> I recently picked up a second hand "Alpha" board at a windsurfing
> fair. It has a volume of 130 litres, length 295cm (though it measures
> along the bottom at 300cm), a green coloured nose, is made of a
> material called alpha comptec and was made in Austria, has a width of
> 63 cm and the mast foot base is between 150cm and 180 cm from the
> back. Designer is a guy by the name of Walter Geldhenzer.
> I know nothing about the board and have a few questions.
> - Anybody have any idea what year it is ?
Must be around end 80s, maybe even 1990, but probabely more
like 1987 or 1988.
> - Anybody else use a similar board ? How is it ?
No, don't have a similar board (or at l;east don't use it on a regular
base) but generally the Alpha shortboards of that era were decent shapes
for their time. Reaching speed when well powered but not overpowered
probabely isn't much different from todays freeride boards, jibing
shouldn't b too hard either. Newer board generally have more range
(both, windrange and upwind/downwind range) and feel much lighter /
> - At present the largest sail I have is an older 6.2m and it seems
> to work okay. I'd like something larger though (7.0 to 8.0 range).
> Anybody have an opinion as to the largest size that is likely to
> be comfortable with the board and approx how old a sail I should be
> looking for. The mags lead me to believe that newer sails don't work
> so well with older boards.
Sail size shouldn't be a problem, the board would probabely carry an 8.5
as well. Otoh. you need a big fin for those sails. And i'm not sure
wether i'd put anything longer than 35 cm (which was considered huge
these days !) into the plastik E-Box of such a board. If you can find
one at all. So much more than 7.0 probabely doesn't make a lot of sense,
except you get a different fin box installed. Which could cost more than
the board is actually worth, togtherwith a new fin.
Older boards and newer sails: Sails in the era of that board were
relatively drafty all over the place, the coe was farther back than
today (thus the mastbase that far forward). But as long as you avoid
those superflat, gutless, dream-like handling sideshore wavesails and
high-end multicam racesail, especially from a few years back, you should
be fine. Most contemporary freeride sails, wether no cam or few cams
should be quite well suited.
If comparing mag reviews: You need primarily power, speed is secondary.
> - I'm still trying to figure out the optimum position of the mast base
> in the track and the optimum boom height etc. For newer kit the mags say
> the boom should be an inch or two off the back of a board for someone
> of my height(6 foot 2 inches) . Anybody have similar recommendations
> for this board (the boom seems to be best when lying a couple of
> inches on to the back of the board.
If you use modern sails: Mastfoot all the way back on a board with track
that far from the tail. The boom probabely will rest on the tail
nevertheless, mine do as well on most baords, with mast position mostly
around 130 cm from the tail (but i'm just 5'9" and have the booms pretty
Then experiment with the boom height to have equal pressure on both feet
while planing and in the (back) straps.