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Am I good enough to learn Formula?

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Created by nemke1706 4 months ago, 8 Aug 2018
nemke1706
1 posts
8 Aug 2018 4:33AM
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Hi,
I have been windsurfing for quite a while now, and I feel good planing in straps and harness, doing tacks and a little bit of carve jibe. I use freeride boards of 120L and no cam sails of 6.0-8.5.
The problem is I only windsurf during 2 month period in the summer. Back home I have a couple of lakes and a lot of time to practice but winds does not get above 15-16kts. A friend of mine suggested that I take Formula kit as they can plane in such winds. The only problem is that I never used a camber sail, but they are most commonly used in formula. My question is: Are my skills sufficient enough to start practicing formula? Also, I am kind of a big guy with 1,90m height and 95kg weight (friend said that is good for formula).

Manuel7
214 posts
8 Aug 2018 4:46AM
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Really liked my formula for light winds. Let me practise planing jibes when wind was too light for anything else. I used 9.0 and 9.2, no cam. At 170lbs 75kgs 8.7 would have been sufficient. For you 9.5+ probably. Then you may need a 520, I had a 490 only.

The only issue I had with the formula was the extraordinary leverage from the 70cm fin. Forced me to use crazy angles (don't care for that), so I downsized to a 60cm fin and was perfect for endless planing days. I even used 7.0 for 12-16 knots and 50cm (was a touch short but still worked great).

So for freeriding I would to play with fin size. Cambers will give you more low end, stability in draft, speed, etc but honestly I was fine with camless sails, sails from 9 to 22-23 knots with the 9.2. Flat water and mild swell with the 7.0.

powersloshin
NSW, 950 posts
8 Aug 2018 6:48AM
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Using formula for freeride enjoying the light winds requires about the same skills as any other board, you just need to get used to it. I got a formula kit when I was still learning, it has given me a lot of extra time on the water. You can go easily to a 10m sail and plane in about 12 knts. Standard racing fin for formula is 70cm, if the wind gets stronger it will be very hard on your back leg and you need to switch to only upwind/downwind angles. Get also a shorter fin around 55-60 for those days.
All my formula sessions here:
martignoni.id.au/summary.php?board=Starboard%20FW162&sort=date

You could also consider a super light wind board around 90 wide, can still take a 10m sail, but uses shorter fins, a bit more similar to freeride boards

joe windsurf
1388 posts
8 Aug 2018 6:13AM
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as suggested there are now many WIDE freeride boards
this is an old chart ...


and i don't know if you heard ...
windfoiling in light wind is the new craze

timl
WA, 65 posts
8 Aug 2018 7:25AM
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I got myself a JP SLW 90 to cope with the low wind days and honestly it more than doubled my sailing time and I improved my sailing and fitness on the water. I used shorter stock JP fin which is 56 cm but it was perfect for lighter wind days. My preferred sail size was 9.6 /w cams but free ride would be fine (90ish kgs). I used it in the range 12-15 kts, mostly yellow arrow days. Doesn't have a chicken strap (middle rear) so more challenging for true formula / high wind when sailing a broad reach.

I reckon go for it! Increase your time on water will improve your sailing in no time!

Imax1
VIC, 1551 posts
8 Aug 2018 10:05AM
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Consider a race board. They work amazingly well for heavy me . I tried the formula thing a few times and it wasn't for me. Much harder to get planing ( than a race board ) and then when it did it was hard work on the back leg. Race boards glide effortlessly in non planing mode as well. Formula are horribly slow when not planing. Formula are very easy to turn around , race boards are not. Race boards slip along with any sail.

BSN101
WA, 1414 posts
8 Aug 2018 8:36AM
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There are 2 SB Ultrasonics here and we love them. I also have an old Mistral RB which is a completely different feel but will be a much cheaper option (second hand) than getting a new SLW board or finding a second hand SLW.

