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Old 19th October 2010, 10:08 AM   #6
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,092

Hi jpon2,
OK, If everyone else was on 110-120 liter boards with 5.0-6.5 m2 rigs, the wind was probably in the 16-20 knot range.
You will not be able to use an 8.5 m2 rig in 18-20 knots, but if the wind is < 14-15 knots, you won't be able to plane on even a 6.5 m2 and would need 7.5-8.5 m2 to plane.
Wide boards handle the waves pretty well, but you need to trim the board (by moving the mast foot forward and back) to find the "sweet spot" for your board , your weight, and your rig.
If you are asking is your Rio M or GO 175 going to handle big chop (18-20 knots worth of chop/waves) in the same way that a 110-120 liter board does, the answer is NO.
There's a big difference, but with careful sail size selection, and tuning the board for the sail size and the conditions, you can still have alot of fun and learn a great deal.
One day, you will be on that 110-120 liter board, but going from where you are, to that little board, all at once would be mighty hard to do.
Yes, using a larger sail in light winds gets you into the same "zone" as using a smaller sail in higher winds. It's all about having enough power to get planing, and enough control to handle the power.
If you have too much power (overpowered sailing) you won't have the control and may get catpaulted right over the front of your board (or into the front of your board). If your sail is too small, you will not have enough power to get planing, so you have the opposite problem.... way too much control and no speed to go with it.
So, picking the right size board and the right size rig for the "now" conditions is always going to be a bit of a challenge.
First you have to have a quiver of sails so you have something to choose from.
Then you need 2 or 3 different boards so you can use a board with the correct specs. for the "now" conditions.
But, you first need to develop the skills to plane comfortably and fast, in lighter winds (high winds, and
learning some of the basics is not normally a very good mix. The wind is too powerful and with minimal skills you cannot handle it). Control becomes a huge issue. If you are overpowered, it's easy to get going way faster, with way less control, than you have the skills to deal with. To some degree, sailing a bit overpowered teaches you these necessary skills, but it's hard to pick all the right gear and not be a little too overpowered and out of control, or a little too underpowered and not able to plane.
Where were you on the board (in what set of footstraps?)
Your '07 Rio L will not really start "skimming" over the waves in fully planing mode until you are in the farthest back and outboard footstraps with a larger fin than the board was supplied with.
For your weight on the '07 Rio L you need about a 58-62 cm fin to really balance the width of the board and allow you to get outboard and really "cantilever" your weight off the harness lines and harness to give you the ability of sail on larger sails.
I hope I've covered all your questions.... if not, ask some more!
You are heading in the right direction it seems (with the larger sail) but you need a larger mast and a longer boom to go with them. And you need something in between an 8.5 and a 5.0
Normally a sail quiver is spaced about 1.0-1.5 m2 apart. In the larger sizes you can go say 8.5 to 7.0
to 5.5 to 5.0 or 8.5/7.5/6.5/5.5, (whatever your budget can stand).
There are the "perfect" days (every windsurfer has them, but infrequently) when you have just the right board, just the right size sail, and it's rigged perfectly.
On these days you can do no wrong. What seemed impossible yesterday when you didn;t have quite the right setup, seems easy.
Only problem is, tomorrow, the conditions will change, and what was easy today gets more difficult again.
But that's the "mystique" of windsurfing. You will almost never have things "just right" all the time. The pros get very close to this level and have good days most of the time, but if you talk to them, having the "perfect" setup, rigged perfectly, in perfect conditions still only happens on rare occasions.
So, they make adjustments to make what they have rigged... better. They are "pros" because they
know what to change and how much to change it..... from years of experience.
The rest of the time they have to make the best of what they have rigged, just like the rest of us.
They have the most experience, and tons of gear to choose from, but they are always trying to get
Hope this helps,
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