Hi Ellen & everyone,
Ellen helped me earlier this year with some footstrap tips and I have to say thank you once more. :-) I've had a great season and gone from my beginner board to 145/125, learnt to waterstart and am happy blasting in the straps (albeit still missing the back one some of the time!). Carve gybes are next.....
Now, thinking about getting some new gear and would really appreciate some help and advice?
Sail question first?
I spend the majority of my sailing time inland, light and gusty winds, so I?m thinking of getting a bigger rig. My biggest at the mo is 7.5 Tushingham T?bird which is my most used sail and often this year despite tinkering with downhaul/outhaul I?ve been short of power. I guess I'm naturally thinking about the same sail in 8 or 8.5 as I'm familiar with how to rig and tune it. However, I'm also wondering about the 2 cam sails as there seems to be a lot of opinion that cammed sails will be better in the patchy wind. That said, I haven't tried a cammed sail so I'm unsure about the heavier handling/uphauling etc.... Also saw a comment somewhere where someone my weight (66kg) was advised to go for a very lightweight 8m rather than any bigger?.
So, priorities I think are low end power and to keep the rig weight as light as possible. (I would be buying a high carbon 490 mast to go with it). If you have any thoughts about which size and model would be best to go for I'd really appreciate it. I plan to keep my C145 litre board for light wind sailing.
Now the board question?.
I have two boards at the mo. I sold my beginner board for a C145 and later this year also picked up a second hand Tabou 125 thinking this would be good to progress on esp. when it?s windier. The 125 is a lovely board too and was an easy progression, probably too easy and when it get?s windier and the lake gets quite choppy it seems to get bouncy and knocked around just as much as the 145. On the 18kt+ days I usually end up practicing waterstarts, not a bad thing I know but it would be nice to have a smaller toy to play with.
My main goals to work on over the winter are better fast tacks, learn planing gybes and improve my waterstarts all of which I guess I?ll be better off perfecting on the bigger boards anyway but I?m tempted to think about getting a smaller board too so I can have a toy for F5/6 (4.5/5.0m sails). Whilst most of my sailing is inland I do get to go to the coast on occasion as well. It?s flat water at low tide but quite deep chop at other times and obviously usually windier than the lake so a smaller board might be good there too.
I guess the question is given my learning stage will it be a good thing to play with a smaller board? If yes, any thoughts on size and model to go for? I?ve tried uphauling a 105l and could do that OK on flat water. Would a bit smaller 85-90 l be a better long term buy to give better control in chop and with sails less than 6m? I?m not really interested in freestyle or top speed. I think I?m looking for a more control orientated all-round style board that might slow things down a little!
Your thoughts and advice much appreciated, thanks!