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Old 30th July 2011, 11:33 AM   #1
the-wind
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Default Board and sails recommendation for a beginner

Hi,
I'm interested in buying a board and sails but I'm not sure exactly what I need.

I'm a beginner. I had a course on a holiday trip and sailed a few hours only. I did not learn waterstart and used a board with a dagger fin. It felt easy but the wind was light and I thought it was not going fast enough for me. I'm not sure if the sail was big enough. My weight is about 160 pounds. I have been doing other sports for a few years like wakeboarding, wakesurfing and snowboarding so I feel relatively comfortable on a board.

Wind conditions here are pretty light and gusty. Let's say about 70% of the time, the wind is below 10 knots. 20% of the time the wind is ranging from 6 knots to 14 knots. And 10% of the time, from 12 knots to 22 knots.

I can't try or rent any gear around here. I could not find any certified instructor around here either. So I guess I will have to teach myself until I go for another holiday trip where I can windsurf. I will also have to buy online so I need to make sure I get the right gear for me.

From what I have read here, I need a dagger fin to help me stay upwind so I guess my options are the following boards:

Rio S
Rio M
Phantom Race 320
Phantom Race 380
Go 151 with a dagger fin
Go 171 with a dagger fin

From what I read, the Rio S would be a good size for me and easier to learn on. But can I ride this board in very light wind with a big sail? Is it possible to plane on any of these boards in light wind? What would be the best board for learning and having fun in light and gusty wind? How much volume does my board has to have if I want to perform a standing start? Is it possible to perform a standing start without a dagger fin? And how much wind do you need to perform a water start?

Another point to take into consideration is that I live in a condo, so it would probably be easier for me to store a Go 151 or Rio S since they are smaller and lighter.

What sails should I buy to cover the wind we have here? What is the difference between a cam and no cam sail? And what should a beginner use? I read that sails with cams are more stable, is that true?

Should I buy a 100% carbon mast? What kind of boom should I buy? Since the wind is very light, do I need to go for the lightest mast and boom possible?

I'm willing to pay for a really good gear that will allow me to have fun in light wind and that will also last for a long time.

Thank you for your help

Last edited by the-wind; 30th July 2011 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 30th July 2011, 11:58 PM   #2
Roger
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Hello the-wind:
OK, you've asked a whole lot of questions..... will try to answer them all!
Have pasted your original post in here to make it easier to get all your questions in their
original context.

I'm a beginner. I had a course on a holiday trip and sailed a few hours only. I did not learn waterstart and used a board with a dagger fin. It felt easy but the wind was light and I thought it was not going fast enough for me. I'm not sure if the sail was big enough. My weight is about 160 pounds. I have been doing other sports for a few years like wakeboarding, wakesurfing and snowboarding so I feel relatively comfortable on a board.
OK, what conditions did you have while on your vacation?
What boards did your use to learn on (wide board or long board is the most important critieria here)?
What sail sizes did the school give you to use?

Wind conditions here are pretty light and gusty. Let's say about 70% of the time, the wind is below 10 knots. 20% of the time the wind is ranging from 6 knots to 14 knots. And 10% of the time, from 12 knots to 22 knots.
OK, very light winds will require a more longboard oriented board and probably some larger rigs, but not right at first.

I can't try or rent any gear around here. I could not find any certified instructor around here either. So I guess I will have to teach myself until I go for another holiday trip where I can windsurf. I will also have to buy online so I need to make sure I get the right gear for me.
OK, are you sailing on fresh or salt water?

From what I have read here, I need a dagger fin to help me stay upwind so I guess my options are the following boards:

Rio S...... Good!
Rio M..... Better for your wind conditions!
Phantom Race 320..... Could be the best for your conditions, but maybe more difficult to learn on, and
won't have the shortboard like planing performance you can get from the Rio's with the centerboard
retracted up into the board.
Phantom Race 380...... Could be good, but for later. A bit more fragile and more difficult for a beginner to sail.
Go 151 with a dagger fin..... Could be very good, but will not give you optimum performance in your suggested wind range.
Go 171 with a dagger fin...... Too big... the extra volume is not needed for a sailor your size.

