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Topic: Sail size for longboarding

OK guys, I need some guidance here because the only boarders at my spot are on kites.

Got a Kona 11'5" for Ontario / Erie onshore swell/wave sailing. Rode it yesterday and today for the first time (coming off of a broken foot). Yesterday was 5 kts, 6" waves - pretty impressive how it catches them. It felt like I need a little bit of wind in the sail to keep the rig from holding it back, but it is MUCH easier to catch waves on the K115 than my Mistral Pacifico Wave.

Today, it was a solid 20 kts with 3-4, occasional 5-6 foot waves. Many of them with clean faces. When I got there it was 18 gusting to 23, and I rigged my 6.3 SF. I was pretty impressed, I thought the board might be a handful, but it really was smooth and easy to ride. I wasn't so good at attacking from the bottom turns back to the lip, but did OK for the first time. It's definitely a very classy board, and probably as range-y as anything I've ridden since I sold my IMCO.

The thing I felt was that I maybe rigged too big. In contrast to my wave shortboards, it planes, yes, but doesn't take off to speed - don't really think it's supposed to. So with a big sail and slow-ish board, the rig felt heavy (especially after a 7-week layoff!). So when you rig, how big relative to your shortboard choice do you go? 0.5 meter smaller? More? Just enough to get outside through the mush? How do you decide?

Thanks for the tips!

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

Hi Geoff,
Interesting reading about your Kona 11'5.
I can't help you with your sail size question but would like to ask you a question about the 11'5".
My stats:
190lbs intermediate - jibe, waterstart, straps etc...
Currently have a JP SLW (90 wide 154l), SB futura 122, Taboo 3s 97 and sb super12'6, with 10.0 retro, 8.0 sful, 6.3 sful, 5.2 ezzy wave and 4.6 sailworks revolution.
I love the smooth power of the sf's.

Just starting sailing the big lake this year - previous years were on flat water.

I sail lake huron (great lakes- freash water) in Grand Bend-  The leeward of the lake on a prevailing nw wind (ie huge messy frequent batten & ego crushing waves).
Presently I like bump & jump / blasting rather than trying to surf waves. Lake huron's waves are onshore/ closely.

I want a board that makes it easier to sail on our prevailing 10-20 knots nw onshore wind. In 10-20 knot nw I typically sail my 8.0 sf with my jp slw or futura 122. I prefer the jp buy neither work exceptionally well in the rough water. It is hard to enjoy the sailing or even get through the break sometimes.

I even considered kiting becasue the kiters can sail in this almost effortlessly (my wife won't let me try it though!)

I want to sail, jibe and jump and generally have fun with as little effort ass possible in these conditions.
Would a 11'5" (or 10'5") work for me?
Any comments appreciated.
Joe

Last edited by JGB (2010-10-15 06:13:26)

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

Hmmm. Well nobody answered my query so I've been experimenting and think there are a couple of ways to go....but probably not what you're thinking Joe.

I had a nice 10-17 day, with a 7.0 UL and at the spot where we get the best inland surf. Nice waves, sets of 4-5, clean faces with a lot of curl, don't close out all at once. So I was lightly-to-moderately powered, depending on gust or lull.

In that gusts powered-up, the 11'5" in the straps is good for wave riding with power-on bottom turns and cutbacks (which was the top of my neophyte skill level). In the lulls, the 11'5" out of the straps is good for surf-sailing (schlogging out, catching a wave to ride it back in). I did manage to do a clew-first sail-and-body 360 while surfing a wave, so I was pleased with that.

My SUP (Pacifico Wave) is a nice board, but really doesn't do the powered-up bit that the 11'5" does. I was a bit concerned about the footstraps being in the way, but it hasn't been a problem (I have the front straps full out and back / single back strap). So of the two, I much prefer the 11'5" (and I think the construction quality is higher).

