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Fin and rig question for Starboard Rio M

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Joined: 25 Sep 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:55 am    Post subject: Fin and rig question for Starboard Rio M Reply with quote

Hi. I am pretty new to windsurfing and of course to this forum. I am living in Norway, so due to that my first season is almost over before it even started. I got myself a Starboard Rio M. (206 liters) with a Severne Synergy 7.3 square meters rig. Until now I have been on water 8 times, but probably only 4 of them has been what can bee called sailing. My present level is now that I can somehow tack and gybe in light conditions. I am able to launch and get back. Been in the harness a few times because I could not hold the rig in any other way due to fatigue. I have never been planning, although I have been out in planning conditions (for other windsurfers). I am able to sail my board without the dagger board down on broad reach, and somehow also able to commit to the harness for a small period of time (30-120 seconds before getting thrown off). I probably am a bit heavy for my board being a total beginner, but I feel safe and comfortable with it anyway. I canít see planning happening this year, but I am dreaming about it for the next season. Some stats:
Me, big pie eater at 122 kg (269 lb), 198 cm. tall (6.5Ē).
Conditions are small chops (10- 40 cm.).
Comfortable doing winds up to 7 ms. (13 knots) if not too gusty. I have been out in 9-10 ms, but then I had a terrible time getting back to launch. Not strong enough for that.
Typical winds that people go out in where I live are between 3-8 ms. I am sailing in a small fjord so I will always land some place if not not able to cope.

My first question is if considering my weight and the board, is the stock fin appropriate for me in the long run? This is fin called a Drake Shallow 410.
I have come to learn that the Serverne Synergy maybe is a very basic rig that might not bee perfect for intermediate progression (whenever that starts to happen). Any inputs on sails and sizes?

Finally, I am NOT by far suggesting that my equipment is holding me back, and I have so far enjoyed every second I have been on the water, even when I struggled with the conditions being a bit overwhelming for me.

(Also posted in the StarBoard forum)
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Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1210
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Frode,

Keep practicing! It's a long road, but if you've been out 8 times and you haven't given up yet, then you are probably going to make it. Smile

Besides practice, getting some help with "tuning" will make a difference. Have a more experienced sailor help you rig the sail with the proper amount of downhaul and outhaul tension, and have them help you put the harness lines in approximately the right place. The sail will be a lot easier to control when it is tuned properly- it will even feel lighter! Since you are so tall, you will probably want to place the boom as HIGH as possible on the mast, at the top of the cutout. The boom should be between your shoulders and your chin.

Also, getting some lessons or watching some instructional videos will help a lot. In windsurfing, a little learning is more useful than a lot of muscle.

A bigger fin (~50 cm) could help you when you're learning to plane, but it won't make that much difference unless you're also using a bigger sail, which you probably aren't quite ready for yet.

When you are ready for a bigger sail, I have a weight-based windsurfing calculator (see link in my signature) that is pretty useful for finding the right size for various wind conditions.

Good luck!

PS- Maybe you can do some snow or ice windsurfing this winter to practice! Just make sure the ice is thick enough. Wink

James' Blog: Windsurfing Equipment Size Calculator
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Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frode, the stock fin (41cm) on the RioM is definitely undersized, especially for a big pie-eater Smile

I own the same board, and put a 56cm fin on last year. The board begins to plane much earlier/easier. Huge difference. I would highly recommend it to you!!
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Joined: 25 Sep 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I only had known ANYTHING before deciding to get myself a board and rif ☺ Your calculator looks like a great tool. Wish I had known about it before I made my purchase. I definitely see that I at some point need a bigger sail, and this is really the time to get it. The season here in Scandinavia is almost over, and some of the shops have clearance. I can for instance get a Severne Convert 8 or 8,5 30 % off. The 8,5 looks like the candidate, although your calculator tells me to go even bigger. However, that might not be necessary because I am also happy slogging around in my non planing style. There are small islands here to sail to. Just love being on the water for the moment. Anyway thanks for your reply. Was up reading your blog which I really liked, until late. A month ago I was just an ordinary Joe (or Ola as we say in Norway), now according to your blog I actually have three legs. Anyway, great stuff on your Blog and again, thank you for the reply.

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Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Getting there"

I always stop and think twice when I hear that a windsurfer will eventually make it. I think you already made it. Your out on the water, having fun.
Every time you get out you will get a little better. How sweet is that!

Live in the moment, enjoy each and every season, because winter is around the corner.

As far as my thinking goes - you made it already - you are windsurfing.

Rio M and Synergy Rig - fantastic combo for a beginner. Pick up another synergy rig that is smaller though so on the high wind days you can play easier.
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Joined: 06 Oct 2015
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome fellow big man!

For now, until you get a few planning runs, I would hold off on spending too much. Is your gear holding you back, keeping you from planing? A little, but you'll have a tougher time with what I'm about to describe until you get the fundamentals down pat.

Eventually you'll want a longer and "racey'er" fin. It will get you up on a plane earlier and also allow you to point higher into the wind when you are planing. Probably one of these or similar in the 54 or 57 cm sizes:

Sail-wise a good twin-cam freeride sail will work well with that set-up. I have a 9.5m Ezzy Lion that works well, you probably want to go a little smaller, say around 8.0.

Essentially what you'll be doing is setting up your Rio like an RSX, which WAS the Olympic class for windsurfing. With that set up you'll have a lot of fun getting ready for your first short board.
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 767
Location: Seattle, Wa

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jFrode welcome to this great sport !!!

I'm 200 lbs (95Kg?) and 6'3" (190 cm?) and I think all this advice you've been given is good.

But I'd also say, practice, practice, practice. Read and learn and ask questions, they're all good. We've all been just where you are Smile

Next - How far are you from Oslo?
Exactly 3 years ago, I was there visiting my cousins. But as I planned my vacation... I looked up on Google, "windsurfing in Oslo" and I eventually found the "Lysakerfjorden Bretsailingclub". I know that I've spelled this wrong, but it's close enough, you'll figure it out Smile
Anyway, I met many very nice people at their "Club Sailing Beach", and I sailed with them twice. They loaned me some extra gear... and this made my trip, very special indeed. My dad had grown up sailing in the Oslo Fjord, as a kid Smile
The two main guys, I spent time with were, Lars and Jakob. They are totally expert windsurfers and very nice guys that are also the top racers there, and are well known in the club. Tell them Greg in Seattle says "Hi".. we've had emails, they will remember.
Anyway, those guys would be very helpful for you to meet, or even email with. They are very knowledgeable and very practical, and would steer you the right way.

Best of luck to you,
Greg (from Seattle)
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