From what I read, the Rio S would be a good size for me and easier to learn on. But can I ride this board in very light wind with a big sail? Is it possible to plane on any of these boards in light wind? What would be the best board for learning and having fun in light and gusty wind? How much volume does my board has to have if I want to perform a standing start? Is it possible to perform a standing start without a dagger fin? And how much wind do you need to perform a water start?
The Rio M would seem better, but the Rio S could work for you.
Best for light and gusty winds at your skill level would be the Rio M.
With beginner/advanced beginner size rigs, you will not plane in < 12 knots of wind.
=> 12 knots, with a 7.5 m2 rig, you may be able to plane, at your weight.
In order to uphaul any of the boards you've selected will have more than adequate volume for uphauling (standing start?) Yes, sailors uphaul quite small low volume short boards all the time. It's a more delicate "feat of balance" but once you figure out where you need to stand (fore and aft here) and how to stay over the centerline volume in the board it's fairly easy.
Water starts for a 160 lb. sailor normally require around 14 knots of wind and about a 6.5 m2 or larger rig.
This is a very advanced technique that you probably need to save for alot further on in your learning curve.

Another point to take into consideration is that I live in a condo, so it would probably be easier for me to store a Go 151 or Rio S since they are smaller and lighter.
Yes, understood, but if the smaller board extends your learning curve, or causes you to give up.... the slightly smaller size/weight may not be advantageous.

What sails should I buy to cover the wind we have here? What is the difference between a cam and no cam sail? And what should a beginner use? I read that sails with cams are more stable, is that true?
Initially I would suggest a 6.5 m2 rig on the lightest 460 IMCS 25 carbon mast you can afford.
Later, you can purchase sails up to 8.5 m2 (maybe larger, but they get heavy as the size increases and this can actually reduce your time on the water.
Cams are totally unneccesary for your skill level!
Cambered sails are more stable, but NoCam sails are lighter in weight and often have better light wind
power. The stability is not needed in the wind speeds you have described.
Also, the design intent of the sail has alot to do with it's light wind performance.
Free race sails tend to have better light wind power and less weight than cambered full race sails.

Should I buy a 100% carbon mast? What kind of boom should I buy? Since the wind is very light, do I need to go for the lightest mast and boom possible?
For beginners (and advancing beginners) a lightweight rig translates to alot more time on the water, and
alot fewer sore muscles.
So..... yes, get the lightest highest carbon content mast you can afford that suits the bend characteristics of the sails you buy. If you take good care of a 100% carbon mast, it can last almost forever. Keep it in a reflective mast bag (out of the sun) when storing it.... get some sort of rig cover that keeps the damaging UV off your sail and the intense sunlight (heat) off your high carbon mast and they will last a very long time. Avoid bumping or striking your mast on anything when rigging and de rigging.
Use some sort of rigging carpet (if you cannot rig on a nice grassy surface).

I'm willing to pay for a really good gear that will allow me to have fun in light wind and that will also last for a long time.
Excellent..... take good care of your board and rigs (as suggested above) and they will last significantly longer. But be aware that as your skills improve, you will want more advanced gear to plane earlier and more often. Rig components (mast/mast bases/boom (s)) can be used with your more advanced/larger
rigs but be sure when you buy a new sail that it's compatible (length and IMCS/bend characteristics
here) with your existing mast.
Hope this helps,
Roger
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Old 31st July 2011, 02:00 AM   #3
the-wind
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Hi Roger,
Thanks a lot for all the answers!

Unfortunately I don't know what gear I used. The sail looked like a more basic beginner sail and was different and smaller than what intermediate and advanced windsurfers were using around me. So whatever it was, it was probably 5.5m or smaller. I don't know the size but it felt like a very small sail which was very easy to uphaul for someone around 160 pounds and 5 feet 11. The board seemed like a no name brand, was all white, no foot straps, no rubber pad, it was kind of thick and floaty. I noticed my board was floaty as other windsurfers had boards that were sinking quite a bit, especially on the back foot size obviously. I looked at the Start star board on your site and the board I used looked nothing like this. It was more narrow. I could not find the board anywhere, none of the Star Boards seem to look like the board I used. As for the wind, it was gusty and relatively light. When a good gust would hit the sail I could feel some "speed" and it was a lot of fun. But most of the time, I was just cruising slowly and practicing switching stance etc.

