beginner again

What are the most suitable boards/sails/wetsuits...

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dro
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beginner again

Post by dro » Sun Oct 10, 2004 15:25

enjoyed my mark warner holiday in Bodrum Turkey so much that we decided to late book another late september
This time Kos
Sad and rather brown/dusty island but lakitra resort O.K.

Yet again an opportunity to try different sized boards and sails
Very big swell and onshore wind most of week.
Confidence in ability after last holiday quickly vanished but very sympathetic instruction and yet again friendly fellow guests most of whom similar standard.
Yes we could all beach start and plane( but only when conditions are very favourable)
Yes we were all very interseted in learning to water start but never seem to find right wind strength!!!

Anyway a good time was had by all great food and a brill holiday for us late beginners

SO I finally have to face reality.My 20 yr old second hand 240 litre board ,canvas sail and tie on boom will have to be replaced.But with what?

After holiday felt that a Hifly matrix 145l seemed a nice compromise wide ,center board for emergencies small enough to give me a flavour of "small boarding",big enough to uphaul and tough enough to take the knock of family use.
But very few advertised and the few windsurfers that I know all went very quiet and then mentioned a whole pile of other makes (bic techno mentioned very often) but usualy with no center bord.

Realise very difficult to advise what equipment but would still like to hear experiences of other beginner/intermediates who have been through similar experiences.

Look forward to your views

Huw

P.S. popped over to Broad Haven on one of the weekends and watched some very good surfers wizzing accross the waves, felt a bit embarssed a slunk away with tail between legs.
Will try to be braver next time !!

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Re: beginner again

Post by MartinF » Sun Oct 10, 2004 21:32

Ian, Dro,

I was trying to be a smartarse & split off the appropriate bits of the original message & Ian's reply into the "kit for starting out" forum, only to discover you can't actually do it. What I have ended up doing is copying Ian's reply & dro's original message - unfortunately as separate threads. Ian - your reply is titled "progressor board". Another cock-up. Apologies: :oops:
dro wrote: This time Kos
Sad and rather brown/dusty island but lakitra resort O.K.
Ahh. So you've never been to Fuerte, then?
dro wrote:Confidence in ability after last holiday quickly vanished but very sympathetic instruction and yet again friendly fellow guests most of whom similar standard.
Time on the water is everything. Unfortunately, none of us seem to get enough of it :(
dro wrote:SO I finally have to face reality.My 20 yr old second hand 240 litre board ,canvas sail and tie on boom will have to be replaced.But with what?

After holiday felt that a Hifly matrix 145l seemed a nice compromise wide ,center board for emergencies small enough to give me a flavour of "small boarding",big enough to uphaul and tough enough to take the knock of family use.
But very few advertised and the few windsurfers that I know all went very quiet and then mentioned a whole pile of other makes (bic techno mentioned very often) but usualy with no center bord.

Realise very difficult to advise what equipment but would still like to hear experiences of other beginner/intermediates who have been through similar experiences.

Look forward to your views
Thoughts in the "kit for starting out" forum.
dro wrote:P.S. popped over to Broad Haven on one of the weekends and watched some very good surfers wizzing accross the waves, felt a bit embarssed a slunk away with tail between legs.
Will try to be braver next time !!


Don't mistake brave for foolhardy. You wouldn't walk on a tightrope across the Victoria Falls as a first step! There's no shame in not going out if you don't feel comfortable with the conditions.

BTW, I felt the same watching some of the guys out at Overcombe today. Awe-inspiring.

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Re: beginner again

Post by MartinF » Sun Oct 10, 2004 22:21

dro wrote:SO I finally have to face reality.My 20 yr old second hand 240 litre board ,canvas sail and tie on boom will have to be replaced.But with what?

After holiday felt that a Hifly matrix 145l seemed a nice compromise wide ,center board for emergencies small enough to give me a flavour of "small boarding",big enough to uphaul and tough enough to take the knock of family use.
But very few advertised and the few windsurfers that I know all went very quiet and then mentioned a whole pile of other makes (bic techno mentioned very often) but usualy with no center bord.

Realise very difficult to advise what equipment but would still like to hear experiences of other beginner/intermediates who have been through similar experiences.

Look forward to your views
To add to what Ian said (see his reply "progressor board" which I accidentally separated from this thread)...

