More on Formula Boards with Freeride/Freerace Sails
They has been a bit of chatter here recently on whether or not Freeride/Freerace sails are good on Formula boards for recreational sailing.
Well, after much debate (see threads below here), in choosing between an Apollo, an F-Type 158, a Formula 161 and a Formula Experience 160, I got the Formula Experience 160, primarily for its low cost and durability, and because I have already owned the F-Type 158 and 148, and wanted to try a Formula board.
I am 155 pounds (~70 kg), and do strictly recreational sailing. I have Sailworks Retros (no-cam Freerace) 9.5 and 8.5 (the reason I didn't go 10.0 and 8.5 is because the 9.5 and 8.5 both rig on the 490, but sometimes on those really light days I wish I had the 10.0).
I was out this weekend with the Formula 160, one day with the 9.5, and the other with the 8.5, and I had a blast. It took a little experimenting to get the mast foot position dialed in, but once I did, it was great. (I am just forward of center with the 8.5, and a couple of cm from the front with the 9.5, will play around with that some more.)
I am very happy with my purchase, and I am glad I didn't get another F-Type. The F-Types were awesome for me to get started on, but I like the Formula better. In my opinion it handles chop much better, very easy to get riding on the fin and the leeward rail and just float over the chop, a pretty cool feeling! I also think the Formula fully powered up is faster upwind. (I am still working on my downwind technique...)
Due to my light weight and willingness to pump like a madman, I am typically one of the first on the water, if not the first, to get planing. The extra weight of the Tufskin FE probably slightly affects the ability to get planing (and staying planing in lulls) versus a wood Formula Board, but it doesn't seem to be too bad. (Haven't sailed a wood one, however.)
So I can highly recommend the Formula boards for recreational sailing, and Freerace sails like Sailworks Retros seem to match up pretty well with them. (And of course don't forget that adjustable outhaul!)