I will be sailing on fresh water.

Ok so I need a Rio M and a 6.5m sail. What sail would be light, has no cam, and is also easy to use for a beginner? I checked the Severne sails and I'm not sure which one would be best for my beginner skill and wind condition?

Thank you again for the help!

Last edited by the-wind; 31st July 2011 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 31st July 2011, 08:27 AM   #4
Roger
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Rio M and 6.5 is my suggestion for something you can start out on easily, and then get a larger rig or 2, but keep the 6.5 m2 for your 18+ knot days.
The Severne NCX is good, I've sailed them.
If you have a Sailworks dealer nearby or are in the USA, the Sailworks Retro 6.5 m2 would be my first
suggestion. Cost a little more, but the after sales service and the overall quality are well worth a bit more.
Roger
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Old 1st August 2011, 04:10 AM   #5
the-wind
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OK thanks for the advices!

I had the windsurf lesson with my girlfriend, her weight is about 115 pounds and after only 30-40 minutes in the water, she felt the rig was feeling too heavy for her. She would probably be more comfortable with a 100% carbon mast, a small and very light sail. What would be your recommendation for a board and a sail for her?

Thanks
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Old 1st August 2011, 10:02 AM   #6
Roger
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Do you intend to buy 2 boards?
The Rio M will work fine your your GF but getting here a smaller lighter rig will
help her alot.
I have some very light rigs in mind that are 4.2 m2 and weigh probably less than half as
much as what she was sailing for the lessons.
Small size, but very good power and very easy to handle.
Roger
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Old 1st August 2011, 10:43 AM   #7
the-wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Do you intend to buy 2 boards?
The Rio M will work fine your your GF but getting here a smaller lighter rig will
help her alot.
I have some very light rigs in mind that are 4.2 m2 and weigh probably less than half as
much as what she was sailing for the lessons.
Small size, but very good power and very easy to handle.
Roger
I might consider buying 2 boards so my girlfriend and I can sail together at the same time, I think it would a lot more fun for both of us. Would you have a suggestion for a smaller board for her? Or you think we should both use a Rio M? I think my girlfriend would like a board that is as much stable as possible, but also not too much cumbersome for her.

What would be your suggestions for sails that are ultra light and small? She mostly want the rig to be very light and easy to handle. I checked for your suggestions, and found 6.5m Sailworks Retro and Severne NCX sails, but these sails don't seem to be available in 4.2m size.

Last edited by the-wind; 3rd August 2011 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 4th August 2011, 04:48 AM   #8
the-wind
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Would Severne Gator sails be ok for a beginner? They are more expensive but they are also lighter and offered in more sizes.

Last edited by the-wind; 4th August 2011 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 4th August 2011, 08:23 AM   #9
Roger
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Hi the-wind.
What are you using to determine that the Severne Gator sails are "lighter" than the Sailworks
Retro?
What I was going to suggest for your girlfriend was the Sailworks Retro Ripper 4.2 m2.
These are very powerful 4 batter trainer sails that have all the features of the larger Sailworks
Retro in a much smaller much lighter package with special shorter lightweight Ripper Stick masts.
The Severne Gator in 4.2 m2 is definitely not lighther than the Retro Ripper 4.2 on a 370 cm Ripper
Stick RDM mast.
I've sailed the Severne Gator, and the Severne NCS.
The Gator is more a freeride multi-purpose sail. Less light wind power and less tuning range vs the
Sailworks Retro.
The Severne NCX is very close in power and performance to the Retro.
Normal sail size spacing is about 1 m2 (above 6.0 m2 and about .75 m2 below 6.0 m2.
Hope this helps,
Roger

Last edited by Roger; 4th August 2011 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 4th August 2011, 10:29 AM   #10
the-wind
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Roger,
I was not sure which sail you were suggesting for my girlfriend and since I could not find any Retro or NCX in 4.2m size, I went to the Severne site and compared weights and noticed the Gator was lighter than the NCX and offered in 4.2m. So I was actually comparing the Gator with the NCX, not with the Retro.

I just checked the Sailwork Ripper and it is very light. I will try and see if I can find it in my area.

Thanks for the help.
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