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Topic: World’s Largest Wave Board

I had my first sail today on Peter Thommen’s custom board. It has to be the world’s largest wave board at 160 litres and it is without doubt the most expensive as I spared no expense to keep it amazingly light. It was built specifically for me to sail the perfect mast to double mast high winter waves when there is very light wind. These are the ultimate glass smooth easy breaking waves but unattainable to most as the winds are typically so light. This was what my 9.0 SF was originally for as I could go out in 14 mph winds (keep in mind my weight to put this in context.) However my back is wearing out so the 9.0 is starting to be beyond my physical ability.

Now with this board I can plane and catch the waves in 12 mph with an 8.0! A smaller sail in lighter wind! And the thing turns like crazy. Just a bit of foot pressure and it charges through the bottom turn. It is not a hard turn, like being on a curved train track, like Peter’s production wave boards, but a softer easier to push through turn that is nevertheless tight, controlled and precise.

The waves were only scattered thigh high with the winds 11 – 14 mph, but I had tremendous fun and I was the only one out. Now I have to wait for the seasonal winter waves to give it the real test under design conditions.

I mention all this, not that I anticipate that anyone else is as crazy as I am in the pursuit of the ultimate light wind wave sailing, but my first 25 years of windsurfing was on a lake where I was constantly wishing I was in Maui. So my gear was all big wave gear so I could play around rather than getting bored going in a straight line faster. With this new machine I would have been in heaven on the lake. Light wind manoeuvrability. If your aspirations are like mine and you win the lottery, you might think about ordering a board like this.

Oh yes, and it marries synergistically to the ULUS!

Aloha,

The pictures are Beauty and the Beast.
<image>
<image>
The nose lift was at my insistence, all the rest is Peter’s design.

Last edited by Dolf (2011-09-04 16:57:27)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

big_smile
Awesome board Dolf!
Can you write something about the specs?

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Very nice.
Congratulations for breaking the rules an going against the trends. It's something like what I've done buying the Serenity for my Venice Lagoon, no matter friends kidding me, and I suppose to be the first or second in Italy, as I know. But I'm so happy now to have followed my istinct and taken the board I need, so I wish tons of amusement to you.
Me too curious for the specs of your big baby...

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Hi Jeroen and Nico,

Thank you, but I thought that I was the obsesive complulsive data absorber. For those that want to know more than 160 litre:
<image>
The fine print: 290 Length x 72.5 Width

Unfortunately I think the magic is in the shape of the bottom which Peter tried to explain to me, but after quad going to v with some single concave and less than you would expect tail rocker but more somewhere else, I got lost.

Aloha,

Last edited by Dolf (2011-09-05 06:47:01)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Hi Jeroen,

I will add one more thing, of course subject to more experience than just one 1 1/2 hour session, it is not a board for you or Jeff H. It has a soft feel. Not mushy but a controlled and very responsive soft. Kind of like the SF vs a film sail with this board compared to a regular size wave board. I love this when I am carrying so much rig but it's not for everyone. But for those who love the ULUS.....!

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Very interesting board, Dolf.

Without a doubt, the mushy-wave light-wind realm is underdeveloped. And that is really too bad, because I think it's what 95% of the windsurfing world experiences. Boards like yours and the K 11'5" and others are what many people need, but the Belief system is so far from that that we'll take a long time getting to light-wind Nirvana.

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

I really really like the idea.
Also the softness.
Imo with that sail size you need all the help you can get and as you can,t make a really short topturn with a 8.0 anyway the more Flowy lines seem to me well choosen.
As said before: hats of for the guts to dare to charge in that size waves with such a big kit!

Last edited by Jeroensurf (2011-09-06 05:16:09)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Geoff wrote:

Very interesting board, Dolf.

Without a doubt, the mushy-wave light-wind realm is underdeveloped. And that is really too bad, because I think it's what 95% of the windsurfing world experiences. Boards like yours and the K 11'5" and others are what many people need, but the Belief system is so far from that that we'll take a long time getting to light-wind Nirvana.

Hi Geoff,

I think that you hit the nail on the head. Although I have'nt tried the Kona One, it seems to be a very good effort to make what 95% of the windsufing world "needs". I wemt further and compromised some to get what I "want". That is fun and maneuvrability and pretending that I am in Hookipa when the conditions are actually your described 95%.

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Jeroensurf wrote:

Also the softness.

