Sail size vs Board size

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Bill Conne » Wed, 05 Jan 1994 21:43:52


I've been windsurfing mostly inland waters for a few years on mid sized
transition boards.  My smallest is a 150 L. F2 Comet.  My sails are all around
6.0.  Since I get blasted off the water when the wind picks up to 30 or 40K.  
I have been planning to buy a smaller sail in the 4.0 - 5.0 range.  However,
I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on the sail
size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if any, will
I encounter with a 4.0 - 5.0 sail on the 150 L. board (given that the boom,
mast, etc. have to fit the sail).  I weigh 145 lbs. and am fairly athletic and
am just learning to waterstart (had a few starts).  
 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Luigi Semenza » Thu, 06 Jan 1994 04:24:22


Quote:
(Bill Connett) writes:

|> I've been windsurfing mostly inland waters for a few years on mid sized
|> transition boards.  My smallest is a 150 L. F2 Comet.  My sails are all around
|> 6.0.  Since I get blasted off the water when the wind picks up to 30 or 40K.  

(At your weight (145) I would think you'd get blasted off the water at around
20 or 25 knots with a 6.0.)

|> I have been planning to buy a smaller sail in the 4.0 - 5.0 range.  However,
|> I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on the sail
|> size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if any, will
|> I encounter with a 4.0 - 5.0 sail on the 150 L. board (given that the boom,
|> mast, etc. have to fit the sail).  I weigh 145 lbs. and am fairly athletic and
|> am just learning to waterstart (had a few starts).  

4.0 and 5.0 conditions are fairly different.  In 5.0 conditions, sailing
a transition board is reasonable.  It won't be very smooth: you'll
bounce a fair amount, but you'll still be able to control it.  Jibes won't
be easy, because a board that size does not turn as promptly as a smaller
board, and you'll tend to bounce during the turn.

As the wind increases, and so does the chop, the bouncing will get worse.
In 4.0 conditions, the wind will noticeably push the board around when you
are in the air, and controlling it will be much harder.  Very hard, in
fact.  You'll have to depower the sail and slow down for fear of a slamming
death, while the folks with the short boards will zip all around you in
complete control.   ---Luigi

 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by p.. » Fri, 07 Jan 1994 00:50:45


Quote:
Connett) writes:
> I've been windsurfing mostly inland waters for a few years on mid sized
> transition boards.  My smallest is a 150 L. F2 Comet.  My sails are
all around
> 6.0.  Since I get blasted off the water when the wind picks up to 30
or 40K.  
> I have been planning to buy a smaller sail in the 4.0 - 5.0 range.  However,
> I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on
the sail
> size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if
any, will
> I encounter with a 4.0 - 5.0 sail on the 150 L. board (given that the boom,
> mast, etc. have to fit the sail).  I weigh 145 lbs. and am fairly
athletic and
> am just learning to waterstart (had a few starts).  

 Well, as many people will attest to, when the wind picks up above 20 mph
you will need a smaller board at your weight ( 145 lbs). What happens is
the board starts to come out of the water, the wind gets under the board,
and the board gets out of control. I would say 5.0 is probably the
limit for that board and your weight. Also you will discover a smaller
board is much more controllable and fun at the higher wind speeds, and
for me I try to use the smallest board I can get away with.

 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Dennis McCroh » Fri, 07 Jan 1994 02:14:01

Quote:
>I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on the sail
>size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if any, will

Last year I bought my first shortboard, prior to that I had been sailing on
a transition board (160 L). I would tend to agree with Luigi, there is no
inherent reason that you can't sail a big board on a 4.0 day, it's just that
a smaller board will turn it into a fun day, rather than just survival. I
think that the problem with shortboards is that the smaller they become, the
more sensitive they are to wind/chop, and the smaller their range of conditions.
As a case in point, both my transition board and my shortboard (115 L) are out
of their element in 35+ knots, but the larger board really feels more in
control to me at that point, it's heavy and slow enough that it doesn't bounce
out of the water all the time, whereas the shortboard is light enough that
it is uncontrollably airborne. In 20-30 knots, on the other  hand, the shortboard
wins hands down. Guess it's time to try to convince the wife that I need
a wave/bump-and-jump board.