I go 7.7 & 8.2 NP Hornet sails on either of my US/RB. Ive been SMASHED on 6.7 on my RB too.

Thumbs up for these 2 boards. Ive never used a Formula board.

John340
QLD, 1874 posts
8 Aug 2018 10:40AM
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Foiling should be an option you consider to increase TOW

Imax1
VIC, 1551 posts
8 Aug 2018 10:56AM
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I wonder , ( all things being equal ) , Would a RB start doing its half planing skimming along thing before a foil starts to fly ?
Ive read and heard u kinda still need 10 to 12 ish kts to learn to foil. Experienced riders a lot less. Im a RB newby and am proper planing along in 10 to12kts.
I would think a lighter skilled RB pilot would also do it in less. I haven't even started exploring what the thing can do in lower wind , adjusting CB and mast track while moving and not falling in . Ive figured out jibing , ( fast and slow ) , but tacking still needs about a 500m radius
Over 13 kts im back on smaller gear.

Brett Morris
NSW, 1137 posts
9 Aug 2018 11:51PM
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Formula definitely suits a big guy. Big fins and sails are designed to deliver power. That is why they are suited to up-wind / down-wind type of sailing...

safer than foiling if new to the sport and I would say easier to master than a Raceboard....biggest consideration is where you sail and conditions really,,,

Paducah
197 posts
10 Aug 2018 12:11AM
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Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..
I wonder , ( all things being equal ) , Would a RB start doing its half planing skimming along thing before a foil starts to fly ?
Ive read and heard u kinda still need 10 to 12 ish kts to learn to foil. Experienced riders a lot less. Im a RB newby and am proper planing along in 10 to12kts.
I would think a lighter skilled RB pilot would also do it in less. I haven't even started exploring what the thing can do in lower wind , adjusting CB and mast track while moving and not falling in . Ive figured out jibing , ( fast and slow ) , but tacking still needs about a 500m radius
Over 13 kts im back on smaller gear.


In terms of not displacement sailing: Foil > Formula > RB
I own all three. I'm not saying the experience of one is better than the others as that's preference. To get to the point of learning to fly the centerboard upwind is probably not so much different than learning to foil or manage a formula/SLW board, imho. The advantage of the foil is not needing the big sails, masts, booms required to have the other two types remotely competitive in the "getting off the water early" sweepstakes.

LeeD
316 posts
10 Aug 2018 12:59AM
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You're good enough.
Lot's of Formula and light wind sailors are switching to windfoiling so used gear is fractions of the cost. But, they're switching for a valid reason.

windsufering
VIC, 610 posts
10 Aug 2018 5:15PM
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People still sail formula ?

lungs
QLD, 451 posts
10 Aug 2018 5:20PM
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wing sail
the bigger one

boardsurfr
708 posts
11 Aug 2018 4:11AM
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Select to expand quote

Paducah said..

To get to the point of learning to fly the centerboard upwind is probably not so much different than learning to foil or manage a formula/SLW board, imho. The advantage of the foil is not needing the big sails, masts, booms required to have the other two types remotely competitive in the "getting off the water early" sweepstakes.


There are a few somewhat subtle differences. You can sail a longboard perfectly fine without ever learning how to rail on the centerboard and/or with a smaller sail. Many longboard owners around here never learned how to really use the daggerboard fully. Unfortunately, they are missing out on a lot of what makes long boarding fun, and they tend to rarely use their longboards as a result. With a foil, it's a bit more binary - it's quite obvious if you "get it" or not.
From the frequent write-ups in the German Surf magazine, I got the impression that wider is better to learn foiling, and that formula boards work fine. I've seen that happen once, when a formula sailor got up right away, in his first few runs on a foil. So maybe get formula gear cheap now, then switch to foiling later, when everyone upgrades to better foils and current foils are available second-hand?