F2 Phoenix comes in two flavours: 320 & 340. The 320 is the later version & is generally considered to be a better bet for progressing: It's shorter (obviously!) & wider than the 340 so it planes earlier, is more stable at rest & is more manouverable than the 340. Both have retractable daggerboards.

HOWEVER I'd really question whether or not a daggerboard is going to be a long-term benefit to you.

Ask yourself how quickly are you going to improve (or how much time are going to be able to spend on the water)? Whilst you'd always be able to find conditions in which a board like the Phoenix would work, once you've improved, you'll be wanting to sail something that bit shorter, faster, more responsive, easier in stronger winds...., so you'll hanker after a replacement or a second board. Regardless of how good most daggerboard slot flushers are, once you get planing, you'll almost certainly have plumes of water spraying up through the daggerboard slot! They add a lot of drag, too, which can make the sail feel overpowered.

I hesitate to make any specific recommendations, but the Techno 293 may well be a good bet. Long fin + removable centre fin will both help you get upwind in the early stages.

Post your thoughts on whether or not you think you'll be the proud owner of more than 1 board as you improve so we can rethink accordingly.

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Post by dro » Mon Oct 11, 2004 09:39

dear Ian thanks for your thoughts,they seem to reflect the general concensus.

i.e. get a board that can plane and progress accordingly

BUT I have not given the complete story.

1. my 16 yr old occ gets interested and would clearly like to use dad's new equipment (hence the need for robustness and forgiving nature)

2. I have a friend who windsurfs who has very kindly taken an interest in my progress.Unfortunately he seems convinced that I am much better than I am.
So 6 weeks ago he presented me with a Mistral 100l board for me to enjoy myself in the windy conditions.
While I would love to give it a go I can not water start and probably could not even stand on it.Therfore I need an intermediate step

I am now the proud owner of the windsurfing equivilent of a Scania lorry and a Formula 3000 single seater.I just wonder if a Ford Mondeo would be the answer short term.

Further thoughts and advice greatfuly accepted

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Post by MartinF » Mon Oct 11, 2004 13:52

FYI: There's an F2 Discovery 190 for sale on eBay... May be worth looking into.

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Post by dro » Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:03

me again

further thoughts and developments

contacted bristol winsurfing shop (as all good bristolnomads should)
and I now realise that bic techno is "old technology" and things have progressed

Was recommended a Starboard carve 161 or 145
with arrows rig

sounds very nice but a little bit more than I expected to pay

SO wise and knowldgable sages
what should I do ?old technology and money in bank or new sexy board and hang the financial consequences.

Getting rather excited !!

Huw

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Post by Ian Long » Fri Oct 15, 2004 13:13

My personal feeling is that there have been several major advances in board technology over the last 10-15 years. Typically when these advances occur there is a sudden step change in design & performance as the designers find some new parameter to tweak. Often the initial attempt at a board of a new style goes too far and the better versions come six months later when the boundaries are discovered and the designers step back a bit and a near optimal design is produced. Over the next few years the designers manage to achieve minor improvements to the concept.

I feel that the Techno hit the sweet spot for an recreational wide style board. There are almost certainly improvements that have been made since then, although I personally haven't found a modern replacement that I would wish to pay additional money for.

The bottom lines are:
a.) you are going to break the nose of your new wide style board
b.) the newer the board, probably the better it will be for its designed purpose

I think I would spend the extra dosh on a wider range of sails and buy and older board or possibly buy two old boards for the price of one new board to enable you to get more of the family out at the same time.

Decisions, decisions.......
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Post by Graham_U » Fri Oct 15, 2004 13:28

Agree with Ian, although I am light years behind his experience and ability. I'm really glad I got a secondhand Techno for £200 rather than spending £500 on a new one, or £800 for a carve a year ago, especially after I split its nose.

I'm already looking for a smaller board to move up to in heavy weather, but the Techno will remain in constant use.
Graham

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Post by dro » Fri Oct 15, 2004 18:02

So

bubble burst!

back to reality

where can I find a second hand techno (it seems like the rest of you ,owners like them so much that they keep them for light winds rather than selling them)
the other problem is that if I do not get an "all in" deal

what rig etc should I buy to ensure satisfaction if I improve ,where should I get it and how much should I pay?

My heart still fancies the starboard though my head is screaming" be sensible."

Could I possibly have an opinion from some raving lunatics rather than the very sensible advice I have received so far (even though much appreciated).

Then I might have an excuse to go crazy and waste money on a pretty new toy.

