Formula board for <10 kts?
I live in Nashville and sail on inland lakes. Winds of 5-10kts are common. I currently sail a Bic 293 OD (200L) or in decent wind my JP xcite ride 130L. I am considering a formula board (starboard 162) to increase my early planning. I weigh 75 kg (165 lbs). Any thoughts on this?
5-10 knots ? save your money and fly to Corpus in the fall.
A formula board would increase your early planning, but you won't get enough at 5-10 knots. This is the realm of longboards. The top of the line solution is probably a Serenity or a Phantom 380. But almost any longboard of almost any vintage will give you more overall velocity made good than a formula board across all of the 5-10 knot wind range. An Apollo plus much larger rigs might make you happy around 10 knots or maybe less. Only the glide of a longboard has a chance of making you happy at 5 knots and keeping you happy up to and maybe beyond 10 knots, especially with the fluctuations in wind strength found on inland lakes.
I sail in quite a few races in the Midwest in the Open class. For races at 5-10 knots out of a field of about 30 racers there will be 1-3 on an RSX (maybe none), about 5-10 on a Prodigy or similar (maybe only 3-5) and all of the rest will be on boards like Mistral Equipes or One Designs including 1-3 on up to date boards like Starboard's Phantom 380.....notice no pure formula boards.
I'm no competition windsurfer, but I use a Formula 161 in 6-12 knots. I'm 86 kg.
To get going from 6 knots you need a 11+ sail and quite a lot of pumping.
It gets easier from 7-8 knots.
From 9 knots I also plane with a 9.5 sail.
Longboards have their place, but not everyone is content with "just cruising". I weigh 77 kg (168 lbs), have a Starboard F 160 and sails up to 11.0. I don't go out on the 5-10 knot days since the true wind is 0 to 10, with little hope of planing for more than 20% of the time. I love longboards, but only for racing. Just not enough adrenalin cruising in 2-8 knots. The hybrids have their place, but if you aren't racing, I doubt you would enjoy one. For the most part, they are too heavy to offer great performance in any wind. Longboards kick their butt in light winds and formula will do the same in moderate to strong winds.
However, in North Texas where I live, summers occasionally give us 8-17 knot days which are a kick on the formula gear. There are several days at 8-13 knots (actual 2-13) where I can plane maybe 60% of the time, but nothing too exciting.
I love the formula gear when only few show up at the lake and are slogging around on their big free ride gear hoping for a gust of wind and I go blasting by. When the wind is around 11-12 knots, I can double that speed on the formula board. If I can plane, I can easily get over 20 knots of board speed in the puffs.
planning with 10m2-11m2 sail in >=6 knots, around 10 knots you should be flying with right technique, etc... read below:
you're light, so that works in your favor, hopefully on the taller side.
you have to enjoy aggressive sailing style, don't shy away
from pumping and get good at it. Larger, softer, wider fin will help, so is the latest in race sails,
North Warp 2010 shows exceptional early planning potential, I think NP is also very good.
Of course, adjustable outhaul, formula carbon boom and 100% carbon correct mast for the sail
Anyone who think I'm wrong is welcome to come down to Miami and see bunch of us formula rec. users
enjoy 6-10 kn breezes on weekly bases...
it all seems to depend on your lake
if it is large enough, formula will work
have you tried "larger" sails on your longboard ?
"my" lake has wind holes and wind direction changes due to hills n trees
longboard with an 8.5 works best for me, even over 10 knots
have tried shortboard with 8.5 and 10-oh and still prefer the longboard/8.5 combo
on the larger lake nearby - i would definitely suggest formula and/or bigger sails
I think you're right, Joe.
My best experiences with the formula are always on open sea or very big lakes next to the sea with rather stable wind (gusts you have always), but NO wind holes.
Good points everyone, but shkval wants a board that will get planing the soonest.
I agree with all of you that in < 7-8 knots, the formula board isn't going to plane
(at least not easily) and on his Tennesse lake there are for sure to be lots
of holes, so he's going to come off plane whenever the wind drops below about 8
Also, as it was suggested, he's not racing.
Comparing what racers do (upwind/downwind alot) to what recreational (B&F on beam reaches)
do does not make much sense to me.
A big sail (but I would caution against a big "full race" multi cambered sail) will help, and there are
lots of really good Free Race (both cambered and camless) sails on the market that have exceptional
low wind grunt and can be rigged very full without all the loose leech stuff at the top and still work/rotate
An Apollo would be perhaps the best, then a full on formula board, with a Free formula 138/158 (not the go based FF) right in the running.
Wider is pehaps better here.
Planing some of the time, in B&F beam reach recreational sailing, is still more exciting, even with pumping to get going, than the same sort of sailing on a longboard, IMHO. Been there, done both.
Racing @ < 8 knots..... longboard for sure!...... B&Fing at > 7 knots.... Planing some could be
alot more fun.
Hope this helps,
Thanks for all the comments. Any thoughts about the isonic 150 vs. formula board for my conditions / use?
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