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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, look.

I've taught a bunch of people to ws at one time using traditional methods.

I would say those methods are better for the schools, which pump out people who never ever plane on a windsurfer for the most part, than for the students.

For students in low/normal wind areas, a FW or FWE is a perfect first board. That doesn't mean you don't take some lessons if you can on school stuff, just that you don't buy that stuff.

For students in high wind areas (ie gorge) go right to waterstarting. Do not pass -Go- the hook.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The formula experience is more durable than the standard formula board, but nothing like most beginner boards. Yes, it will plane earlier than most other boards, but that's many lessons & outing after one learns to tack and gybe.

Formula is a good platform to uphaul and begin reaching without falling off. Tacking WILL be a problem until one learns to move very quickly from one side to the other. Foot straps will be a pain in the ass for a beginner or novice.

I have had three starboard formula boards and have punched holes through the deck with my harness and my uphaul knots. While I never needed repair on the nose, all had substantial dings and dents.

It all come down to price and other available options. The formula experience boards were almost half the price of the standard boards when they were new - about $1000 as I recall. Getting one for 200-300 dollars would be a good deal. More than that and I would look for other options, but where you live and the used gear market will determine availability and price.

Not the best option for learning, but doable. Finding a shorter inexpensive tuttle fin may be tough. Also one at 40cm or so will hamper the upwind performance.
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RichardMueller



Joined: 26 Jan 2007
Posts: 60
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrFish is right on.
I have had a number of Formula Experience boards and MrFish experiences are the same as mine.
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1928
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durabilty aside, if a FW/FE board is the platform for developing rudimentary windsurfing skills, one huge challenge will be avoiding very poor upwind techniques. The boards' width, volume distribution and extremely short flat section tend to encourage a heel-heavy upwind technique when not planing. Having taught many hundreds, one massive take-away is that beginners must be able to slowly sail upwind while positioned in the middle of the board. It's nearly impossible to do that on any board lacking a centerboard or center fin. This then creates unnecessary rig loading which inhibits basic sail handling and turning the board off the wind.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DanWeiss wrote:
Durabilty aside, if a FW/FE board is the platform for developing rudimentary windsurfing skills, one huge challenge will be avoiding very poor upwind techniques. The boards' width, volume distribution and extremely short flat section tend to encourage a heel-heavy upwind technique when not planing. Having taught many hundreds, one massive take-away is that beginners must be able to slowly sail upwind while positioned in the middle of the board. It's nearly impossible to do that on any board lacking a centerboard or center fin. This then creates unnecessary rig loading which inhibits basic sail handling and turning the board off the wind.


There is no reason for any of that in fact. I think the tradition of learning to long board before learning to short board has done many bad things to windsurfing in fact -- it's like learning one set of technics, which are then abandoned. Mostly because people quit, since long boarding is both hard and boring, or else because a few move on to short boarding and never look back.

This was my problem with the US Windurfing so called method -- it was developed for a different era, and it never, ever updated itself. There are 'schools' in Florida that turn out literally around 1000 'windsurfers' every year using the Beth/Tinho method -- and literally almost zero of these new 'windsurfers' ever do it again.

That is failure by any definition except the bottom line, and clearly it's not even working for that anymore. And the reason is that non planning windsurfing on flat water is just not that great.

The kiters with their downwinders, and rides up or back, back have it right.

Get to a decent level quickly, to where you can have fun, plane and get around. Staying upwind the first day may be 'necessary' to a school that has 4-8 students at 50/75 bucks a head (I have seen schools with many more than that) per 'teacher,' (really a baby sitter more often than not) but it doesn't give the student really much of anything at all.

It's often said that windsurfing is a hard sport, but really it's not. Hook and Foot, Harness, non planning jibes on a big wide board ? C'mon. These things are easy, and can be taught with a minmum of fuss.

