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Old 15th March 2007, 10:35 AM   #6
Ian Fox
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 533
Default RE: Board(s) upgrade

Hi Stephen,

With regards to the ST115 what sail sizes would you suggest that would suit my weight and our sailing spot? I notice you also sail a ST on the bay, but I am not sure what size board and sails you use.
For your weight on the Bay, the ST 115, the sail size upper sweetspot limit is about 7.5m in "demi-slalom" mode and around 7m in "bump and blast"mode (a bit fin and stance/strap position variable). The 115 option definitely fills in the marginal seabreeze condition session, and will help make more of patchy Winter northerlies, BUT at the expense of being a bit bouncier in the Bay chop once it gets powered 6.7m or real 6.2 conditions..
So...the "ideal" choice here might also be influenced pretty heavily by what you decide for the mid size board...

I also have an older 2003 model FreeFormula 137 that I use a V8 8.5m and V8 7.5m on, but when the wind gets up enough to use the ST104 I switch over very quickly as the ST104 is fantastic board and the bay gets a little bumpy for the FF137 at this point. I will be keeping the FF137 as I find it great board for those cruising days when you want to go any direction. Pity Starboard still doesn’t make them, as most of the guys down our way would buy them. Next season I will be looking at my sail I use for the FF137.
Right, on the Bay the FF137 is a really versatile light/mid wind option, and with something like that in your quiver, it's another reason to trend a bit smaller on the ST104 vs115 choice.. The FF morphed into the F-Type and then further into the light wind iS145/155, basic premise being most guys used/preffered the light wind back and forth drag race (slalom) character more than the upwind/downwind (FF/Ftype) performance.)

With regards to going bigger on the ST; I was maybe considering going 7.2m, but I love the Saber 6.2m so much, I still want to use the 6.2m on the ST that I end up with. This is one of my concerns with going to a ST115. Also I would like to get back in to racing next season and the ST I end up with would be my weapon of choice and if the wind was real light I would go the FF137.
Ok, this is a valid choice, ST in either size grows more competitive on the Bay the more powered it is, it's not the ideal design to be trying to pinch upwind in marginal conditions c/w say iSonic, but ST is an easier speed option once it's filled in and the Bay is a mess)

With regards to the K97; I would only use my Expression 5.7m for bay sailing and trying to learn freestyle and use my Alpha 5.3m for bay wave riding so to speak. When the wind gets stronger for the Combat 5.0m or 4.5m I would then jump on the E74. Do you think the sail sizing and type of sailing I am considering is an ideal for the K97 over the K87?
Yes, especially if the K in question is the mid size board, rather than the smaller/hi wind one. If it were one board to cover both K97+E74 range, then the K87 (allowing compromise on Freestyle potential) would be a more versatile one board +ST solution, and you can comfortably go from even K87 to ST104 or even ST115. As you intend to retain a dedicated hi wind (E74 etc), then you really need to max out the practcial range of the mid size, and that favours more bottom end option in K97 (which as above posts, kinda rates pretty special vs size) Chris is correct to discuss the Flares, but as you likely know they are not so readily available in AUS, and their fast, flat rockers are not ideal Bay "mush" type rides, even though the Flare is without question the prime choice for Freestyle action. BTW, as a total side option, there is only one Flare (an 06 Wood 94 ) available in AUS distribution stock - but that could be an option (and a value deal..check RPS) if you really wanted to explore the Freestyle focus route, sizing fits nicely betwen ST104/115 and E74, tricking potential and early planing better than K's albeit at the expense of better 4WD Bay mush (or wave) handling.

With regards to sticking with the E74 I am open for suggestions to help with setting up what I call my ultimate quiver. As mentioned above the EVO board would primary be used for my 5.0m and 4.5m. Updating the EVO is not out of the question.
As you're pretty steady on that one at the moment, might be good to keep that and move the others. Longer term, for Bay (c/w ocean) waves, might want to consider the Pure Acid where the speed, acceleration and efficency(for wave board standards) make for an ideal hi wind B&J / rough water blasting solution)

Most of my sailing is still on the bay. From Bono to Mount Martha to Elwood to Rye to Greens Pt and then some times down at Pt Danger and Inverloch
Also is there any benefit to go wood over DRAM?
In general, the lighter weight and crisper ride is a big plus point with most riders. Usually no question, except for the price aspect. Probably more worthwhile in larger, lighter wind or performance boards than smaller hi wind B&J/wave boards, but even in those the difference is still notable.

I'd see correctly placing the new "mid range" board as the first step in refining the overall new quiver choice/s, so try and catch up with Peter, and if possible get a demo to see how the K97 rates with you.

Hope this helps answer the questions, but please let us know should you need more info !

Cheers ~ Ian
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