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heavyweight windsurfer ROUND 2

 
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jwmg123



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject: heavyweight windsurfer ROUND 2 Reply with quote

Finally was able to try windsurfing again. The first time I took lessons in the bay (sfbayarea) a few years ago - had a lot of issues with chop. This time I took my lesson in a small lake.

Used a 240L board and a 5.0 and a 5.5m sail.
Rider = a relatively nimble 6'5 man of 280lbs (128kg 195cm)

Unlike last time I did find my balance coming along so that I was getting quite warm because I hadn't fallen in!

I'm eager to go out again next weekend hopefully and try again. I do have some questions, maybe the forum can help!

My back kind of hurts. I don't feel like it was from uphauling though. While windsurfing in winds from 5kt-to 12kts I feel like I have hold the sail and the wind. I know that I need to position to get my front arm straight. I am not feeling enough power in the sail to move back on the board to acomplish that. Should I be using a bigger sail? 5.5m felt a little better maybe but not much. Should I change the position of the foot of the mast? It was in a central position.

Going upwind. I can barely do this it seems. Even in a good breeze. Maybe this just takes time.

My board was not very stable. I managed, but without a decent breeze I had a lot of difficulty going from the neutral position to start position without bailing. Would I benefit from buying a large board and just rent sails? The board I used was a 240L HIFLY I think was the name of it.

Especially would like to hear from other large persons on their experiences learning and what helped them.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clearly you need a much bigger sail at 280 lbs, a 5.5M in 5-12 knots and I would think you would just slowly get pushed downwind.
With a larger sail you will need a harness, at this stage just wear the harness all the time to get used to it and hook in when you can.
At your weight in that wind you would need the largest sail made to maybe get planing at 12 knots for example.
So planing is not a goal yet but you still need a bigger sail to regularly utilize the harness which is the key to not having to hold the rig up, the rig is held up on it's own by the wind countered by your weight pulling the opposite direction thru the harness, not your arms.
Having the mast all the way forwards in the track may help a bit, mast goes back as you go faster, you are going very slow so you need to stand more forward on the board so mast forwards might help your balance and board trim.
I'm not familiar with that board but at this stage and your size you need about the biggest widest board available with a centerboard.
I'm 6'5" #220 and can tell you we might not be able to dance around on the waves on tiny boards like the little nimble fellas but we can hold down some pretty big sails and go fast.
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QueNeo



Joined: 10 May 2014
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The board will go upwind with a 5.5. Just make sure the centerboard is all the way down.
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joethewindsufa



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 188
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

believe the HiFly 240 is 78 cm wide
wider would be better, but the 240 liters is great - comes with dagger board or without ?? i do not know this board - daggerboard helps to start
especially upwind as discussed
i am 6'1" and about 235 lbs - usually about 220
when i try using small sails i get a sore back from trying to balance them in light winds
thus i started with a sail in the 7.x range
more of a counter force and can putz about in lighter winds
have a newer sail in that range and use it in winds around 20 knots
the next sail i purchased, once more comfortable was an 8.5 without cambers
that is now my most used sail range
i use that size on older longboards and around 16 knots on 160 liter shortboard = planing
patience and balance wins the game
keep at it and enjoy !!!
http://joewindsurfer.blogspot.ca/2011/05/heavyweights-and-windsurfing.html
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2402

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep at it!
You can smoke by the wee people once you get 2 years into the sport, or you finally get a windy enough sail.
Had a housemate 275 lbs, he learned on a Marker1, 205 liters 11' long, 26" wide, then got on a Seatrend 9'5" at 123 liters. By his 3rd season, he was clocked at 44 mph at the Ponds when FredHaywood, RoddyLew is, and LairdHamilton could only go 42 mph for Roddy.
A really cool guy, Dave Megessy, a former linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, at 255 lbs learned to windsurf at Berkeley, me one of his stauch supporters. He ended up 160 liter KineticFreeRace at 72 wide, his big board, and a 135 liter old Seatrend for high winds.
The litte guys get going earlier, but you can run them down easily.
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jwmg123



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The board had a centerboard that I kept down the whole time. The smaller sail doesnt provide enough lift to counter my drag in the water upwind I guess?

