View Full Version : Long and Short Board suggestions

Sam R
11th February 2007, 11:34 PM

When we're on the water in Bonaire I can never think of much to ask you about. However, about a week after I get home I think of lots of things I should have asked.

I sail my Free Formula 198 about 65 days a year and my HiFly 279 Free Ride (the red board that's 150 liters and 280 x 70 cm) 6 - 8 days. The FF 198 works great for me in light and strong wind.

The HiFly is always a challenge cause I think it's about one size too small for me to be comfortable on. It's ok when I'm planing but when the wind is up and down it's pretty tippy off the plane. I try to only take it on windy days but often the wind drops after I get there. Do you think one of the bigger Craves like the 145 or 160 would be better for me?

What about the new long boards not as a replacement for my FF or HiFly but as an addition to them. I sailed the Mistral one design for 10 years and my sailing was pretty well stuck all that time. The one design was too narrow and tippy for me. I never even tried to crave jibe it and almost never got in the back straps.

The Kona is 70 cm wide and 350 long. The Phantom 80 x 300.
I like the length of the Kona but wonder if the 70 cm is too narrow for me. I want to be able to sail on both light and planing days, to be able to do free style in light wind and crave jibe in stronger wind.

Would the Phantom be too much like my FF 198 cause I want to keep it too.

Thanks for you help.

12th February 2007, 08:39 AM
Hi Sam

I'm sure Roger will help you out but to start with......

You don't say how heavy you are or what sized sails you have which would help.

I'm 80 kg's, have had the FF168 and the newer 158, have had the carve 161, and had a freeride similar to the 279. I also sail about 80 days per year.

I use a 9m 40% of the time, 7.6 40% and 6.4 20%. I'm just giving this backround so you can relate it to your situation :-).

Sounds like you might be on the heavier side, and sail gusty lake conditions?

I believe the carve would give you way too much overlap between your two boards. It could just about replace both of them.

I hate to talk about the opposition products but the last 4 months I've had a Kona as my only board and really like it. I can use all my sails on it quite comfortably and I'm even thinking of getting a paddle to use in no wind at all.

I truely believe it is the most versatile board I have ever owned. You are rigth, it is initially tippy at only 70cm but the 220L volume gives it the stability that the 279 will never have.

It doesn't have quite the low end that my 158 had but then again I'm also using it in winds which overpower my 6.4!

No wind, light wind, strong wind, freestyle, yep. It even carves a reasonable jibe.

I really hope Starboard eventually produce a similar board. It would round out their already extensive range nicely.

12th February 2007, 09:16 AM
Sam, just saw your previous post and realise Roger already knows you - even bought you dinner :-).

13th February 2007, 11:10 AM
Hi Sam,
To some degree, I agree with Rod_r here, and since I've sailed both the Kona and the Phantom, I may have a slightly unique perspective on these 2 excellent new boards.
There are things the Kona probably does better than the Phantom, but the opposite is also true.
For super light winds, the Kona's longer, narrower shape may have some advantage over the Phantom.
In windspeeds above 10 knots, the Phantom will probably plane up (with the center board retracted and a large fin) at least as early if not earlier than your older Free Formula 198 as it's a very efficient new shape, but the overlap between the FF-198 and the Phantom would make one or the other very redundant.
As far as a larger Carve (to fill the gap between your FF-198 and the Hi-Fly) that could work as well, but again the overlap is going to be problem.
With your gusty, light wind conditions, it's going to be quite difficult to find a mix of boards without some degree of overlap, and replacing your current boards (I know you don't seem to want trade them in) might allow you to find some different board characteristics that will allow you to progress.
Sorry I can't provide a better solution.
Hope this helps,

19th February 2007, 11:32 PM
I weigh 190 lbs and sail 10.0 and 8.0 Retros most of the time in light to medium wind in the summer.

I think the Kona might be a good choice as a 3rd board for me. I do want to keep the FF 198 and the red HiFly 279 and agree anything in between them would overlap too much.

Are you able to get in the Kona straps easily? Are they ok for planing with the daggerboard up and then for going upwind with it down and the board railed up? I think the footstrap positions are my biggest concern. Usually on boards like the HiFly Madds I move the straps forward and inboard when I rent on vacation.


19th February 2007, 11:53 PM

Is Starboard coming out with a longboard like the Kona anytime soon?

I was just reading about the new SUP boards. A windsurfing longboard about the size of the larger one (12 feet x 30 in) would probably be a good fit for me.

20th February 2007, 12:32 AM
Sam wrote:

Is Starboard coming out with a longboard like the Kona anytime soon?

I was just reading about the new SUP boards. A windsurfing longboard about the size of the larger one (12 feet x 30 in) would probably be a good fit for me.

Then what's you're question? The SB alternative for the Kona is the SUP, so problem = solved or am I overlooking something here?

