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  1. #1

    Size of board for easier planing

    Hello all

    im returning to wind surfing after 15 years - my last board was a fanatic bee 284

    im starting to research the newer equipment and have been looking at both the fanatic Gecko and tabou rocket

    i will mainly be blasting back and forth at Whitley lake, Poole harbour, last time I was confidant in the footstraps and harness with as small as a 5.0m from memory, no gybing as we just used to jump off and turn the board around

    I have decided I will probably have around 7.5m as my largest sail, I will be looking at used boards 2-3 years old, first board will be one to use with the 7.5 and around a 6.0, the boards now seem to be able to carry a larger sail for the same volume, if a 120L board will carry a 7.5m comfortably would I plane earlier on say a 130L board or would it just be extra weight?

    is there any advantage to the larger boards?

    for a second board for small sails say 4.5/5.0/5.5 what would be a good size - 100L?

    i weigh 73kg and Im 510

    many thanks for any help

    i did do a search but couldnt find the exact answers

  2. #2
    Best advice would be to get yourself down to the OTC at Weymouth and hire some gear to see what you get on with.

    The equipment and rig positions have changed a lot since you last windsurfed so test driving new gear will give you a better answer than written advice on a page.


    For your weight, and given the description of what you think you will use, I'd guess that a 120 litre board and a 100 litre board would be a good pairing to suit your sail sizes. But that's a guess.
    Now back in the UK.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    2,376
    In the last 15 years boards have become wider for their volume, so instead of thinking purely of volume you have to take the width into account as well.
    If you look at the Gecko, the 112 litre is 73cm wide. If you go 1 size larger it is 120l * 76cm and I think that would feel very large with a 6m sail. You would gain very little in early planing but the board is heavier, would be slower due to the extra drag, and not so good for gybing (if you decide you want to improve that skill). The same for the Tabou Rocket/Rocket wide, dont go over the 73cm wide one.

    I'm 78kg and for 6.5 & 7.5m (2 cam freeride) I use a 110l * 67cm freerace board. Thats a more of a traditional narrower design, has quite boxy rails and is plenty large enough to take the 7.5m. I have a bigger board/sail for lighter winds so if I was going to have 7.5m as my largest I might pick a 70-73cm wide board for more light wind performance. It might feel a bit big maxed out with a 6.5m.

    My smaller board for the harbour is a 90l*59cm freeride. I use this with 4.5, 5.2 and 6m sails. That board is quite old, and when I replace it I will get a 95l*60-61cm faster FSW or freeride like Severne Fox 95l/Tabou 3S 96l/Exocet Cross 94l. Something fast with a power box as there are more performance fins available. Dont get a board with a US fin box, as those boards are generally more wave oriented which isnt a good idea for the harbour. This size will also take a 6.5m when well powered up, so you could use that on either board. On the small board it will feel a lot nicer to sail than on the bigger board when its choppy in the harbour.
    100l might be a bit big for the 4.5m when the wind is averaging 28 gusting 35 knots.
    Dont go smaller than 90l/59cm size as the harbour is quite gusty and the volume/width is handy.

    Sails have also increased in range in the last 15 years. For harbour sailing, you could get 4.5, 5.2, 6m for the smaller board and 6.5 & 7.5m for the larger board. Thats what I've got anyway. Other options are available.

    Poole Harbour Watersports and H2O might have some demo boards to try out in the harbour. The OTC will probably have more boards but remember that the water is flatter and the wind less gusty.

    In a SW wind, Baiter Park is better to sail from than Whitely Lake as the wind is cleaner as its not affected by Brownsea Island.
    Hamworthy Park is also better but is affected by the tide more. Sailing over the far side is excellent but you need to be very competent as its over 1 mile away.

    I usually pick my spot from the wind direction as follows
    Whitely Bay - W/NW
    Hamworthy - S/SW/WSW/SE/E
    Baiter - SW/NE(gusty & offshore). SW in 20 knots+ winds as the chop isnt so bad. Whitely/Hamworthy it can be bad especially at high tide.
    http://forums.boards.co.uk/showthrea...hlight=evening

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    3,876
    You are likely to get a mix of advice depending on people's own preferences so by far the easiest way for you to make a decision is to try a range of boards and sails. There is no place better to do that than the OTC in Portland. They are primarily in the business of hiring kit to try and also providing coaching rather than selling kit so you avoid the vested interest! That said they do sell their ex demo boards at a year or possibly 2 years old so there is an opportunity to buy as well if anything takes your fancy.
    I assume you would be mainly interest in freeride boards. There are now 2 categories of freeride board. Using the Tabou range as an example, there is the Rocket which is a rather more traditional board in terms of design and possibly closer to your Fanatic Bee. Tabou also have the Rocket Wide. These boards are shorter, lower volume, but wider than the traditional freerides. They are also much thinner so they sit a little deeper in the water and have much thinner rails. As has been said above, you cannot judge these boards by volume alone, you have to also take the width into account. You should try both types to see what works best for you.
    I use the Rocket Wides...108 and 128 with North E Type sails. Having used traditional freeride boards in the past and now the Rocket Wides I find the Rocket Wides far better in every respect and they do offer some real benefits for someone starting again...but that is something you need to judge for yourself. Get down to the OTC.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated

    Phil, thats lots of good info there, so would I be better off having one light wind board say a rocket wide 108/110 or bigger for the 7.5

    and then a regular rocket say the 95 for the smaller sails up to a 6.0?, that’s only 58cm wide

    Baiter Park is a new one to me, does looks good for a SW

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mikerb View Post
    You are likely to get a mix of advice depending on people's own preferences so by far the easiest way for you to make a decision is to try a range of boards and sails. There is no place better to do that than the OTC in Portland. They are primarily in the business of hiring kit to try and also providing coaching rather than selling kit so you avoid the vested interest! That said they do sell their ex demo boards at a year or possibly 2 years old so there is an opportunity to buy as well if anything takes your fancy.
    I assume you would be mainly interest in freeride boards. There are now 2 categories of freeride board. Using the Tabou range as an example, there is the Rocket which is a rather more traditional board in terms of design and possibly closer to your Fanatic Bee. Tabou also have the Rocket Wide. These boards are shorter, lower volume, but wider than the traditional freerides. They are also much thinner so they sit a little deeper in the water and have much thinner rails. As has been said above, you cannot judge these boards by volume alone, you have to also take the width into account. You should try both types to see what works best for you.
    I use the Rocket Wides...108 and 128 with North E Type sails. Having used traditional freeride boards in the past and now the Rocket Wides I find the Rocket Wides far better in every respect and they do offer some real benefits for someone starting again...but that is something you need to judge for yourself. Get down to the OTC.
    Appreciate that,a trip to the OTC it is

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,376
    I haven't sailed any of the traditional Rockets so cant say. It is quite narrow, so think the combined difference in volume/width/sail size is quite a jump from a 7.5m. You might find you use a 6m on the larger board quite a lot.
    I think the Rocket 95l is quite a rare board so you might not find one very easily secondhand. There are several FSW around 95l though and usually they are a bit wider.
    I have changed down from my 7.5m 110l board to a 6m 90l board a few times though when the wind has picked up a lot. I've always had a 6.5m (on the same board) to change to as 1st choice.
    Its not that windy in Poole. From my log I see I use my 6.5m more than the combined total for 4.5/5.2 sails. Same for 6m sail, that gets used about the same as the 6.5m.
    So I always spend more on larger sails than smaller sails.

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