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Old 9th June 2011, 11:42 PM   #71
Floyd
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I used to have a Powerglide 130 which I believe is a very similar board to Thomen Free x. (Both Thomen;similar shapes/widths/weights)
It worked fine on a 32cm fin but never tried smaller.Had to point well down wind to get it up and running but then it tracked upwind great. Infact its good training to use a smaller fin than ideal/recommended. Think big fins can make you a bit lazy and rear foot biased.Small fin needs more pressure on front foot; needs better technique for getting upwind and will reap benefits for both gybing and control and for when you move down to smaller / wave kit.

Dont think some of posters distinctions between Freeride/Freeride/Slalom are as distinct as made out ??
When does freestyle become freeride ??? Skate is a freestyle but 90% of its owners simply freeride on it. Many folk use freestyle for freeride and vice versa. Is a Futura freeride or Slalom ? I think its up to rider ???
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Old 10th June 2011, 12:06 AM   #72
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Floyd,

These days there is a distinct design difference between slalom and freeride boards, although both can be used in both ways. I am sure that you know this.

Slalom (race) boards - Light weight (many in carbon versions), wide, wide in the tail, little V in the bottom or flat, hard rails and outboard straps.

Freeride - Usually heavier and narrower for equal volumes (not always), narrower tail, more pronounced V in the bottom, softer rails, and straps set more inboard than the race boards.

There are clear differences in performance and ride in the hands of experienced sailors.

You are probably correct regarding big fin and heavy back foot dependence, but I have been involved in course racing for 27 years and all courses have upwind legs. Big fins have always been the call. Managing back foot pressure is a skill that take some time to master, but there is no reason someone with big fins can't adapt to smaller fins and less back pressure. A little tough for novices and intermediates, but no big deal for advanced sailors.
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Old 10th June 2011, 03:52 AM   #73
Floyd
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Hi Ken
Sorry Ken dont really agree.Take for example the Futura (and Fanatic equivalent (?) Ray. Neither are distinct "Slalom" and neither are exactly "Freeride" (a term in itself very user definable) Both in certain situations would perform on a par (and beyond) the corresponding Slalom models (Isonic;Falcon)

We all know the design parameters that we label as "slalom" but in reality performance wise the edges are more blurred than ever between "slalom" and "freeride" .Manufacturers are getting more and more capable at combining both the better qualities of freeride into their out and out slalom boards (Isonics now gybe as easy as freerace 5 years ago) and the performance into freerides once only available in slalom.
I remember the dedicated slalom kit of old which were virtually ungybable (except for exceptional sailors)

IMO the distinction is not made by quantifying design but in objective performance.There`s an assumption the Isonics would out perform the Futura so all racers use them !!! Not convinced it would prove to be the case !!! Its a sort of selffullfilling prophecy ??
IMO in a race between Ray;Falcon;Futura and Isonic the faster sailor would prevail whichever he was on !!!
The more experienced the sailor the more the edges are blurred !!! Antoine Albeau would leave me for dead were he on any Freeride, whatever I was on.
Freerides is almost an insulting term to some;it assumes poorer performance. In reality this is not the case any more.
I see a lot of disappointed sailors stepping up to the "faster" slalom kit and then realising they are no quicker than they were on Tabou Rockets etc.This is especially case at exposed venues. We have many days where Skates and Kodes are fastest on water !!! Where does that leave term "slalom" ???
(And the Skate is Freestyle !!!)
Sail a Fanatic Ray and tell me its a freeride ??? In a race accross our bay I would now choose a Ray over anything !!! (And I`ve raced/ sailed most)

I dont really think upwind legs and racing has any relevance to our sport as a whole. Perhaps its different in USA but in UK I would imagine the number of sailors involved with any form of organised racing is under 1%. Excessively large fins might help to windward mark but I`m afraid 99% of our sailors will never ever race to a winward mark. They want to have a compromise of getting upwind sufficiently combined with that playful feeling only smaller fins can give.
People going out over finned are missing out on the best our sport has to offer !!! Playing !!! Surfing off the front foot !!!
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Old 10th June 2011, 07:56 AM   #74
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Floyd,
You have to define over finned. To me, over finned means you can not gybe, get or stay in the straps or maintain any control in any direction. So over finned means you can’t windsurf at all so you miss all the benefits of windsurfing.

Here in the U.S. we have three types of sailors. Front foot (mostly freestyle & wave), balanced ( mostly freeride) & back foot (mostly slalom & power sailors). While I do enjoy front foot sailing with my 85 liter board with 21, 22 & 23 cm wave fins, I don’t think the back foot power sailors think I’m having more fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZL5WdmtlWg&NR=1

That is no small fin Dale is running on his board in 30 knts and he definitely doesn’t look to be out of control or not having fun.

Big air needs big fin & some people find that more fun. I don’t have the courage to attempt jumps that high.

