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Buying my first board - is a dagger fin important?

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Created by d11wtq > 9 months ago, 15 Dec 2013
d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
15 Dec 2013 11:27PM
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I've done some beginner lessons at Sandringham and I'm now looking to buy my own equipment so I can get out by myself, before I take more lessons on more advanced moves, using my own equipment. I've been using a 120L JP board at the surf school, which has a center fin/dagger fin. Now that I'm shopping around, I see it's actually quite hard to find boards under 120L that have a dagger fin. I'm quite small (65Kg) and think maybe a larger board could be bad investment after a few months as I improve?

Are there any short boards around 90-100L that have a dagger fin? Would I struggle without one initially? Am I wrong to think a 120L board isn't going to be ideal for long?

At the moment I've only sailed in light wind conditions on flat water, but I'm comfortable sailing and steering upwind and downwind, gybing without dropping the sail and falling off. Feeling reasonably confident I can learn quickly after the first few lessons so just want to make sure I buy a board that will see me from beginner to intermediate before I need to buy a second one.

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
15 Dec 2013 11:33PM
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Say this 104L board for example. Would that be ideal for a beginner? jp-australia.com/2014/products/boards/magic-ride/

clarence
TAS, 789 posts
16 Dec 2013 12:22AM
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There are two different scenarios 1) a retractable centreboard/daggerboard (eg starboard rio, JP funster) or 2) removable centre fin (starboard kode, most of the JP wind-SUP boards). Both retractable centreboards and centre fins are not common generally, and they are even less common in smaller volume boards.

Have a look at this thread, as it may answer some of your questions generally about board choices for beginners.

www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/General/Beginner-Package/

As you rightly say your light weight is an important factor too.

Clarence

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 1:20AM
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Hi Clarence, thanks for responding. I just had a quick read through that thread and after seeing some of the board sizes people were talking about in there, I guess maybe 120L, or 140L isn't that bad after all. I did get that a board that is too wide will make learning carve gybing more difficult, so perhaps the JP Explorer is a good choice because it's narrower, but still has a retractable dagger fin. Looks like they don't go less than 145L though.

I'm (probably irrationally) put off the JP Wind-SUP boards because they're a dual-purpose board and I'm guessing that means it's going to be fairly mediocre in practice.

Is a 65Kg bloke on a 145L JP Explorer a bit of a weight-size mismatch though? Also, what size sail would make the most sense for typical conditions around Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne? I'm thinking a 6.7m would be too big for me, and a 4.3m a bit too small for light winds, so maybe 5m-ish? I'll buy two sails in the long run, but not upfront.

paddymac
WA, 914 posts
15 Dec 2013 10:30PM
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Hi d11wtq,

I think the Starboard GO 99L could be an option. It quite wide and very short and has a slot for a centre fin (not a dagger board).

www.star-board-windsurfing.com/2014/products/boards/go

But have a think about long term options. If you really like the sport already, a 120L board will be great to learn and progress on and then become your light wind board. Once you have all the basics mastered you can get a smaller board, maybe a 95L freestyle wave, for when the wind picks up. It depends if your budget, storage and transport can handle more than one board.

Cheers, PM

joe windsurf
1434 posts
15 Dec 2013 10:30PM
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based on what you have stated, you do NOT need a daggerboard any more
you are also very fortunate in that you are almost light weight and a first board of about 110 litres will do you well
people in the area will be better able to tell you which type of board to get - based on local conditions

as far as the daggerboard goes - what is it used for ??
it helps newbies with balance and gets them back home more easily
lately i have been putting people on a 94 cm wide free formula with NO daggerboard - for their first exposure to w/s
on race boards the daggerboards are FULLY retractable
when you are going fast/planing - you do NOT want a daggerboard
longboard racers use them to allow them more upwind capabilities
if you start with on-shore winds, stay shallow and are not afraid of the walk of shame = NO daggerboard
if you go in VERY light winds - then longboards WITH daggerboards are required
{there are always exceptions - people go in light winds with monster boards and monster sails - not sure u r there yet :-) }

ENJOY !!! maybe next lessons could be beach starts, harness, etc ??

Man0verBoard
WA, 629 posts
15 Dec 2013 11:02PM
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Hey if you can afford the space and time for a course board rig with centreboard I say explore this style as much as you explore shorter boards without a centreboard/fin. Who knows you may be a future national course racing champion..they are awesome fun!
There is a growing popularity in longboard course racing again and I SUPPORT IT!!
That said I LOVE to go as fast as I can = small gear.
Enjoy the journey!

