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In search of bigger shortboard for lighter Gorge conditions
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benspikey



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a post ACL tear and reconstruction patient. I would like to throw my two cents in..

Get a big board and slog around during low wind conditions. Maybe spend some time in the hook regaining your strength/balance. Once you feel comfortable with this.. Then find those days where the wind is super light and work back into it. Do not push yourself. Sounds like you think a strapless board will allow you to perform in same conditions as before. It will not.

Your knee will heal and you will windsurf again. But you need to give it time and treatment. Worst thing you can do is re-injury it.

Water starting is no joke after your operation and you better be prepared to have the leg strength.

Its going to take around 2 years before your knee feels normal. Bike, stretch, bike, bike, bike, jog, jog, windsurf. Be really careful on skis.

If you cannot run a mile or two jogging you really shouldn't be going hard windsurfing.

Windsurfing was critical to my recovery but I never pushed the limit as I didn't want to spend another 5-8 months on the couch.

Think about getting involved in a gym spinning class as this has become part of my long term treatment plan.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fxop wrote:
In my rehab the last link to playing sports again was getting out of the gym and onto a road bike … most of the muscle mass came back. Rehab has its own hazards, like patellar tendinitis and other -itis's and Iso given your ability to work it wouldn't be a surprise if you overdid it.

I'm bring very careful to avoid even short-term overtraining (honest-to-goodness, clinical overtraining can take YEARS to recover from!), as well as inflammation. I back off at the first sign of soreness or unexplained fatigue. One of the many benefits of the Superslow® strength building protocol I use is its resistance to those and the other pitfalls and risks of the usual three sets of 10 so commonly seen. I push the injured leg's ham and quads (and every other muscle group in my body except my uninjured leg) to total concentric and eccentric failure sloooowwwwly in every set on strength days, then wait 10-12 days to repeat. Safe, quick, controlled, measurable, efficient, and effective. On and between those widely separated strength days I do scores of other exercises for both the knee and everything else, including lots of HIIT on a seated dual elliptical.

I regard this bigger board, whatever it turns out to be, as an extension of all that, with the obvious benefits of gaining a season on the water and learning some new skills. However, as you will see, you're not the only ACL patient presenting concerns I need to consider.

For example, benspikey wrote:
Get a big board and slog around during low wind conditions … spend some time in the hook … Do not push yourself. Sounds like you think a strapless board will allow you to perform in same conditions as before. It will not. ...Worst thing you can do is re-injury it ...
Water starting is no joke … If you cannot run a mile or two jogging you really shouldn't be going hard windsurfing … another 5-8 months on the couch … gym spinning class
.
I hear you. As much as I hate slogging, I realize it will play a large part in my recovery … thus the bigger board to make it easy and to facilitate uphauling when the wind or the leg resist waterstarting. I’m building (and my PT is closely evaluating) my leg strength and control with May in mind, but my knee’s safety is top priority. A re-injury would be much more severe, and even without re-injury, inadequate rehab = permanent disability. I’ve been jogging a couple of miles for weeks now, and have begun sprinting, standing broad jumping, and many more dynamic exercises at my PT’s advice.

This season will be a reversal of the standard Gorge Just Say No to 5.0 mantra: I’ll get off the water if it’s windy enough for a 5.0 …

UNLESS, that is, I’m successful in finding a big board designed to turn that will be fun and safe powered lightly in windier conditions and the resulting bigger swell. Craig and others here enjoy surfing the swell on unbelievably tiny sails in 7.5 conditions, johnl and the Phlaming Phoenicopterus are always encouraging me to try something entirely new, bigger boards assist my balance and thus may give me a chance at surfing the swell rather than WINDsurfing it, bigger boards should diminish twisting forces on my knee simply because they won’t turn so abruptly, slower speeds = softer crashes, a clean deck with lots of real estate should -- maybe -- free my knee from twisting forces, and the many tumbles I expect from relying on balance rather than sail power to stay upright will be safer if not strapped to the board.

All of which supports the Phoenicopter’s advice to consider a freestyle board. Few of them are designed to ride smoothly when powered the way I like to sail, but as he says, “that's [not] the assignment here”. They’re quick to plane (check), they slog big (check), and they turn small (check). Heck, if nothing else, their harsher ride at speed in heavy chop should remind me to STHD. The only personal envelope I should be pushing this summer, if that, is finesse, not slashing and bashing. I’m liking the Phlamingo’s suggestion more all the time.

Wonder if my doctor will write me a prescription for this rehab equipment?

