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Best Board Length and Shape

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Best Board Length and Shape

Postby kitegirls » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:28 am

I am trying to buy a board this week and am extremely confused about board length. It seems like the boards range from 3'0" to 5'0". This is obviously a huge difference. Twin tips usually only vary by a few cm and kite surfboards by a few inches. Why the 2' variance for foilboards. Doesn't make any sense. I could understand if its your first time out or your first couple/few runs and you want a 4.5' or 5' board but whats the point of having a board this large after your first few runs? And is there any disadvantages to having a 3' or 3.5' board?

Also shape question. It seems everyone has their opinion on the nose shape. Some of the better foilers, especially the ones who surf their foil say pointed nose is the only way to go and many others and most stock/ standard foilboard designers have a more rounded or flat nose. What's the best?

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Re: Best Board Lenth and Shape

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:14 am

You are right, extremely different lengths.

Earlier the long ones would be considered beginnerboards and raceboards and lightwind boards.

But with the bigger wings we have today, many only have short boards, and can ride in everything but marginal winds now :thumb:

It is all personal preference, some like boards as small as possible, and quite flat (they have to be if short), meaning lousy if they touch down on the water, but if you keep flying most of the time it does not matter much.
Others like the extreme nose scoop/rocker, a tad longer boards but still short 115-120 cm, as they behave like the shortest in terms of agility, and have the best touch down and fast start characteristics.

And in some conditions longer boards make sense, I use 130 cm most of the days, a perfect allround size for my 78 kg, and 150 cm big volume for marginal winds, makes a huge difference.

But no consensus about this whatsoever, so I would just get a "medium" length not too flat board now, if you are average weight, and start there :naughty:

The shortest ones definitely sink when lulls, as opposed to bigger boards where you can ride on and wait for the gust or wave to get up.
And they dont start just as early, loads of drag when small.
If you are really talented and keep foiling it doesnt matter - but I havent seen (m)any being able to do this in real life :rollgrin:

8) Peter

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby bragnouff » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:51 am

If you need to paddle that board in the surf, you need a way to cram some volume in somewhere. A pointy nose is also easier for duck diving, and would allow more extreme angles without catching water on the nose in heavy curves. That's for the crossover boards though.

Overall, the flatter your spot, the less relevant the shape becomes. In heavy chop/ wind swell, there are times a bit more length and nose rocker will be a bit more forgiving, just because touchdowns will be inevitable. This depends on the wavelengths, and is highly dependent on your typical local conditions.

Also depends on your vehicle, travel requirements, and all... There's a convenience factor in tiny boards.

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby revhed » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:01 am

Consider scoop for learning, touch downs and jump receptions if going there.
Rounded rails AND rounded board for body contacts that will happen.
Also user friendly when transporting and others rescuing your KBHF if needed.
A touch of volume will help during times of ultra lowind and stronger strength due to more moment of inertia.
I am well pleased self made 125 x 50 x 4 lots of scoop, relatively flat stance, full carbon vac sacked.
To each his own.
Racers for sure have other demands.
Maybe almost no board at all?
no board foil.jpg

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby Foil » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:18 am

for me this length and shape choice was a tad confusing, but after buying 7 boards in just under 2 years I think I have it cracked,
for learning, a longer 140-145 board is a big help, no doubt about that, must have volume as well, easy correct decision to make.
after this it all got a little expensive, but fun finding out what worked best in which conditions,

Six months ago I bought the 130cm Groove skate to sit alongside my 120 skate,
I used the 130cm Skate every day for 3 weeks in fuerteventura (where I bought it) used it in all conditions, loved it, but then after getting home and using my 120 skate, (which was left at home while on holiday) I let my 130 go, sold it, as I sort of believed it was too big for me and the 120 was just right, BIG MISTAKE!
in lighter winds up to 20 mph I sorely missed my 130 cm skate, I even think it was faster than the 120 as it offered more stability in straight blasting, and as for touchdowns in lulls then it was missed the most.
even body dragging out in onshore winds with sizable mushy waves hitting me the 130 was much better at getting out there.
so guess what, I just had to order another 130cm Skate, its with me this week.

The 130 is 2 cm thicker than my 120,(5cm V 3cm) so volume is way more as well, but importantly my boards are mega light, and its here I would not compromise.

My 145 starting board was over 4.5 kg and felt like a dead log, but fine for learning,
after learning the basics that extra weight, when your flying around would just dull the fun, so light weight is so much more important later on, there is a limit I think on weight, as my T38 is silly light at 2.1kg and although its great fun and amazing to hold and carry it is also very fragile, it's the number 3 board of the ltd run, and these are now made thicker and stronger, but a little heavier, 2.5 kg I think.

So my homework is complete.
my teacher would have said "could do better" "wasted too much money"
I did save a little cash by trying 2 boards before spending cash, and these were no volume boards and heavyish, absolute nightmare in almost every way, but if I had not already used boards with volume and light weight then I would have been sort of believing they were ok.

As for nose shape, the broad banana shape front of the skate is just superb for me and my coastal water conditions, never catches oncoming chop/waves, resists diving, and sort of bounces back up out of the water on touchdowns, the superlight weight voluminous 130cm bouncing back up the best for me.
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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby jumptheshark » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:37 am

Three years in, at 1.8m tall, big wing small kite, strapless freeride. 110cm is about my sweet spot.

If I look down while water starting, or riding, my stance takes up what looks to me like the right amount of space and is situated just right to give me just a bit of nose scoop to give it appropriate behaviour on the water.

With a foil board you stand with that back foot pretty close to the tail. My rear inserts are 12cm from the tail, and my foot is generally on top of them or just behind when carving down swell. My front foot just sits in what looks like the right spot. Just enough nose to be useful. Anything bigger or smaller feels like it would start into diminishing returns on one aspect or another.

Took me so many TT's to find something I eventually settled on. Took a few less surfboards to en up with a good fit. I must be learning because it's only taken three foil boards to get here.

The shape like the Kanaha, Gooveskate, small moses, the Newind you see in the banner adds are all in line with my thinking. You can choose the angles of the corners and roundness of the nose to suit your taste, but they are all functionally pretty much the same.

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby slowboat » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:40 am

The important factors are foil size, how often you touch down, rider weight, frequency of underpowered water starts and rider ability to water start directly to foil. If you fill in those details, you can get some specific recommendations.

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby Kamikuza » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:05 pm

My 145x48 is 3.0kg and I *think* it's too wide at the front and doesn't have enough volume under the front foot. I think I could get away with a 130 Skate too.

It's all very subjective.

What are your options? Slingshot Dwarfcraft 4'6" (IIRC) is a good starting point IMO.

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby kitegirls » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:08 am

Kamikuza wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:05 pm
My 145x48 is 3.0kg and I *think* it's too wide at the front and doesn't have enough volume under the front foot. I think I could get away with a 130 Skate too.

It's all very subjective.

What are your options? Slingshot Dwarfcraft 4'6" (IIRC) is a good starting point IMO.
2019 4'2" Liquid Force Galaxy or a custom shaped 3'6" to 4'2" Kahana Shapes or or custom shaped 3'6" to 4'2" Maui Skimmers.

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Re: Best Board Length and Shape

Postby windmaker » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:39 am

As with many others 130cm is my sweet spot. Went down to 110 and as high as 155. Super short in ok on super flat spots but no real advantage apart from transport. Too long has more inertia but also super steady and safer especially when pushing for speed.
I like extreme carving in waves, this requires to ride rather close to the water in order to prevent the wings from breaching, a bit of length (130cm) helps with the inevitable rail touch downs while preserving good manoeuvrability.
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