20th February 2007, 02:15 AM
Hi Sam, and Julian,
First, for Julian,
I don't thnk the Exocet Kona and the new Starboard SUP boards are anything alike at all.
The Kona is very much like an old style longboard (Mistal Equipe, Superlight, F2 Lightning Race, etc.) in that it features a very large retractable centerboard.
Granted the Kona does have the "step tail" bottom, and I've found the Kona to be faster and easier to sail fast in "shortboard" (centerboard retracted) mode than the older longboards mentioned, but the basic concept is still most similar to the older longboards.
The closest equivalent, and much better in shortboard planing mode, available from Starboard would be the new Phantom.
The Starboard SUP boards are far more like surfing "longboards" and while they do feature a mast attachment fitting in the deck, they are not anything like the Kona or traditional windsurfing "longboards".
You can get the optional Tuttle box in the bottom, but for wave sailing and maybe for Stand UP Paddling the center fin would not be advantageous as it prevents the board from being real "turny" in waves.
For freestyle, and light wind sailing the center fin would be useful, but not as good a a large retractable centerboard.
For Sam,
The SUP boards I think would bore you to death in your lightwind, no waves conditions.
If you want a "sailboard" for light winds, look at the Serenity.
It's much faster and better for "sailing" around in light winds than any of the other boards discussed here.
If you want to give SUP a try, you can do that on your FF 198 with a Kayak paddle and if you don't get too tired and bored, then think about looking into a dedicated SUP board.
If you are looking for a modern longboard, the Kona is the best example, but the Phantom is far better if you want to plane early with your big sails.
No one is paying much attention to the new Phantom, but it's really the best "compromise" ever between a big planing shortboard and a traditional longboard.
It's exactly what the RSX and the BIC 293 OD were supposed to be.
If it gets a little further development, (like a larger centerboard) it could be the perfect "does everything pretty well" board.
Hope this helps,

20th February 2007, 02:55 AM
Hi Sam

Of course, Roger is right, that the Phantom is a hybrid with an early planing bias, whereas the Kona is a hybrid with a longboard bias. Therefore it's easy to see how the Phantom would plane earlier and go upwind better on the longer fin while the Kona would have better light wind glide and possibly be better in higher wind.

Roger is the one who has ridden both boards so all I can say is that for me the Kona is the most versatile wide range of use board I have owned.

To answer your questions. Yes, the straps are easy to use, certainly no harder than your current boards and the sensation once in the straps and planing is just as much fun as wider shorter boards.

The best advantage of the daggerboard, apart from sub planing cruising, (something I don't do much of) is that you can complete a series of fast broad reaches and jibes, put the dagger down, cruise back up wind and start again.

The Phantom would likely handle your 10m better than the Kona. I think either board would be great. My opinion is that the Kona would be a better additional board, where the Phantom would be a better replacement board.

BTW I really really hope Starboard come out with a Kona type board.



20th February 2007, 05:10 AM
Hi again Sam

Just some thoughts on the Kona if you do consider it.

After all my Starboards, and I have owned a whole lot of them, I was initially dissapointed with the Kona.

Once the daggerboard, fin and straps are fitted the weight is getting up there. It's heavy to load onto a roof rack and carry to the water. On the water this translates to being initially sedate in marginal conditions. However, I think with the right technique it's early planing abilities are acceptable but it does take time to "go through the gears" to reach top speed, (although in well powered conditions it planes off as easily as any other board).

I was out once with a couple of mates who were on medium wide freerace boards and they generally planed off earlier and built to top speed faster. This left me quite frustrated initially, so if drag racing is your thing, don't use the Kona.

Having said that, once powered, the Kona is surprisingly fast. A couple of guys on speedsailing-gps.com have recorded over 34 knots!

The thing that wins you over in the end is the boards versatility. It's very good in nearly all conditions.

Finally, in your location with your sails, my recommendation would be to trade the FF198 for the Phantom.

21st February 2007, 11:31 PM

Thanks for the info about the SUP boards. I would not like one as they are now for windsurfing since they don't have a mast track or daggerboard. I was just thinking that the size of the large SUP would be good for a new windsurfing longboard for me.

I'll think and read some more about the Phantom. I enjoy free style on my free formula in light wind but it doesn't go upwind very well so maybe the Phantom would work better for me on those days.

21st February 2007, 11:37 PM
The new SUB boards don't have a mast track, footstraps or daggerboard. They are surfboards that have a spot that a sail can be attached to. So, their use for windsurfing would be pretty limited.

21st February 2007, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the additional info about your Kona.

Getting in the Kona foot straps sounds easy enough. On my old Mistral one design the straps were so far back that I almost never got in them for planing with the daggerboard up. And, the board was always tippy for me in light wind.

The Kona does sound like a good board for both light and stronger wind.

I'll keep reading about it and try to find one to demo.