If I am contradicting myself, that is not my intention. In a nut shell. Formula isn't for everyone, but it is the answer to planing in light wind conditions if that is your goal. However, some of the new "light wind slalom" boards (Ultrasonic) my be a better solution than formula (if you aren't a racer). Even with the Ultrasonic, you will still need a big sail, mast and boom to plane fast in 8-10 knots.
My point in pushing formula as a 66 year old windsurfer is just to point out that the "giant board, giant fin, giant sail" paranoia out there may not be fully justified. Yes, it's big and cumbersome, but if a 66 year old, 77kg guy can manage it, why not all you 20 - 50 year old guys/gals? All I am trying to do is provide my perspective on formula sailing, nothing more. Formula gives me more days on the water, and I see that as a good thing. The other option is an SUP or my old Superlight. I simply choose to plane on my formula board rather than glide around on a longboard.
The anchor thing is for one major reason, I don't have to carry the entire formula kit in one piece to or from the water. Where I generally sail, the shoreline is protected from chop, so the board/sail attached to a float doesn't normally wear or damage anything. On a busy day, there may be a dozen anchors and buoys at my sailing site for all sizes of boards and rigs. I only do this when I am sure that the wave action won't do any damage to my gear. Why bring your rig to the beach of you can leave it in the water? The anchor is a 10 lb. vinyl coated, mushroom shape anchor, purchased from West Marine. A few guys even use rocks or cinder blocks as anchors with milk jugs as floats.
Yes, I have a lot of experience, and my comments regarding racing were intended to show that you will likely gain experience much faster if you race. This isn't true for everyone since there are some highly committed sailors that push their limits 100% of the time. However, after watching windsurfers "do their thing" for 27 years, most don't push their limits and stagnate in their progression. Racing is one way to get you off your complacent butt. Bottom line - if it's fun and you are happy with your level of progression, go for it, it's fine with me.
Many of us need a push to get to the next level, regardless of the endeavor.
Formula 160; iSonic 111; HiFly Move 105; Tiga 263; '85 Mistral Superlight.
Maui Sails TR 11.0; 9.2; 8.4; 7.6; 6.6; Maui Sails Switch 6.0; 5.2; Maui Sails Global 4.5; 4.0.