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Lightweight windsurfers and wind minimums

As a heavyweight of over 100 kilos / 220 pounds ... I have been using large gear for quite some time. Folks like Dave White aka Whitey , who is heavier than me and dances on boards, suggests this is not necessary... Lightweights don't even need to think about that... Gear is aimed at average weight windsurfers - let's say 170 pounds or about 75 kilos ...

So, when someone of 130 pounds starts asking about sailing Formula and which sails to use, I get surprised. Is that really necessary and what are the wind minimums for someone like that one a big 100 cm wide board and a big sail larger than 10 m² ??

For me 10 knots / ~20 kph is my wind minimum for longboarding with 8.x sails. Larger sails work, but are also MORE work... People say 10 knots is attainable with not too much trouble...

This is me - out with a Mistral Equipe II XR carbon race longboard with a MauiSails TR-4 10 m² race sail in about 10 knots. People say I can go faster railing board with mast track forward and in the railing straps ...

Lightweights on the other hand, can plane in winds even less than that !!
In this video I do not even see much pumping ...

My question is : Is it necessary to go to a Formula board and pump large sails or even try to handle them when one is SO light ??  And in that video , how is that fellow able to hold up such a large sail ? What does he do if it drops in the water ??

A wide freeride or freerace with an 8.x sail should plane early enough for such a light weight ??
Like this ...BIC Techno Formula 94 cm wide with 7.8 sail ...

Who the heck would want to do this - pump like crazy with BIG gear in LIGHT winds ??

For myself as a BIG heavyweight, I use a BIG, WIDE freeride board JP SLW of 92 cm width with the race sail MS TR-4 10 m² in over 12 knot winds in order to be planing ...That is my wind minimum for planing - NO pumping ... and YES straps can drop planing threshold too !! My bad - not in straps ...

When I asked on forums if it was worthwhile to go from 10 to 12 square meters, it was pretty much a BIG NO. So, i cannot imagine lightweights on such large sails either ... nor on Formula boards ... still feel it is overkill - unless you race or ...


Popular Posts/Articles:
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
BIC Dufour Wing & Starting Windsurfing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html 
Tabou Rocket 125: tabou-rocket.html 
History of Windsurfing: history-of-windsurfing.html
Heavyweights: heavyweights-and-windsurfing.html
Physics of Windsurfing: jim-drakes-windsurf-physics.html  
Fanatic Shark: fanatic-shark.html
Formula and Long Boards: formula-boards-and-longboards.html
Light Wind Section: light wind section.html
Early Planing: early-planing.html

Getting Started: 
How I started Winter Sailboarding: how-i-started-winter-windsurfing.html
How I Started Shortboarding how-i-started-shortboarding.html
How YOU can start windsurfing: how-you-can-start-windsurfing.html
Parts of a Sail/Windsurf board discussed:
Sailboards sailboards.htm                          windsurf-board-categories.html
Fins: fins.html  and how to repair them ...
Sails: sails.html                                         
Sail Materials: sail-materials.html                                 
Masts: masts.html
Mast Bases: mast-bases.html
BOOM: boom.html                                
Accessories: accessories.html

My Boards and Reviews:
AHD FF 160 liter: how-i-started-shortboarding.html  
BIC Dufour Wing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
Fanatic BEE 124 LTD: fanatic-bee-124-ltd.html
Fanatic Ultra CAT: fanatic-ultra-cat.html
JP SuperLightWind/SLW: JP SuperLightWind
Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR: mistral-equipe-i-lcs-xr.html
Mistral Competitions SST: Mistral COMP SST
Mistral Equipe II / 2: mistral equipe 2 aka MEQ2

HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5: HSM SPF 8.5.html
MS-2 vs Pursuit: maui-sails-pursuit-vs-ms-2.html 

Health & Safety:
Safety First: safety-first.html
BEE stuff: bees.html

Windsurfing in Montrealwindsurfing-in-montreal.html
Original Journal Entries: original-journal-entries.html 
New journal entries: new-journal-entries.html
Newer journal entries: 2014/2015 journal entries.html
2016 journal entries: 2016-windsurf-journal.html


