This has been discussed at great length recently, and no quick answer would do
the previous discussions justice. Find them via dejanews for the REAL answer.
In the meantime:
* On any given piece of water at any one time, "normal" sized people will be
using sails of the average size plus or minus 30% or more. That's a range of
meter or two, reflecting preferences, skills, sailing style, point of sail,
sail type, wind consistency, offshore vs onshore wind, board size and type, fin
size and type, and sailin' whut ya rigged to avoid rerigging.
The stronger the wind, the smaller the sail, unless ya switch boards type or
size, sailing style, point of sail, onshore/offshore, etc., or the wind fills
in or gets holier.
Examples for me, at 180:
* 15-20, 15-25, 15-30, steady 15, => biggest sail I got (the 6.8).
* If the 6.8 is too much most of the time (wind > 20 all the time) => 5.2.
* steady 20 (yeah, right) => 5.8.
* 5.2 is usually too much (> mid 20s most of the time) => 4.7.
* Spray flying occasionally (mid 30s or so?) => 4.2.
* Spray flying often (40ish?) => 3.7.
* White-out (spray and chunks of water flying everywhere consistently) => 3.2
* Consistent liquid smoke => 2.8.
But then I change board size and everything shifts by maybe half a meter. Ya go
in the waves, and everything shifts down by a meter 'cause yer power comes from
da waves. Ya enter a race and rig up an extra 1.5 meters so there are ZERO
And yet another guy my size and skill level, on an identical board, 20 feet
from me, sailing in about the same manner, might PREFER another half meter or a
half meter to a meter less. Your OWN experience and preferences are worth more
than all the advice we could give you on this one.
Never Leave Wind To Find Wind