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Luis2009 23rd February 2010 08:01 AM

New gear for beginner
Hi All,
I am looking to buy my first board/rig and I need lot of advice.
I weigh 83kg (183 Lbs). I am a beginner trying to make the jump to intermediate level. I can tack, jibe, in harness most of the time, in straps sometimes, planing for short period of times, I tried water starting but I am not there yet.

I mostly used gear from a local sailing club on the weekend days for the last three years. However, I can use the club gear only at one location where the wind is 6-10 knots most of the time (10-15 at times). I used boards with 140-160L and sails 6.5 to 9.5.
There is another local windsurfing spot with winds 15-25 knots but I can go there only if I buy my own gear. I believe that with higher winds I can improve faster and have more fun.
My goal for this season is to learn waterstarting and get on planing most of the time. I am tired of just being on the water. I want some fun :)

I think about buying a board Go or Futura (144/141 or 155L) with two sails (6-7 sail for the high-wind spot, and 8-9 sail for the low-wind spot). Should I buy a full rig (sail, boom, mast, extension) from one of the on-line stores?

Any advise is really appreciated. Thank you!

Ken 23rd February 2010 09:26 PM


Roger will jump in soon and give you some good advice, probably similar to mine.

There is never one simple answer. One thing that will help is knowing how dedicated and agressive you will be toward windsurfing. If you like to push yourself and are committed to making windsurfing a big thing for you, then I would suggest the Futura. If you are easy going and just like to have a little fun from time to time, then the Go may be the best for you. The Go is more durable and heavier. The Futura is lighter and a little more prone to damage, but is more performance oriented. Both are great boards, but if you are the first type of sailor I mentioned above, then the Futura will be more fun over the long haul.

However, I think the 133 may be better suited for your level of sailing rather than the 144. It will cover a broader range of wind conditions, especially in the 15-25 range. In fact, it is a bit large for those conditions (the 111 and 122 are better suited for 15-25). In fact, the 101 would probably be the board of choice in 15-25 winds for most intermediate and advanced sailors weighing 83kg. Advanced to expert sailors would choose the 93 or 101 in those winds.

The 144 is too larger for 15-25 winds and neither the 144 or 133 will do much in 6-10 knots. Both will just slog along. On the other hand the 144 could get up on plane in 10 knots with a 9.5 sail with some pumping. My guess is that with your own gear, you will head to the windy spot as much as possible and won't go out in 6-10 knots unless that's the best you can find.

Another question is how soon would you consider buying another board? If it is soon, you could go with the 144 now and add the 111 or 122 soon. If you go with the 133 now, you could add the 101 or 111 later. If you will be on one board for the next couple of years, then the 133 may be your best overall answer.

However, if you frequently get the 15-25 winds, the 133 will be too big most of the time. I know all of this is confusing, but there a lot of variables that surround board choices.

Give us some additional details about your commitment, frequency of sailing, frequency of 15 -25 winds and maybe this will help a little more with some additional suggestions.

Luis2009 24th February 2010 07:25 AM

Hi Ken,
The windy spot (15-25 knots, Squamish, BC, Canada, cold river water) is 1.5 hours drive from my place. The low wind spot (5-15 knots, Jericho, BC) is only 45minutes drive from my place.
Due to the time constrains I can go windsurfing only on weekends. Most probably I will get on the water once a week. Additionally, I plan to have one week vacation at Gorge.

My goal is to have fun on the water (I like speed) but for this I need to learn some new skills (getting in the foot straps, planing, and waterstart). I never used a board with volume less than 145L so I am afraid to learn the above skills on a new small board.

My (novice) idea was to buy a 144L board with a small sail, go to the windy spot and learn the new skills. Once I master the new skills, I get a small board (110L) and I keep the large board for the low wind spot with a big sail. However, I may be wrong.

From a different forum I found that other people (same weight, better skills) use the below gear at the windy spot:
"Light days (S 18-20 kts) 115L Board / 6.2 Sail
Medium typical days (S 20-25 kts) 104L Board / 5.2 Sail
Windier days (S 25-30 kts) 76L Board / 4.6 Sail"

Thank you for your advice.

