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Old 10th August 2011, 06:56 PM   #1
komandir
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Hello dream team

I'd like to ask the most common question - what to choose .

I started windsurfing only two months ago by lending Starboard Start M of 2006 (260*90 cm, 205 L, 14 kg, 40 cm Drake fin) from my friend with some cheap rig of 5m2. Later on I bought a secondhand Gaastra Pilot 7.0 rig. I'm 70 kg, by now I can beachstart, do tacks, basic jibes, go upwind without daggerboard, use harness non-planing. Totally I spent 50-60 hours on water. I sail mostly in fresh water (big inland reservoir app. 12*75 km), usual winds here are 5-8 m/s, sometimes up to 15 m/s (but it's unlikely that I will sail in winds more than 10-12 m/s in near future), wind is quite gusty. 5-10 times in a season I may go to seashore for several days looking for more stable winds of 7-12 m/s.

Many guys in our club say that I need to switch to a smaller board – most common opinion is 125-135L, some say I can take 115L.

I have tried 125L (69 cm width) for couple of hours (in salt water) - the wind was very light like 3-4m/s and it was quite choppy. I could uphaul and go, but couldn’t turn.

Last week I took Starboard S-Type 115L ( 64 cm width) form friend of mine and had 6 sessions of 2-3 hours with it (with small rig of 5.0), winds 2-7m/s, flat fresh water – I could uphaul and go, but I couldn’t turn (just several tacks during the whole week, and hundreds of uphauls – it was absolutely exhausting and no fun at all)

I had a 2-hour session on 135L (70 cm width) , flat water, 4-6 m/s, 5.0 rig – it was doable, I was quite comfortable doing tacks, the feeling was very similar the first times on a big board.
I had an hour session with 145L(72 cm width) and 7.0.rig, 3-5m/s, flat water – it was quite easy, I did tacks and went upwind.
So the minimum doable volume for me is 135 in flat water, but I'm afraid in choppy conditions it may appear very difficult to sail on 135L.

What do you think will be the best choice for quickest progress and most fun for me? Fun for me means planing at mid-speeds (in up to 50cm chop), training planing jibes, light-wind freestyle elements and waterstart.
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Old 10th August 2011, 07:03 PM   #2
komandir
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And do I actually need a smaller board now? Or is it better to use the Start further? How will I know I urgently need a smaller board to progress?
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Old 10th August 2011, 09:36 PM   #3
Roger
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komandir,
Sounds like you are making some terrific progress.
I'm going to paste your post in here and make all the m/s to knots conversions as windsurfers normally
speak of windspeeds in kinots on this forum.
"Totally I spent 50-60 hours on water. I sail mostly in fresh water (big inland reservoir app. 12*75 km), usual winds here are 5-8 m/s (9.7-15.5 knots), sometimes up to 15 m/s (29 knots)(but it's unlikely that I will sail in winds more than 10-12 m/s (19.4-23.3 knots) in near future), wind is quite gusty. 5-10 times in a season I may go to seashore for several days looking for more stable winds of 7-12 m/s (13.6-23.3 knots).

Many guys in our club say that I need to switch to a smaller board – most common opinion is 125-135L, some say I can take 115L.

I have tried 125L (69 cm width) for couple of hours (in salt water) - the wind was very light like 3-4m/s
(5.8-7.8 knots)and it was quite choppy. I could uphaul and go, but couldn’t turn.

Last week I took Starboard S-Type 115L ( 64 cm width) form friend of mine and had 6 sessions of 2-3 hours with it (with small rig of 5.0), winds 2-7m/s (3.8-13.6 knots), flat fresh water – I could uphaul and go, but I couldn’t turn (just several tacks during the whole week, and hundreds of uphauls – it was absolutely exhausting and no fun at all)

I had a 2-hour session on 135L (70 cm width) , flat water, 4-6 m/s(7.7 -11.6 knots), 5.0 rig – it was doable, I was quite comfortable doing tacks, the feeling was very similar the first times on a big board.
I had an hour session with 145L(72 cm width) and 7.0.rig, 3-5m/s, flat water – it was quite easy, I did tacks and went upwind.
So the minimum doable volume for me is 135 in flat water, but I'm afraid in choppy conditions it may appear very difficult to sail on 135L."

OK, now that I have a much better idea of the windspeeds, I see you sailing a 5.0 m2 rig in very little wind. This could be a problem, it's nearly impossible to sail if the board will barely move.
In < 8 knots of wind ( 4 m/s) almost no one sails..... it's considered longboard (with a centerboard and a big => 7.5 m2 rig) sailing conditions.
At your skill level, with your 7.0 m2 Pilot rig, a board that's at least 75 cm wide would seem to be what you need.
I might suggest a Starboard GO (140-170 liters).
You are on fresh water most of the time, so that's also a consideration... fresh water has less buoyancy so you need about 5-10 more liters of volume than on salt water.
I think board width may be more of a criteria for you than the volume.
The S-Type 115 is a lovely board, but it's pretty narrow in the tail.
I would guess that you need 130-150 liters, but at least 68-70 cm wide.
Ultimaltely you will want a smaller/narrrower board for wind conditions > 18-20 knots (9.2 m/s - 10.3 m/s)
and a smaller rig ( perhaps 5.5-6.0 m2).
Until you have the balance and skills on a wider board and larger rig in light wind conditions and you do not fall in the water on your transitions, it will be wise to stay with the wider board (the plane much earlier) and larger rigs.
Hope this helps,
Roger
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Old 11th August 2011, 06:46 PM   #4
komandir
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Hi Roger. It's amasing how fast you responded - thanks a lot. Sorry for metric units - here in Ukraine we don't use knots or miles . 5.0 rig I use only for testing purposes - in case I suppose to uphaul a lot, usually I sail with 7.0.
I tend to choose Go 141L. What wind I'll be able to plane at with my 7.0 Pilot? (provided I learned to pump actively). Do you think it makes sense to have a bigger rig (8-8.5) and which skill may be an indicator I'm ready for it?
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Old 11th August 2011, 07:37 PM   #5
Roger
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Komandir,
Yes, for your very light wind conditions, a larger rig makes sense.
The GO 141 and a 8.5 m2 free race sail might get you planing in 10-12 knots (5-6 m/s).
You will be ready for the larger sail when you get to a skill level where you make nearly
all of your transitions (tacks and flare jibes).
With your 7.0 and some pumping you might get planing in as little as 6-7 m/s (12-14 knots
at 70 Kg.
Hope this helps,
R
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