Thus my next post … segregated in case few people were willing (understandably) to wade this far into this one.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm … freestyle board, huh? Since this board will be all about turning and sailing at slow to moderate speeds, and slow speeds conceal FS boards’ warts, why not? OK, guys … how big do FS boards get?
Which ones smooth out the chop best?
Are they really going to plane much earlier than my 114 L Mistral Syncro @ 65 cm wide?
Is there a real -- as opposed to strictly advertiser’s PR -- reason to buy something newish rather than 5 years old?
My priority is user-friendliness, not spinny tricks, but if more money buys features I can use, maybe extra money will be well spent.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nasih made a 115L Freestyle : 2008ish

Naish Freestyle 115Liters 237 X 68 115 6.2 25 4.7-7.0m

Those that have had good reviews for a LONG time are Fanatic Skate, and JPs. both about 110L size

A Goya F/S might present a good value $$ wise.

Dont think a Tabou 3S that large would be too far off the mark.

would suggest a custom, but I dont see that as a option.

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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
Hmmm … freestyle board, huh? Since this board will be all about turning and sailing at slow to moderate speeds, and slow speeds conceal FS boards’ warts, why not? OK, guys … how big do FS boards get?


110-115. But the game regarding planing and shlogging on FS boards is really about the width. And while yes wide boards don't shlog fast, when they are freestyle wide they are easy to stay on.

isobars wrote:
Which ones smooth out the chop best?


None of them. Won't lie. But you're not sailing pedal to the metal. You ARE choosing your path through the terrain with as many turns slashes faux wave rides etc as you please, which is a lot of fun.

isobars wrote:
Are they really going to plane much earlier than my 114 L Mistral Syncro @ 65 cm wide?


It should, yes. You're trading chop handling for pop-to-a-plane-ability.

isobars wrote:
Is there a real -- as opposed to strictly advertiser’s PR -- reason to buy something newish rather than 5 years old?


Not for your purposes here, no.

isobars wrote:
My priority is user-friendliness, not spinny tricks, but if more money buys features I can use, maybe extra money will be well spent.


Some FS boards are in fact overly spinny, to the point that it diminishes their all purpose early plane and slash value. My 2012 Skate 99 is a bit spinnier than I care for, for example. Older Skates, older JP Freestyles have good reputations. Like I said in my first post I just spent a week on an RRD Twin Tip (in Bonaire...I could sail that board with a 6.5 while all the other boards needed a 7.0 or 7.5 to keep me in the fun zone). It was outstanding. Generally speaking I think the older model freestyle boards will be better for your purposes. It's why I don't replace my old JP109.

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http://www.peconicpuffin.com
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

U2U2U2 wrote:
Nasih made a 115L Freestyle @ 68 wide ...

would suggest a custom, but I don't see that as a option.

If I knew for a fact that it would take a custom to get me a safe and productive extra season on the water, and knew whose custom would excel, I'd write the check tomorrow. But when I can get a cherry Kona One or few-years-old big freestyle board for $500 and sell it for same after I'm through with it, you're right; a custom is not a (wise) option. The same goes for a Sealion, especially given the insistence I've received from expert surf sailors that Sealions work only as surf boards.

OTOH, a guy trying to sell his Quatro wave board in Hood River said it wouldn't work in the Gorge (it is an INCREDIBLE Gorge board, IMO), a Gorge dealer said almost the same thing, a bud loves his Sealion when his Great Lakes conditions turn to crap, and Jurg raves about Sealions' planing power, turning, SUP performance, and making lemonade out of crap.

Regarding freestyle boards ... although width by no means predicts planing power 100%, it is a very important factor. Most of the 115L FS boards I see are very close to the width of my Syncro.

Then there's the whole question of ACL safety, raised often here and in other forums. More on that later.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1995

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy Iso, the longer this topic runs the farther from your original criteria you stray. Remember, walk before you run. A 110-115 liter freestyle board will be fine after you start to transition to footstraps, but it will be a harsh ride, not operate well in non-planning mode & be harder to upahul in significant chop with your balance problems & the psychological effect your knee injury will have on you until you take that first crash & realize my knee is fine.

Think about this, you have a 115 liter Syncro so why you are looking for another board, something for before footstraps. Is a 115 liter freestyle board really going to be that much different in the early stages of your rehab? Or will you end up having to get another, larger board to go with the 115 liter freestyle board?

I think for your original criteria a Kona surf or Wind-Sup is the call. I don't think a Kona One is what you are looking for as you don't need a centerboard and you prefer a single rear strap. If you get one of the shorter Kona's you will have more width in the middle of the board than a 115 liter freestyle for uphauling and less width in the tail for slashing. Also, the length of the Kona will allow for much smoother transition to a plane than the pop of a shorter, wider board. I'm not much of a long board guy but for your original criteria I think it is your best one board option.

Buying a new board is just like buying a new car. If you go out without a specific plan you end up buying more or spending more than you need. If you have a written plan & stick to it all you barter over is color & cost. As I said earlier, the longer this post goes on the farther you stray from your original plan.

Plan your work, and work your plan.