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Old 10th June 2011, 05:54 PM   #75
nakaniko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
I used to have a Powerglide 130 which I believe is a very similar board to Thomen Free x. (Both Thomen;similar shapes/widths/weights)
It worked fine on a 32cm fin but never tried smaller.Had to point well down wind to get it up and running but then it tracked upwind great. Infact its good training to use a smaller fin than ideal/recommended. Think big fins can make you a bit lazy and rear foot biased.
I agree that big fins can make the rider a bit lazy.. like me.
But imho there is the proper fin for every sails over every board, and also it changes with different wind and sea conditions. So I use to choose a smaller fin if there are waves or rough sea conditions, a bigger if i need to go more upwind and-or the wind is gusty and poor, so I need the maximum lift for every breathe of air coming. In these last situations having a small fin could be frustrating, and I do windsurfing for enjoying myself, not for some mission!
I disegree that Powerglide can be compared to Thommen Free X, Powerglide had and I suppose still has the goal to make peolpe plannin easier, so wide round squared stern made for flat water and biger fins, where Thommen Free X seems more sea and not only flat water oriented, so a smaller fin makes sense. Imho.
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Old 10th June 2011, 05:58 PM   #76
Floyd
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CoachG
I`ve re read my post;cant find term "overfinned" anywhere ????? So cant see why I should define it ???
Whats your point ????
Cant see point of video either ??? He`s a marvelous sailor enjoying great conditions on well set up/balanced kit ?? What`s your point again??? Yes its not a tiny fin but no its not massive either ?? Sort of inbetween;the correct one ???

My point was/is
Fin choice can transform a boards performance/feeling.. All depends on priorities. !! Many sailors always set up for best upwind progress (racers) by choosing larger fins. Dropping down a couple of fin sizes can completely transform how the board feels but can loose out "to windward mark" ..
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Old 10th June 2011, 06:02 PM   #77
Floyd
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You are right Nakanico but surely thats more of an argument to use smaller fin in Freex ??? (ie 32 was fine in PG130 (managed just shy of 40 mph on it with 32 !!!)
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Old 10th June 2011, 09:27 PM   #78
COACHG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
People going out over finned are missing out on the best our sport has to offer !!! Playing !!! Surfing off the front foot !!!
Sorry Floyd. This appears on my computer screen. I'm not sure why it doesn't appear on yours.

My point was the best this sport has to offer is up to the individual rider. For you and I it is slashing swells, for guys like Dale it is launching huge air and for other guys it might be going real fast and I don't think any of us are missing out if we choose not to sail in a different style.

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Old 10th June 2011, 10:41 PM   #79
Floyd
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I missed that ;must be my failing eyes !

You are right; I wasnt intending to imply one aspect more enjoyable than others,only that very often folk stick big fins in to"help" upwind and miss out on whats available on the given day/board

Even (quite)big board can feel very playful if finned smaller.(and in some situations are faster)

To be fair I normally carry larger fin than average ? (27 for 4.5 and less/29cm for 5 metre/32 for 5.4 to to 6 /38 for 6.4 and 7 and 42 for 7.5 +)

But I would not hesitate to put 32 in my 124 litre board which is a great combination and its 68cm wide !
(Which is where thread started) Comparing that board with a 42 in it is like comparing two completely different board. With the 32 its loose;playfull. With the 42 it feels slalomy/dedicated. Hence comment enjoying it with smaller fin. Never sailing this board with a 32 would be missing out on its best qualities.

Each to his own !
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Old 11th June 2011, 02:19 AM   #80
Ken
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Floyd,

Back to the slalom, freerace, freeride differences. You make several valid points but there is one major glaring issue that you overlook, which is the reason slalom racers choose slalom race boards over anything else.

Tail width! Popping up on plane after a jibe or staying on plane throughout the jibe can determine who wins and looses in a slalom race. Because the freerace or freeride boards have narrower tails and more defined V bottoms, they simply can't accelerate as fast or get on plane anything close to a full on slalom board.

My iSonic 111 and HiFly move 105 are good examples. Both similar in volume (iS is 108), length and width, but there are significant differences in how they perform. Since the HiFly is narrow in the tail and has a more pronounced V bottom, it is very smooth riding compared to the iS. Top speed wise, I have hit 31.5 knots on both, so for me, the iS is not faster on a speed run. However, since I only use a 42cm fin on the iS, it would likely be faster if I had another smaller custom fin around 38cm. Jibing, the Hifly is smoother/easier/quicker, but harder to maintain a plane exiting the jibe than the iS. If I do come off plan with either board, the iS is significantly faster getting back on plane and can reach full speed much quicker. In the lulls, it also stays on plane longer than the HiFly.

Also, if the slalom race course has a leg that runs deep, the wide tail of the race board allows the racer to run deeper with greater speed than with a narrow tailed board.

For slalom racing, the race boards clearly perform best in the hands of an expert sailor. I can see why intermediates or advanced sailors may not like a slalom race board because of the learning curve and the negatives. It is a rougher ride (almost flat bottom), jibing is a little more challenging, and the outboard straps are a bit challenging to get into (back strap).

One other point regarding the race boards is that they can carry larger sails for comparable volumes because of the wider tails (and bigger fins). Anything larger than a 6.5 on my HiFly, and things get out of balance. The iS easily carries an 8.4 (was on this the last two days in winds to 18 knots.

On this forum, I occasionally recommend freeride (Carve or Futura) boards to sailors that I feel aren't ready for the challenge of the iS. The average Joe is most likely going to have more fun on the freeride boards, but they will be giving up quick planing and acceleration in doing so. If you live where there are steady wind, you won't be giving up much. On the other hand, if the winds are highly variable (where I live), then freeride boards will be slogging a lot more than the same sized race boards.

Don't you think that the PWA slalom racers would pick the best board that their sponsors make. If the Futura was faster than the iS in a PWA slalom race, they would be fools not to ride it. They are not fools.
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Last edited by Ken; 11th June 2011 at 02:24 AM.
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