QUESTION: Started the sport a little over 2 weeks ago I absolutely fell in love with it I have a long board and 4 sails a 7.0 5.8 4.8 4.0 usually in the summer months a good day is around 10-15mph I'm 17 and 160lbs my only issue I am having is I am being pulled off when I get a good gust of wind don't know if I'm not leaning back far enough, not far enough back on the board or what? Usually I use my 5.8 sail in those conditions should I possibly down size maybe?
ANSWER: Hey Jake,
There are few things you can do to prevent getting overpowered during gusts. The first thing to work on is to regularly look over your outside shoulder to watch for gusts coming across the water. These will be indicated by darker patches and changes in the wavelets. As a gust approaches you and you start to feel it hit, pull your forward hand slightly towards your body and let your back hand out just bit to spill more air out of the sail. As the pull gets stronger, lean your whole body back to counteract the pull on the sail. Sometimes you just have to let the back hand out completely to spill all the air and then pull your back hand in just enough to get some air in the sail to keep control and keep the board moving.
Your 5.8 should be okay but if you find yourself getting launched a lot, try using the 4.8. You won't get as much speed on the board but you will be able to learn sail control easier without having to struggle quite so much during gusts.
Take a look at windsurfingmag.com in the 'how-to' section for some great tips for beginner through advanced sailors.
Hope this helps.
Keep on sailing,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hey windlover I have a followup question...There are so many choices in boards that I just do not know what to do here I have a 2 larger longboards each with a daggerboard center, but these are slowly losing their thrill.
A friend of mine told me to get a freestyle board or a wave board, but then a website told me I should hit a freeride board before trying one of them. SO can I skip over that and just go straight to a freestyle or wave board or is there even a significant difference between those three?
I have a few large lakes surrouding my area that generally can get 6footers.
So my question is how many Liter board should I be looking for and what length should I get to upgrade from my two longboards? New gear finantially is not an option at the moment looking in the $100-400 range.
There is very little difference between a freeride and a freestyle board. They are basically the same type of board and most sailors would not know the difference when sailing them. Some one who does a lot of freestyle type riding (mainly tricks) would know the subtle differences. I would not recommend a wave board as they are fairly specific for wave sailing. A freeride/freestyle board will work on waves but will actually perform better for the conditions you describe. When to mention 6 footers, it is usually more of a wind driven swell than an actually breaking wave. A freeride board will work like a wave board when riding swells but also perform well for getting out into the big water. They also have better upwind ability, better floatation, and are easier to learn shortboarding on as they are more stable.
I would recommend that you start out on something around 125-145 ltr and around 240-260 cm long.
Hope this helps.
Keep on sailing,