Roger 24th February 2010 09:08 AM

Hi Luis,
I pretty much agree with Ken here.
For an 83 kg. sailor, the 144 is going to be awfully large for much over 15 knots.
The 133 or better still the 122 will go easily to 20 knots, but not much over that.
111 liters would be good, 101 even better, but neither or these will be very useable
at your low wind spot (unless you want to "slog around" simiilar to what you are probably doing now, only on a sinkier board.
Notice I said "sinkier" not "sinker".
You would have to get down in the < 100 liter range to get into anything that really "sinks" but at first, even the 111 (when compared to your 140+ liter club boards)
is going to seem like a sinker until you get used to it.
The lower volume boards really won't "sink", but they will demand you place your weight (and your feet) a whole lot more carefully, and that you move forward and back on the board in response to speed (until, of course, you are in the footstraps).
Once fully planing and in the footstraps all the time, you will have mastered most of the rest of the skills you will need (as long as you have enough wind to plane in the straps).
As far as the Gorge, even the 111 or 101 will be too big (on good days anyway) but used boards are plentiful and inexpensive in the Gorge.
Might be good to make a trip from BC down to the Gorge to purchase your rigs.
There is a ton of well priced used gear available in the Gorge.
You can even shop at full service lofts (like the Sailworks loft) where you can get great
gear (good pricing on both new and used) and have the guys help you to put it all together and ensure that you get all the right bits and pieces that will work really well and last a long time.
I think you could easily save more than the cost of the trip and end up with better gear integration, and gear that will work in the Gorge when you get there in the summer.
The Sailworks guys also know Squamish and can probably give you sound advice on what to get for BC sailing as well.
The "different forum" info I will assume is from sailors who sail alot at Squamish, right?
If so, it sounds about right, and you will adjust to smaller gear pretty quickly.
If you have a good wetsuit (you may spend a little more time in that cold river water for your first few sessions on smaller gear) you will adjust quickly. I assure you (weigh about the same as you) the smaller boards will not sink and leave you stranded in the middle of the river, but you will have to be alot more careful when you uphaul as to where you put your weight.
On smaller boards, it's not just side to side positioning that matters, front to back begins to matter more and more as the boards get smaller.
I can pretty easily uphaul a 96 liter board, but I've been doing it along time and it's still not so easy on a board that small.
Give me 99 or 100 liters and I'm golden.
The nice part of sailing Squamish and the Gorge will be that you will have enough wind to learn to waterstart.
Learning to waterstart in < 14 knots is not easy.
Over 14 knots up to 20 knots is ideal for learning to waterstart, so Squamish should be very good for this except on the very windy (over 20 knots) days.
You are going to need more than 2 sails to cover < 15 knots at Jericho, and 15-25 knots at Squamish.
I'd think 4.6-5.0m2 0 for higher winds, 5.2-5.6 m2 for medium days, and 6.2-6.8 for light wind at Squamish, 7.5-8.5 for Jericho.
Hope this helps,

Ken 24th February 2010 08:56 PM


I think Roger pretty much covered it. I have been by Squamish a couple of times on the way to Whistler to ski - windy and rough, but it looks like a great sailing area. On a 15-25 day in that water, the 144 will be way too large to learn much, unless you can find a protected area without the big chop, but then you will have puffy winds which will also be difficult.

I weigh 79 kg and even though you think you need the 144, you shouldn't have any problem uphauling the 133 or even the 122. The 111 will be a lot more tricky at first, but very doable in time.

Roger - if you haven't seen Squamish, "river" is a bit of an understatement. There is a huge bay with good sized mountains on each side that the river feeds, and wind gets sucked up/down the river/bay much like the gorge. I am trying to remember the wind direction, but I clearly remember tons of big white caps for miles and miles.

Luis2009 25th February 2010 07:21 AM

122L Board
Hi Roger/Ken,

It seems that most likely my first board will be a 122L board (or something around this volume). This will allow me to get into high winds while giving me some extra volume needed to build confidence and gain new skills.

Do you have any board recommendations for this volume?
What kind of sails will work with this board?
How many sail sizes can be used with one boom/mast?

I really appreciate your advice!
Thank you!

Roger 26th February 2010 07:02 AM

Hi Luis,
If you are not past the "going over the front, hooked in" stage, perhaps the heavier
GO construction would be beneficial.
If you are past that stage, or if you are willing to use some sort of nose protector for
a while (until you do get past that stage) then a Futura 122 would be my suggestion.
You will like the lighter weight, and once you are beyond the cracked nose stage, you will have better performance and better resale value.
I suggest getting the Futura 122 and using a nose pad for the short term (if you need it).
I think you will find your transition onto the Futura 122 won't take long, and if you sail at Squamish, with a bit more wind, you will adjust very quickly.
The sail sizes suggested by the other Squamish sailors should be about right.
Get some good free race sails (Retro, NCX, Gator, etc.) and you should be set.
Hope this helps,

Luis2009 26th February 2010 07:59 AM

Thank you!
Thank you for the advice! I will probably come back later with technical questions after I get my stuff and get some TOW :)

yankiwi 26th February 2010 01:37 PM

hmmmm - some people actually get past the catapult phase huh?? Every time I think I am past it, it happens again. Only difference is that they get more spectular since they happen in higher winds and faster speeds :-)

Don't let go of the boom and you 'should' miss the nose of the board.

GyncCasy 16th March 2010 03:49 PM

New gear for beginner Go or Futura
who hasnt felt nervous before starting a new job? The first few weeks are tough, while you get to know how things work, but bit by bit things fall into place.
Get a nice outfit and give it your best shot

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