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Old 10th April 2013, 08:09 PM   #11
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,483

Interesting discussion is going on here !

Ok, let's play the devil's advocate and ask a very simple question :
who needs a Serenity given the plethora of WindSUP models on the market ?

Or put another way : who needs an ultra-efficient gliding machine ? What's the market share for that segment within the light wind WindSUP practice ?

First, let us not forget why is the Serenity so long ? Simple : to minimize drag. Drag is inversely proportional to the hull's lenght cubed.

Suppose a 368 cm-long Serenity A. Drag would be 1/(3.68)^3 = 1/50

Suppose a 464 cm-long Serenity B. Drag would be 1/(4.64)^3 = 1/100

Lenghtening a Serenity by 21% would reduce her drag by half, which is by itself an enormous gain.

That simple example (together with her narrowness, overall drop shape outline and pointy bow and stern) explains why the Serenity is so much efficient at gliding in ultra light wind as compared to a shorter WindSUP...

So, the basic question still remains : who needs a Serenity among the light windsurfer and longboarder community ?

Suppose you come to a windsurfing school or club where a 12'6" WindSUP, a 10'0" WindSUP and a Serenity are lying side by side and ready-to-go on the beach with a camless 5.5 m2 simple sail. Guess what happens ?

Reality at my home lake has shown me that 95% of average windsurfer tend to choose a WindSUP and only 5% the Serenity, not because of lenght, but because of width and flat-bottomed hull shape. A wide and flat board is much more stable for a newbie or average Joe/Jane than the racing-looking longer and narrower round-bottomed hull Serenity. The Serenity is even lighter to carry up and down the beach than any WindSUP.

Choice has nothing to do with lenght or weight, but rather with stability and immediate plug & play safe feeling.

So, what's your thoughts about that ?

Is an exclusive built-to-order system sustainable and profitable enough for Starboard to fulfill the unmet needs of the 5% potential Serenity lovers in the segment of light wind and longboard windsurf market ? I dunno...

Cheers !

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Old 11th April 2013, 11:20 AM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Belgium
Posts: 509

Hi JM,

I follow what you say, but don't underestimate the transport issues and they do have to do with the length of the equipment.

I mean, if I would have to transport a more than 4m long board, no matter how light or narrow, it would be really a pain. I live +/- 100km of my windsurfspots. Some are a bit closer, some are a bit further.
Luckily I have a trailer that can contain quite a lot of boards, but no longer than 3m.
The ride to the beach takes me 1hour. The ride back home again 1 hour. Yes, windsurfing is time consuming for me.

It's different for people who live very closeby their windsurfspots, but how many of us have this privilege ?
5% ?

These matters have already often been discussed on the forum.
I'm convinced that transport issues are the only obstacle that prevents our dear beloved sport from further growing massively. It certainly obstructs our youngsters who depend completely on the adults to get the equipment (and themselves) transported to the windsurf spots. For the same reason, kite surfing became so popular. They have less transport issues.

Transport capabilities will always remain a very important marketing aspect in the windsurfing branch.

Hallowed be those who live near by the beach !
IS87 / IS101 / RRD114 / US147

Last edited by BelSkorpio; 11th April 2013 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11th April 2013, 02:24 PM   #13
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 257

Jean-Luc I think there are at least three things to consider:

Ease of use: I have a crossover 11' SUP and tried a race 12'5" SUP. I did not like it. Yes I was going faster but I had to pay much more attention to what I was doing, so forget it. I SUP to relax. Same, as you point out, for a beginner wind-sup: they really want something nice and stable and easy.

Diminishing gains: yes a long serenity shaped board will be more efficient and faster in displacement, but do we care? It is displacement sailing, and it is fun and playful, but what if I go 2 knots slower than another displacement board? Is that important?

Length: I don't think one can underrate it. I can put my 11' in my van, I will not buy anything longer. And carrying a 10-11' board on top of a car is quite different than carrying a 12-13' (14-15' yikes!). I am with BelSkorpio here, one of the main reason for the popularity of kiting is the fact that you can carry it in a bag.

So ... it would be great if starboard offered a serenity "on order" but it is probably a niche product. Probably making it shorter would not change the equation much since the few people that would buy it are in for the efficiency and don't care about length.

Last edited by davide; 11th April 2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 11th April 2013, 08:54 PM   #14
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i believe Jim Drake was one of the Serenity designers

already OFF the market ??
is he rolling over in his grave already ???
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Old 11th April 2013, 09:53 PM   #15
nakaniko Unregistered
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Davide, have you ever tried a Serenity?
Emotional. This is the difference. As far as I can see Serenity is the only Board that gives emotional ride under 6-8 knots of wind. I've ridden in the same wind my Mistral Ventura 2009, 343-240lt and there is no comparison, really. Ventura is a good glider, for the flat hull and stability I think somehow similar to a sup, but man, the riding is stable and relaxing. But the emotions... Ventura start giving its best when pushing on its rails with some more wind, more physical.
So you need a relaxing and good gliding board, easy to stand upon it, no question, go for a sup. But if you look in light wind for some of the emotions who make many rider to buy small wave board, even if difficult to ride, then my baby I think is the only answer.
About carrying difficulties I'm surprised that many Americans feel this like a problem, when is well known that you are way more lucky about spaces than us European, I mean for streets, cars, houses and then garages, and finally for rules and laws about carrying long over the car roof. But someone forget how easily the kayakers carry their even longer and heavier boats over car roof
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Old 11th April 2013, 11:01 PM   #16
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