mark62
WA, 235 posts
11 Aug 2018 4:38AM
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Select to expand quote
nemke1706 said..
Hi,
I have been windsurfing for quite a while now, and I feel good planing in straps and harness, doing tacks and a little bit of carve jibe. I use freeride boards of 120L and no cam sails of 6.0-8.5.
The problem is I only windsurf during 2 month period in the summer. Back home I have a couple of lakes and a lot of time to practice but winds does not get above 15-16kts. A friend of mine suggested that I take Formula kit as they can plane in such winds. The only problem is that I never used a camber sail, but they are most commonly used in formula. My question is: Are my skills sufficient enough to start practicing formula? Also, I am kind of a big guy with 1,90m height and 95kg weight (friend said that is good for formula).


For lakes, formula is hard too beat. Can be picked up much cheaper than JP SLW, SB ultrasonics etc. In sub 20 knot winds, they are not as technical as some make out. I used mine today with a 9.6m, great fun in the light 8-12 knot winds. All the other windsurfers were just slogging on their big freeride kit, great fun blasting past them shouting "who's the daddy"

AusMoz
QLD, 962 posts
11 Aug 2018 8:01AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
nemke1706 said..
Hi,
I have been windsurfing for quite a while now, and I feel good planing in straps and harness, doing tacks and a little bit of carve jibe. I use freeride boards of 120L and no cam sails of 6.0-8.5.
The problem is I only windsurf during 2 month period in the summer. Back home I have a couple of lakes and a lot of time to practice but winds does not get above 15-16kts. A friend of mine suggested that I take Formula kit as they can plane in such winds. The only problem is that I never used a camber sail, but they are most commonly used in formula. My question is: Are my skills sufficient enough to start practicing formula? Also, I am kind of a big guy with 1,90m height and 95kg weight (friend said that is good for formula).



Went from sailing Slalom/free ride boards - Tabou Rocket 125 litre and Exocet RS3 91 litre to a SB Formula Board - loved it!!!! comfortable like riding a lounge chair and clocked up a couple of 100km + days. Speeds between 26-29 knots.

Sold it 18 months ago - and miss it big time.

Just do it!

cammd
QLD, 1945 posts
11 Aug 2018 8:39AM
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I have both a raceboard and a formula board, can't pick a favourite between them. They both are good fun over a big wind range, the main difference is the raceboard powers up gradually whereas the formula is either on or off.

You step up onto the plane on a formula earlier than a RB but the RB is more slippery through the water (therefore faster) before a formula will plane and the RB will "rail" to windward before a formula will plane.

My advice is get one of each.

joe windsurf
1388 posts
11 Aug 2018 10:14AM
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i see an interesting sub-topic here of
Formula versus wide FreeRide ...
anyone tried both ??

CAN17
91 posts
12 Aug 2018 5:09AM
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Select to expand quote
mark62 said..

nemke1706 said..
Hi,
I have been windsurfing for quite a while now, and I feel good planing in straps and harness, doing tacks and a little bit of carve jibe. I use freeride boards of 120L and no cam sails of 6.0-8.5.
The problem is I only windsurf during 2 month period in the summer. Back home I have a couple of lakes and a lot of time to practice but winds does not get above 15-16kts. A friend of mine suggested that I take Formula kit as they can plane in such winds. The only problem is that I never used a camber sail, but they are most commonly used in formula. My question is: Are my skills sufficient enough to start practicing formula? Also, I am kind of a big guy with 1,90m height and 95kg weight (friend said that is good for formula).



For lakes, formula is hard too beat. Can be picked up much cheaper than JP SLW, SB ultrasonics etc. In sub 20 knot winds, they are not as technical as some make out. I used mine today with a 9.6m, great fun in the light 8-12 knot winds. All the other windsurfers were just slogging on their big freeride kit, great fun blasting past them shouting "who's the daddy"


Agreed.
I picked up a used formula 2 years into my windsurfing career and love it. More then doubled my TOW and is much more fun and challenging then freeride and will make you a better and faster sailer. I would try to pick up a used one and have something to protect the nose or don't drop the mast as formula boards are super light=fragile.