It is the result of what Peter had to do to build me what I wanted. It was totally unexpected for me. At this point it is not a positive or a negative, just an interesting characteristic of this board.

Jeroensurf wrote:

Imo with that sail size you need all the help you can get and as you can,t make a really short topturn with a 8.0 anyway the more Flowy lines seem to me well choosen.

Actually my difficulty with the big gear has always been the bottom turn. On the top turn my body is already in position and I just throw back the sail, lean back and charge back down the wave. Nothing really to it. If I may brag for a moment, I once (yes only once but memorable) did a top turn in the pocket of a just over head high wave. I just had to keep the clew out of the crest of the wave, but it worked.

On the other hand making the transition and shifting my weight in the bottom turn with all that extra weight and mass of a big board has always challenged me. This is where my new board is amazing. With not much more foot pressure than needed on my 105 this thing just rolls over onto the leeward rail. It feels like the bottom is convex so it just rolls without effort. Awesome.

Jeroensurf wrote:

As said before: hats of for the guts to dare to charge in that size waves with such a big kit!

Thanks for the compliment but it's not all that hard and in my opinion it is the nirvana of windsurfing. Nothing else comes close. If you come here in late November or early March (the winter ends of my trips here) you are welcome to try my kit and have the experience of a lifetime.

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Somewhere between 9'6" (~290 cm) and 11'5" (~320 cm) one makes the transition from "shortboard" to "longboard". One thing I've rarely seen adequately described is the meaning of those two words, and what the difference is. That's a bit of a problem, given that we throw the terms around a lot. I sense the meanings are changing a bit, as board designers are uncovering new concepts and building boards like Dolf's new Thommen.

Here's my first stab at an updated definition:

Longboard:
Primarily a displacement mode surfing board, high volume (more than ~180 L); can "plane" but the optimal mode for this board is gliding, which is a near-planing mode in which the power of the wave drives the board to a "surfing" state. Can plane with very large sails and sufficient wind, but so, too, can a brick if there is enough wind. Main use is light-wind, mushy wave surf-sailing or SUP.

Shortboard:
Primarily a planing mode board, can be high or low volume (i.e., floater to near-sinker to sinker); doesn't really function well unless planing. Can glide / surf if the wave is sufficiently powerful, but the main operating characteristics require sufficient wind to drive it to a plane. Poorly directional and low performing off the plane, in a mode commonly known as schlogging. Main use is moderate to high-wind windsurfing.

Raceboard:
High volume, primarily a displacement-mode board capable of planing with sufficient wind. Typically has hard rails, excellent upwind performance using a centerboard. Main use is course racing, similar to other vessels in one-design fleets for yachting.

Funboard:
Moderate to high-volume board, designed for both displacement-mode and planing. Typically has softer rails and better crossover performance in both planing and non-planing conditions, but can also have hard rails if optimized for lake / flat water and upwind points of sail that require the centerboard down. Main use is a one-size-fits-all / multipurpose or family board. Good for families because of the versatility and flotation.

Last edited by Geoff (2011-09-06 18:03:20)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

I have the data on two more sessions.

I tried the 9.0 with 9 - 12 mph winds and the darn thing planed with the 9 mph wind. Amazing but unfortunately irrelevant as the speed was too slow to catch any waves. I got so exited that I stayed out for over 2 hours which is way beyond the manufacturer of my body's recommended time on the 9.0 and I paid for it the next day.

Then today I tried gliding longboarding with the 7.0 in 9.0 mph wind. It worked surprisingly well. Compared to my previous 11' longboard
-    The gliding is marginally worse.
-    The speed to get on a small waist high wave in the light wind is appreciably worse.
-    Other than above, with the rocker, all other aspects of getting on a wave are much better.
-    Once on the wave – wow! as long as I keep my speed up which is noticeably harder than the longboard.

In summary, for the way I like to longboard, the Beast beats a longboard by a good margin.

However it is now obvious that SUP'ing with it would be a disaster for all the reasons that makes it a good waveboard: No directional stability and laterally too wobbly.

Now for the light wind winter waves that I got it for....

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Fascinating. It seems the Beast is in the upper limits of shortboard, as I've defined it, with some ability to function in the longboard mode.