-dm

 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Cris Han » Sun, 09 Jan 1994 01:20:55

Quote:

> >I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on the sail
> >size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if any, will

> Last year I bought my first shortboard, prior to that I had been sailing on
> a transition board (160 L). I would tend to agree with Luigi, there is no
> inherent reason that you can't sail a big board on a 4.0 day, it's just that
> a smaller board will turn it into a fun day, rather than just survival. I
> think that the problem with shortboards is that the smaller they become, the
> more sensitive they are to wind/chop, and the smaller their range of conditions.

I wouldn't exactly call this a problem.  If you've got a short *enough* board
for the conditions, you have far more control than a larger board.

Quote:
> As a case in point, both my transition board and my shortboard (115 L) are out
> of their element in 35+ knots, but the larger board really feels more in
> control to me at that point, it's heavy and slow enough that it doesn't bounce
> out of the water all the time, whereas the shortboard is light enough that
> it is uncontrollably airborne. In 20-30 knots, on the other  hand, the shortboard
> wins hands down. Guess it's time to try to convince the wife that I need
> a wave/bump-and-jump board.

I gotta comment on this one; eh?!?  One minute a short board turns a big wind day
into a fun day and the next it's uncontrollable?  Sounds like a possible technique
problem to me.
As far as 35+ knots goes; if you're out on anything bigger than an 8', well let's
just say we all have to pay our dues somehow. ;^]

Cris
--
Cris Hannu                       |  Windsurfing the high country.


 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Bill North » Sun, 09 Jan 1994 05:24:56

: >I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on the sail
: >size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if any, will
:
: Last year I bought my first shortboard, prior to that I had been sailing on
: a transition board (160 L). I would tend to agree with Luigi, there is no
: inherent reason that you can't sail a big board on a 4.0 day, it's just that
: a smaller board will turn it into a fun day, rather than just survival. I
: think that the problem with shortboards is that the smaller they become, the
: more sensitive they are to wind/chop, and the smaller their range of conditions.
: As a case in point, both my transition board and my shortboard (115 L) are out
: of their element in 35+ knots, but the larger board really feels more in
: control to me at that point, it's heavy and slow enough that it doesn't bounce

: out of the water all the time, whereas the shortboard is light enough that
: it is uncontrollably airborne. In 20-30 knots, on the other  hand, the shortboard
: wins hands down. Guess it's time to try to convince the wife that I need
: a wave/bump-and-jump board.
:

I don't totally agree with this. The smallest size board that you can sail with
the PROPER size sail is the easist to sail and control in the chop and the
most fun.

But I have found is if I am sailing really overpowered a board that little
larger is a little easier to control. I think the reason for this is that
if you don't have the smaller board under control you don't have proper
balance causing the board to be unstable. The larger (and wider) board will
be a little more stable.

When it gets to 35+ my 8'6" bump-and-jump board is getting to be a big board
and a 115L board is real big.

: -dm
:

--
--

    Bill Northup                   PHONE:          (508) 460-2085


    Marlboro, MA  01752            Amateur Radio:  n1qpr

 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Kirk Lindstr » Sun, 09 Jan 1994 12:35:42

Quote:
>>I've seen several comments here indicating there is a lower limit on the sail
>>size in relation to the board size.  Why is that?  What problem, if any, will

>Last year I bought my first shortboard, prior to that I had been sailing on
>a transition board (160 L). I would tend to agree with Luigi, there is no
>inherent reason that you can't sail a big board on a 4.0 day, it's just that
>a smaller board will turn it into a fun day, rather than just survival. I
>think that the problem with shortboards is that the smaller they become, the
>more sensitive they are to wind/chop, and the smaller their range of conditions.

I find that this is the point when you have to start to eally pay attention
to fin selection.  I've found that I can sail my 158lb of flotation, 8'8"
Challengeflex (Mistral) in almost any wind we can get that is sailable if
I switch fins and sails according to the conditions.  For example, I can use
a 13" True Ames Thick Foil with a 6.1 and have fun in maybe 18 knots and I
I've sailed it and had fun in 3.9 wind (gusts to 48K, 30's typ) with an
11" slotted Angulu glass wave fin (I did just hold on in the gusts).

