Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 7 of 11
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    191

    When to progress to a smaller board?

    I've been windsurfing for just over three years now, I weigh 70kg and sail on flat water, usually in 8 to 15 knot winds on a 6 or 6.5m sail. I'm still a beginner, and whilst I can fast tack and gybe fine, I'm only just starting on using the harness and am planing occasionally. I can't waterstart yet, so am beachstarting and uphauling. My board is 145 litres (245 x 75cm I think) - when is the best time to go down to a smaller board? I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing out

  2. #2
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    El Médano, Tenerife
    Posts
    3,828
    Quote Originally Posted by BoredAtWork925 View Post
    I can't waterstart yet, so am beachstarting and uphauling ... when is the best time to go down to a smaller board? I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing out
    When you can waterstart. Make learning a priority. Spend the money that you would have spent on a new board on getting some tuition, ideally a clinic somewhere abroad with warm, windy, flat conditions. I learnt to waterstart in Vasselliki for instance, in my first week of windsurfing, because it's so easy there, with a gently shelving beach for about 100 meters, but then spent the next couple of years struggling on a poxy little gravel pit under the North circular, in Chigwell

    ps and yes, you are missing out (by not being able to waterstart).
    -----------------------------
    Currently writing the World's first Windsurfing Novel: 'Too Close to the Wind' - watch this space!
    ps check out my musings from El Medano: Life on the Reef
    -----------------------------
    Boards: Quatro Supermini Thrusters: 94 & 85
    Sails: Severne Blades.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South of London
    Posts
    261
    SB makes a good point about conditions to learn to waterstart somewhere gently shelving,

    My view is there are a couple of answers to this question,
    Firstly, the 'need' to move onto a smaller board will come when you more comfortable using the harness and footstraps and are going out in conditions that make your current board difficult to handle because the size makes the ride too bouncy over chop/waves.
    Maybe you don't go in those conditions currently because of the size of your current board?
    Or, (the route I took ) get a smaller board and challenge yourself to have to learn to waterstart!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    El Médano, Tenerife
    Posts
    3,828
    Yes, when I started in the mid 1980's (the so-called "good old days") it was the accepted wisdom that you had to learn to waterstart after learning planing, harness, footstraps etc on a big / long board (>=365 cms in those days!) before you could get a smaller one (a 295 in my case). Now I guess you could learn to waterstart at the same time as everything else since pretty much all boards are 'short boards' and nobody uphauls any more when they progress beyond the first few beginner lessons. THe OP is a bit 'old fashioned' in already have been going for three years without learning to waterstart (like I was in the 80's).
    -----------------------------
    Currently writing the World's first Windsurfing Novel: 'Too Close to the Wind' - watch this space!
    ps check out my musings from El Medano: Life on the Reef
    -----------------------------
    Boards: Quatro Supermini Thrusters: 94 & 85
    Sails: Severne Blades.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,876
    At 70kg you could get a much more responsive and lively board capable of staying under control in stronger winds AND still be able to uphaul as a back up whilst you learn to waterstart. A 120l to 130l board which will typically be 70cm wide + should be easy for you to uphaul, probably easier to learn to waterstart with, and its performance is more likely to encourage you to use the footstraps and harness.

    Uphauling remains a good skill to have. Most modern mid sized freeride boards are shorter and wider than before and are therefore more stable at rest. If you are using a large sail in marginal winds it is often far quicker to uphaul than waterstart. Waterstarting is a skill you have to master though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Graemef's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Seabrook Kent
    Posts
    16,511
    As everyone has pointed out, master water starting which is not as difficult as it appears if you do it as I'm about to describe. When it first came about (my generation invented it, initially as a device to quickly recover from a gusted header knocking us into the water whilst racing) we went straight from long boards to little 'sinker' 60 odd litre clarke foam surfboards that absolutely could not be uphauled and remain on the surface.
    SO how do you do it? My tip is to learn backwards, start off luffing the board to a near standstill take one foot off step down into the water, then throw the rig forward and pull yourself back of by bearing away, then take both feet off, then when you are proficient at this bit you just have to learn how to fly the rig from the water, this can be achieved initially quite easily by setting the boom low and dragging the rig over the back of the board, there are plenty of instruction videos of this bit, the tricky bit is the actual mount and bear off which you've just learned and how to control the board from the rig whilst treading water, so next time out, try that dismount, good luck, it can be done in an afternoon, I once taught a 60 year old to do it, and that was before 60 was the new 50.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Keema Naan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    180
    I would concentrate at the moment on becoming fully proficient using a harness and getting fully planing most of the time locked in the straps. Once you are doing that you will have built some skills to assist you with and fully motivate you to go through the at-times frustrating waterstart learning process.

    Nothing to stop you going to a smaller board sub 130L though, then say 115l but you can uphaul 90l or less at your weight so you can drop a lot of board sizes before waterstarting becomes a necessity although bear in mind that wind strength becomes the driving factor to make waterstarting a necessity over uphauling at a certain point.

    Waterstart looks like an incredibly cool thing when you are learning (my 9 year old is desperate to try) but in reality there are a few other things that are best mastered first.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •