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Choosing my first directional

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Mr_Weetabix
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Choosing my first directional

Postby Mr_Weetabix » Sat May 19, 2012 6:29 am

I'm thinking about getting my first directional. There's no surf to speak of where I live, but I figure that I'm never going to be a newschool superhero (not sure that my knees will take the abuse, amongst other things), learning to ride a surfboard will be a fun project, and it'll give me some useful skillz for when I do find myself somewhere with, like, actual waves.

So, what do you think should be my criteria for a board? Options for buying locally are limited (and horrendously expensive), and I don't know anyone who'll lend me a surfboard (or sell me a cheap second-hand one).

I'm kind of thinking along the lines of "anything, as long as it's cheap and strong", but is there anything that I should be looking to avoid (because it will make the learning process harder)?

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby tautologies » Sat May 19, 2012 7:16 am

it depends on your intended use. I usually say to people that like to ride TT's powered to get a small directional, that is somewhat narrow. Then they can thrash around on that, riding super powered until they can go in waves. They are a little harder to learn to jibe etc, but not at all impossible.

If you think you'll jump then definitely go kitesurfboard route.

It is hard to say exactly what unless you give us a ball park weight, height etc. Strapped or strapless? You do say something about your knees so that is something that goes against my first inclination of a small board...

all this matters a lot. :-)

I'd be hesitant buying second hand until you can identify when the board is fubared....unless you trust the person selling of course.
If you are price sensitive, look at last years model. The 5'8'' fish from naish is a great allrounder...not as ripping powered riding as maybe the global, but man the board is fun in just about all conditions. If you are looking for strapless I'd say this years skater 5'9'' or if you just want to get the best board global 5'10 or 6'1'' depending on your weight :-)

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby mike dubs » Sat May 19, 2012 8:31 am

Mr weetabix,

As TT says without a bit more info it's hard to be specific. However that said, I always advise, if you're an average weight/height, I.e not over 6' or much over 85kg then any board about 6'x18.5 wide would be good to get you going. Second hand would be good if you can get until you learn to ride it over the first 6 months or so. You will then know more what you need.

People obsess about length, but it's a blend on width, length and thickness ( volume) that's important, the wider and more voluminous the easier it will be to gybe and ride in light wind, but will then start to bounce in chop/ high wind.

Pretty much all companies produce good kite surfboards now, depends on your conditions, but it will help your knees and if you can find some flat water for your first sessions it will help. Also leave your twin tip at home to make you commit.

Mike

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby Mr_Weetabix » Sat May 19, 2012 8:40 am

Thanks for the swift responses, guys. I'm 6'6", about 190 lbs. My knees aren't giving me problems yet, but I'm conscious that, being in my late 30's with years of rugby, rowing and running around in boots behind me, they're not going to last forever.

I'll start with straps. More interested in carving than jumping (although sometimes it's just rude not to). For now I'm mostly going to be in flat-to-choppy water, but the intention/hope is going to be that I get to play in waves later.

I'm trying to figure out which features to avoid, either because they're going to make learning particularly difficult, or because they're going to leave me with a board that I have no use for after I've gone up the first section of the learning curve. If we were talking in TT terms, we'd have the big, flat door at one end of the spectrum (easy to learn to ride, but useless for anything except for light wind lawn-mowing once you've got waterstarts nailed) and smaller, skatier things at the other extreme (great fun if you know what you're doing, but almost impossible to learn on). I guess I'm trying to understand what the directional equivalent of those extremes would be.

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby tautologies » Sat May 19, 2012 10:29 am

What Mike is saying above makes a lot of sense. I would add to it that the rail shape is also important. For chop and power sharper rails...a lot of surfy boards will be more rounded, and have lower hips...which is not super good for powered stuff IMO.

I do have my favorites, and as you ride more boards you'll develop that too.

I do think you can probably extract a little knowledge about what you will like from reading about the design features, but ultimately experience will be needed. When that is said, as you ride it more your taste will change so you'll probably want a new board later anyways.

My thing is that it is important to get a strong board especially if you jump. :-)

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby jumarcil » Sat May 19, 2012 11:49 am

Mr_Weetabix wrote:Thanks for the swift responses, guys. I'm 6'6", about 190 lbs. My knees aren't giving me problems yet, but I'm conscious that, being in my late 30's with years of rugby, rowing and running around in boots behind me, they're not going to last forever.

I'll start with straps. More interested in carving than jumping (although sometimes it's just rude not to). For now I'm mostly going to be in flat-to-choppy water, but the intention/hope is going to be that I get to play in waves later.

