View Full Version : Newish Windsurfer - Board & Rig Help?

28th March 2008, 10:52 PM
I have been windsurfing for 1 season now and have been using pretty old hire boards for practice. I am looking to get my own kit and could really do with some help.

Boards currently used are old style approx 2.5m long and 600m wide at around 145 ltrs. Sail is old and sized at 5m.

I can sail happily around a lake with this kit though getting it planning is a real issue and just cant seem to quite get it there even in 20mph winds!

I weigh 70kgs and am 175cm tall.

There seem to be so many boards in the market and some mixed advice. I would like a board and rig I can really progress one, but at the same time I dont want to have to change it in a years time as they're not cheap.
Help on the right kit would be very appreciated.

Many thanks,

29th March 2008, 09:21 AM
Hi Rob,
Can you describe the conditions you would most often be sailing in a little better?
We need the most common windspeeds in order to recommend both board and sail sizes.
I just received a new Rio M a couple of weeks ago, and it would be a really easy transition for you from the older hire gear you've been sailing.
But, if you have greater than 14 knots of wind fairly often, then you probably want to "stretch" a bit more and get a fairly early planing short board (without any center board or center fin).
So, what windspeed have you seen most often?
One of the larger GO's or Futura's would give you the best "down the road" potential,
but you will need a much larger rig than 5.0 m2 to get any sort of performance in < 20
Are you using the centerboard in the hire boards all the time?
I'm a little puzzled by your description of the boards you've been sailing.
Do you have a brand and model name?
250 cm long x 600 m wide x 245 liters seems a bit wide, so I'm pretty sure you meant
60 cm wide (600 mm) which is about right for a regular "longboard".
Something a whole lot shorter, and a bit wider,with about 135-155 liters sounds about right. You'd need at least a 7.5 m2 rig and an 8.5 would be even better.
Now is the time to spend a bit more on the mast and boom you'll buy.
Go for the highest carbon content you can afford as this will make all your rigs much lighter and more enjoyable to sail.
Give us a little more info to work with (windspeed.....fresh vs salt water... and anything else you can think of) and I'm sure we can come up with some good suggestions.
Hope this helps,

31st March 2008, 05:47 PM
hey robwootton,
i agree with roger: if you want a nice transition kit with a big planning potential and which will llow you to progress on go for the SB GO 139 or for the 144(?? not sure about that last volume). With your weight eighter should be perfect to just float on in low wind and in higher winds these boards can be (with a slight fin adjustment sometimes, at least when your trying to sail over 20 knots with it or in heavy chop) cntroled perfectly. As for sailsizes the GO's accomodate a large range. Personally i use it with 6.2 (if the wind is gusty and i can't sail my 115 L board) and bigger (i'm getting an 8.8 from a friend) but i have used it with a 5.5 in serious chop with a 40 cm freeride fin which worked very well .
It sounds to me that you're sailing a lake with not too much strong winds so you might want to take a GO (or a futura if you think it's better for you ... i haven't tested a futura and i've been using my go for 3 seasons now or so? and i won't replace it untill i've wrecked it) that can accomodate sails up to 10.5 m² or s. this way, when you get better and more accustomed to larger sails you can take out your board on low wind days and still plane with it (off course you're gonne have to save up for a big rig ;) but those are problems for later).

hope this helps,


(hurray post 200!)

31st March 2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks Guys,

I normally seem to sail in 8-15mph winds on a fresh water lake. The wind doesnt usually get much higher. I have been out in windy and gust conditions >20mph but got blown all over and still couldnt get planing. Roger you were right about the old board dimension (typo) I was estimating the dimension from memory but saw some new boards at the weekend and the old one I'm using is much longer and thinner for the same volume. Also i cant hire a sail larger than 5m at the lake.
I have had one go on a friends board which was a Mistral around 10 years old and approx 145ltrs also. he had an 8m sail which was extremely difficult to uphaul and manoeuver. However I'm not sure on the weight of his mast, boom etc.
I ride with the daggerboard down when I'm heading upwind as I just dont make progress otherwise. I have it up when trying to plane, but as mentioned I cannot acheive this at the moment.
I hope this gives you a litle more information on what might be best for me.

