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Unregistered 9th April 2010 02:46 PM

Light wind boards
was reading a test published end of last year where they compared several boards in light winds. They basically tested a Formula Board, the Serenity, 145l Freeride board (in light weight construction) and 79cm wide slalom board.

Main outcomes(excl. Serentiy which is of course the light wind machine) are that the Formula with a 11m race sail starts planing at 7knots with pumping, while the freeride with a 8,5m freeirde sail at 8knots and the slalom with a 9,3m race sail at 9knots.

The overall result in the tester's opinion was that the freeride combination was the most fun in lightweight winds.

Any opinions? Do you think that a bigger slalom board (like Isonic 131 or 144) would do a better job? Seems that for an average weekend sailor the right lightwind equipment is a freeride set since it starts planing earlier and is not significantly slower than slalom in winds up to 14knots (+is cheaper and after 14knots you anyways change to smaller gear....)

BelSkorpio 9th April 2010 05:45 PM

I think it could be true for a light weight rider.

But I know for sure that I don't get into planing with a freeride board and a 8.5m2 sail at 8 knots and a personal weight of 86kg.

davide 9th April 2010 08:03 PM

I think a test like that compares apple and oranges. Put side by side a Futura and an Isonic of identical volume and the difference in early planing would be very small, if any.

My old Mike Lab 77 wide, 270 long and probably 135L or so for 6Kg weight is one of the earliest things planing around here, and it is neither a slalom nor a freeride board nor a formula. What I mean is: build light with a lot of volume add some length and you get an early planing machine that picks up at 7-9knots depending on sail size. Fun is going to be relative: if the winds picks up no light wind machine is going to be "fun"!

Ken 9th April 2010 08:45 PM


I don't buy an 8.5 on a 145 liter freeride board planing just one knot behind a formula board with an 11.0 - unless the freeride sailor is 65 kg and the formula sailor is 85 kg.

What about the width of the freeride and the volume of the slalom? Knowing this will help with the comparison.

Deja Vu 11th April 2010 10:30 PM

No mention of the fin that was used. I don't buy it either.

WILDWINDSCA 11th April 2010 10:48 PM

i agree the windspeed to plane is off, way off
but free ride is the way to go unless:

1. absolute early planing = formula
2. speed = slalom
3 at the same sailor weight and skill as above but without breaking the bank,
= freeride with big non cammed sails.


formula 155, f-2 lightning race, s-type 104, kinetic 269, tiga 268 ( plastic fantastic), starboard evo 104.

PG 12th April 2010 11:36 AM

I would give a lot of credit to this test.It was done by the Surf Magazine with German care and precision. They did it on Lake Garda with a wind meter according to the scheme:
- Start schlogging, wait until you are planing, stop, measure the wind, repeat the process N times.
- Do it with several boards, with and without pumping.

They admitted themselves that they would not have believed in the results prior to testing...

The freeride gear was a Fanatic Shark 145 liters in the lightest build, and I recall that the sail would have been a Severne Glide 8.5 (that is, not your regular freeride sail but comparable to about a 10 m2 freerace sail in planing power). The slalom was a Tabou with a Gaastra Vapor 9.3. For the formula test they used a Point-7 sail.

Darko_Z 12th April 2010 05:24 PM

My weight is 90 kg, to start planning at 8knots with regular freeride board and 8.5mē sail is impossible for me. I need at least 13 to 14 knots wind to start planning with this combination, perhaps with Severne Glide or NP Helium I could start planning little bit sooner but I would still need more than 10knots wind.
Specialized light wind sails like Glide or Helium have more low end power but they are harder to control in gusty winds. Normally at my windsurfing spots wind is from 7 to 20 knots with average 12 knots. With 8.5 mē NP Helium and freeride board you are totally overpowered at 20 knots, but you can still survive with formula.
Generally surf board with wide tail starts planning sooner. Usually slalom boards have wider tail than freeride boards, for example Isonic is wider than Futura and it starts planning sooner with same sail.

John Kemsley 12th April 2010 06:36 PM

To many variables beng tested - board, fin, sail & rig, rider - should have used the same sail on all boards to get at least one constant value to work from

Unregistered 12th April 2010 07:47 PM

I respectfully disagree with John K. I think the interesting thing about this test is exactly the fact that they are testing different gears which seem reasonable to me. You most likely won't put a 11m2 race sail on a freeride board, thus, having same sail wouldn't make much sense. They have put together rig+boards which one would actually think of buying.

The riders have been the same, and that is what makes it so interesting as well. Same guy testing different board+rig in same place and condition.

I wouldn't have believed it myself, but Surf Magazine usually is quite accurate on their tests. And the figures are there to prove it.

If nothing else it is at least an eye opener to test different gears before deciding on what to get. I fortunately can have 2 boards, thus, I might consider a freeride + early planning sail for light wind. Once it gets above 14knots I switch to smaller board and different sail.

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