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 2:17AM
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Thanks guys,

So I think I'd like to piece of mind of having a retractable daggerboard after reading around a bit more. If I get a year out of the board, I'll be happy. The store near where I learn has a package for a JP Funster + Sail + Mast + Base + Boom for $2790. I've emailed them to see if they can switch the funster for an explorer and change the price as needed, though I'm just enquiring at the moment. I think the price would hike a fair bit from that (seemingly low) package price though, as the explorer is new this year, right? I suspect they're doing these cheap package because they're selling off older stock.

www.shq.com.au/products/jp-funster-package-including-np-or-gaastra-sail-mast-boom-and-accessories

Dean 424
NSW, 439 posts
16 Dec 2013 8:53AM
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Why don't you have a look at the Starboard Phantom 295. I know it is quite floaty at around 210 litres but it would be quite fast and a board you could grow into. I have an explorer 165 and a raceboard, as well as a Fanatic hawk, but if I was around your weight I think Phantom would be great. It would still plane as a raceboard does in the gusts and being slightly narrower would prepare you for a proper freeride of around 100 litres next season. The explorer isn't great at going upwind even with a centreboard, but good for Sydney harbour (with all the wind shadows) or when the conditions are marginal to get home but the hawk will plane at about the same wind strength. As you progress you will have all bases covered and my shortboard survival in light winds and fitness has improved a lot by getting out on a raceboard when conditions are marginal or too light for slalom boards.

joe windsurf
1434 posts
16 Dec 2013 6:20AM
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is the BIC Techno 293 OD less $$$ ?
s/b less than the Phantom and almost as "performant"

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 10:29AM
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The store I'm looking to buy from seems to mostly stock JP and doesn't seem to have any Starboard stuff at all. Where do you guys buy your gear from online inside of Australia? I've been looking around online and can't find many places. Buying second hand would be a PITA as I'm hoping to have the full thing before xmas, ready for the xmas break.

jamesf
NSW, 878 posts
16 Dec 2013 10:48AM
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Select to expand quote
d11wtq said..

The store I'm looking to buy from seems to mostly stock JP and doesn't seem to have any Starboard stuff at all. Where do you guys buy your gear from online inside of Australia? I've been looking around online and can't find many places. Buying second hand would be a PITA as I'm hoping to have the full thing before xmas, ready for the xmas break.


Only a few of the shops in aus have fancy online stores. Best way is to research the different brands equipment on the manufacturers websites (google them), then call the shops on the phone and talk through it with them - Melbourne has shq, the zu, rps I think which between them sell most of the big brands.

If you are too far from the shop to go in and talk to them in person, they can probably arrange for the gear to be shipped. Good luck.

Roar
NSW, 470 posts
16 Dec 2013 10:50AM
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Where are you located? a lot of sailing clubs have big old wind surfers you can use if you join the club - use their gear to mess around on and save yours for a nice 120 lt free ride which at 70kg will be huge for you to go from beginner to intermediate.


jermaldan
VIC, 1572 posts
16 Dec 2013 10:57AM
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Get a windsup. A nice long one so that it cuts upwind nicely. I too dont think you need a centreboard but if you insist you can get one with this option, even in an inflatable!

At least this way you won't grow out of it in 6 months, which you will with any other board with a centre board.

PhilSWR
NSW, 1104 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:15AM
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When I was learning (nearly 2 years ago now) I tried a big board with a centre board. We used it for 30 minutes and ripped it out. Sounds to me like your past that and just need a decent sporty board that's wide, stable and fun. 120 litre should be sweet (although feel a little small initially), and it's a size you will hang onto for years- assuming you get sporty model like a Starboard Carve, Fanatic Hawk, JP Excite Ride etc.

Briefly on sails, think freeride again, and perhaps a 5.5-ish and a 6.5-ish. That should cover wind from near zero to 20 knots.

Can't help you with exact stores, but a few phone calls to the big ones saying you want sport new freeride gear by Xmas should have them put together a package and post it off. But it's getting pretty close till Santa arrives...

List the gear and price the shop recommends to you, I'm sure the guys on here can tell you if it's a good stuff at a fair price.

Good luck with it.

GrumpySmurf
WA, 230 posts
16 Dec 2013 9:33AM
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Based on my own experience, which is very similar to yours (70kg started in May with similar skills), I'd say definitely get a shortboard (no centre fin/board) of around 105 - 130 liters. I got onto a 122 liters Starboard Kode and initially the learning curve was a bit steep, but after 6 solid sessions, it was a great board to progress on.

