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Old 4th December 2006, 02:52 PM   #1
Gades
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Default entry level board for kids

Hi there,
I'd like to buy some boards for kids between 7 and 14 years old, for beginner's course.
At the moment we've got some Start M and L (just for big adults). Most kids find the Start M quite easy and stable, but when they try to turn / tack is not that easy. They're using most of the time 3 - 3.5 m, and the wind is up to F3.

Should I just change the fins for smaller ones (the original ones are huge)? or should I get smaller boards, if so, do I go for the Start S or the Starsurfer S / M?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 4th December 2006, 07:32 PM   #2
Roger
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Gades,
The Start S (Small) will work nicely for the smaller Kids (say ages 7-10 and not over about 100 lbs (45 Kg.) but for your larger kids the Start M would certainly be better.
What fins are supplied with your Starts? The Drake "Shallow 410 FRN"?
This is a 41 cm wide blade "cleaver fin" designed to give good performance in a fin that works in shallow water and for those who are not so tall when learning to beach start.
My guess would be that you have some sort of technique issue here.
I've used the Start and Rio M's for years with 2.5m2, 3.3m2, and 4.2 m2 rigs with no problems with the students tacking or jibing.
I'd suggest that the "critical issue" here is that you are not teaching them to place the foot of the sail all the way down on the back of the board. Also, it's good to teach them to "drive" the board up through the wind until the foot of the sail is all the way across the back of the board and pulled across until it rests near the outboard footstrap on what was the upwind side of the board.
Also, instead of having them step forward (holding the rig by the mast or the uphaul i.e. a rope tack) have them step over the mast keeping their feet and weight behind the mast foot and over the board's centerline.
In the "A Taste of Windsurfing" program we use this method very effectively and call it a "faster way to tack".
It works really well on wide boards like the Start, Rio, Cruiser, N Trance,
and Easy Rider, as it drives the board up through the eye of the wind and a little beyond, so all the student has to do with "sweep" the rig back out to perpendicular ( the T position) on the downwind side of the board and they are ready to step back, balance the rig across in front of their shoulder and rotate the upper body to add power and sail away.
The problem with small sails and using the more traditional "longboard" tacking method is that when the student steps forward, they bring the rig forward as well and the board stops turning as there is no "turning force" with the rig standing up because the center of effort/power (CE) of the sail is now standing upright over the mast foot, instead (as in the method mentioned above) keeping the CE of the rig well back where it has the power to drive the nose of the board up into and around beyond the eye of the wind (straight upwind).
Try the above technique yourself, with the 3-3.5 m2 rig and I think you will see how well it works.
Also, where are you placing the mast foot in the slot on your Starts?
I've found that it's very critical to put the mast foot all the way back as far as it will go, and only change it more forward for young sailors who seem to turn upwind all the time. It's easier to teach them to carry the rig a little more upright and forward to keep the board from turning upwind, but every once in a while you get a student that just turns upwind and stops all the time and for those students you may need to move the mast foot forward to perhaps the middle of the slot.
Hope this helps,
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Old 4th December 2006, 08:20 PM   #3
Gades
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Roger,
thanks a lot for your reply.
I think that I'll try your "faster way to tack" and make sure of the mast foot position.

It looks that following your advice I could just get a couple of Start S in addition to the Start Ms that we already got.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:53 AM   #4
Russell
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Gades.

I use the start small for teaching kids with a 1.5m sail it works great but I do use a cut down fin of 15cm.

I also use the same board in none planning conditions for teaching modern freestyle. I have the straps in the middle position and the back strap on the diagonal so you can get your back foot in the center.
With the short fin you only have to get presure on the nose and the tail will slide. So if you have the centerboard down the board will rotate around it. This is great for working out where to put the sail,body in slow motion.

This board has helped me work out a lot of new moves.

Russell.
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:53 AM   #5
Russell
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Gades.

I use the start small for teaching kids with a 1.5m sail it works great but I do use a cut down fin of 15cm.

I also use the same board in none planning conditions for teaching modern freestyle. I have the straps in the middle position and the back strap on the diagonal so you can get your back foot in the center.
With the short fin you only have to get presure on the nose and the tail will slide. So if you have the centerboard down the board will rotate around it. This is great for working out where to put the sail,body in slow motion.

This board has helped me work out a lot of new moves.

Russell.
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:55 AM   #6
Russell
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Gades.

I use the start small for teaching kids with a 1.5m sail it works great but I do use a cut down fin of 15cm.

I also use the same board in none planning conditions for teaching modern freestyle. I have the straps in the middle position and the back strap on the diagonal so you can get your back foot in the center.
With the short fin you only have to get presure on the nose and the tail will slide. So if you have the centerboard down the board will rotate around it. This is great for working out where to put the sail,body in slow motion.

This board has helped me work out a lot of new moves.

Russell.
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Old 5th December 2006, 12:58 AM   #7
Russell
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Sooy for the double post having problems with the sit.

At least its up.
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Old 5th December 2006, 05:15 PM   #8
Gades
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Russell,
did you get the short fin from Starboard as well? what model is it? or did you just "re-shape" the original one?

up to what weight have the kids use that board?
also, would it be too much if we use 2.0 and 2.2 sail as well?
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Old 5th December 2006, 10:37 PM   #9
Russell
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Hi Gades.

I use 2 fins, one is a cut down select 46 race fin to 15cm and the original cemicircula GO fin cut down to 15cm. In this mode I have taught people up to 60Kg and 4m sail.

For advanced maneuvers up to 108Kg and 5.6 sail.

If you plan to be semi planning, you have to go back to the original fin.

The small fin setup is for when you have the daggerboard down all the time and not planning. The board is very maneuverable and only needs a small movement of the rig to turn.

You can try this with your other Starts. If the people are having trouble with the board turning to much I just put the large fin back on and change back to the small fin when they are learning maneuvers.

I hope this helps as everyone who sails this set up has realy enjoyed themselves.

Russell.
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Old 7th December 2006, 10:00 PM   #10
Gades
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Default RE: entry level board for kids

Quote:
Russell wrote:
Hi Gades.

I use 2 fins, one is a cut down select 46 race fin to 15cm and the original cemicircula GO fin cut down to 15cm. In this mode I have taught people up to 60Kg and 4m sail.

For advanced maneuvers up to 108Kg and 5.6 sail.

If you plan to be semi planning, you have to go back to the original fin.

The small fin setup is for when you have the daggerboard down all the time and not planning. The board is very maneuverable and only needs a small movement of the rig to turn.

You can try this with your other Starts. If the people are having trouble with the board turning to much I just put the large fin back on and change back to the small fin when they are learning maneuvers.

I hope this helps as everyone who sails this set up has realy enjoyed themselves.

Russell.
hey Russell,
thanks a lot for your explanation

I think I'll try tomorrow myself, probably an M with a cut down fin

cheers
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