View Full Version : Begintermediate on an X-186 Formula (2002 Vintage)

25th August 2006, 03:06 AM
This question is a bit out of vintage so I apologize for not being current but hopefully someone can allay my fears or give me some advice -

The Question - can a 95kg 180 cm begintermediate sailor sail an Formula X-186 (2002) with a 7.0 Neil Pryde V-8? if not, will more sail be enough or should I turn around and sell this board in search of a more appropriately sized GO board?

Skill Background -
I haven't windsurfed in a few years and wanted to get back on the water again. I have a 7.0m sail and a 5.9 that I used with an old Mistral Equipe until a few years back. At the time I was able to waterstart and get on the plane but never got into the straps (I know - weird) so I was some kind of beginner to 'begintermediate' in sailing skills.

Current Situation -
I had in mind to get a GO board if I could get my hands on a used one, then I recently ran across a 2002 X-186 formula at a local board swap and rashly purchased it thinking it would be something like a GO board. I only found out after that the board is not 186 Litres but is actually 155L. I haven't had a chance to get out on it yet but from what I have read in here from posts made way back in 2003, I've made a grave mistake in that bigger sails than I have are likely needed, and a 155 L formula board probably isn't the best place to start learning to sail again. I'm 95kgs and 180 cms tall.


29th August 2006, 08:24 PM
Hi Windrider,

Since no one from the team has answered, I thought I might try.

My opinion is that the formula board will not be very good for you, especially with those sized sails. For one thing, the volume and length of that board are relatively low, so it will be very slow and ungraceful through the water when you are not planing. Another thing is that the footstraps are way out on the rail, with no inboard options, which will make it hard for you to get in the footstraps even if you do get on a plane, which I think will take at least 15 knots with the 7.0.

If I were you I would keep the Equipe for winds less than 15 knots, and use a GO, START, or RIO to try to plane with the 7.0 when the wind approaches 15 knots. If you want to lower the planing threshold down to around 10 knots on your GO, START, or RIO, invest in a 9 or 10 meter sail.

I don't know if there is a local windsurfing club in your area, but if there is, I would strongly recommend joining it. My local club helped me a lot with equipment choices and techniques that would have taken me a lot more time to figure out on my own. :)

Del Carpenter
1st September 2006, 11:10 AM
I'm not a team member either, but I do have an '02 X-186, a '91 Equipe XR, and an '01 Start. My weight is 80kg. My most exciting rides so far were on the X-186 with a 5.0 sail and with the 40 cm fin from the Start.

My advice is give the X-186 several whirls before you decide. The X-186 is not the right board for a beginner. You, as someone who could get an Equipe to plane, are a long ways from a beginner, even if your skills are rusty now. You may love the way the X-186 pops up on a plane. A DRAM X-186 weighs just under 22 lbs. It will plane sooner than any other of the other wide boards mentioned in this discussion. The X-186 is 100 cm wide, like a 2001 Start, and only about 4 inches shorter than a 2001 Start. The X-186 is tippier than the Start because of its lighter weight (but planes alot sooner).

I agree with James that Yes, re-learning your skills would be faster on a Start or Rio or GO. But I think you can re-learn your skills on an X-186. I am guessing based on your past skills that your weight is low enough the X-186 won't be too tippy for you. If your weight was 100kg I would guess it would be too tippy to use as your board for re-learning.

After your skills return you will want larger sails for winds under 15 knots. Based on my weight I think your planing threshhold with a 10.0 sail on the X-186 will be more than 10 knots. I'm not a footstrap sailor either.

Welcome back to windsurfing and especially to the planing joys of wideboard windsurfing.

1st September 2006, 10:10 PM
Hi Windrider!!

I like you handle! I have a *board formula 147, a *Board GO Friendship and a '93 Mistral Equipe XR, I also have owned and sailed a variety of NP V8 sails, including a '98 7.5 m which I still have. I weight ~80Kg.

Having read both James and Del's replies, I kinda agree and disagree with both!

The reasons that the Formula is not good for relearning are as James stated, plus it's construction is not meant to withstand numerous mast strikes,catapults, etc. that a learner will subject it to. The Non-skidd will be rough on your skin and if it came with the stock (70cm) fin, it will require you to use it in fairly deep water, which maybe frustrating depending where you sail and how good you are at waterstarting.

The formula will, in comparison to the Equipe, have a different static and dynamic stablity. The X-186 will be more stable in the across the board axis (100 cm gives you that) but it will be much more sensitive to your fore/aft body position. But being a 2002 formula board its less this way than say James's F158. (L=264cm vs 227cm)

You will have to honestly access your skills to figure if you would be successful relearning on the X-186. If you envision yourself stuggleing to maintain your balance and constantly having the rig catapult you or slamming the board, then you might be better off getting something more appropriate to a progressing windsurfer. If you picked-up the sport fairly quickly you might find yourself in the fast lane to "the planing joys of wideboard windsurfing." with the X-186.

One last peice of advice, You should tune your V8 with more leech twist (i.e. more downhaul) when sailing with the X-186. Your board speed and req't for low end sail power will be different than when sailing the Equipe Longboard.

I hope this helps you.


2nd September 2006, 11:47 AM
First off - Sorry for the delay on replying but I?ve been having some troubles communicating to the site from work.

James ? Thanks for the reply

I?m worried that you?re right. Unfortunately, the Equipe was a loaner from a Friend who wasn?t using it (still isn?t but its now locked up in his parent?s garage) so its no longer an option and now I just have the X-186 and the shredder.

One thing that you mentioned is getting into a 9 or 10 meter sail. Do you find that these sizes are much heavier or more difficult to uphaul than a 7.0? my 7.0 is a NP V8 and is the biggest sail I?ve used so the bigger sizes seem daunting? Finally ? there is a club in Toronto and I think I?m going to take your advise and join up at the club.

Del ? Thanks for the warm welcome back to Wideboard windsurfing!

I?m glad to see the X-186 can be fun with a smaller sail (5.0) in higher winds From what I was seeing in the previous posts, it seemed like this board couldn?t be sailed on anything smaller than an 7.5?

WindriderVA74 ? nice handle!

Thanks for the Leech twist tip ? I?ll try that. I agree that if I can?t sail it reasonably competently, I?ll probably be better off selling it and getting into a tuffskin GO or Rio. For now, I?m crossing my fingers that I can do something with what I have.

I?ve been ridiculously busy of late but this weekend is promising some wind so I?m going to get out tomorrow and give it a whirl, finally. Since I did learn to waterstart in deep water (in a stiff breeze mind you), I think that I still have a prayer of making this work. To echo what I said to James, I?m hoping that he?s wrong and that you?re right. If I do glimpse the fun you?ve been having on yours, I?ll definitely consider getting a big sail (10.0)+rig for the lower wind days.

Thanks again - I?ll post again to let you know what happens.


?93? 130L Mistral Shredder
?02 155L X-186 Starboard
5.9 NP RAF
7.0 NP V-8