I will try for a 6m or bigger sail next time if conditions are similar. Hopefully it will not be so bulky as to hinder my turning (still a little unsteady doing 180s)

looking forward to going fast. Very Happy
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Sailboarder



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 443

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: heavyweight windsurfer ROUND 2 Reply with quote

jwmg123 wrote:

My back kind of hurts. I don't feel like it was from uphauling though. While windsurfing in winds from 5kt-to 12kts I feel like I have hold the sail and the wind. I know that I need to position to get my front arm straight. I am not feeling enough power in the sail to move back on the board to acomplish that. Should I be using a bigger sail? 5.5m felt a little better maybe but not much. Should I change the position of the foot of the mast? It was in a central position.


Yes, a sail in the 7.x would make sense for you. With the 5.5, the mast foot position could be all the way back, and it would help a bit to go updwind.

About the front arm straight. I don't think it means bring the mast forward on the board, but more away from you so that it stays vertical (sideways). No need to move back on the board to do this. But since the sail was small for you, keeping the mast vertical must have required bent arms. It's ok in low wind.

jwmg123 wrote:

Going upwind. I can barely do this it seems. Even in a good breeze. Maybe this just takes time.


It also takes time if you don't have a daggeboard...

jwmg123 wrote:

My board was not very stable. I managed, but without a decent breeze I had a lot of difficulty going from the neutral position to start position without bailing. Would I benefit from buying a large board and just rent sails? The board I used was a 240L HIFLY I think was the name of it.


I usually advice against buying your first board, because that's a type of board that you will overgrow quickly. You could use more width to start. It's hard to tell without seeing you if the board you use now will be hard to master for you, at your weight. It's okay if the board feels somewhat unstable, but if you feel it's a circus trick to balance on it, you will have too much trouble learning.

jwmg123 wrote:

Especially would like to hear from other large persons on their experiences learning and what helped them.


I'm only 210 lbs but I learned to scale things. Average windsurfer is 175 lbs. You can scale the volumes in liters, and the sail sizes in m2. So the linebacker's 135 liter board is equivalent to about 90 liters for the average guy. That same average guy feels that 135 is the largest board he would consider...
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SeaDawg



Joined: 12 Sep 2002
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JWMG,

Just finished reading this thread. All good advice here for you. I now have a little over 30yrs in windsurfing. Time has added pounds and experience. I'm at about 250lbs at this point.

I still find someone that wants to learn to windsurf. Among my goto boards to teach on are a 2000ish Tiga FreeX 79 about 205liter and 79cm wide.

The other board I teach on is a Mistral Equipe it's a Long race board from the late 90's

I've had students be successful learning on both boards....

The Tiga seems to be easier to balance on and get the sail management thing under control.

The longboard with centerboard is better for learning how to "sail"

Perfect learning winds 5-10ish sail sise 5m-6.5

The 5m on the Tiga is more or less there to help learn balance.

The 5m on the longboard will make it go and let you learn to tack and hold a heading.

The long and short of it is, your skill sets will develop with time on the water.

Pick a board and a sail or two that best fits the venue where you sail.
Stick with it. The early effort will lead to a ton of fun.

FWIW, a Longboard and almost any 135lt Freeride board with a 6.0 and a 7.5 freeride sail will cover a good bit of range.

Hope this helps a bit.
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1084
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your sore back is from your body not being used to the specific activity of windsurfing. It should go away after a few sessions as your muscles and balance adapt. I don't think you need to worry about a harness just yet.

Also, as others have pointed out, it may help to have a more stable board to stand on, and a more powerful sail to lean against.

To help with that, I have a "windsurfing calculator" that will recommend board and sail sizes for different body weights.

http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2010/11/updated-windsurf-calculator-online.html

Basically, a 5.5 for you is like a tiny 3.5 for a 180 lb person, which may explain why you didn't have enough power to go upwind well.

If you want to have the same power that a 180 lb person would have with a 5.5, you would need an 8.6!!! Of course you probably don't want to go that far right now... I'm just saying if you want significantly more upwind power than you're getting from the 5.5 a 6.0 is not going to cut it. 7.0 or 7.5 would be a good first sail for you, IMO.

As for the board, there aren't many out there with more than 240 liters volume, but there are some good ones, such as the Kona Mahalo, the Exocet Link Tandem, and the Starboard RIO XL.

_________________
James' Blog: Windsurfing Equipment Size Calculator
http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2010/11/updated-windsurf-calculator-online.html
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