I would say that the K 11'5 can function in the shortboard mode, but at least prior to my converting it to 2+1 configuration it was not super agile on a wave. I've read good things about the K 10'5, but for the fresh water Great Lakes I went for more volume/rail length. The K 11'5 is quite good at the kind of surfsailing Jereonsurf posted on Vimeo, but the Great Lakes don't fetch up the long waverides (more sets of shorter waves that fizzle out, but if you catch the first in a set you can often grab one or two behind it as well). All of which begs the question of whether a somewhat wide board in the 10'6" range might be the sweet spot for longboard/shortboard combo in a single board. I tend to agree with the comments on compromises, but there are quiver size and cost issues as well.

Glad you like your board so much, Dolf.

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Today Joanna tried it in 11 - 12 mph winds with the 7.0.

She said awesome, it turns just like her JP64 with the slightest foot pressure.

She wasn’t aware this was in 12 mph wind whereas before she needed 14 mph to plane with the 7.0.

In terms of labelling it, I have come to the conclusion that it is actually the world's waviest longboard, because the technique to get on to a wave and when cruising is more longboard with weight forward than shortboard in the straps, but once on the wave it turns into a wave machine.

Would someone else please buy one so we can compare notes.

Aloha,

Last edited by Dolf (2011-09-11 18:18:55)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

lol

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

I guess you can tell how windy it is on Maui by the number of threads Dolf starts - it is an inversely proportional relationship!

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Or you can look at the rope hanging from your porch. If it is not hanging vertically it is windy.

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Nuh uh....

The Pearson correlation coefficient of hanging rope is 0.38, but the correlation coefficient of windy conditions and Dolf postings is -0.97.

big_smile

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Some new developments in my biggest wave board story.

First with sadness, my 9.0 and its associated rigging is now retired. If you are looking for a perfect condition, only rigged US, 9.0 UL, contact Jeff. The sail that was the first major step in my quest for the ultimate low wind wave set up is no longer in my quiver. Fortunately the experience of the most interesting journey is firmly etched in my brain. But the 8.0 on my new board is now giving my more range than the 9.0 did, and allows me to heed my body’s ultimatum.

Secondly Joanna has had a few tries on Peter’s 160 wave machine. Of course she was stunned at how manoeuvrable and fun an ultimate light wind 160 litre wave board could be, but quite amazingly she also said it was way more fun than a longboard in sub planning conditions. The result is that she has commandeered it and advised me that until I get her one, it is hers, as she says I have no right to force her to sail what she now calls the “lazy barn door” of the predecessor board.

So the world’s second largest wave board at 130 litres is on order. Given the blinding speed that things are done on the island, we probably won’t see it until our next trip here in the spring. Until then I will have to beg and plead to use the “Big White”. Her new board has already been christened “Baby Blue” in light of the colour that she chose.

I appreciate that not many other sailors have our particular preferences and circumstances, but from my perspective this magic machine beats any longboard in any situation, except for price.

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

So in other words...your wife kicked you of your board.... lol  lol  wink
But getting a 130 sounds great. 2 boards to try next autumn  (missus wants it, i want it, so if we stay both in one piece next autmn we come finally to visit youand you board snatching better half in your normall habitat  smile
See you!

Last edited by Jeroensurf (2011-09-30 10:43:17)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Hi Jeroen,

We will be delighted to see you here next fall. Please let us know when you have your dates.

It will be interesting when Joanna lets your missus try her gear!

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

I think in december we will contact you for whats the best time wink

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

We added Joanna's version, "Baby Blue", of my new "Big White". At 130 litres it was supposed to be Joanna's board for her 6.3 when I was on Big White with my 8.0. However the thing is so good that I will use it for my 7.0 as well.

<image>

Our board quiver is starting to look more and more like an exclusive Thommen line up:

<image>

And will be more so with our plan to combine 2 present boards into one more new 112 litre version of the "Baby Blue".

I have been reading with interest the several threads on longboards. With Peter's new boards we have everything that a longboarder could want plus a wave board. Truly amazing.

Last edited by Dolf (2011-11-15 23:12:28)

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Nice shot. The perspective from the other side (starting from the smallest) would make an even cooler photo. Maybe even lining things up so that the "line of noses" and "line of tails" formed parallel lines in the photo. Maybe impossible. Or?

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

Hi Ola,

Good points, thanks.

I'll do that on the next photo shoot when we get our next board, hopefully on our Spring trip.

Aloha,

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Re: World’s Largest Wave Board

What are the footstraps on they all that you obviously like so much ??

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