Many thanks,

31st March 2008, 07:46 PM
Hi Rob,
OK, 8-15 mph is only about 7-13 knots.
At these windspeeds, I think I'd suggest one of the new Rio's (Probably the M for a 70 Kg. (154 lbs) sailor).
Since you rartely have over 12 knots of wind, and you have learned to use a centerboard to stay upwind, the Rio M (or even the Rio S) would give you the most time on the water.
Smaller or wider boards, without a centerboard, are good above 10 knots (11.5 mph) but you would be slogging along in < 10 knots, even with a big rig.
I've had the new Rio M out in 18 + knots on a 6.6 m2 4 cam Sailworks NXslm and it was a very nice planing ride.
Not the first board I would choose for this kind of conditions, but I'm sure much better when the winds are < 10 knots and you want to rail the board upwind on the centerboard.
The GO or Futura (as suggested by Crazy Chemical) would be real good in 12 mph with a 7.5-8.5 m2 rig, but how much of the time will you get the higher winds?
Even a larger and wider GO/Futura and a bigger rig would be OK, but slogging in < 10 knots won't be much fun.
It seems that planing is what you want to do the most, and that's simply not going to happen with the windspeeds you have and anything less than a 7.5 m2 rig.
For your suggested windspeeds, an 8.5 m2 would be even better.
Are there other windsurfers on your lake? Do they get planing? What size boards and rigs are they using to accomplish this?
Doesn't sound like you are ready for huge sails and formula gear yet, so perhaps the suggested Rio M might be the best overall compromise for you.
Hope this helps,

2nd April 2008, 08:37 PM
Thanks Roger,

I have a couple more questions:
I believe the GO can have two side fins to help with upwind sailing, would this replace the need for a dagger board in non planing conditions?
If I go with a board that has a dagger board can I put it in the "up" position when I want and plane if the conditions are right?
Is it possible for me to progress on a board without a daggerboard?
How will the various fin sizes effect my sailing and what are useful starts?

Many thanks,

2nd April 2008, 10:10 PM
Hi Rob,
Yes, you can buy the optional side fins for the GO boards.
They do, in fact, work pretty well as a substitue "center board/ dagger board" but only in non planing conditions.
The attachment screws can handle the forces developed to stay upwind just fine non-planing conditions, but there have been some failures if used in planing conditions and with large sails. So, use them for < 12 knots only would be my suggestion.
Yes, you can put the centerboard "up" and have a fully planing but kinda large "shortboard".
The new Rios do this very nicely.
They have a moderately sized centerboard that works quite well (once again in non planing conditions) to keep you upwind by railing the board a bit (lee rail down in this case).
Once the wind comes up a bit, stow the center board up inside the board by pushing forward on the handle and you have a really nice fairly early planing board that's fairly quick on the water.
Yes, you can "progress" on a board without a centerboard, but from the sound of your conditions, I think something that transitions from a longer waterline with a center board for non planing conditions (which you seem to have the most often) to a fully planing board with the center board retracted is going to give you the most "quality time on the water".
In less than planing conditions (less than 10-11 knots unless you get a really large sail) you won't have a whole lot of fun on the true "shortboard" unless you get a really wide one and a huge 10.0 m2 + sized rig. You will need to learn to pump effciently as well to get a big wide formula type board going in < 10 knots.
The formula racing minimum wind speed is 8 knots of wind just for comparison purposes.
If you get a free ride type board, without a centerboard, fin selection can be pretty critical.
You will need a fairly large and upright planform (like a race or slalom fin) to get your board planing early and help you to stay upwind until you develop the skills to really sail
upwind on fin lift alone.
If you sail smaller rigs in the 6.5 m2 range and mid size fin that's sort of a "swept pointer" will help you jibe more easily.
If you get a high wind board you will probably want a more curved planform fin that's loose and turny, but will not go upwind very well.
The fins that come with your board are going to usually be pretty good, but in the "mid range".
If you are using larger rigs, in less wind, you'll want a bigger fin.
If you are sailing in "mid range" of the board's specifications, then the stock fin will be OK.
If you are sailing in the high wind range for the board, then a smaller than stock fin with a bit more curvature will be what you want.
Hope this helps,