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What size directional board?

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Re: What size directional board?

Postby sflinux » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:03 pm

Chris32 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:55 pm
I manage to turn about 50% of the time, but I wonder if I’d be progressing quicker on a different board?
You turn 50% of the time. That should get better with practice. Think about the centerline of your board as you move your feet for jibes. (The farther from the centerline, the more tippy). I ride a kite size smaller on a surfboard. This prevents you from being overpowered, and helps with the agility of a smaller faster kite. Try to keep your kite between 11 and 1 while jibing. Would you progress quicker on a different board? I believe that both of the boards you mentioned are too small for your weight. I would highly recommend a wider board if you want to progress faster. Both the Mitu 5'10" and Whip 5'4" are only 19" wide. At your weight, you may want to look at boards up to 23" wide. For length, you may want to keep it under 7'4". For strapless, don't narrow your search to kite specific boards.
I believe it was Felix Pivec who gave the good advice on riding the same size board that you would prone paddle surf. I call kitesurfing the lazy man's surfing. It is true that you don't need volume to kitesurf. But volume does affect the ride. In lulls, you will sink with less volume, which will require more force to get up to planning speed. With a low volume board, you will require kite power or pumping to maintain your planning speed. On the topic of light winds, a low aspect ratio board will get up to planning speed faster. As a surfboard gets longer, your nose is more likely to catch chop. A board with less rocker will get up to planning speed faster. A board with more surface area in the tail will get up to planning speed faster. So what type of surfboards are efficient and be good for light winds? Boards that come to mind are fishes, chop tops, grovelers. In my experience, the wider the board, the easier is it to learn on. If you revisit Felix's suggestion, what size of board should you be riding? At your weight, if you were a pro you would be riding a 29-33 L board. If you are an experienced advanced surfer (decade) you could be riding a 34-41L board. If you are an advanced surfer (< decade) you could be riding a 42-53L board. If you are an intermediate you could be riding a 54-66L board. If you are a beginning intermediate you could be riding a 67-81L board. With the power of a kite, which can act like a crutch, to allow you to ride a size board above your prone paddling ability. But the higher you go above your ability, the steeper will be the learning curve. Both of the boards you mentioned are too small for prone paddling, even for a pro at your weight (more suitable for a 73 kg pro). Once you go under the pro volume, any volume of the board does not help. You might as well be on an alaia, paipo, or skimboard. It sounds to me, like you desire a board to lessen your learning curve.
Thruster: A thruster has drag to help with tighter turns. For light winds, a twin fin set up is optimal. Add a quad for control at high speeds or holding on to a lot of power (overpowered) or steep waves. A 5 fin futures fin configuration is versatile.
Low volume boards are great for powered riding in choppy conditions where thin rails will slice through chop.
(volume to weight calculator)
(ranking your surfing skill level)
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Re: What size directional board?

Postby KW65 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:51 pm

I am having analysis paralysis on this...
I'm 5'10'' / 200lbs
I've narrowed my choices down to the Naish Skater or the new Gecko. Locals have recommended the 5' 4" for either board but might consider the 5'2" for the skater due to its wider overall outline. The Texas surf is usually irregular, flat and mushy. Leaning towards the Skater because it seems to be the more beginner friendly but the Gecko looks like it is made for our local conditions. No real chance of a demo so any feedback is appreciated.

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Re: What size directional board?

Postby tautologies » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 pm

THe skater is a killer board. Either size are fantastic IMO. I got the 5'4''. It's light enough to be easy to maneuver. You can move around on the board quite a lot.
Go with more speed and try to be confident, even if you feel like you are not 100% in control.
Go with speed, lift the kite, turn on the board before or after you turn the board.
You will get there.

Edit: I do think the gecko looks like a fun board too. haha

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Re: What size directional board?

Postby Trent hink » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:07 am

Get a short very wide board, swallow your pride, and use it with a smaller kite, and you might progress much faster.

In mushy blown-out chop, at 82 kg I can ride the old Slingshot Space Pickle in over 25 knots.

In those conditions, it gets choppy.

No problem. Just take it slower, get way the hell upwind and have a nice ride down.

On a big wide board, you want way less power so you need a smaller kite. Everything is easier.

As far as the question of volume goes, it's really just a matter of personal preference:

If you want to go out well-powered and ride through the waves, or maybe anytime in good wind, you are better off
on a low volume board.

If your focus is really on riding the waves, you might want to use the smallest kite possible, just enough to barely get out to the waves... and then you have the opportunity to ride the waves unencumbered.

There is a big difference between these two different styles of riding, and it's really up to personal preference.

If you choose the second style I've mentioned, the benefit of a higher volume board becomes blatantly obvious, but the main thing is, if you are struggling, and are not a rank beginner, forget about length and get a wide board.

The key components are width and rocker. As a beginner, unless you are going out in

After you actually understand this, and maybe come to terms with it, it's really just a question of what your heart desires, and what might fit in your local conditions.

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Re: What size directional board?

Postby galewarning » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:52 pm

Chris32 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:55 pm
...I manage to turn about 50% of the time, but I wonder if I’d be progressing quicker on a different board?...
Any good advice would be appreciated.
Re: Width/Volume - Wider is more [roll] stable and forgiving. True with just about everything from snow skis, SUPs, windsurf boards, and foil wings. Most of the time, the volume scales with the width and length [comparing boards with similar tip shapes]. It's not like you really have a choice between a low volume board and high volume version of the same length and width board. It's a tradeoff: the wider/bigger the board, the more stable it is, at the expense of maneuverability.

Re: Jibe success - I'm 90% successful, on a good day, to 50%, on a bad day. What helps me the most is:
1 - Really focusing on keeping those moving feet on centerline. Step off-center and the result is usually a splash.
2 - While stepping, excessive fore and aft movement [of the main torso] results in a splash. The trick is to minimize the torso moving when doing the footwork. My falls are usually due to moving my torso to far back as I step back. The result is a fall off the back. There are some great YouTube video clips on footwork.
3 - For some reason, I find it much easier to change my feet before a jibe. Maybe that's just me. There's something I like about changing my feet onto a brief period of riding toeside to regain feel and control. And if you're not comfortable riding toe, then that's another skill which will hinder your jibing progress.

I thought I'd never learn how to jibe a directional board. As a windsurfer who could jibe blindfolded in any wind, I was surprised how difficult it was to learn how to jibe a surfboard. Keep at it!

Ciao, -B

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Re: What size directional board?

Postby daspi » Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:37 pm

Agree on last post above. Stick with the Mitu. It's about as good as it gets for a board that does it all. It is plenty big for you to progress. Put in your time and you shall be rewarded.

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