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Small boards are often tricky

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Peter_Frank
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Small boards are often tricky

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:23 pm

Ha haa, sorry for the headline "crap" - but there were absolutely no life on this forum, only advertisements and video :lol:
Changed crap with tricky now, more correct.


I've found two things, many might disagree, but here are my takes:

Too little volume makes no sense, unless in high or steady winds if you are a radical freestyler.

You can almost not, or you cant, stand up on the board and slog back to land, if wind drops :o
Swingweight difference is small almost non-existent on really light good boards.
Pumping the board up in marginal winds, when not sinking, is easier too.

Too short boards also seem a lot harder to handle in wind just on the edge when chop waves and starting.
Not volume, but length, oddly but true.

So too thick short boards does not always work as well as a bit more outlined thinner boards, for some reason.

That was my second point, not too thick - does not seem as nice for some reason.

I've seen so many going to small sinkers, as it must be the holy grail - but when wind drops they are in trouble, and have to sit or swim ashore veeeeery slowly :naughty:
Wingfoil is already a horror sport when wind is just a tad too low, and becomes even worse when boards are TOO small IMO.

Like windsurfing when wind too light, just a lot worse...

Especially if you also kitefoil where you can always get up foiling even when wind drops, and if not, you can drag yourself ashore easy and fast, so you hate this "too low wind for consistent wingfoil" :x

Just start ranting - but this is what I found for freeride and surf (not extreme freestyle), having had many sizes of boards.

So few litres and size can make a he.. of a difference if you got fickle winds :wink:
By too short I mean not a lot shorter than 5 feet if average weight.

8) Peter
Last edited by Peter_Frank on Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby juandesooka » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:21 pm

It's a rehash of the kitefoil debates about pocket foilboards. The tradeoff of riding performance vs overall functionality (and safety). As well as the same peer pressure, where you're a kook if you aren't sizing down.

I suspect there's some mitigating factors about location: better wind, better sea state make conditions x% easier, which may be just enough to push the balance towards a reasonable choice for the average rider. For semi out of shape middle aged folks in cold climates in winter ... maybe not so much.

Still, on those rare, perfect, glory days, if you want to take the Ferrari out for a spin, right on, live a little. It's just not realistic as a daily driver, at least not where I live.
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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby fluidity » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:27 pm

Board 20 kg under my weight is fun to slog under water. Then a gust comes and I'm off...

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:27 am

Well, actually no, kitefoil pocket boards makes sense, small and fun and you can still start because you have the kite powerspike - or at least drag yourself ashore looping the kite.

With small wingfoil boards, when too small, it gives a very small advantage, for many not noticeable if not freestyle.

So it seems that the early "frontrunners" have gone down in size, a lot, to test the limits, and then up again.

So 15-20 litre under your weight, yes, but smaller than that hardly used now.

And when riding in say 14 knots, and the wind drops to 7 knots, it is so much easier to get ashore if board is not too small.
Not a safety concern, just bugger to have to slog ashore...

Of course location specific indeed (wind consistency at least), but many around here goes with either one board now, not too small - or two boards, one sinker not supersmall, and one for light wind closer to your own weight in volume.

Because of the initial "desire" to go small, many other "one board riders" have done the same, and regretted.

A bit like the early windsurf days, where sinker shortboards should be as small as possible (we have all been there in the start 80s, I was one of the worst going crazy small) - to try the limits and for the fun of it.
This changed, and size went up again, and have stayed ever since at a reasonable length, not too big nor crazy small as they worked so much better in all respects.

I assume the wingfoil evolution in different locations are very different, so some regions have gone past this and more settled now.

But the other thing which happens, is you start learning winging with a big board, maybe not really big, but a tad bigger than good when experienced.
Then when you buy a new smaller board, you dont buy one just a bit smaller, but a lot smaller (many do), so easy to overdo it for many.

This thread actually just a reflection on what I see and hear around here from many wingfoilers :rollgrin:

Knowing it wont make any difference, as everyone probably have to learn personally, where too small is too small, and when they are too big - for their personal liking :naughty:

8) Peter

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby Regis-de-giens » Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:43 am

What is the smallest board volume that you/experience riders have ever used with a wing?