Keep the replies coming

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Post by Ian Long » Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:14

Ah ha, for the rig, you do have a perfectly good excuse to go and buy some shiny nice new toys. Since you are going to be buying atleast one sail plus mast plus boom plus mast foot/extension, there is certainly a deal to be done on this one. The life of a modern sail isn't much more than 5 years before the monofilm becomes brittle, so the fact that you can get a good deal by getting the whole lot together makes it worth forking out for new toys and means that you will have a mast that matches the curve characteristics of your sail (it does make a difference!)

Second hand masts and booms are a bit of a lottery, booms tend to fail through fatigue after 3-5 years (or atleast mine always do) and there is very little visible sign that they are about to go till the fateful day arrives. Masts tend to last till a wave breaks over your sail in the shoredump or your rig gets blown across the beach but their brittle nature means their life expectancy is very dependent on their use to date. I would want to buy both of these new as it isn't much fun when they fail in service. I would go for either a 30% or 50% carbon mast as my first mast, certainly no higher carbon content as it just makes them more fragile, something very significant during the "learning phases". Booms are very much a personal thing. The heavier you are, the stronger boom you should buy. Neroli and I (7.5stone and 13stone) don't share booms at all because I would break her booms to easily (and have done so in the past :cry: ). Also once when needing to replace a boom in an emergency while skint I ignored Neil @ Bristol Windsurfers World's advice and brought a cheap boom - I snapped it within 3 months.

As to still fancing the Starboard - I can certainly understand it. Starboards are lighter and stiffer than the Technos which should make them faster, particularly at accelerating. I personally have found they need a different sailing style to the Techno and haven't sailed on them long enough to adapt to the required style, hence my bias to the Techno. Neroli and I have considered selling one of our Technos over the last couple of years, however I'm afraid we are hanging on to both of them at the moment and I don't know anyone trying to sell one - you will have to keep your eye on the shops, local papers and the Boards web site.

P.S. I you end up buying multiple sails, go for something like a 5.5m and a 6.5m. If you only buy one, go down the middle a 6.0m.

Happy hunting,
Ian.
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Post by Viv Powell » Sun Oct 17, 2004 18:33

Agree with everything said by Ian, especially in the boom department.

Beware of getting a complete package tempting though it may sound, for beginner kit you tend to get the cheap stuff 'cos you don't know any better.

We had a starter board and rig set. It consisted of an F2 Phoenix 320 (which was great), with an Arrows sail that was ok while learning, but both Steve and I avoid it now compared with the Tushinghams, Sailworks and ART sails that we have bought since. The mast was ok, but the boom was dreadful, I hated it with a passion for years! Sadly I didn't break it in 3 months, it was large diameter and was a nightmare to adjust especially with cold hands. Make sure you can disconnect each side individually before adjusting, I had to press down tiny buttons on both sides simultaneously, nigh on impossible! The boom clamp was a class one pain also, it was always difficult to do up tight enough, try it out in the shop before you buy.

Finally, I have never tried the Techno, but another popular progressor board was the Fanatic Bee 144l. Though I think that they may suffer the same problem of owners not wanting to get rid of them. I would guess that the Fanatic Cross, which came later, would be similar, but have only tried a Cross 110 so can't say for sure.

Best of luck!!! :wink:

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Post by Graham_U » Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:08

As mentioned I got my Techno from Bristol Windsurfer World. They had 2 second hand at the time, and seem to have had at least one in on my few visits since.

Also seen them on some of the second hand web sites, e.g.

http://www.boards.co.uk/back/ads/ad_bbr ... ?brand=BiC
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Post by MartinF » Mon Oct 18, 2004 21:20

Ian Long wrote:booms tend to fail through fatigue after 3-5 years (or atleast mine always do) and there is very little visible sign that they are about to go till the fateful day arrives.
Ian's just heavy on kit - don't believe him :-#

In 20 years, I've only ever destroyed 2 booms (afaik): a cheapy one from windy world which broke when a 2 inch backwash filled the sail whilst the rig was lying on the beach at wsm; and a north progression travel boom (ie: one that can be totally dismantled & thus inherently weaker) that collided with Portland Harbour at 20 knots whilst covered with just 2inch depth of sea.

2 of my remaining 3 booms are over 7 years old (ok, one is a solid but cheap carbon prototype boom).

