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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Question Intermediate windsurfing in 15kt winds / 1m waves - which sizes?

    I'm wondering what sail/board setup and skills I should focus on to progress.

    No one seems to start on boards as large as 185 on this forum! I'm finding 155 much less forgiving and can no longer tack or gybe reliably.

    Current state:
    - 70kg
    - 155L board
    - Sails 6.5 - 7.5
    - Beach start to chest height
    - Harness (getting some hands off the boom, but generally working too hard still)
    - Footstraps (medium outboard, single rear)
    - 50% in control when planing, mostly focused on avoiding other humans

    I'm focusing on improving:
    - Waterstart - almost never
    - Clue-first sailing
    - Non-planing Tack - 50% falling in (generally struggling with waves and balance)
    - Non-planing Gybe - 100% falling in (can't control the power and truly hopeless)

    Any recommendations would be appreciated. The instructors keep on encouraging me to move to smaller boards and larger sails, but I think some time out in 15kts with maybe a 5m/155lt or 185lt would be good practise?

    Last edited by Drear; 18th December 2017 at 06:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tony E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Nr Southend Essex
    Hi - that setup is fine and you can progress Ok without moving to smaller sails / boards. Putting a smaller sail on the big board won't really do much to help your progression. A smaller board and sail will allow you to go out in higher winds, in which you will find it easier to learn the backstrap and water-starting. However you need to learn the basics of water starting on the larger board first. I would keep the kit and focus on the non-planing moves, get a dvd or a short Peter Hart course and you will crack them soon. For planing moves you prob need to be on the larger sail to remain balanced.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gorgesailor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Learning to waterstart with 7.5 - even a 6.5 can be difficult. Bigger boards are great for the very first stages, just to get your confidence up. That said, time spent on a bigger board & smaller sail in less wind will not help at all, except maybe with tacks. Ideally you need to be powered enough to plane for waterstarting & it is easier with a smaller sail. So say 5.5 with your current board in solid 15kts should get you waterstarting. A bigger board - though more stable, can actually make waterstarting & jibing more difficult. As Tony said watch allot of vides until you have it well in mind.
    Last edited by Gorgesailor; 18th December 2017 at 09:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    It sounds to me like the waves are making things difficult. That and you are using quite large sails. I did all my learning on a 5m and smaller sails. Different kit set ups will help different things. A smaller sail will make everything easier apart from the water start and the skill required in going fast - but it sounds to me like a step back to the more basic skills might help with the confidence. Flat water is also a massive help to almost all skills so if its very lumpy just accept you are going to fall in a lot - dont beat yourself up.

  5. #5
    Senior Member astroboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    great to hear that you are making such good progress and thinking about your gear. Keep up the training and making the most of your sessions.

    I have been learning on a slalom 122 litre board but the water is pretty flat except for the odd crazy day when the onshore is howling

    I agree with the other poster Peter Hart is very good - you can find quite a bit on gybes on youtube by him, I like Garry Cribb too. I find beach starts in onshore hard and fast tacking in heavy chop is a kind of torture

    I'm using the harness a lot but am still not in the straps - look forward to hearing about your progress.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    ...........think you mean Guy Cribb!!

    First off your existing board is good for learning the basics. You do not say what your sails are...regardless the 7.5 is doing you no favours and even the 6.5 may be a bit big for just getting your balance and doing non planning tacks and gybes. You can also go out in much lighter airs than 15kts with the amount of float you have. Forget waterstarting for the have plenty of volume to uphaul so do not need to crack that is also much easier to learn waterstarts with a smaller sail and board.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Thanks for all the tips! I'll stay on the board and keep to the smaller sail, or see if I can get my hands on something a bit smaller.

    I've been watching Jem Hall's beginner to winner and Guy Cribb's gybing video - is there another one that I should grab?

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