View Full Version : kid board

21st March 2007, 07:27 AM
Okay, I thought I had it figured out with the Starsurfer S, but I am second guessing myself again.

I have two girls, 8 and 11. I want them to have fun windsurfing but I do not want them to outgrow the gear in two weeks. I was leaning towards the Starsurfer. I figured that it would also double as a moderate wind board for me and the wife. I am starting to think that a Start M would be better (talk about extremes). Plenty wide, has a daggerboard, I can sail with them and.............put a 65cm fin on it and have some fun when the girls go eat lunch!

Roger/Ellen please help me out here.

I also own a carve 145, Bic Electric Rock and a Maui Project 8'2". Will also purchase a Kombat 97 when the funds permit it.

21st March 2007, 10:03 AM
Hi Peterk,
Yes, for a "family board" the Starsurfer M (127 ltrs)(same hull as the Kombat/Aero 127 with the addition of a center fin box and in a heavier construction) might be a better choice than the Starsurfer S (117 lliters and the same as the K/A 177 with the center fin box and heavier construction).
The Start M comes with the rear roller wheel, so what you really may want is the Rio M (no roller wheel and consequently a bit lighter in weight).
For a family board, the Rio or Start M would be better and you could put a big fin in it and go out planing in lighter winds, but not alot lighter than your Carve 145.
The Starsurfer and the Rio (with the EVA decks, will for sure be the favorites with your wife and girls as they have alot less non skid to scrape elbows and knees.
Hope this helps,

Ellen Faller
23rd March 2007, 03:26 AM
Here are my observations...
When I was working with my greatnieces, we were using an older Start because that way I could ride on the board with each girl and be right there for coaching. If you plan to ride on board with your girls, you will need a larger board than the Starsurfer M. Even the Rio may be a bit of a challenge if you weigh more than about 165 lb. I was riding in front of the mast, and also standing behind them on the tail.
I had the girls out with me on board for their 1st day until they were comfortable. The 2nd day I put them on the board by themselves but kept them on a tether line. Their father will do this for them this summer when they move onto their own Starsurfer. You might want to consider this option if you aren't a lightweight, and if you want to go the route of using the Starsurfer as a higher wind board for you. If you sail at Fogland, a tether will work. You don't really want the girls to get out of easy earshot and into "yelling mode" and that happens at about 25 ft. I try to keep absolute beginners within about 50 ft and we also discuss some signals just in case.
My nephew/the father will use the Starsurfer M as his higher wind board. He and his wife have a 2003 GO 150 which has the complete EVA deck.
Hope this helps,

23rd March 2007, 05:06 AM

Given our old, but small arsenal of other boards, do you agree that the Start could be a good family addition? I really like the idea of being able to sail with them on the board and I think that if I throw a large fin on it then my wife or I could have fun with it as well.

I am new to the wide gear scene, but speaking for myself, windsurfing faded out of my life because I spent to much time waiting for wind. I live for the 4.0 days but I believe that we tend force ourselves to go out on smaller boards than we should. I am just starting to come to grips with it.

It's funny; I only weigh 165lbs so most people will say that the C145 is too much board. I disagree. I plan on sailing 95% of the time I go to the beach. I also have a 9.0 and 7.0 rig. My biggest sail used to be a 6.1.

I'm not sure how I ended up going sideways in this thread. I guess I am trying to justify purchasing a board the size of a small boat.

I like the Lil Surge sails by World Sails. Have you had any experience with them? I am told the 2.2 is plenty big for both kids and that the 3.0 may be too overpowering at times. Jim at sailworld stressed that the key is to make sure the girls sail a bit underpowered. That way they will not tire out quickly and will tend to have more fun. Seemed like a logical statement. The sail comes with a fiberspar mast made specifically for kids and a one inch diameter boom.

23rd March 2007, 06:09 AM
Hi Peterk,
I have no direct experience with the World Sails "Lil Surge".
I've seen a few, and they seem to work OK.
I guess we (in the very successful "A Taste of Windsurfing" program) have a slightly different apporach to small rigs and teaching children.
We use the Sailworks Retro Ripper 2's which have quiite a bit of power for their dimunitive size.
Our teaching methods focus on "power control" as we feel that if a young newbie sailor can be taught to "handle the power" in their first session on the water, they will be able to sail in stronger wind conditions with larger sails, a whole lot sooner, because they fully understand that they are in full control of how much power the sail makes, and they can immediately reduce the power or let go with the 2 fingers on there back hand and have virtually not power at all to deal with.
I think the weight of the rig is more an issue with tiny sailors than the power available in the sail.
We can easily teach them to control the power, but we cannot give them much help if the rig is too heavy for them to get out of the water and keep balanced so that it weighs virtually nothing, even when it's powered up.
If we used sails that are underpowered, the tiny sailor never learns to control the power and often there's not enough power to get them moving well, sailing spightly upwind well, etc.
You will have the same problem with the Lil Surge that we have with the tiny 1.2 and 1.7 Retro Ripper 3's.
It's a mast foot position vs the distance to the CLR of the center fin or center board balance problem, and there's no solving it beyond adding an auxiliary mast slot to the board, or making and extension to the existing mast box that sits on the deck.
There's no way to bring the CE of these tiny rigs back far enough to balance over the CLR or the center fin, so the tiny sailor really cannot sail upwind as the CE is too far forward and wants to drag the nose of the board downwind.
This is why we use 2.5 and 3.3 m2 Retro Ripper 3&#39;s for all but the tiniest (usually < 7 years old) sailors, and we ALWAYS ride along with them. When they have proven they can uphaul, get the board lined up, sail across the wind, tack, and sail back across the wind on their own, to where they started out, we put them on either a betwwwn 2 boards tether or Ellen uses a longer tether to keep them close while she stands out in the water.
So, bring your girls to the Windfest in Hatteras and try out the Lil Surge, Retro Ripper 3, Rio M, and Starsurfer.
We&#39;d be glad to get your girls started on their windsurfing adventures.
Hope this helps,