If you're buying used, check for looseness of the booms where they fit into the front piece/clamp. If poss, remove the rear of the boom before doing this. Check for ease of adjustment of the back end as Viv suggests. Worn grip material *can* be replaced at a price - MK used to offer an excellent regripping service.
Ian Long wrote:Masts tend to last till a wave breaks over your sail in the shoredump or your rig gets blown across the beach but their brittle nature means their life expectancy is very dependent on their use to date. I would want to buy both of these new as it isn't much fun when they fail in service.
Personally, I'm reasonably happy to buy 2nd hand masts: Again, I have a Neil Pryde 490cm mast that I bought 2nd hand. I've now used it pretty extensively for 8 years & it's still going strong. I also have a pretty old & well-used 400cm North mast which I bought 2nd hand. Just inspect used masts carefully - check for excessive wear at boom height & where the battens have been rubbing. Check also for dings & cracks.

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Post by dro » Tue Oct 19, 2004 09:43

Thank you all very much for responses
I have really enjoyed reading the suggestions and advice all of which I found very valuble

Therfore I am proud to announce that I am more mixed up now than I was when I started

Getting so excited that I wake up dreaming about a new windsurfer and then lie awake for next 3 hours trying to decide.

Anyway wife has got new job so might be able to afford a new one but if I do not like it I will be devestated (that is why I do not normally buy new)

Orig choice hifly matrix coming up 2nd hand on e bay .Do I think of 16 yr old and buy sensible (no sod it !!)

Also bic techno 2nd hand on e bay but up in york.By time petrol wear and tear etc brobaly as expensive as new

So seems like starboard (bright new toy supplied with batteries) or look around for bic techno(seems concensus choice as good buy) 2nd hand or new

Then dilema with rig solved by buying new

I have come to conclusion that thinking about buying a windsurfer is probably more exciting than windsurfing and as long as I do not actualy buy one it is cheap,warm ,dry and guaranteed not to disappoint.

I wonder!!

Yours decisively

Huw

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Post by MartinF » Tue Oct 19, 2004 21:09

dro wrote:Therfore I am proud to announce that I am more mixed up now than I was when I started
Ooops!

I guess, if you want a definitive answer to the "what should I buy" question, then speak to a dealer - but only one, or else you'll get confused. They'll generally recommend the shiny board that just happens to be in stock, as being ideal for your needs.
dro wrote:So seems like starboard (bright new toy supplied with batteries) or look around for bic techno(seems concensus choice as good buy) 2nd hand or new
I'm going to play devil's advocate here slightly:

There are so many variables, that there's no such thing as the "right" board for you. I don't think we even know your weight, but assuming a fairly average 73-83Kgs, then any board around the 135-155l mark, that's not a dedicated Formula race board, will probably be fine for you as a progression-type board.

Furthermore, I don't know what your 240l board is, but if you're avg weight, I'll be willing to put money on you being able to step onto a modern (ie: < 3years old) 145l'ish board and immediately find it easier to sail, more stable & a lot more fun than your 240l board. So the point of your possibly "not getting on with it" almost certainly won't arise. That doesn't mean that - in a year's time you won't be looking for something else, though. That's called progression, not rejection!!

Read reviews in the mags, check what's available on the 2nd hand market (Windy World, Wet & Windy, Boardseekers website, ads in the mags, Boards website, Forces Of Nature website - and more besides. Links to all these are on the BNWC website links page - http://www.bristolnomads.org.uk/stuff/links.htm), talk to Nomads, post stuff here... Get as much info as you like/can. As long as you buy a board in the sizes I mentioned, I reckon you'll do just fine.

One thing you should bear in mind with the Starboards - the Carve 145 & 161 have deep tuttle fin boxes. Whilst these are arguably the strongest finbox system and probably ideal for the 52cm fins supplied with the new boards, they are no good for smaller fins. Why not? 'Cos smaller fins aren't made with a deep tuttle fitting. And you're not going to want to use a 52cm fin all the time (makes beach starting very difficult). You'll need a smaller fin - prob around 38-40cm for more general playing around/shallow water/stronger winds, so check you can get one with a deep tuttle head before buying the board.
dro wrote:I have come to conclusion that thinking about buying a windsurfer is probably more exciting than windsurfing and as long as I do not actualy buy one it is cheap,warm ,dry and guaranteed not to disappoint.
It probably also means doing more washing up, painting, buying new furniture/curtains/garden gnomes, etc :wink:

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