Coachg
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coachg wrote:
Boy Iso, the longer this topic runs the farther from your original criteria you stray. ... A 110-115 liter freestyle board will be a harsh ride, not operate well in non-planning mode & be harder to upahul in significant chop with your balance problems & the psychological effect your knee injury will have

Is a 115 liter freestyle board really going to be that much different in the early stages of your rehab? Or will you end up having to get another, larger board to go with the 115 liter freestyle board?

I think for your original criteria a Kona surf or Wind-Sup is the call. I don't think a Kona One is what you are looking for as you don't need a centerboard and you prefer a single rear strap. If you get one of the shorter Kona's you will have more width in the middle of the board than a 115 liter freestyle for uphauling and less width in the tail for slashing. Also, the length of the Kona will allow for much smoother transition to a plane than the pop of a shorter, wider board. I'm not much of a long board guy but for your original criteria I think it is your best one board option.

If you have a written plan & stick to it all you barter over is color & cost. As I said earlier, the longer this post goes on the farther you stray from your original plan.

Not deliberately. My goal hasn't changed, but I'm still in the information gathering phase of considering each option until I have specific reasons to reject it. You have just presented some valid disadvantages of a FS board (I wasn't aware, for example, that FS boards slog poorly.)

My single rear strap preference is also moot, at least initially and within reason. What I want it a board that will carve hard, whether it's achieved with a center rear strap or other means such as the Sealion's exaggerated split/swallow tail. I still have hopes of finding a good slogger and uphauler (I'm only guessing that I'll ever need to uphaul it; I don't think I even own an uphaul) that still cranks tight turns. If the videos, Jurg, and a friend who owns one are any indication, the Sealion fills those squares exceptionally well plus being a good ... some say excellent ... SUP.

"Is a 115 liter freestyle board really going to be that much different [from my Syncro] in the early stages of your rehab?" My guess so far is no, but the Puffin makes a compelling case for them, and they grow on trees here.

Speaking of going astray, it hadn't even dawned on me to consider an '80s longboard. I guess I shouldn't rule them out yet . They take your Kona suggestion to a whole new level. My Syncro is wider than those or a Kona, but there's a lot going for length and cubic inches at this point.

Your point about the psychological effect of the knee is one I hadn't considered, but certainly should. I can jog backwards and sprint forwards on a track, yet remain very unsure when walking on a lawn and wouldn't even consider stepping onto a Starboard Start right now. Trust may remain as big a factor as healing and rehab. That alone may dictate lots of volume.
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jfeehan



Joined: 27 Jul 1998
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read the whole thread, but i'm not sure I agree with your approach.

By way of background, I had several arthroscopies on my L knee, finally getting the full ACL reconstruction (patellar tendon graft) about 20 years ago.

My knee has been great - although I understand that i might be getting to the end of the expected life span of my surgery.

Anyway, I had the surgery in about October, and sailed the Gorge the following August.

I had one of those custom carbon braces - i used it the first day, and have never used it since.

I really don't agree that sailing a short board without footstraps is going to be safer than just sailing in the footstraps and being careful.

To me, the idea of sailing a 125L board with a 7.0, presumably in planing conditions, without the straps is nuts - I see you slipping and not really being able to control the board as much as you are used to, and possibly injuring yourself again.

If you really don't want to use footstraps, and just want to do easy sailing - get a longboard or Wind-SUP and go out for some non-planing cruising.

But, if you are going to be sailing in planing conditions, I think you will be safer in the straps, sailing the way you have been for decades.

I would try to rig so I was comfortably powered, but not overpowered, and make a deliberate effort to pick a smooth path through the chop.

Good Luck
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PeconicPuffin wrote:
isobars wrote:
Which ones smooth out the chop best?


None of them. Won't lie. But you're not sailing pedal to the metal. You ARE choosing your path through the terrain with as many turns slashes faux wave rides etc as you please, which is a lot of fun.

I agree. I often have the river almost to myself doing that in a prolonged lull, while all the guys who emphasize efficiency can no longer plane and are forced to go ashore.

PeconicPuffin wrote:
isobars wrote:
Is there a real -- as opposed to strictly advertiser’s PR -- reason to buy something newish rather than 5 years old?


Not for your purposes here, no ... Generally speaking I think the older model freestyle boards will be better for your purposes.

That's in their favor, considering how readily available they are on the used market. I could buy, try, and sell one for roughly a wash. I expect, though, that Coach's counterpoints along with your (and my long-standing) ride quality concerns will remain problematic. OTOH, by the time I need to worry about speed in chop, my knee should let me back on my Syncro.

Man, I'm just guessing on so many factors! Great example: I haven't even tried to uphaul but once in the past 20 years, and that was a flop on my Syncro. But will I ever care? I had forgotten how hard it is to choose gear when one's requirements are such guesswork.
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