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby irwe » Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:46 am

As others have said it depends on location and skill
I find for me (Intermediate Winger)10 L above my Kg weight is the perfect combination for ease of getting out through shorebreak and balance if the wind gets lighter. I don’t jump!

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:45 am

irwe wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:46 am
As others have said it depends on location and skill
I find for me (Intermediate Winger)10 L above my Kg weight is the perfect combination for ease of getting out through shorebreak and balance if the wind gets lighter. I don’t jump!

Same for me, +5 to +10 and 5 to 5'2 long makes it a lot easier in fickle conditions.

And around 0 to +5 is fine for me when more reliable wind, and 4'10 sufficient.

I know a high level rider who used a 30 litre board and a 50 litre board, for his 87 kg, but now he uses 70 to 75 litres when wind, and 85 in light/fickle wind.
He has, and have had, loads of different boards.

8) Peter

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby Regis-de-giens » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:16 pm

30 liter for 87 kg ? ouahou ...

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:49 pm

Regis-de-giens wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:16 pm
30 liter for 87 kg ? ouahou ...

But havent you seen some riding on surfboards or TT's with wings also?

Mostly for fun, but no problem, if sufficient wind :naughty:

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Re: Small boards are often crap....

Postby happywizz » Tue Jan 18, 2022 4:39 pm

Interesting topic!
Im 75 kg. Foils: SAB W800, SAB BM799

Below my board volume history and impressions.
1. In June 2021 I started with a 140 l board I could borrow.
2. After 3 times I bought a SAB98 liter. Found it much easier to gibe and overall handling than the 140 l board
3. Sold it after using it 10 times because I was thinking a 85 l board would be ok and smaller easier for transport. Bought a Naish 85 l Found again an improvement of the handling on the water compared to bigger 98 l board. So a further upgrade.
4. After 15 times using the Naish 85 I got an extra Groove Wave 65 l board, again i found doing gibes/wave riding easier. Sold the Naish 85. But with tougher conditions it is more difficult to start (b4 I used the stinkbug method) - board flipping over and slipping away - compared to the 85 l board. So I had to adjust but it was doable. A little bit less low end compared to the 85 l but more fun.
5. To challenge the limits and because I thought a smaller board will have some advantages in particulier conditions I bought in december 2021 an Appletree 35 l wing board. With the stinkbug method as easy to waterstart as the bigger boards, in choppy/high wave conditions easier as the board is below the waterline, also to get through the shorebreak is far less difficult. BUT you need CONSTANT strong wind, otherwise you are fucked. So with the 35 l board I tend to use a bigger wing than I would use otherwise, just as a safety measure. Which is a negative because I prefer the smallest wing possible. On the other hand, the smallest board is much easier to tack, to pump and is more agile in the waves. All in all if my life is not in danger I will use the 35 liter.

For who doesnt know what the stinkbug waterstart is:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0GWY5qZ9EU&lis ... arding.com
Works perfect, its also the method I prefer now for my 65 l board. Only downside is that you dont see the waves or wind gust coming.

My usage:
Between 13- 18 knots I use the Groove 65 with SAB BM799 (Wing 5.5/4.5)
Between constant 18- 25 knots I use the AppleTree 35 with SAB BM799 (Wing 4.5-4.0)
Above constant 25+ knots I use the AppleTree 35 with SAB W800 (high waves) (Wing 4.0-3.5)
Above 18+ knots If it the wind is really gusty/unpredictable or now in wintertime I use mostly the Groove 65 with the W800. (Wing 3.5 - 2.8 )
For a holiday by plane I would only bring the 35l board.

Negatives of a smaller volume board:
- need constant strong wind.
- to get up the foil needs twice the pumping
- no safety fallback
- mostly will use a bigger wing compared to a high volume board

Positive
- handling on the water (it just fits like a glove)
- getting through the shorebreak
- waterstart in choppy/high wave conditions
- transport
- (much) cheaper, the higher the volume the higher the price for wing boards.
- dual purpose with foilsurfing
Last edited by happywizz on Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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