Old 5th July 2011, 12:19 PM   #11
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It makes sense to consult the weather people prior to a long drive to the beach.
Other than that, you all seem to have truck loads of kit so as Davide says, go to beach, look and rig up.
I cant inmagine anybody rigging up based on what Bob Gates is telling them on the interweb.
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Old 5th July 2011, 04:36 PM   #12
Kato
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Never hear of anyone using this scale where i sail in oz, mostly knots is used. We look at water state and how much sand is being moved. A rough guide is when there is light water mist its 45kts and when its easy to see its 50-60kt. And yes we see this about every 4 yrs and its FUN with a 5.0
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Old 5th July 2011, 08:19 PM   #13
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Unregistered,

Is it just the UK and US that are left and still stuck with a measuring system from the ancient world?

Full immersion for a few months and it's done. The US has been slooooooooooooly moving in the metric direction for what - 30 years? It's politics, no one want to be the "bad guy" that made us go all the way. Why not get with the rest of the world and go metric (except for knots on the water)?
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Old 5th July 2011, 11:46 PM   #14
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Ken, you may be surprised but km/h or m/s don't make sense here in France. Between windsurfers we rather talk knots and sometimes Beaufort. This scale is interesting because its captures wind variations to some extend. Now it may not match the conditions of the day. When the wind is very gusty average/max speed in knots is more representative. From the beach I always try to figure wind speed in knots and pick my sail accordingly. Then how do you measure knots without a rope or anemometer? I guess it comes with practice (and many errors).
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Old 6th July 2011, 12:00 AM   #15
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Farlo,

My comment was regarding the metric system in general, not just windsurfing. I use knots and MPH interchangeably for windsurfing, and I think we all use whatever is most common where we live. Nothing is right or wrong, just what works for you.

Experience teaches us how to read the water for wind speed, and it's pretty easy if you only sail in a few locations. It's all about fetch, wavelets, white caps and waves that helps us know what to rig. The hard part is anticipating what the wind will do an hour later. About 80% of the time, I make the right call regarding sail and board, but not always. I hate to re-rig, but it's better than slogging or getting blown away.
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Old 6th July 2011, 12:41 AM   #16
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Another reason why I want to know more precisely the wind force is the fact that I have rather (perhaps too) many sail sizes.
I mean, probably I would not be using an anemometer if I had only 3 sails, say 5.5, 7.0 and 8.5, which probably would also cover most of the wind range. In this case the scale of Beaufort would probably also be sufficient: F4,5,6. Never a dillemma, no worries.

But my sail range is: 5.0,5.7,6.7,7.8,8.8,11.0 and I want to have the ideal setup for a given wind force.

When I arrive at my favourite spot, the first thing I do is a wind speed measurement. I've got a windmaster 2 and I'm really happy with it. It indicates the current, average and max wind speed. I'm only interested in the average wind speed of course. Then I do some other things that keep me busy with everthing BUT rigging up the sail, because I want to postpone this as long as possible. E.g. I take out the board of the trailer, screw the fin, take out the boom, mast, sailbag, go to the toilets, etc..
The reason of this, is that I want to confirm my measurement, let's say 15 minutes later. If I get confirmation of approximately the same measurement as before (always average wind speed), I will rig up my sail accordingly. If there is too much difference, probably I will put on my neoprene first and do still a 3rd measurement afterwards. If this is again completely different, I get nuts
Then probably I will go to others to see and ask what they rig, I really hate to do this because then everything gets so subjective ...
Luckily, most of the times, I get after three measurements a really good indication.
I guess that all of this sounds a little bit freaky, but I know that I'm not the only one.


Oh yes, and there is also the psychological aspect of picking the sail size.
Only recently, when I was about to rig my sail, I saw an old windsurf buddy on the beach with all brand new slalom stuff.
I changed my sail for 1 size up. Why ? I just knew he was going to show off and do some fun drag racing with me. Too much testosteron, I know. Stupid, because afterwards I was too overpowered.
Another example is when I feel a little tired, I sometimes tend to rig 1 sail size smaller which I afterwards regret.


You see, picking a sail size can be one of the hardest things about windsurfing unless you stick to objective measurements.
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Old 6th July 2011, 03:15 PM   #17
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Well I don't use an anemometer but I also try to delay rigging until my perception is confirmed. When balancing between two sails, the bigger one is most often the best choice on a lake. Different story by the sea where it depends on many factors (onshore/offshore...) and evaluating the wind speed can be quite difficult.
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Old 6th July 2011, 03:44 PM   #18
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Belskorpio,

You make a difficult sport more complicated with your wind measurements!
Looking at your sail quivers, you have it covered from 7 knots (F3) to 25 knots (F6).

Wind conditions never stay constant. Even if you got the right sail when you started, you may find it either too big or too small when you are out on the water. May I suggest you try using the outhaul pulley system? It will make a big difference in your sailing. Modern sails have quite a big wind range and a good sailor must be able to adapt to changing conditions. Ben NED57 came in 2nd in Aruba using 1 board, 1 sail and 1 fin throughout the competition :-)
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Old 7th July 2011, 02:54 AM   #19
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Skorpio,
You must have balls the size of an elephant to admit going through all that nonsense at the beach !!
You really need to throw more money at the sport.
Get more fins and boards to start with.
Sounds like you also need a quiver of Race sails.
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Old 7th July 2011, 02:57 AM   #20
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I am in somewhat the same boat as Belskorpio with lots of sails, but where I sail, there is a 100 meter wind shadow between shore and where the wind begins. No way to take a wind reading, so I have to do it by sight and I sometimes use binoculars to see what's happening a half mile from shore.

Also, all my sails from 6.6 to 11.0 have adjustable outhauls to maximize my adjust-ability. However, they aren't much of an advantage with the 6.6, somewhat with the 7.6 and 8.4, but a big advantage with the 9.2 and 11.0.

Since the winds are highly variable where I sail, I must pay attention to the gusts and not just the average. Average winds may be 20 knots, but a few sustained gusts of 30 can wipe out the forearms pretty quickly so I frequently rig a little small to be sure I don't get wasted too soon.


Life would be simpler with one board and three sails, but not as much fun.
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