I'm trying to figure out which features to avoid, either because they're going to make learning particularly difficult, or because they're going to leave me with a board that I have no use for after I've gone up the first section of the learning curve. If we were talking in TT terms, we'd have the big, flat door at one end of the spectrum (easy to learn to ride, but useless for anything except for light wind lawn-mowing once you've got waterstarts nailed) and smaller, skatier things at the other extreme (great fun if you know what you're doing, but almost impossible to learn on). I guess I'm trying to understand what the directional equivalent of those extremes would be.
Mr_Weetabix

I am 45 and I have torn ligaments (acl) in both knees from years of mogul skiing. My back is also herniated + arthrosis from a bad accident in 95 where I was left almost paralyzed (4 crushed vertebreaes + crushed discs). Anyway after 5 years of kiting I am looking for something a bit smoother on my knees and back so I thought about directionals.

I bought my first surfboard this week and yesterday was my first strapless ride. I bought a Jimmy Lewis shack 5'9. It is too small since I found the "board selector" tool from Jimmy Lewis too late. The shack is made in 3 size only so it is quite easy to choose. On the website they test the solidity of the board by running over the board a with a big Ford pickup. The board seems intact after the small test :-)

A 165 pounds being a rookie in surf I should have gone for the 6'3. If I was intermediate It should have been 6'0 or 6'3. If I was an expert they recommended the 6'0.

The 5'9 was recommended for really light people. Also If I was intermediate they also recommended the Kwad which is a quad instead of a thruster.

So how does it ride ?
I had my first strapless session yesterday and even though it is too small for a beginner in the surf it went really well. At the end I was almost able to jibe. Actually I have pulled "one" really nice one. Yesterdays session was in some small chop with light wind +- 10 -12 knots. I am starting strapless; some surf riders told me to start strapless, even though the learning curve will be harder it will only make you a better rider.

It is really a blast. I cant remember having so much fun in such light wind. I cant wait to go again today.

So you might want to try that tool to give you an idea; it is at the bottom of the page:

http://www.jlid-italydistribution.com/en/Kite-surf/

Jules

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby Chris1973 » Sat May 19, 2012 12:04 pm

IMO i thing you should also give strapless a try since
a) you 'll be learning in flat water spot so it will be easier but still challenging ,
b) get any fish style board (around 5'8 to 5'10 is fine for your weight) because you'll progress faster on that (trying gybes and learning proper foot placement for carving and wave riding) than on any other style board.
and c) (that's the most usefull advice it's been given to me) always leave your TT at home.

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby voodoospirit » Sat May 19, 2012 12:44 pm

for me there is 2 different type:
- directionnals (race, all around directionnal, with volume or not)
-surf boards (gun, fish, and so on)

each type for a different use.

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby 2tall » Sat May 19, 2012 2:51 pm

You will be very happy with moving to a directional. Your knees will really love it, and don't be intimidated by riding strapless. Riding strapless allows you to move around a lot and change foot/knee angles. That is why I started riding strapless to begin with...my knees haven't bothered me since.

I'm bigger than you (6'7" 220#) and ride a Slingshot Verve 6'. I've ridden other directionals, and I like this the best. There are better upwind boards, but this one surfs really well for me. I have beaten the crap out of it, and it has held up great after two years. I think riding strapless is easier on the board too.

Good luck and stick with it once you get the board. I stopped taking my TTs with me just to force myself to get better riding strapless surfboards. I barely ever ride the TTs any more because there is so much to learn on a surfboard. I can stay on the water a lot longer too because it is so much easier on the body.

Check out losethestraps.com and become a convert.

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Re: Choosing my first directional

Postby Peter_Frank » Sat May 19, 2012 6:58 pm

Hi Mr Weetabix

Well, as you might have found out - the "very" board you choose is not that important.

And there is no such thing as a "beginner" wave board - which is your luck - as you dont need to move on after your initial experiences :thumb:

BUT - if you REALLY love waveboards, you will move on and on and on for a long time, till you find the "perfect" board - which might be perfect for a period only, or till it "evaporates" and "desintegrates" :roll: (yes - love to a specific board is an amazing thing - but it happens).

Just get "any" board, and thats it :naughty:


I have read many of your posts - and my intuition says that you got the "right spirit" (can not explain, just a good hunch/feeling).

And believe you me - as I often says "carving is life" - so understand that feel 100%.


But I am a bit more curious about you saying "there is no surf to speak of" where you live ?

This is a VERY individual thing, everywhere.

I have to say, that even 1 foot wind waves, can be a blast to ride on a directional - and it will also give you the skills to be able to slash really big waves awesome :thumb:

Some dont want to ride small waves, yes.

Others, like me, just LOVE small waves as their are usually really steep - and you get practice in jibing really tight and fast and keeping your momentum 8)

Also love riding 20 foot waves or more - but all the skill and love comes from being able to ride really small waves IMO :naughty:

Wind has to be somewhat sideshore - do you have that sometimes ?

If so, I would say that NO wave is too small to be ridden/smacked :rollgrin:

:D Peter

PS: Strapless or not - does not matter much, just choose what you feel for without thinking...


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