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Formula boards in waves and chop?
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gobigkahuna



Joined: 11 Mar 2004
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 am    Post subject: Formula boards in waves and chop? Reply with quote

I'm getting back into windsurfing after being away from it for about 15 years. I'm in San Diego (light wind capital of the world) and have a SUP board with mast mount, so last week I picked up a 6.0 rig for cheap and started sailing again. I'm having a blast re-learning all my old skills. The SUP board is super forgiving, but pretty slow so I know I'll eventually want something more. I love ocean sailing and surf but the wind here is typically 8-10 mph.

All the windsurfers I'm meeting here have formula boards but no one takes them out in the ocean and those who I've asked claim the formula boards are crap in chop. If so, is there anything else I should consider? I'm a big guy (240 lbs 6'5").
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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 454

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: Formula boards in waves and chop? Reply with quote

gobigkahuna wrote:
I'm getting back into windsurfing after being away from it for about 15 years. I'm in San Diego (light wind capital of the world) and have a SUP board with mast mount, so last week I picked up a 6.0 rig for cheap and started sailing again. I'm having a blast re-learning all my old skills. The SUP board is super forgiving, but pretty slow so I know I'll eventually want something more. I love ocean sailing and surf but the wind here is typically 8-10 mph.

All the windsurfers I'm meeting here have formula boards but no one takes them out in the ocean and those who I've asked claim the formula boards are crap in chop. If so, is there anything else I should consider? I'm a big guy (240 lbs 6'5").

In San Francisco there are a couple of guys who take Formula boards out at Crissy Field regularly ... chop or no chop (that means never) they are out with 9.0 sails when all us mere mortals are on 4.7 ...

Not sure how they can do it but it is no fun me think Shocked

Alternatives? Almost anything else with enough volume I guess.Just looking at Starboard a big Futura or Isonic, around 80 wide, would be much easier. But you can also consider something like the Atom http://www.star-board-windsurfing.com/2014/products/boards/atom-iq or the biggest possible Kode that is around 105L ... many many options!
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joethewindsufa



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 191
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

both John Ingebritsen and James Douglass are down in Florida with light winds on the ocean, which means always some chop n waves - in lighter winds

Found a video from James:
http://vimeo.com/78441080
and looking for the one from John:
found it - took me a while Sad
[youtube]DIvGXLznh2w[/youtube] <- gotta be the ONLY forum where you can't post videos directly !!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIvGXLznh2w

WindSups, Konas, guess narrower is better ...
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bred2shred



Joined: 02 May 2000
Posts: 661
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your biggest issue will, without a doubt, be launching and returning to the beach. With a 70cm fin, you will have to wade out to waist or chest deep water before getting off a waterstart and if you're using large formula sails (9.0 or bigger) this is going to be very challenging if there are breaking waves. Not saying it can't be done (because it certainly has been done), but be prepared for the fact that formula gear will not tolerate rolling around in the surf like wave gear. Oh, and God help you if you happen to come in to the beach on plane or on a wave and touch the bottom with your fin.

As far as sailing in chop- if you're a decent sailor, you will be fine with a Formula board. The chop that we get in the bay around here hammers you much harder than the rolling ocean swells. If the swell gets big, be prepared for a workout keeping the board on the water.

sm


Last edited by bred2shred on Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should consider a Kona.

Coachg
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cptn_picard



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tourmaline can offer up really good wave sailing on a Santa Ana reversal. Most sail either a longboard or a floaty shortboard (~110 l) with appropriate wave-y fins. The formula folks typically sail Mission or SD Bays.
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bamer



Joined: 24 Oct 2014
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Formula boards own chop if you are a skilled rider. If you are not a skilled rider you will get tossed around plenty, especially if the chop is close and steep. Formula boards are amazingly versatile covering a wind range from 8-25+ knots and all the corresponding water states. Given your location and body type it seems like Formula is a no brainer.

But having that said: do you want to own/ sail 10-12 meter sails? Does your beach allow you to clear a 70cm fin and get a waterstart off without getting rolled by shorebreak (as bred2shred noted)?

A wide slalom setup could be an option with a board around 80-85cm wide and a ~9.5 meter rig. But realistically at 240 lbs that isn't going to get going in 8-10mph. For the sail you could get something like a Retro which will have much more power than a race sail, but will still be plenty fast. With this setup the fin would be closer to 50cm.

We are close in size (I am 1" shorter and 15 pounds lighter), and I sail both Formula and slalom. I have a very good 85cm slalom board and it is very clear cut that relative to the slalom board, a Formula board is smoother and easier to control throughout the same range of conditions. The slalom is faster to accelerate, clearly has more top speed, and jibes unbelievably easily. Your experience may differ.
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gobigkahuna



Joined: 11 Mar 2004
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bred2shred wrote:
Your biggest issue will, without a doubt, be launching and returning to the beach. With a 70cm fin, you will have to wade out to waist or chest deep water before getting off a waterstart and if you're using large formula sails (9.0 or bigger) this is going to be very challenging if there are breaking waves. Not saying it can't be done (because it certainly has been done), but be prepared for the fact that formula gear will not tolerate rolling around in the surf like wave gear. Oh, and God help you if you happen to come in to the beach on plane or on a wave and touch the bottom with your fin.


Hadn't thought about that 70cm fin, that will definitely make it difficult to get out in any beach break at all. I guess a formula board may not be in my future unless i only use it in the bays.

I just picked up a used Maui Super Freak 8.0 and will try that next on my SUP (Starboard Avanti 11'2" x 36" x 230 l). It's a huge board but I hope a good training board to help me build skills.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do go out in shore break on FW, wait till you have a gust and a small wave set, run like hell until you're deep enough, then waterstart or uphaul (whichever is quickest) as fast as you can and go. Use a fin you don't care about scratching a bit. Coming back, try to pick a small wave cycle (which is really hard from the back) then at the last moment turn the board backwards and sail in fin first - it's not that hard on a fw board. Jump off grab boom and footstrap and run like hell again up the beach-backwards most likely.

The trick, though, more than the board and fin is to not let a big sail touch down and fill on the way in, it's so easy to break battens once you do- I broke a lot of of 'em.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14322

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't overlook the AHD SeaLion. They're designed for sailing (and paddling) on waves in light air. Google up some SeaLion videos and see how well they suit your venue and objectives.
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