Olympics 2016 WindSurfing

Well, I was gonna write about windsurfing in the 2016 RIO summer Olympics, but I was seriously disappointed. First of all, it seemed there were 36 countries competing in the men's and women's RS:X windsurf races and none from Canada. Once I got past that, perhaps I could at least watch it LIVE or even after the fact. Seemed I had to be in  the US of A to watch on NBC and once I tricked the system via DNS server, it needed some user on some service. Then after that, I tried to find stuff on  youtube - once my fingers got sore, I gave up. Through my perusing I discovered that France won both men and women races, Britain's Nick Dempster got silver again and Israel was very disappointed. My wife corrected me saying the Netherlands/Holland won the men's and France was third in the finals ...

And that was what I got out of the 2016 RIO windsurf RS:X competition.
Besides the comments about it being polluted as HELL #$%^&*

Also, about a month ago there was the Canadian Master's in town and there was NO wind.

So much for my interest in windsurf races - PWA and similar is just way out of our league ...

Well, somewhere in the middle of all that hunting I discovered this:

An inflatable WindSUP called an Aqua Marina - the name of the supplier.

So, why is this so extra-ordinary ??
Well, I remember when I first saw either a SUP or similar in Costco and being impressed.
Well now they apparently carry this product.
It may not be an RS:X, but it is in your local Costco store tempting all those people looking for sails - oops Freudian slip - sales...
It is still a bit expensive, but it is my hope it gets the public and other "average joes" thinkin about it!!!

Check your local Costco store or on-line


In 2015 I sold my AHD FF 160 litre/80 cm board and purchased a SB iSonic 117W/wide.
MANY people recommended the iSonic board and suggested I go for it.
The price was right and so I did "go for it".

I took it out ONCE in 2015 with SW on-shore winds at OKA Parc La Crête launch near Montreal. Right away i determined that this was a special board and beyond my skills.
There was NO way I was gonna bust it up.

Early 2016 I purchased a Mistral SLE 303 for $100. This board was supposed to prepare me for the SB iS 117W and I did/do NOT care if i bust(ed) it up. That too is a special board and rips !!

BENF contacted me mid-2016 and asked how the iSonic was working out for me.
When I described the above, he had a suggestion.
What if we traded my 2012 SB iS 117W for his 2013 AHD SL-2 132 board ??

He had sold the iS because he wanted to go back to larger sails on the slalom board. He realised the best sail quiver base is 7.0 and then 8.5 and NOT 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0. For that sail quiver the SB iS would be FINE and he missed it ...

The difference besides the litres is the AHD is 5 cm longer , wider tail/OFO and thicker sharper rails. All this makes the board "easier" to ride and perhaps just not quite so aggressive...
SL-2 stats on the left and iSonic on right:

Weight:                              7.50 kg                             6.41 kg
                   "less than 7 kg naked"
OFO:                                 55.0 cm                             52.8 cm
Sail Range:                       7.0-11.0                            7.0-9.5 m²

Right away one can see the differences from the photographs.
There are cutouts on the SL-2 , but NOT as pronounced as those of the iS.
Apparently the AHD SL-1 did NOT have cut outs ...
It seems SL-2s have been around since 2012.

At one time the SL-2 came out in a black version and although I did not like the purple logo on the board,  I was hoping those were the colours:

I had agreed to the exchange, but BENF does not seem to use the same communication methods as I do and suddenly I saw the AHD SL-2 132 for sale on some websites 

Well, I must say that I was VERY disappointed and wrote on all the announcements that I was interested. Long story short, the next day we met at OKA Parc and the exchange was done !! as you can see from the photos above too 

Difficult to find comparisons between  the two(2) boards. There is a reference here:
"la planche est aussi rapide qu'une Starboard iSonic 127 tout en étant plus facile"
which means:
The AHD SL-2 132 is as fast as a SB iS 127 while being a little "easier" (to sail)
The SB iS 127 is still 228 cm long, like the 117W , but is 85 cm wide.
It is difficult to determine sometimes which version should be compared with which of another board manufacturer ...
In that article they also mention that they use sails 7.8, 8.6 and 10-oh with fins 43, 46 and 49 cm respectively.

