Hi Davor ,
> I've decided to get a light wind board and I'm currently deciding > > between AHD Free Diamond 77 and Starboard Formula.
> I'm a 78kg intermediate owning an Axxis 267 which I comfortably use with > 5.6 and 6.6 in 15+ knots of wind.
> I'm not into racing but am interested in early planing board with ~9.2 > > and ~7.5 rigs.
> Browsing the web and the newsgroups I get the opinion the Formula is
> primarily early planer and FD 77 is comfort and maneouvre orientated.
The Formula is an early planing design, yes, but it's a whole lot more.
Part of the success is the "rail bevels" Ellen spoke of, part of it
is the wide footstrap placement which allows the use and control of a
58 cm fin. Also, the board has one of the shortest planing surfaces
out there, and that equal alot of speed and control all the way up to
windspeeds around 20 knots and boardspeeds well over 30 knots.
So the Formula is as fast or faster, earlier, handles the chop as well
or better, and once you make the adjustment to the greater width, will
carve jibes very nicely in less windspeed than most of the other boards
in this class.
> In your opinion, is it better to sacrifice early planing or maneouverability?
Why sacrifice either? Yes, there are some differences, but once you
learn to deal with them, the range will be nearly the same, the ability
to plane early will favor the Formula, the speeds will be the same with
a slight edge for the Formula.
But these are my impressions. You need to get out an demo both the
in a variety of conditions with a few different sail sizes. Only then
you make a truly objective decision.
> How does the Formula jibe?
Very nicely, once you get used to stepping further across the board and
not so far forward. Stepping forward pushes too much rail (and rocker)
into the water and tends to kill the speed. Keeping the Formula in it's
planing attitude (fore and aft trim angle) allows the board to just
cruise thru planing jibes were other boards will fall off plane like a
> If you are planing in 8 knots, is the board speed sufficient to get you
> through a jibe?
Yes, because in 8 knots true windspeed, the board will be going
about 16 knots, if you fall off a little to maintain (or increase)
your entry speed. This is plenty to carry you thru the carve and sail
flip and you come out of it on a plane. Tight jibes will tend to kill
more speed than larger radius jibes, so in the lighter winds, nice
wide radius carves are easier to come out of planing.
When the wind gets up to 10 knots and the board speed approaches 20
you can crank some pretty tight jibes on the Formula, basically BEFORE
anyone else is able to do any kind of carve jibe at all.
> If you're having hard time to jibe in 8 knots, isn't it better to get a > more manoeuvre orientated board that planes comfortably in 10+ knots, > jibes better and is even able to jump.
Guess that's completely up to you. But the Formula can be jumped,
and jibed with as much ease as the Diamond 77 once you adjust your
technique (which you will have to do to some degree with the 77 as well
if you are accustomed to jibing <60 cm wide boards).
> Which sail size would you recommend for the stock fin for the Formula > and which fin size for a 7.5-8.0 rig.
The Formula 155 works best with a 58 cm fin. For the earliest planing
and faster and higher upwind in < 10 knots, a 60 cm fin is useful.
The stock Curtis Racing 58 cm fin will work fine with sails from
10.7m2 down to 7.5m2.
I came up with a little technical gem about why the wide boards work
best with the big fins.
If you consider the distance from the fore/aft centerline of the board
out to the outside of the one of the footstraps as one leg of an
triangle, then 1/2 the span of the fin needs to be approximately equal
to this distance. If the footstraps are further off center than 1/2 the
span, the fin will not develop the necessary lift to balance the
weight of the sailor that far off center. Conversely if the footstraps
are set closer to the center of the board and the 1/2 fin span length
is significantly greater than the centerline to outside footstrap length
you will not be able to control the fin as it will develop more lift
you can control.
So if you lay your fin across the footstraps on your board, the fin span
needs to be => than the width across the outside of the footstraps.
If the fin is significantly shorter, you won't be able to develop the
lift required to plane early and go up wind at high angles.
If your fin span is far greater than the width of the tail of the board,
you won't have the leverage to control that much fin at higher speeds
the board will "tailwalk".
AS always, if learn to "finesse" the fin, even a huge 55 cm or larger
span fin, you will be "in control" at much greater speeds than you ever
Think about this. It's what makes the new wide tail, short planing
surface boards, with the huge fins and very large sails work in less
than 10 knots.
sailquik (Roger Jackson) US 7011