Now the 122 l is my light wind board and is helping me progress greatly.

As for sails, I'd say definately get 2 sails (around 5.2 & 6.0) to start with. Although I don't know the conditions there, I think these will let you get out in 12kn - 22kn. The difficulty comes with making sure the single mast/boom/extension you get will suit these sizes and still have a bit of range for other sizes. Also, I strongly recommend not getting brand new gear! I know finding decent second hand gear that all works well together is hard, but you WILL catapult and headbutt the sails and smash the board with the mast. I reckon if you don't catapult a few dozen times (especially at your lightweight), you ain't trying hard enough.

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 8:29PM
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Ok, thanks guys. I'm going in to SHQ to talk to them tomorrow afternoon. They do a package for $2790 with a JP Explorer ( jp-australia.com/2014/products/boards/explorer/ ), a Neil Pryde Fusion sail (they suggested 5.3m), a 30% Carbon mast to suit the sail, Neil Pryde boom, base and extension. Not bad for the whole lot new. Looking at their prices for the individual stuff, that board alone is $2000, which is in a similar price range to other boards they sell, so I can try and convince them to switch the board in the package. They seem to basically only stock JP though and you guys are all suggesting other brands :P

YouTube promo video for the Explorer

. Has anybody actually used it?

@GrumpSmurf, yeah, TBH for the initial set of gear, I'd rather not have to spend weeks shopping around for second hand stuff, especially because I wanna get out this weekend. There's quite a bit to piece together and getting it new saves a lot of hassle. Sails are pretty repairable, right? Boards maybe not, if you've smashed it!

GrumpySmurf
WA, 230 posts
16 Dec 2013 7:13PM
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OK, if you are keen and have a few "Chrissie spoil yourself $$$", then enjoy the new gear - no worries with repairing sails or boards (my Kode is going through its 3rd nose job .

But, the explorer board I think is "below" your skill level. If you have the time and commitment to commit more than 2-5 hours a week at this, that board will be boring, too rough in higher wind, far too slow, too heavy and too big for your 65kg. Do consider a 110 l shortboard without the hassle/weight of a centreboard and get into it!

Having said that, a board like that Explorer may be nice to have if you have 2 kids and a wife to teach in the future, and if you have a river system (which Yarra River don't count ) that you could cruise around in at 6-14 knots.

Dean 424
NSW, 439 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:02PM
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I have the explorer 165 lt. (I'm 90kg) The construction seems quite durable and with the EVA deck protecting the board as well as the rider it is still in excellent nick. However the heavier weight of this board compared to say a Patrick freeride of around 155 lt means a relatively big sail and more skill is required to get it up on the plane for same wind strength. Windsup's are the same deal to plane you really need to able to hold a decent rig down and the Sup would have to be at least 9'10. There are not a lot of waves in the bay. That said I think a JP cruiser SUP 12'6 could be excellent in lght winds, downwinders and just paddling around being more of a flat water SUP. Still think you should purchase a board with the view of having two boards in the future and not so much outgrowing one. Explorer is quite close to a slalom board and even with a centre board I don't go that much more upwind compared to without. It doesn't have the parrell rails needed to go upwind and centreboard is a third the size of my raceboard and not much bigger than formula fin. The centreboard action however is pretty good and the Eva deck means you wont rip bits of skin off trying to get up on it and uphaul. It is narrow enough to waterstart with down the track unlike beginners board and a board you will always get home on. Once you can waterstart then get a smaller board. The centreboards main advantage will be to give you stability in the short bay chop to uphaul. I would keep away from fixed centre fins. When you start planing the extra lift will tip the board over and face plant you into the rig. (Speaking from experience)

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:12PM
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They sell this board and the 115L board is 66cm wide, compared with the 70cm wide 145L Explorer. If I can swap the Explorer in the package for this and pay the extra, do you think it would be ok? It certainly looks pretty, but sounds like it's aimed at experienced surfers.

www.tabou-boards.com/boards/2014/boards/rocket

Not sure what the difference between LTD and CED construction is, but CED is a bit cheaper and only comes in at $200 more than the JP Explorer, if bought separately.

I haven't learnt to beach start or water start yet, so need something I can uphaul on really.

They also sell these two JP boards in the same sort of price range.

X-Cite Ride Plus jp-australia.com/2014/products/boards/xcite-ride-plus/
Magic Ride jp-australia.com/2014/products/boards/magic-ride/

All the others look too small.

