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joe_windsurfer 22nd November 2010 05:40 AM

will Formula gain me 3 knots ?
currently have 160 liter 79 cm board with 53 cm race fin and MS TR-4 10-oh
can plane in about 12 to 13 knots with NO pumping
people keep suggesting Formula to me for earlier planing
at 215 lbs would a SB Formula with 100 cm and a 70 cm fin get me on a plane with the same 10-oh at 10 to 12 knots ??
or, would this also require a 12.5 meter sail ? if so, it is NOT worth my while :-(

i know this is an age old question, but the data seems to vary case by case ...

thx in advance

NWF 22nd November 2010 01:52 PM

Hi Joe,

I am 85 kgs and can get a formula board with 11m planing in 8 to 10 knots, if that is any indication the very talanted can obviously plain even earlier......

agrelon 22nd November 2010 02:13 PM

Personally I've found a huge difference in planing AND pointing abilities between large freerides and formula boards. I plan in 6-7knots on a Formula 156 with 70cm Drake fin and Ezzy Infinity 9.5m at 62kgs. The thing is with a large freerider you'll find it difficult to point high in limit-planing-wind, and you definitely be battling to stay up wind. With a formula, you'll bear off to gain speed, then be able to point and sustain planing even pointing really high. That's definitely a plus.

PG 22nd November 2010 02:42 PM

In my experience a Formula with a 10 m2 sail is not planing particularly early for a heavier guy. Not much (or any) earlier than a big slalom. The Formula planing advantage becomes obvious when taking a bigger sail, in the 11.5 range. Then there is a significant difference in planing threshold!

But I agree that you should be able to point much higher with a Formula, even if the planing threshold is the same.

BelSkorpio 22nd November 2010 05:47 PM

I have the same experience as "628".
86kg / F161 / 11m -> planing from 8 knots
6-7 knots is possible but needs an awful lot of pumping, excellent physical condition, and bearing off to gain speed. 6-7 knots is really a struggle for me and actually I don't like it too much.

@Joe, with your weight, I think it's possible to plane from 8 knots but you'll need a 12m2.

From 10 knots a 11m2 should be sufficient. I'm flying from 10 knots with a 11m2. Like agrelon already said, to get going BEAR OFF as much as you can, until you have a lot of speed. Don't be afraid to loose height, once planing a formula board is a "pointing queen" that will gain the height back in no time.
If you learn the technique of bearing off, while placing the body underneath the boom (try to hang on the boom) reducing the body weight and trying to lift up your feet and push the board forward at the same time, you'll be surprised how early you can plane, even without pumping. Place your boom very high, it helps a lot.

Ken 22nd November 2010 08:57 PM


I wouldn't get a formula board for light winds unless you are willing to pump. You probably can plane in 10-12 knots with a 10m sail and formula board, but you will have to pump to get on plane.

The other key question is - how many more days of sailing will you get if you can plan in 10-12 knots? If it is just a few, I wouldn't bother with a formula board. There are days when I could go out on my F160 and 11.0 sail in 8-12 knots, but I don't do it that often because I sail 70 days a year. When I have been in a dry spell (July, Aug & Sept) I will go out at any sign of a white cap (10 knots) on my formula board. I weigh 78kg.

On a light wind day (4-12 knots), planing only happens about 50% of the time. However, it's a good workout with all the pumping.

joe_windsurfer 23rd November 2010 04:14 AM

thx Ken et al...

found an X-186 with a 12.5 for $1000
I am NOT ready to commit that much ca$h to this experiment YET :(
as i also have a longboard option, i will use that next year :)
also, boom higher, try MORE pumping AND downwind runs - even if not as able to recover an FW board

once again thx all - you have confirmed my fears :-(

BelSkorpio 23rd November 2010 05:59 PM

Hi Joe,

I think that Ken indeed made a very good point.
How many more sailing days will you get out of such a board.

Where I surf, I can choose between lake or open sea.
The best spot for me with a formula board is the open sea, because if offers in summer time a lot of days with steady 8-12 knot summer breezes.
Because I can only surf at weekends or holidays and this only during half a year (winter is much too cold with us), it probably increases my sailing days with 30%, which is a lot.
Often, these "formula" days are also high quality sunny days (of which we don't have too much, where I live) and it are days that I can take my family with me as well.

On lakes with a lot of lulls, I don't think that a formula board is very interesting.


joe_windsurfer 24th November 2010 01:55 AM

i do windsurf on the lake with my OLD longboard

the FW is reserved for the St Lawrence River
and yes that means i/we have about 6 months max as well
about 3 with NO neoprene

i am sure that , work, family, etc makes me want to be able to go almost any time
i have thought of using the longboard on the St-Lawrence , butt did not

i used a journal this year and was out about 46 times from March to October 2010
i mapped what worked and what did not
40 % of the outings were with the 10-oh = GOOD investment
41 % were with the 8.5 no cam in winds of 15 to 20 knots
unfortunately only marked two(2) sessions as requiring more than the 10-oh
did NOT mark down when winds were 10 to 15 knots and did NOT go
so, how many days would i gain ?
would the days be better on the 10-oh days ?
and if so, am i making some of my stock redundant ?

think i will stick to workin on the FW AND trying the longboard on the big river next year

thx for listening AND commenting y'all
joe windsurfer

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