You can also go to the extreme of having as many boards and fins as you
do sails....then you get a horse van to carry them around in (I've seen
several).  I carry 4 boards and could really do with another (9' glass)
for some conditions.  Then again, this extreme is for trying to have the
"ideal" set-up to really enjoy the conditions.

Quote:
>................  Guess it's time to try to convince the wife that I need
>a wave/bump-and-jump board.

There ya go!  Welcome to shortboarding!  8-)

 > >-dm >----------

Reminds me of Luigi's quote of "sailing is like standing in the shower
and tearing up $20 bills as fast as you can.  Windsurfing is just the
same except you get to slam your body into the wall every few
minutes."  or something to that effect!

Kirk out
8'8" ASD epoxy RKT, 8'11" & 9'3" ASD epoxy CS, Malibu & 8'8" ChallengeFlex
Wt 213#, Ht.  6'0", Usually sail on SF Bay, Cailf.

 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by Brad Ritt » Wed, 12 Jan 1994 06:45:03

I haven't read a response to this question that I really felt good about.
Not that the other responses are wrong, maybe just a little misleading.
Maybe its because the question isn't quite right.

Sail size vs Board size?  Correct board size is affected by board speed
and water conditions.  These two factors are in turn determined in large
part by wind speed.  There is a correlation with sail size because sail
size is also largely determined by wind speed.  So the general statement
that you need a smaller board for smaller sails is a pretty sound statement.

But, when this becomes mindless dogma it can lead you to automatic and
incorrect conclusions like:
  "When I get down to my 5.0 sail I need to move down to my 8'6" board."
or
  "My smallest board is an 8'6" so I have no use for a 4.0 or 3.5 sail!"

If you are sailing in a place with relatively quiet water you can use a
bigger board on a smaller sail.  The advantage to this might be that you
could stay on a plane better through holes in the wind.

If a board becomes too big when the wind picks up to 5.0 conditions that
same board may be just fine if you drop down to a 4.5 sail.  By doing
that you have essentially decreased your board speed.  It wasn't that
your board couldn't handle a 5.0 sail.  Its that your board couldn't handle
the speed that the 5.0 sail generated in that wind.

Brad Ritter

 
 
 

Sail size vs Board size

Post by che.. » Sat, 15 Jan 1994 09:40:47

Quote:

> I haven't read a response to this question that I really felt good about.
> Not that the other responses are wrong, maybe just a little misleading.
> Maybe its because the question isn't quite righ> Sail size vs Board size?  Correct board size is affected by board speed
> and water conditions.  These two factors are in turn determined in large
> part by wind speed.  There is a correlation with sail size because sail
> size is also largely determined by wind speed.  So the general statement
> that you need a smaller board for smaller sails is a pretty sound statement.

        I agree with Brad's conclusions. Perhaps the best guide is what you can
handle safely and comfortably. If I remember correctly the original inqury came

control a board with that much float in >25knots is doing really well, despite
what size sail they are using.
        I was sailing last Saturday Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Australia when
the wind was a steady thirty-five knots. I was using my 4.4 wave sail on my old
soft railed 8'5 wave board. I could hold the sail (just) but the board was
almost unmanageable, the board has about 80l bouyancy. There were only a
handful of guys out that day with the biggest sail I saw a 4.5 and the largest
board 8'8".
        To confuse the issue further I borrowed my mates 7'2" board and had a
ride to see if it handled conditions any better - no luck - the wind and chop
was so much that the board just wouldn't stay in the water (smaller baord - no
improvement). After that the wind strengthened in a series of squalls which
blew through at 40knots plus, with a sustained squall of 60knots (over a 15
minute period with a peak gust of 72 knots measured!!!) No Shit!!. Needless to
say the only action involved sitting on our boards to stop them from blowing
away.

        Forecast for today is promising 20knots so I think I will have some
fun.