Sputnik11
VIC, 851 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:12PM
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Select to expand quote
Roar said..

Where are you located? a lot of sailing clubs have big old wind surfers you can use if you join the club - use their gear to mess around on and save yours for a nice 120 lt free ride which at 70kg will be huge for you to go from beginner to intermediate.




Good suggestion. Parkdale yacht club has the old Windsurfer One Designs. I'd get a 120ltr, no dagger board. Then you can learn and keep it for the light conditions when you get good and you're on a 100 ltr, or 80 or 60 . . . . .

Sputnik11
VIC, 851 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:14PM
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I really like the Tabou Rocket or Speedster. At 120ltrs, you could uphaul on either and the upside is they are really fast when you improve a bit.

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:18PM
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Sorry Dean you must have posted while I was typing. So are you suggesting that the Explorer might be a decent first board with a view to buying a second, smaller board once I have a bit more experience?

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:20PM
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Sputnik, do you think the Tabou Rocket would be difficult to learn on? Would you personally put a beginner on it in lighter wind conditions?

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
16 Dec 2013 11:45PM
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This puts me off getting a Tabou Rocket just yet. It sounds like an amazing board, but not for me just yet www.boardseekermag.com/windsurfing-equipment-tests/tabou-rocket-125-2008.html

paddymac
WA, 914 posts
16 Dec 2013 9:11PM
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A lot of competent sailors think the idea of a centreboard is naff and will try and steer you away from them thinking that they offer now excitement of thrills. I suspect most of them have not tried a modern all-rounder like an Explorer or, what I have, a Tabou Coolrider. I have slalom gear, FSW, wave, raceboard and Formula (bit of a collector ) but I still enjoy the Coolrider. I can explore in light winds, I can sail when the wind is offshore, I can sail in waves while others are SUPing. I can get my family on it and tow my kids. And I've got it to 25kts in total comfort. If it feels right for you, don't be put off. You might get more of a buzz from a Tabou Rocket but the Explorer type of board is mighty versatile and supremely comfortable across a broad range of conditions.

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
17 Dec 2013 12:46AM
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Ok so I think I'm just going to go with my instinct and get the Explorer, then get a second board in a few months after some more basic practice. As you say, the Explorer will be a good board in conditions where something like the Rocket probably wouldn't want to do anything. If I had a 5.3m sail and a 30% Carbon mast, do you think those would be ok to re-use on the Rocket (say, 115 or 125L) in the future, or would I be buying a whole new set of gear? Keep in mind my light weight (65Kg).

paddymac
WA, 914 posts
16 Dec 2013 10:28PM
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The sails they are offering are good quality all-round sails. I have two Gaastra Cross sails and love em. I'm sure the NP ones are good too.

My first sails was a 5.3m then a 6m but I'm 80kgs. What sort of wind strength is your local?

Cross would be a 4.8 or 5.2, Fusion 4.9 or 5.5. I'm guessing 4.8/4.9 would be my 5.3?

d11wtq
VIC, 89 posts
17 Dec 2013 8:28AM
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Wind speeds in Port Phillip Bay lately seem to be varying between 5-15kts. There are places I could go (down towards Wilsons Promontory, or out along the East Vic coast) if I wanted to drive further and get 15-20kts. I'm not sure what mid summer conditions are likely to be like. I guess I'll talk to them in the store about that. 4.9m is what I've been learning on. The store suggested 5.3m for my weight and for the Explorer, but I'll let them know I'm planning to re-use the same sail on something like a Rocket and see what they suggest doing.

Dean 424
NSW, 439 posts
17 Dec 2013 10:00AM
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I wouldnt recommend the tabou rocket as first board. The coolrider as Paddy has recommened is good as well. The main thing is to not get stuck in the middle of the bay, sun setting and you are 3 miles out. Why dont you go the explorer or coolrider then buy a second hand 100 liter freeride on seabreeze. You could use this at say inverloch( yes I'm an ex victorian but dont tell anyone) where you reach between banks and plenty of excellent sailors around to give tips and switch between the 2 according to conditions. Also have at look at Rye for winds out of the North. If you make the learning curve too steep it may not be enjoyable. About 30 litre more than body weight is about right for a second board.

Dean 424
NSW, 439 posts
17 Dec 2013 10:09AM
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The only other thing I forgot to say is if you want to upgrade anything, spend it on the mast this is bit you have to hold above your head waterstarting. Maybe 80% carbon or the like, it will make the rig faster as well!



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"Buying my first board - is a dagger fin important?" started by d11wtq