The kiters don't 'say no to 6.0,' and don't worry about 'the walk of shame' -- we are killing ourselves with this outdated nonsense.
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Brian.bigfella@gmail.com



Joined: 11 Jun 2012
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The straps on FW are tough to get into for a beginner. You can take them off while learning. If I may suggest an alternative...

If the price of a new board isn't an issue check out the RRD Firemove and JP Super Light Wind. They come in various degrees of durability and have more footstrap options than a formula board. Like a FW they'll remain an important part of your collection as you progress.

I agree that as long as you can uphaul these boards a longboard with a dagger is almost pointless, unless your goal is longboarding.
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MrFish



Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian.bigfella@gmail.com wrote:
The straps on FW are tough to get into for a beginner. You can take them off while learning. If I may suggest an alternative...

If the price of a new board isn't an issue check out the RRD Firemove and JP Super Light Wind. They come in various degrees of durability and have more footstrap options than a formula board. Like a FW they'll remain an important part of your collection as you progress.

I agree that as long as you can uphaul these boards a longboard with a dagger is almost pointless, unless your goal is longboarding.


True. Any wide style board will work, so long as it's wide enough for the size of the learner/ there is even a point where it can be too easy...ir an 85 pound person on a 167 liter FW, will allow that person to develop some bad habits if you don't move along from it quickly.

But leaning straps on an FW isn't too bad so long as there is a chicken strap, or double chicken strap in back
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2329

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FE boards have multiple strap options, plenty waay inside and centered.
FE boards weigh around 23 lbs without straps or fin, while Starboard's Formula boards weigh right at 17 lbs. FE is stronger, but not by 6 lbs. worth, because a lot of weight is used for multiple strap inserts.
Wide, stable, can be used for SUP, while not as good as modern 11' dedicated beginner boards, it certainly can plane up in 20 mph winds with a 6 meter sail for most sailors under 175 lbs.
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Sailboarder



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 397

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrFish wrote:

There is no reason for any of that in fact. I think the tradition of learning to long board before learning to short board has done many bad things to windsurfing in fact -- it's like learning one set of technics, which are then abandoned. Mostly because people quit, since long boarding is both hard and boring, or else because a few move on to short boarding and never look back.


While there maybe truth to what you are saying in general, I can only disagree here. I regulary initiate people to the sport and got about 10 people in several groups to try 2 weekends ago. The weather was 7.5 for me. The ladies were using 2.0 and had enough. We had a mixture of boards with and without daggerboards available. I can assure you that the boards with daggerboards brought the big smiles much quicker, no contest there. The reason is simple. The board has much more lateral resistance and it's less subtle to figure out what is going on. They could move forward and decide where they were going!

I thinks it's harder than you recall. Even in very mild weather, beginners get blackeyes, broken glasses or bumps on their heads after getting backwinded. In inland areas, reading the wind shifts is important for safety and you need some TOW to learn that. To get TOW in lighter wind areas, you need a longboard to have a minimum of fun, planing is too often out of reach even on a formula board.

My personal solution is a Kona One board for progressing. It glides well in low wind and is easy to get on a plane. The transition between the two modes is also not brutal.

I might have a different opinion if I lived in an area with better and more stable winds. It's so much easier in Hatteras or even Florida... But for the general case, longboarding is not stupid at all. And way more fun than SUP on flat water!
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a ton of options out there for beginners. What would best suit them individually is determined by venue (lake, bay, ocean, typical winds, etc.); and by their personal nature (fitness, age, aggressiveness, determination, commitment, budget, etc.).

What to learn on is not "one size fits all". One aggressive young guy with a high level of commitment may be best suited for a 130 liter freeride board. Another middle aged individual with a low level of fitness and agility may be best suited for a Starboard Start.

When I have been asked by beginners about what they need, one has to first interview them to answer some of the above questions and what they want and expect to get out of windsurfing. There have been some that I would definitely tell to stay away from Formula and others that could make a go of it if a Formula board was available to them at a good price.
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