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Old 27th April 2009, 02:36 PM   #1
crazychemical
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Hi,

I'm looking into a formula set for the lightwind days at the lake. Seeing as during the warm months the wind drops (with a few peaks above 15 knots and there's off course the storm period that in both spring and fall but i haven't seen signs of the first one yet so i'm getting worried). Currently i'm seeing a lot of 7-10 knot winds on windguru for my spot and depending on the orientation those predictions do come true (i can add a few knots for the northernly orientations but let's leave the variation asside.)

I was thinking of getting an older 12ish set (Nitro's or TR1 or something simular) with a somewhat older formula (like 05,06, preferably SB's, we all know why ;-)). But I want to be sure that it's worth the investment. I leave near a spot and i have boardstorage at the spot so i could theoretically go surfing whenver the wind blows but uni makes it a bit more complicated.

Thanks for the input
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Old 27th April 2009, 07:32 PM   #2
Screamer
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Crazy

You need to see what other sailors are using on the lake in those conditions. If you have constant 7-10, you will plane on Formula gear. But if it's fickle, full of holes it will be a slogfest, not very fun on 1m wide formula.
Wrt sails, maybe a 9.5/10m freerace sail will get you on the plane earlier than full on race sails of 12m. Worth considering if you won't race seriously, and you're prepared to give up a bit of up/downwind angles and overpower control.

In winds this light, it's most important to assess your conditions correctly. Is Formula gear worth the investment? Don't know. Where I live, on some lakes, only a daggerboard will guarantee tow on most days. Other thing is, some people don't like sailing Formula even if they sail light wind spots. They just find it too expensive, big and cumbersome (while many others enjoy it). Try before you buy if possible.
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Old 27th April 2009, 10:07 PM   #3
Ken
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Crazy,

How much do you weigh? How are are your pumping skills? I am on my third formula board SB 160 which I love, weigh 78 kg and have an 11.0 TR-3 for my largest sail. I sail inland lakes in Texas where summer winds rarely get above 10-12 knots in the summer. I also had an SB 147 which was also a great board, much like the 160 but with less volume.

If there is wind here in Texas, there are lots of holes and like Sreamer says, it can be a slogfest. Personally, I rarely go out unless small white caps are beginning to form (10 knots). Winds 7 to 10 knots just isn't enough to keep planing with all the holes. For me, going with a larger sail doesn't make sense at my weight, plus my skill level would not allow me to handle a 12m much over 13-14 knots.

While I am a Maui Sails fan, I suggest you stay away from the TR-1's. Cam rotation is not good on the larger sails and you will have to kick and pound the cambers to get them to rotate. The TR-3's & 4's are great. I don't have any 2's or 5's so I can't comment.

Remember, right at planing speeds, you won't be able to point very high or run very deep. It takes 2-4 knots of steady wind above planing speeds to make good upwind and downwind progress with reasonable board speed.
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Old 27th April 2009, 11:18 PM   #4
sergio k
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my 2 cents,
FW is the early planning king now, but it does require the skill, tuned in gear,
and usage of sail that's large enough for your weight to get the most of it, 7-10 knots (even with some luls) are just fine if you got those, upwind/downwind takes maybe another knot, again with right skill, etc... While you can freeride FW, it's a high performance rig, and the better you get the more you can push it, gives you lots of room to grow/progress...
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Old 28th April 2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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Crazy,

My personal conclusion when you liked surfing raceboards (Equipe, Utra cat, On Design ...) in the past, buy a board with a daggerboard as an lightwind sollution.... With 2009 stuff this is an big investment with almost no acceptable return on investment but it works...

I live in the North part off the Netherlands and had to made a simular desicion as you three years ago. At that time I bought for the light wind days and as a family board(!) the SB Hybrid Formula next to my 2004 FF158. When windguru predicts unstable lightwind (5- 12kn) on the spot I want to surf I take the Hybrid instead of the FF158 because I can use the daggerboard and have a lot fun in subplaning conditions! In these sircumstances the FF158 is no fun at all! If I had to made the choice at this moment I would have bought the new Phantumrace 380, if SB had an Tuffskin version and the price would be below 1500euro's! Today is still use with al lot of pleasure my 2004 FF158 as a big' slalomboard with sails between 11 and 6.4 m! For the realy windy days I use an HS111...

At this moment I consider myself as an not so good windsurfer because due to family circumstances my TOW is limited. The big plus of the equipement from the past few years is that the quality of the TOW is very high!


Greetz,

Albert
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Old 28th April 2009, 10:59 PM   #6
Ken
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Albert,

A longboard or hybrid for light winds is an option, but it's not for everyone. Before Formula and course slalom, I raced longboards for many years, finishishing up with an Equipe II XR. However, I almost never sailed the Equipe except for racing. Not much fun in sub-planing winds. I preferred my course slalom board with a 9.2 sail or I didn't go out.

