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Formula boards in waves and chop?
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Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 1120

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gobigkahuna, I think for your size and conditions you are on the right board.
Chasing the lower planing threshold in low wind areas can be an expensive and frustrating experience, it's also a bit of an expert technique. IMO a kite is a better option.
When you get to the point you are planing that SUP with the tail rocker causing it's nose to raise up in an unstable manner, then I would start to think about a really big shortboard and learn footstraps, but maybe there really isn't enough wind for that. You know a lot of guys that sail in waves use such small sails they rarely get planing until they are on a wave. Planing isn't everything, a lot of people are rediscovering windsurfing on a SUP with smaller sails just playing in the waves or railing upwind on an old longboard even with old battenless sails.
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Joined: 11 Mar 2004
Posts: 144
Location: Eastern NC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks BeagleBuddy. I started windsurfing in Hawaii around 1980 and continued until 2000 when I "discovered" kitesurfing. I really love kitesurfing, but because of my size I really need at least 15 mph of wind (and preferably 18 mph). And yes, I have -big- kites and boards (including a 20m kite). But in over a year I've only had maybe 3 or 4 kite sessions in San Diego and really only enjoyed one of them (the other sessions I was miserably under powered).

I picked up the SB Avanti SUP a little over a month ago for something else to do. It came with windsurf mounts which motivated me to get a rig (which I traded a kite board for) and so far have been able to windsurf that monster board just about any day I wanted to. And that was with a 6.0 m sail!

Even though it's been 14 years I was able to tack my first day and now after 3 sessions I'm getting more confident with my gybes. And all in winds as light as 4 mph. I'm happier than a pig in sh*t. The wife (also a kite convert) has been watching me and now wants to join me. I picked up a used smaller rig for her yesterday from the same guy that had the superfreak.

The locals (who all have formula boards) think I'm nutz. But I'm hoping this will get me out in the surf on those days when the surf is too small and too mushy (because of the 8-12 mph wind) to SUP or surf.
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Joined: 09 Nov 1988
Posts: 433

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Light wind; want to ride some waves? Sound like a Kona candidate to me.
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Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 1253

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long boards are the way to go. For the ocean, a sailable SUP or a Kona might be your best choice. Start playing with light wind freestyle and waves, and you can have endless hours of fun in 10 mph winds.

Sailable SUPs differ a lot - some are dogs in light wind unless you have waves, some have a really nice glide, some are in between. If you can rarely get going on a kite, go for a long SUP with a nice glide (unless you plan to mostly play in waves). Different windsurfers like different boards, so see if you can try before you buy. For cruising, go for 10 ft 6 or longer and 200+ liters. Try to get a SUP or longboard with a mast track - the screw-in inserts are for occasional use only, and tend to come out after a while.
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Joined: 06 Sep 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude the last thing you should be worried about in San Diego is chop. Wind is the real issue. We ride FW gear here in the bay up to 25 plus and freaky chop and waves. It is all about staying calm and relaxed and mindful. And having your gear tuned properly. The gear is not the problem. It is the rider. Most riders just get down on FW gear when conditions get dicey because they are looking for an easy way out. FW works very nicely thank you up to about 30 knots. You just need to spend enough time on the water to feel comfy when you get tossed around. Oh yeah, you need to spend some time getting to know your gear too because that matters a lot. I am talking fin selection and sail tuning. Anything San Diego can throw at you will be sliced and diced and thrown under the bus on a FW kit.
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Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1280
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Formula boards handle chop fine once you get the hang of them. They will even handle open-ocean conditions nicely.

But they are NOT easy to launch and land in the surf, since you have to walk them out to deep water where the fin will clear while keeping a huge heavy sail above the waves.

I would say you have two good options:

1. Get formula stuff, but just use it in the Bay or when the waves on the beach are small.

2. Get a WindSUP that can plane. Most SUPs glide well but plane poorly (if at all) because the rockerline under the tail curves up too much. Some exceptions are the Exocet WindSUP 11'8" and the Exocet Kona/Curve 11'5". They're both good for waves and for flatwater planing. The 11'5" is not meant for SUP, though.

James' Blog: Windsurfing Equipment Size Calculator
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 2291
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some language clarification would help. go big, you say you want to "get out into the surf" in very light winds. Sure, a FW can easily cross very small breaking surf if the water depth is sufficient, but are pretty much a disaster when trying to "surf" the waves.

Another thing to consider would be an old FW board, like the first ones around 100cm wide -circa 2003/4, but using a weed fin designed for FW boards. These fins won't plane up as fast as the ideal fin, but aren't nearly as deep, more like a true 55cm rather than 70. Their swept planform offers a more forgiving impact if you happen to run aground or sail though kelp.

I have several weed fin prototypes from that era gathering dust. Let me know if I can help.

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