nakaniko has it right!
I sailed the Mk 1 Serenity extensively....in all conditions from pure glass < 5 knots of wind to 20+ knots of wind.
I've sailed a few SUPs (I do not like paddling.....sailing is far more efficient...even in very light winds). and while they do indeed give more stability, they sail nothing like the Serenity.
I've sailed it with a 4.2 m2 rig in way over 20 knots, and when you get the Serenity planning with the nose out of the water until the bow wave exits under the mast foot, it simply flies.....until.... the tail goes under....then it gets real interesting as the stability goes away completely. You have to slow down until the tail no longer submerges,
and that's as fast as it will go.
I've sailed it with smaller sails and small weed fins in very shallow water off the Florida coast, and the ability to
simply glide along checking out the marine life in total tranquility is awesome.
The ability to rail the Serenity and go upwind on the fin is really amazing.
In mid range winds (10-18 knots) with larger sails (6.5-8.5 m2) the Serenity really tests your techniques.
Very challenging to get the most out of the board. At times it seems to have a mind of it's own,, but you try slightly
different techniques and learn to "tame the beast".
Yes, the Serenity was designed by the late Jim Drake. This board took an extensive amount of his time to get it all
designed and tested.
I spent many hours discussing with Jim what his concepts were, and how they were integrated into the Serenity.
All of his suggestions seemed to work with the Serenity design and if you followed his suggestions, you could
fairly easily get the most from the Serenity as his suggestions were based on getting particular aspects of the
Serenity design to work for you.

Last edited by Roger; 12th April 2013 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 12th April 2013, 03:01 PM   #17
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Roger, Nakaniko, I am sure the Serenity is a great board but I think you might be missing the point. Of course the Serenity would work better than an 11' flat bottom WindSUP, but a lot of people do not care about light wind performance or a board that is "Very challenging ... At times it seems to have a mind of it's own ... " and requires a different technique to "tame the beast".

I am an "expert" windsurfer and as such I could be interested in a board like that. However I have plenty sailing challenging where I live, in San Francisco, and when I go out in light wind I am happy to just cruise around.

Maybe marketing-wise the serenity could come back as a "hook" for people who live in windless areas to "progress" from Win-SUP. But I think that what the sport needs first is simplicity, and even easier boards and rigs for beginners than there are now.

Last edited by davide; 12th April 2013 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 14th April 2013, 08:31 PM   #18
Nakaniko Unregistered
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I want to say that there is some misunderstanding. Serenity in its range of wind is NOT a challenging or too difficult board. I'm and average to advanced windsurf and I've found teh serenity way less challenging than some small boards I.ve tried. Obviously is not a beginner board, but really is not a user-unfriendly one!
The beast thet Rieger speaks about is when using it in strong winds and rough sea.
Anyway here my only-in=Venice fleet:
copy and then paste in the web address box
Isn/t she impressive and lovely?
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Old 25th April 2013, 10:12 PM   #19
Alex Unregistered
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Jean-Marc, I'm very surprised you found that thread/forum/video. I guess the Serenity world is a smaller than I thought.

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try keeping the front foot behind the mast. I've been getting much better at sailing the Serenity and actually now gybe it more than trying to tack. Sometimes it stalls out when I try to tack it and the board wants to slide sideways. At that point it gets very hard to point it in any direction. Any thoughts on how to get out of the stall?

As far as the WindSUP vs Serenity, I think that's comparing apples and oranges. I have two SUP's, a Naish Glide 12' (no mast option) and a Bic Jungle Wind 10'10" (my first windsurf board/SUP). If you have a school or just a beginner with a Serenity, that board should be nowhere near them. It will only frustrate and probably dissuade them from continuing with the sport.

I've used the Serenity as a SUP with the 40cm and 70cm fins in 0mph winds; I'm talking dead calm and it's not designed for it. Does it work as a SUP, barely. Would I take it on a 10 mile paddle session? NO WAY. It's not a kayak, it's not a SUP and it's not a wave board. It's a perfection of engineering designed to do what other boards can't in super light wind. I have a Kona One a Mistral Superlight II, F2 Lightning Race a bunch of short boards and the Bic wind/SUP, in light wind they're nowhere near the feel of the Serenity. And yes, I've schlogged on these boards as I'm fairly new to windsurfing (about 2 years). I loved schlogging and just wanted to sail anything; until I got the Serenity. It doesn't schlog!

I love the idea of an inflatable SUP/windsurfer Starboard recently released and I'd love to try it, I don't think I'll ever buy one. I have a collapsible kayak and it's nowhere near as fast as my rotomolded one. They're great for storage but you compromise in the ride quality. I'll take ride quality over storage issues whenever possible.

I'm waiting for the weekend and there's a regatta coming up. The wind forcast is 9mph gusting to 12; guess which board I'm taking? I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about it!
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Old 26th April 2013, 03:16 PM   #20
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Posts: 1,483


Yep, fans of Serenity are easy to spot on, especially when pics or a video is available...

As for tacking the Serenity, bank the board with the windward rail up and tilt the rig on the back towards the tail to head up dead upwind. Then, it's way easier to keep your balance when you simply oversheet the sail when you're dead upwind, with your front foot just in front of the mast base. Check out the following video at time 2:05 and 3:28 to see what I mean by sail oversheeting : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V97ikRFQDdU .

When passing dead upwind and especially if your stalls without any momentum anymore, tack the sail and frankly tilt the sail toward the nose of the board and pushing the nose sideways with your front foot placed inbetween the mast track and the tiki printed on the deck (back foot just behind the mast foot). Keep the sail sheeted out; if you keep the sail sheeted in, the nose of the board will not turn under your front foot but it will drift sideways with no motion forward and you'll stall. It's the same when you try to point too much upwind: the board stalls and starts to drift sideways. Tilt the sail forward and sheet out a bit to bear away a bit and gain speed again. This is why the Serenity has no footstraps because your feets are always dancing a bit along the median line of the deck to correct for sail trim and board pitch.

Cheers !

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