Now I am using a formula board with a foil and a love it as we'll.
Aluminum foils are much more affordable then carbon if you decide to go that route, but get a formula board you will not regret it!

BSN101
WA, 1414 posts
12 Aug 2018 10:41AM
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powersloshin said..
Using formula for freeride enjoying the light winds requires about the same skills as any other board, you just need to get used to it. I got a formula kit when I was still learning, it has given me a lot of extra time on the water. You can go easily to a 10m sail and plane in about 12 knts. Standard racing fin for formula is 70cm, if the wind gets stronger it will be very hard on your back leg and you need to switch to only upwind/downwind angles. Get also a shorter fin around 55-60 for those days.
All my formula sessions here:
martignoni.id.au/summary.php?board=Starboard%20FW162&sort=date

You could also consider a super light wind board around 90 wide, can still take a 10m sail, but uses shorter fins, a bit more similar to freeride boards


Hows the RRD going?

powersloshin
NSW, 950 posts
12 Aug 2018 7:07PM
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BSN101 said..

Hows the RRD going?


Hi David, it's good but didn't have much time to windsurf lately, I will never push it as your Ultrasonic, once we get over 16 knts I switch to the RS5 (122/76).
My sessions so far here: martignoni.id.au/summary.php?board=RRD%20XFire%20Lightwind

JoeWindsurf I think there was a thread maybe 2 years ago about formula vs superlight, I posted my comparison when I reviewed the RRD LightWind , in my opinion there is not much difference unless you want to race or use a 12m sail.
Link here: www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Review/RRD-X-File-light-wind-v1-2014

olskool
QLD, 879 posts
12 Aug 2018 7:45PM
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Imax1, im no guru or lightweight but the foil vs RB in 8-12kts is an interesting game of leapfrog. In my experience the RB will plane earier than foil can lift onto the foil. But when foil is up n away it zips past, until the gust drops. Then 'plonk' down they come. The RB just keeps planing thru most lulls. Ive sailed alongside smaller foilers n bigger foilers as well. Similar results regardless of size. Early days though.

Imax1
VIC, 1551 posts
12 Aug 2018 8:29PM
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I had a good day yesterday on my RB , 8 to 10 ish kts.
Ive got soo much more to learn. But I have a problem. I just can't happily adjust my mast track on the fly without crashing . It works perfectly smooth and I can pull it back but I can't push it forward. So it sits in default mode one third forward. I got the CB thing happening but with the mast where it is it likes 45 deg to none. In light wind , mast three quarts forward and CB down it's great but but horrible when chasing swell.
Any tips on moving mast forward without growing another arm out of my knee ?

olskool
QLD, 879 posts
12 Aug 2018 8:53PM
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Hey Imax1, don't adjust mine all that frequently. But think i usually pump sail at same time as trying to slide mastcar forward. You can feel the forward pull of the sail.

cammd
QLD, 1945 posts
12 Aug 2018 10:05PM
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Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..
I had a good day yesterday on my RB , 8 to 10 ish kts.
Ive got soo much more to learn. But I have a problem. I just can't happily adjust my mast track on the fly without crashing . It works perfectly smooth and I can pull it back but I can't push it forward. So it sits in default mode one third forward. I got the CB thing happening but with the mast where it is it likes 45 deg to none. In light wind , mast three quarts forward and CB down it's great but but horrible when chasing swell.
Any tips on moving mast forward without growing another arm out of my knee ?



Going from downwind to upwind
After rounding up push the boom down and forward with your back hand and up and forward with your front hand standing on the pedal with your front foot going to windward sheeted in, . The same sail position as if your tacking but instead it's like your trying to rotate the sail end over end.

Going from upwind to down wind
Bear away, step back, front foot on the pedal and just pull the whole rig back, it can help to grab the mast below the boom with your front hand



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"Am I good enough to learn Formula?" started by nemke1706