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Old 25th November 2008, 04:57 AM   #1
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Talking Is volume that important?

My windsurfing friends have been scratching our heads over this. We've tried boards from 1997 to 2008 vintage.

The boards from 1997 are longer and narrower for their volume and the 2008 boards wider and shorter for the same volume.

In the past if you wanted a wider board you then you had to find one that was also longer and had more buoyancy.

My 1997 mistral slalom 92 ltr x 55cm slogs fast but takes half the bay to accelerate to planing speed. 2005 Bic Evolution 112 x 62 cm planes up in half the time at half the speed but displaces water less well than the pin tailed mistral. My 80cm GO slogs painfully slow yet has the broadest "flight envelope" of all at seems to plane when traveling below 10km/hr.

A 280 L 70cm longboard planes at 12 knots with a 6.5 but becomes uncontrollable at 30 knots with that same sail yet won't plane with anything smaller. A formula board planes at 8 knots and is controllable (for an athlete) with a 9 meter in 30 knots.

The performance variable here seems to be tail width, not flotation. Would it then be possible to make a "no volume" formula board from marine ply? Has anyone tried to "boat launch" a no volume board from a planing start? How about a very thin 245 x 70cm 60 ltr board?

Is it possible to design a board that could "plane up" immediately enough to eliminate the displacement/buoyancy stage altogether? Wouldn't want to stray far from the beach, but could it be done?

I've seen footage of a Windwing user planing with waterskis. Is the fact that a sailboard rig generates no upward force at low speeds the limiting factor?
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Old 26th November 2008, 02:06 AM   #2
Per
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A kiteboard is basically a no volume board.. Water skiing and wakeboarding all depends on no volume boards.
A 100 x 250 cm x 2cm thick board on 12 litres of volume with a 70 cm fin and a 11 m2 sail.... Possible? Yes... But why? It would need a quick waterstart and very steady wind as you would have to keep it moving all the time. It would be difficult to design such a board stiff enough as the natural camber og the boards we know (being 10 cm thick) will stiffen up the board a lot (like a hollow mast). The flat board would be more floppy..
One advantage I see though is that you could keep a whole quiver of boards in a normal single board bag ;-)

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Old 26th November 2008, 04:08 AM   #3
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Somtimes volume helps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggzUTpUXJ6U...
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Old 26th November 2008, 06:16 AM   #4
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This all really came about from the inquiry of some friends who sailboard but come from a wakeboarding background. They were surprised that volume was such an important dimension when they were starting out.

Obviously a kiteboard needs no volume because of the vertical lift of the kite, and the fact that the kiteboarder waterstarts with the sail already traveling at 20 knots or more. The whole " power =square of velocity" thing. But kiters do use surf style boards in the 20-60 lt. range.

It's true that a ws board's volume also makes it structurally stronger. But on some of the boards of the past it seems like overkill, esp the older racing long boards.

It also makes the sport safer, especially in cold water.

What we are wondering is; with the short wide revolution nuking the limited sail range of past board shapes, which were longer and narrower and more buoyant, what the ultimate wide/low volume shape could look like.

Example from the 2004 exocet board range: the S Series: 235 x 80cm 125 L and a sail range of 5.0 to 11.0(! )

The longer and narrower Speed Slider 255 x 69 and 120 L with a range of 4.5 to 9.8.

Personally i'd like to sail the same board from 11 meter to five conditions and carry one board instead of a possible three, a formula esque board a freeride board and a "highwind" board.

Or perhaps fit 3 "wide ply boards" into a single bag.

Starboard deserves major kudos for starting the trend and making planing windsurfing less of a "boutique" sport for the high wind endowed.

But i'm not here to simply boost Starboard. The industry should double the effort of looking into real world performance , reducing gear redundancy and increasing portablity. The world's economic condition and the numerous alternative sailing sports waiting in the wings should be ample motivation for this.

Long live sailboarding, in whatever form it eventually takes.
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Old 26th November 2008, 06:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the video Ola, entertaining! Wave sailing? Now, if that same board was wider but not more buoyant, would it have planed? Or would a wider board have just needed more sail power, a bigger sail and more weight? A paradox...
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Old 26th November 2008, 12:41 PM   #6
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Funny video, and the reason why I at 100 kgs dressed up don't have an 80 litre board.

Actually Starboard have been quite leading in the "one board to suit all conditions" for a while. The Hypersonic was supposed to carry from 5 to 10 m2 sails. My Aero 127 is funny with both a 5.5 and a 9.0. The problem with these kind of boards is that when you reach a certain level you will really feel the compromises built into these designs - The HS is NOT an early planer and the AE is NOT fast in a blast. Soo back to the drawing desk again to move a little rocker, rail, strap and wolume and PUFF! the compromises have now moved - to somewhere else...
I'd love to have one board and three sails to cover everything from 5.0 to 11.0 conditions whether it would be speed or manoeuvre oriented sailing..
How would such a board look???? Definitely short and VERY light, but how do you design a tail that will carry a 32 AND a 70 cm fin? A tail that cuts corners on waves and go at high speed in 11 knots of wind.
I believe it's possible.

Last edited by Per; 26th November 2008 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 26th November 2008, 03:13 PM   #7
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I wouldn't believe quoted ranges too much. Have you tried those Exo boards with 5 and 11m sails? As Per said, when you know what you want, compromises become a bit too annoying.
Real world performance demands volume, for now.

I would also like to have one lens 12-300mm (f2.8 please) for my Nikon, but..... not going to happen in the near future ;-)
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Old 26th November 2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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Yes those sail ranges seem exagerated, notably towards the small sizes. The Exo S4 will carry an 11 sqm sail, but the same guy with a 5 sqm sail will probably enjoy anything narrower. A 80 cm wide board in 25+ Knts is no fun, whatever the volume. The practical range is rather 7.5 ~10 sqm (which is quite a lot already).

Last edited by Farlo; 26th November 2008 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 27th November 2008, 12:34 AM   #9
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When you really think about it, a sailor really needs to have a minimum quiver of 3 boards to sail in the ocean venues I focus on. If one only sailed on lakes you could probably reduce the number of boards to possibly 2, especially if the fetch is relatively short. But really, as suggested by others above, a lot has to do with matching sail sizes to the boards. The short and wide boards of today definitely optimize the viable sail range possible, but there are still undeniable limits. All you have to do is see the sailor hating life using a board that is too big on a huge day. Really no fun at all.

As for the expense of having multiple boards (I'm currently carrying 6), the key theme that I leverage is keeping the boards for a minimum of 5 to 6 years to get my money's worth. With the economic trends we're experiencing now and for some time to come, getting your money's worth will be a paramount concern for some time into the future.
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Old 27th November 2008, 02:57 PM   #10
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Volume is important to bring you back home when wind drops at the end of the day. This being said, modern wide/short/flat boards have similar sail range than longer/thicker boards of same width for less volume. I recently dropped my 126 L light wind board for a 103 L of similar width and I use exactly the same sails in the same conditions. No noticeable difference in speed or planning threshold but much more confort and control. So yes, it is a way to optimize your quiver (I just carry two boards now).
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