But perhaps the most interesting observation I have is that both boards, and especially the 11'5", really lure you back into the shore break. The PW is not at all good or fun to get planing in swell/chop; the 11'5" is much better at that than the PW, but it's not particularly exciting as it is slow, there's no jumping, it's just B&F in the swells. That ends up not being nearly as much fun as getting inside where the waves are jacking up and breaking. Because it's designed for surf, the 11'5" is quite at home in the whitewater, it's not at all hard to tack it in the tumble dry section (I think the PW is OK but more bumpy a ride). So in 10-15, at 190 lbs, I doubt you'll be doing much jumping (on a 11'5" or any other); in 15-20 you can begin to jump, but not with a Kona or your SLW. The F122....you probably can when it's near 20.

So the 11'5" is much different than anything you're doing, because it's truly a board for surfing. I'm not sure if it adds much, given that you've got the 12'6" SUPer, though if the SUPer and my PW are remotely similar, then the Kona 11'5" is way different (and in my taste dramatically superior to an SUP). Because you're on fresh water, and substantially bigger than me, I would not go for the 10'5" unless you only want the powered-up mode.

If you don't want to do any schlogging out / surfing back, I'd suggest you find a place to try it - quite laid-back, very entertaining, still is sailing, it's nice stuff. The SF is a very nice sail for this kind of stuff, btw, because of its soft feel (matches a surf sensation very nicely). I'd get an RDM if you're going to do that, though.

I think if you get the 11'5", when you go to the big lake, all you'll want to bring is the 11'5" and your Taboo.

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

Thanks Geoff,

Great response.

How about for b&f sailing in great lakes 15-20 knots - would the 11 5 be fun or is it strictly for surf? (my 12'6" sup'er is strictly for surf and won't reallly even plane at all).



Thanks
Joe

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

That's where the 11'5" really beats the SUPs I've ridden. As I said in my first post, I sailed in Ontario, solid 20 kts (lulls of 20 mph, gusting to 25, really nice wind) 4' swells, 6.3 SF, and the 11'5" is TOTALLY comfortable in that. TOTALLY. I was B&F'ing because I'm coming off of 3 fractured metatarsals in my foot, it was my first day back and I was chicken to get in the surf. I don't know if the 11'5" could take 30 kts, I kinda doubt it, but 20 was nothing so I suspect it can do 25 no sweat and maybe gusting to 30. I used the stock fin that day, for a steady diet of that I'd probably go with a True Ames Convert or Surfgrass (the Surfgrass is what I used on the moderate 7.0 day). This is why you would only need the 11'5" and your Taboo. As I said before, the only other board I've ever used with such range was my old IMCO, but like the IMCO you're aware that it's not really very fast or agile in that stuff. Comfortable ride - yes; in it's element - not really.

As an SUP, however, I think the 11'5" would be very difficult unless you're really good at it. Too narrow, and not enough volume in the tail. So if you like to SUP, then you'll still need the SUP'er.

Sell the SLW and the 10.0, and get yourself an 11'5".  lol  I really don't think you'll be disappointed. In fact, I think you'll have MORE FUN, because you won't be frustrated when you can't plane since you'll just play around surf-sailing in the shore break catching waves...and absolutely the biggest sail you would ever want is your 8.0 SFUL. Now won't that be nice!?

Last edited by Geoff (2010-10-15 11:26:03)

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

Thanks Geoff!
Do you have the single fin or the new tri fin 11 5?

Joe

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

I think I got the last single fin in America, for a closeout price. I may convert it to a tri-fin myself, if the reports of the tri-fin are ecstatic (and/or what John Ingebritsen - guru of the K115 - has to say about it).

Only "downside" to the new tri-fin is that it appears to be available only in the lighter but pricier TT construction. For a board that isn't getting big air, I'm happy to save $$ for some extra weight. Tests from Boards, UK, show that the only place that weight really counts is the carry to the beach!

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

Thanks for the info Geoff - much appreciated. I'll see if I can find an 11 5 for next spring.

Joe

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

Geoff - I'm not sure wherther to get a tri fin or a single (i can probably one of the other because I don't really need one until spring).
What would work better for b&f (using 8.0 and 6.3 sful) - single or tri?
The tri maybe a little better for sailing on the sandbar in the onshore wind.
Joe

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Re: Sail size for longboarding

You might get more feedback on the Exocet forum...this is a pretty specific query...

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