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I have trying to understand what makes a good like wind board. My favorite light wind board has been my directional 192 cm. This board works great in the bay for me, but is a struggle with short tacks in the surf because I haven't mastered my jibes.
I usually ride a 151 cm board with slight rocker. I recently picked up a 171cm twintip with the hope that this would be a good light wind board. But it wasn't. I talked with Elli (Where's my email dude?) and realized that my 171cm twintip has way too much rocker.
I read about zeroprestige boards and they recommend next to nil rocker for light winds.
I then looked at commercial boards like; flysurfer flydoor, spleene door, slingshot glide, cabal skimboards.
What occured to me is all these boards have something in common; surface area.
-Flysurfer Flydoor 159 cm x 42 cm (~6670 cm squared)
-Spleene Door 164 cm x 42 cm (~6880 cm squared)
-Slingshot Glide 149 cm x 46 cm (~6800 cm squared)
-Cabal skimboard 129.5 cm x 52.7 cm (~6820 cm squared)
-AHD directional 192 cm x 50 cm (9600 cm squared, rocker on the nose).
My twintip which is poor for light winds has less than 5700 cm squared surface area, and some rocker in addition to that.
When a board has more rocker, that effectively lowers how much surface area is touching the water.
So a good light wind board will have a lot of surface area touching the water.
It seems >6600 cm squared is enough surface area to efficiently plane in light winds.
Litewave Dave does.
I still have the board I learned on and will never sell it. Used it in light wind last summer.
the original. upwind , super super durable and let's face it, litewave dave is one of our great embassadors of the sport...find a used one, and it will last forever.
Hey Bric, email on the way!
You pretty much got it right. Two boards you can add to the list:
Glide ñ almost flat (about half inch rocker) and almost square. Not radical shape like Spleene and Flydoor, but still more square than most boards I have seen.
Plywood boards, there are many light wind designs out there.
From my research I got similar features:
Flat rocker, to keep as much of the edge in the water.
Straight rails, or close to straight, again to keep as much rail in the water. Spleene designs are more radical in that sense.
Wide tips, kind of goes with the straight outline, but some board builders emphasized that specifically.
Wide, some claim width is the ticket more than length.
Small fins for less drag ñ different opinions here. Some say the fins add to stability in stronger wind, some say concave outline add the stability that you need, and Flydoor has concave outline and four fins. Go figure.
Flex ñ when you power up the flex creates more rocker to reduce the efficiency of the board, so you get better riding when the wind picks up.
I emailed a bunch of guys that built boards from the Flydoor and Spleene outlines, and claim that they are as good.
My plywood board is drying right now as we speak. I will shoot you an email with the plan.
Post it on the forum so we can all make one!
Strictly following some of the rules posted, it sounds like an entire sheet of 4X8 plywood with a couple of footstraps and a few small fins would be the ultimate light wind board.
That's called a family board, you need a family size kite too. Don't forget bindings to the BBQ grill.
Plan attached, courtesy of Chris (screven). I did round corners like the Flydoor, to it is almost a rectangle. Those boards look funny and they are heavy. I hope it is worth the work.
Download Plan (PDF)
The best lightwind board is a mountain bike ......when it's light, tune your lines, replace your pigtails, check your harness, replace your chicken loop, strech your muscles, hang out w/your family, cut the grass, get some work done, change the oil in your truck, go to the dentist, call your mom (she will wonder what is wrong or if you need more $).....
We get so much good wind, not sure why anyone needs to invest in "light wind" specific gear.....but then, to each their own....
Good winds + waves, Zeev.
I downloaded the PDF file and checked out the photo and plan, and must say, I'm impressed. Just as much so that someone took the time to refine the design as with the layout of the plans. Good job.
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