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My experience with a Bic/Ker foil (big buy )
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4880
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, this was addressed to the physics expert who lives in a black or white world of science.
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 1243

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coachg wrote:
PWA slalom races ... around 90-95 kg appears to be the range of the top riders.

That is indeed the case (with a few notable exceptions like Taty and Amado). 90-95 kg equals 200-210 lb, not the 225-250+ lb that dllee believes in.

But the fact that this is the common size does not mean that it's the "best" size - it only means that it fits the external restrictions. An obvious one is the lower wind range (7 knots for the entire race) and maximum sail size (10 square meters). Looks like we agree that this limits the weight at the upper limit.

By the way, any PWA sailor who "smashes through the chop" will not be one of the top riders. The key to speed in chop is keeping the wetter area minimized by flying the fin. That's not "theory", that based on advice from and sailing with some of the fastest windsurfers in the world, including Marco Lang. Slow guys smash chop, fast guys hover above it.

Why does it seem so objectionable that perhaps it's external constraints that limit the lower weights of slalom sailors? At least a couple of PWA slalom events are usually held in 30+ knots, where most guys are on 5.0-5.6 sails. That is the smallest slalom size for most sail makers. Lighter sailors have been mostly out of luck, and had to sail vastly overpowered in these conditions. Not fast and not fun.

If you go to venues other than the PWA, for example slalom races in the US, you'll see plenty of lighter guys doing quite well - for example Phil Soltysiak. Maybe it was light when he won the US Nationals in Slalom at Corpus a couple of years back, but he also rocks at OBX-Wind when it's blowing 30-40+. Or look at Thomas Traversa winning the Red Bull Storm chase in 2017 with 50+ knots, against riders who outweigh him by 50+ pounds.

I have seen way too many examples of light windsurfers sailing much better in very strong winds than heavier windsurfers to believe that body weight is a major factor in being able to handle strong winds. The #1 overall speed sailor in Australia, Sailquick, is probably close to 150 lb, and absolutely loves going out in 40+ knots. Equipment availability and choices certainly play a role; experience and preferences, too; maybe height does, too. But weight alone, when you can choose appropriate equipment for the conditions - that's mostly a cheap excuse.

If you compare PWA slalom sailors to other sports, you'll see that the typical height (around 6 ft 1) is virtually identical to the average height in popular sports like tennis, baseball, hockey, and football (and about 6 inches less than in the NBA). All of these sports have height averages that are a couple of inches above the population average. What differs a lot is weight - NFL guys with an average height of 6 ft 2 weigh in at 244 lb, tennis players at 6 ft 1 only at 175 lb. No surprise there, if you look at the amount of actual running around the players have to do. The 200-210 lb for PWA slalom sailors fit right in with the NHL (202 lb) and MLB (209 lb) players. Seems to be a pretty typical weight for a sport that has some short phases of intense physical activity (2 min races), mixed with lower activity loads (waiting between races).
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 4880
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff above.
I will add that PWA fast women tend to weigh in the 165 range, weight added or not depending on power, sea state, combo, and feel.
No 120 lbs'ers.
120 can do ok, but only at the wind minimums.
Bigger allows bigger board and sail, allowing easier passing and blocking.
At 5'10" and 150 lbs., I always carried various weight jackets, but often made the wrong choices.
In flat water, steady wind, competitive.
In slight or xhanging chop and gusty winds, dusted.
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