I've been windsurfing for about half a year now (so im a bit past beginner, more early intermediate) and i've been using my package Tushingham 5.5m sail as it???s the only sail I have, i???ve used it in all conditions and I have to say its wind range is huge. however after watching 'Rig it Right' by Peter Hart and talking to other sailors i've seen that I never really pull on the ideal amount of down haul your supposed to except in strong winds (baton above the boom just past the end of the mast for easy rotation etc), usually I put less on for earlier planing and use in marginal winds (the wind where I am is usually force 4 - strong 5 sometimes 6-7 on rare occasions).
So as my sail is now starting to show signs of wear and tear as, being a beginner it is dropped in front of waves and generally a bit abused, im looking buying some new sails some time in the future, how ever im not sure which size(s) to buy, could any of you readers give me some idea of what sail sizes they use in different wind strengths please. (E.g. force 5 - 6.0m)
Another thing which I would like some advice on please is buying a new board. Currently I have been using a starboard start 2005 M , I have to say its performed admirably and it's reasonably fast and planes early in most conditions, however as I want to start to take my sailing into stronger winds and generally faster sailing (200ltr start in force 7 is scary) im looking for a modern short board. Not too small though, but something that I have room to progress into. As im only 16 and still at school I don???t have that much money which is the main problem. I would like to buy a starboard s-type 115 or 126 however ??849 is a bit much for me at the moment, I???d like to get one when I start work and have some money to spare on decent boards. Another thing I was worried about is the strength of boards, recently this week end one sailor put a large gash in his JP freestyle wave just because the wind flipped the board onto his mast base, another sailor ruined the front of his JP x-cite on a buoy that had come loose, as im still beginning I need a board that would take quite a bit of abuse when sailing, I was considering buying a Bic Techno 2 118ltr sometime next year but I read in a review - "The only Achilles Heel of the Techno 2 becomes apparent when you take it into coastal conditions, the low shoulders often catching and stalling as you sail over confused choppy waters." (http://www.bicsportwindsurf.com/test...302&testid=119
) as I always sail in costal waters and the chop is pretty large sometimes I was wondering if anyone could give me some info on the 'Achilles Heel' of the techno 2 and whether it would make sailing in costal waters uncomfortable. I did look at some second hand kit on the internet but as I live on an island (Guernsey) if im not happy with the condition its difficult to send things back, also, this is true with all boards, we have no windsurf shops over here so most of the kit I will be buying would be on the advice of magazine reviews and other sailors as I have no way of testing the boards out.
So just to summarize if anyone has any advice on sail sizes in different wind strengths or a board or two which would suit the criteria (i.e roughly 120ltrs or a bit bigger, relatively cheap and durable) I would love to here from you.
P.S sorry about this post being so long