RE: Why I'm into longboards
I agree with james for most of what he has said. My sister is a born longboarder whereas i'm a shortboard fanatic. Though i must admitt, when we get our 3 bft conditions i repfer rigging my 7.6 (as i have no bigger sail) on her fanatic race 340 then on my SB go139. It just more fun, much more speed (i've got pictures of my sister with the 7.6 rig cruzin a 6 or 7 knot breeze and this formula surfer with a 10 m² rig trying to keep up with her)
However, i must add that when i get +10 knot conditions it can sail my shortboard perfectly with a 7.6 rig and get into plane most of the time (though upwinds are dreadfull and i get tempted to just plane downwind and thus drift away). Also, when we hit a light 5 bft, so about 13-14-15 knots my 7.6 is the perfect rig to surf with on the Go139 and i get into planning all the time whereas my sister is staggering behind on her longboard because she'll have more problems giving the board the lift it needs to plane (this is partially because it's an older board (still said 'maid in West germany' so a pre '89 board) and therefore not really disigned for planning)
Another problem i face when surfing longboard it that when the wind picks up jibing becomes quite the trick because of the extensive tail you have to handle. also, in higher winds my sister seems to loose controle, even though she always sails smaller rigs then me. Whereas my Go139 in winds over 14 knots becomes a responsive board with early planning and it jibes and carves as if it were cutting soft butter.
The opposite is true for lightwinds: my Go becomes this clumbsy piece of wood on the water, it takes hours before it starts to jibe because of the sheer lack of speed, it is slow and just not fun like the longboard of my sister.
In lightwinds the longboard is more responsive to it's sailor than a shortboard because of the reduced width versus the volume. The rider is more balanced (looking at current longboard which vary from 120 liters (see exocet kona range) to about 220 liters with an avarage of about 180 liters) and the board is faster as it is slimmer then a shortboard.
Judging from all of this a rider, in order to deside what is really best for him, has to ask himself what conditions he would encounter more: lightwinds, or, highwinds? I'm lucky, as the lake i sail on (veerse meer in the south of holland) has seewinds blowing in aswell as landwinds, thus it is sailable with shortboard just a bit more often then with longboards. However, i am glas my sister is a longboardaddict because the lightwind conditions i get there at the end of spring make it very hard for me to satisfy my needs.
Perhaps, it is adviced that a rider not only chooses a sailquiver, but also a more extensive boardquiver ... Longboard, shortboard, waveboard.
Haiko, AKA crazychemical