Basically, If I can't plane, I don't go out, so that's where formula comes in. It's just where I am after 25 years of windsurfing. I suspect that I may change this attitude as my age impacts my ability to manage the "big rigs" on formula, but I am not there yet.

Everyone is different and Crazy will just have to guess a what will meet his needs best.
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Old 28th April 2009, 11:37 PM   #7
michelb
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Go for a Serenity.... I will do this year, for this days a Serenity + 8 mts free race sail and you are on the water from 3 to 10 knots, over 10 let`s go formula.......

Michel
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Old 28th April 2009, 11:50 PM   #8
Finn
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I had the same issue 1 year ago. Didn't really get planing with my f-type and NP V8 10,6 in the light and non-constant summer winds, maybe also due to too poor pumping skills. Tried a formula and loved it. I have now a used formula kit with 10 and 12 sqm sails and really likes the latter one. It is big but get me planing in really marginal winds. Here is clip with bad quality, but as you can see there isn't much wind: http://vimeo.com/4169165

Maybe 7-8 knots in the gust were I got off and then 6-7.

I strongly recommed a used formula kit.

/Finn
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Old 29th April 2009, 03:30 AM   #9
crazychemical
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i never really liked pumping .. i'm used to overpowered sailing where i basicly tug my sails once or twice and i'm off. But i know i can pump; only last week in got a F2 discovery planning with a 6.3 in a 15-16 knot gust but pumping like a maniac to do so (plus i had left my harness on the shore as i was teaching and i was only returning one of the rigs on the water from a guy that had drifted (not a student of mine, i gave them 4 m rigs ;-) still 2 managed to drift, damn first-timers, they NEVER LISTEN). Later that day i was comfortably planning on my 7.6 in 15-17 knots (could have used a longer fin under the Xcite i was using, it kept spinning in subplaning).
As for the conditions on the lake. It depends, SW winds are constant, NE winds are stronger then predicted but very gusty which makes them unpredictible but fun at times, W is gusty and usually the typical light winder along with the SW, the only difference is that the SW can pick up and go up to 32 knots (as far as i've seen on windguru under the gust section).
If i do go for a longboard, not wanting to offend SB, but i'd go for a Kona One. I've seen these babies in action: good speed in low winds, planning possebileties and good top speed.
Seeing as the opinions are directed versus the 'don't do it if you just want to freeride it' i think i'll take my previsioned investment to updating my current gear; replace my freeride 113 with a slalom 115 L board, get a few new sails and masts and pray for wind like most of us do (oh and waist a lot of money on gas for my car off course ).

thanks for the input guys, i appreciate it. And by all means, do keep adding stuff. We can turn this into a poll: what would you sail in 8 knots??? 12 m + formula board oooor Longboard + 9m
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Old 29th April 2009, 06:05 AM   #10
Jean-Marc
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Haiko,

I've had the same dilemma about 2 years ago: should I go the Apollo, the Phantom or the Serenity route to maximize TOW in the low wind range?

The earliest possible planing gear is an Apollo + 75-80 cm fin + 11-12m2 sail combo: starting the planing below 6 knots of wind and still sustaining the planing in 5 knots lulls. Below 5 knots of wind, she is a pig as any dedicated planning hulls: schlogging at no more than 5 knots Vmax. The gain compared to my 7 knots wind planing threshold with HS105 + 55 cm fin + 10.6/11.0 m2 combo was simply not worth the money IMHO.

After testing a Serenity with my 10.6 m2 sail, I choose to buy one together with a new Code Red 11.0 m2 sail. After 2 years of use, I'm still delighted by her awesome performance in the 2-8 knots wind range: far better than a Phantom, Kona, Equipe, old Lechner Div 2 or what ever else windsurfing board you can think of. It points upwind like nothing else and is fast enough as twice as the actual wind speed (new Vmax: 13.5 knots in 4-8 knots wind just done last week). Together with my HS105 and the Code Red 11.0m2 sail, a 2 boards + 1 sail quiver can realistically cover the 2-12 knots wind range (1-4 Bft) for absolute maximum TOW efficiency.

Try a Serenity if you can with a big sail (the lighter the wind, the more baggy and powerfull the sail trim should be) in a light wind day, you'll discover how fun and challenging it is to be overpowered in 7-8 knots wind with a large 10.5-11 m2 sail while foil-riding da big Bertha on her 70 cm fin while other riders are painfully schlogging on their non-planning wide and short hulls...

This is a new dimension of the sport of ultra efficient gliding at maximum speed in ultra light wind. No more waiting on the wind limit for starting the planing : wind limit is <2 knots of wind (1 Bft...!) to actually enjoy it by getting some momentum and get her going forward.

In sum (183cm x 65 kg) :
constant wind < 7 knots : Serenity + 11 m2 sail;
constant wind > 7 knots : HS105 + 11 m2 sail.

Cheers !

JM
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