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Old 30th March 2007, 12:24 AM   #6
steveC
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
Default RE: First shortboard

Hi Craig,

While a 130+ liter board sounds perfect for the Puget Sound, that size range is quite big for classic Gorge sailing. As Ken noted above, most sailors in the Gorge target boards in the 70-100 liter range, even folks your size. Of course, there are light wind days at the Gorge where a 130+ liter board would work very well, but for conditions that the Gorge is known for, such a high volume board would be a handful in the swell and chop associated with the central Corridor spots (Swell City, The Hatchery or The Event Site). If you intend to sail at flatter spots like Stevenson or Rowena, a higher volume board is much more viable, especially given the fact that your sails are on the big side too.

If your decision isn't real time driven and you can afford to wait a bit, it might make sense to rent and test a few smaller boards at the Gorge. Big Winds is a Starboard dealer, and it's quite likely that they would work with you and apply all or some of any rental cost towards the price of a new board.

Moving from the much higher voume boards you have right now to your first shortboard, I'm sure that a 130 liter board might seem to represent a formidable challenge in itself. However, any real success with smaller boards (115 liters and down) depends greatly on your waterstarting skills. If you're comfortable waterstarting now, you're ready to go with a much lower volume board. Yet, if you must insist on maintaining an uphauling capability, a board in the 120-130+ range would be needed.

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