5 m2+ would do) for the Carve 145 to get the most quality TOW.
Yes, sail the smallest board and sail that keeps you planing all the time.
Don't "automatically" pick any combo.
You may be able to sail the 7.8 on all 3 boards.
I used to sail a 7.8 m2 Sailworks Retro on my Carve 99, but I weighed 150 lbs. back in those days.
6.5m2 should be sweet on the Carve 99.
What issues did you have with the 52 cm fin on the Carve 145. That fin should have been about right for your 7.8 m2.
Double straps, all the way back and all the way outboard will be the best on all 3 boards for recreational slalom (fast) sailing.
If you decide to jump the Carve 99, then a single back strap is probably better as you will land more stable with your back foot over the centerline.
Hope this helps,

Roly Gardner 19th November 2009 11:21 PM

Thanks for your reply Roger,

Sorry, may I ask what TOW means please? I think I will keep my eyes open for a decent 8.5m for the 145. I had one of my best days sailing this year in really marginal conditions but getting planing with the 7.8m.It did feel quite big at first, but I have got used to it now.

Do you think that a 5m/5.3m would be worth looking at for the 99 Carve on very windy days?

Regarding foot straps, the 121 Carve has a central rear strap setting, but the 99 Carve does not. The chap that I bought them from said he did have a single rear strap on the smaller board, but this had to be at a slight angle across the inner most positions, if you see what I mean.

You mentioned that I should choose the smallest board that will keep me planing. When deciding between the smaller and larger board with,say the 6.5m, do I have to take into account that the larger board should plane more quickly or is it a question of trial and error/experience? What is the advantage of the smaller board in these circumstances?

Each of the newer boards has its own skeg. The problem I had with the 52cm fin was not with the 7.8m sail, but the smaller sails when the swell was quite high. When tacking etc it felt like the fin was being "pushed" by the waves making the board really unstable. I suspect that I will now be out on a smaller board and consequently smaller fin in these conditions which will not feel the same.

Any tips on transition from 145 to 99 or is it a question of being more precise with foot placement etc?

Thanks again


Roger 20th November 2009 08:39 AM

Hi roly,
The acronym "TOW" stands for "Time On the Water".
The more TOW you get on virtually any board, the better you will understand the ways
you need to interact with that board.
Foot positioning, overall weight positoning, how soon to move back to the straps, how to initiate a carving jibe.... pretty much all aspects of windsurfing technique need to be
to some degree "board specific". In general, yes the techniques are all pretty similar, but the more you can learn about ech of your boards the better they will serve you.
Getting a larger rig 8.5m2 to 9.0 m2 will get you alot more time planing on flatter water which can be very enjoyable indeed.
If you feel your 7.8 rig is "heavy", what is the carbon % in your mast. That's where you can save the most weight.
5.0 m2 will work on the Carve 99 but for true 5.0 conditions a board in the 85-95 liter range would be even better.
Yes, after you sail the new boards a few times, you will begin to understand that if you go out on the 99 liter with your 6.5 and aren't planing all the time, simply change boards to the 121 liter and you will be planing.
Conversely, if you go out on the 121, and you a a little out of control, the board is bouncing around alot, switch to the 99 liter and you will have a much better time.
You could use a handheld windmeter to help you decide which board, but you will soon learn to look at the water (and what other sailors are on) and will begin to select the right board for the condition.
I'm a little puzzled why you are tacking on your Carve 145. Jibing is so much easier and faster. The only time the fin can be "pushed by the waves" is when you have no speed.
Try to work on keeping your board moving as fast as possible all the time.
Tacking entails a near stop when directly upwind, but if you jibe, your board should be moving all the way around, and you won't loose much if any more ground to windward by jibing on your shortboard.
If you tack a shortboard, you will stop and drift downwind for at least a few moments,
if you make the same turn, only jibe, you will be around quickly with very little loss of speed and won't drift downwind as much.
As far as "transitioning" from the 145 to the 121 and 99, they all saill fairly much the same, but lateral (side to side) stability and weight positioning fore and aft will become more critical as you learn the smaller boards.
So, foot positioning will be a little different (stay more over the centerline, and move back on the board to the straps more slowly.)
It's an adjustment that takes a few sessions, but it will be well worth it when you go faster, and can enjoy higher winds and rougher conditions on the smaller more agile boards.
Hope this helps,

yankiwi 20th November 2009 11:46 PM

Hi Roly. I am not an expert like Roger, I've only been sailing one year. But in the last 6 months I have progressed from a Carve145 to a 120lt and now a 97lt board. First tip - don't sell the 145 if you avoid it - I sold mine and wish I hadn't now.

I certainly had some frustrating sessions getting used to smaller boards, the major thing was that the 145 had been more forgiving of poor technique. In my case I was standing in the board a lot rather than getting my weight into the rig. Once you get to the 99lt board you really need to be hanging off the rig more than standing on the board (so make sure the boom is not too low). Once I got that into my head things progressed more quickly.

Roger 21st November 2009 11:21 PM

Hi yankiwi,
Absolutely correct! Thanks for your input here!
Getting your weight off the tail of the board and having it supported by the rig and driving foward through the mast foot (mast foot pressure) is absolutely key to being
able to get the most from smaller boards.
Your stance also gets a bit more vertical (the fig "7" stands up a little straigher) which
takes some pressure off the fin (you will be using much smaller fins with drastically reduced area) and it's imperative that you transfer that force up to the mast foot.
Hope this helps,

marek 23rd November 2009 03:19 PM


Originally Posted by yankiwi (Post 37179)
First tip - don't sell the 145 if you avoid it - I sold mine and wish I hadn't now.

May I ask why?
I've been in similar situation and sold my 145l board. My current (and only) 125 l board handles 5.5-9.0 without a problem (ok, for 5.5 it's not perfect - depends on chop size - but I get few days a year for 5.5 anyway), which in my opinion is the largest sensible sail to use for recreational sailing on a freeride (not formula/slalom) board. My key tip was to use light and soft freeride sail not a full race on or even free-race machine. This kind of sail works better for marginal conditions.
Another tip was to use a quality fin - made a noticeable difference (less spinouts with 9.0).

I really wouldn't like to have both 125/130 and 145.
Just my 2c :)


yankiwi 24th November 2009 12:22 AM

Maybe if my early planing technique on my 120 was better I would feel the same way :-)

Or maybe when problem with my 120lt board is that it is not a Starboard :-)

I just brought a new quality 42 cm fin and a new 7.5 Gaastra Matrix for my 120lt - haven't had a chance to try out the combination yet. Maybe this combo will make me forget how easy it was to get the 145 Carve planing is lighter winds...... I am hoping so.

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