Before we go too far, maybe it is time for a video ??
Cameraman is on the BIC filming fellow on AHD SL-2 132 with an RRD sail.
RRD sail ? they make slalom boards too :-)
(i don't like the musak, but film  is good)

As already stated ... There WAS an AHD SL-1 version before , but ...

"Instead of SL1, the new slalom boards have benefited from the joint development of Diony Guadagnino abroad but also French as slalomers Gourtay Vincent and Loic Legallois with the aim to propose models both easy and efficient.

Offering a more compact outline than SL1, new SL2 features a hull with a long  VEE  and excavated by a double progressive concave . In order to gain also in performance and control, the mast was lowered on deck while the cut outs are also returning to AHD - to reduce the maximum wetted surface. Also associating lightness and liveliness with a new carbon construction, the SL2 will also have sharp rails in order to gain support and general nervousness."

as far as double concaves and VEE go ...
"Tabou Rocket is an example of a board with deep double concaves throughout the hull with a slight vee in the tail. Tabou Rocket scores incredible well in almost all performance categories such as ease of planing, speed and top-end control."
If it works for the Rocket, why not the SL-2 ??

The 132 litre AHD SL-2 version has a sail-range of 7.0 - 11.0 m² with an OFO of 55 cm.
This means it can take bigger fins AND sails - ANOTHER light wind WEAPON !
Have already started talking about selling my JP SLW92.
With a Mistral Equipe II XR  and an AHD SL-2 132, who needs a JP SLW92 as well ??

Slalom boards  get compared amongst themselves for obvious reasons. Which one is faster, easier, etc and why. Here there is a discussion about AHD SL-2 , Fanatic Falcon and even SB iS:,ahd-sl2-122-vs-fanatic-falcon-125-2012.html
again, the AHD is considered more easily attainable and reaches decent speeds...
in the discussion Anders Bringdals is quoted as saying the ideal board length is 240-250 cm.
The iS 117W was 228 and this SL-2 is 233 (just short).

Did some measurements and took some pictures...
The centre of the mast track seems to be 134 cm from the back of the board.
This seems to be more n more standard for slalom boards
The point of weight balance on the board is about 30 cm or 1 foot back from mast track centre.
This too seems more n more standard with slalom boards.
Pretty sure the SB iS 117W had similar features/measurements ...
Here's a pic with a Lessacher weed fin:

Board shapes have changed a little over time .. The Mistral SLE 303 still has some semblance to a boat shape. The newer boards , especially the freemoves, are starting to look more n  more like potato chip boards ... Noses are getting rounder and stubbier. This AHD tail still seems to have a more traditional freeride shape ...

These photos obviously bring up the question of fin(s). The slalom type boards are typically delivered with NO fin. As they are slalom boards, slalom fins, or more upright fins are the preference:

Meant for speed and perhaps upwind ability. Then again in a PWA race do they really go upwind?? Wrote to auventfou to see costs of these fins now and both 45 and 47 cm offerings of Select S1 XL slam and Elite S-10 are $250 + tax which = ~ $300. The fins seem to have gone up about 50%.
That seems to correspond with the boards as well. Unless one is buying a BIC, prices seem to be around $2000 to $3000.

As I have several tuttle and deep tuttle fins under 57 cm, these fins will have to do until i am comfortable with the board !!! And have to prepare to sell something too ...

So far, have been "testing"/trying the board with a Wolfgang Lessacher 42 cm weedie. Works fine on this board and JP SLW with various sail sizes. The board is a semi-sinker and I practiced uphauling. I can do it, but it is NOT easy. Will try to perfect the different water starts. Had it planing across Lac Deux Montagnes with a NS Duke 6.9 on my first trial on that lake !! Tried a fast tack - nyet. Managed a messy uphaul. Practice, practice, but work all day and no play makes Jack a dull boy :-)