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Intermediate on a Slalom board - not sure?

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Created by BenAS Two weeks ago, 30 Sep 2019
BenAS
4 posts
30 Sep 2019 7:21AM
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Hi,

I'm new, so hope this is in the right place.

I am after some advice. I am wondering about swapping boards but wanted to make sure this is a good idea.

I'm an intermediate 100kg sailor. I have not got carve gybes yet, but super happy with water starts and straps and harness. I sail in Wanaka in NZ, where the wind is generally strong, gusty with mid-size chop (freshwater). edit: Sailing on 6m sail mostly, sometimes a 7m.

I have a 136 Fanatic TE Slalom board (85cm wide) which I got at a great price, but I wonder if it is making things hard for me to improve? I was wondering about swapping down to a slightly smaller board and one that is not so race-focused to make thing a bit easier to progress. The 136 is great, but hard to control over the chop and I'm not enjoying instigating turns on it!

Would a different board make progression easier, do you think it is worth swapping it out - if so to what?

Edit: most of the guys that sail here are on wave boards, sailing 4-5.5m sails - if that helps you get an idea of the conditions, but they are also smaller than me!

Paddles B'mere
QLD, 2487 posts
30 Sep 2019 9:33AM
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That board is possibly too light/flighty and performance oriented for what you need, park it up at the back of the garage for some time in the future when your skillset will manage it better. Start looking for a nice heavily constructed freeride board anywhere from 140-150 litres. I'm a 105kg, fairly confident, intermediate level sailor and can gybe sort of ok and I use a 154 JP Magic Ride as my everyday board and a 155 GO as my light wind board.

Maddlad
WA, 383 posts
30 Sep 2019 7:43AM
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I used to use smaller wave style boards when I first started, and I could jump chop, scream around and basically look cool by going fast, until I had to gybe, and then I looked like a kook. I got so worn out from having to water start constantly, it wasn't much fun.
I ended up buying a bigger free ride board (112 Magic Ride), and then I actually found that gybing became a lot easier. Bottom line is, having the right equipment can really help you progress, and slalom boards can be a little trickier to gybe, whereas a good free ride board like a Magic Ride can make things a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable. That's my two cents anyway. Good luck. :)

evlPanda
NSW, 8797 posts
30 Sep 2019 10:12AM
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^ That said a FreestyleWave board is even easier to gybe than a Freeride board. And easier in chop.

Faff
VIC, 681 posts
30 Sep 2019 10:38AM
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I learned to carve gybe on a small FSW first (and technically I never learnt to gybe wide slalom boards properly). You need a hell of a lot of commitment to gybe slalom boards and a big rig to keep the board down. Sounds like you have plenty of wind. I think you'll learn faster on a 115 FSW.

BenAS
4 posts
30 Sep 2019 8:52AM
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Great responses, thanks, it feels as if a change in board wold get me progressing faster. I'm tempted by a Tabou 3S or Rocket, as I had good times on these, a few years back (back when I was almost getting my duck jibes)... I am thinking maybe the 117 3s or 125 Rocket.... there is a 110 rocket (not wide) that is a good price over here - but might be a bit too small?

tbwonder
NSW, 205 posts
30 Sep 2019 10:57AM
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If you are still learning to gybe don't even think about any board less than your body weight plus 30 kilos. So for you 130 litres. Any less and it will be a real battle to learn. Look for a free ride board a little narrower than your Fanatic. I would keep the Fanatic for light wind days.

Mr Milk
NSW, 1645 posts
30 Sep 2019 11:37AM
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You used to duck gybe, but now you're trying to carve? Unusual progression!
It's not easy to carve in big chop. You have to get around between waves or you lose too much speed as you ride up onto the back of the downwind wave.
Using inboard straps on a FSW makes gybing easier, but if you're as intermediate as me, you'll find that you usually don't manage to plane through the gybe.

BenAS
4 posts
30 Sep 2019 10:32AM
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Select to expand quote
Mr Milk said..
You used to duck gybe, but now you're trying to carve? Unusual progression!


I know, but I was struggling with carving so an instructor said to try the duck, it felt more natural to me - I'm a long way from being consistent or good at any sort of gybing - I managed to make the first one I ever tried, went downhill after that, but still feels easier to me.


Select to expand quote
tbwonder said..
If you are still learning to gybe don't even think about any board less than your body weight plus 30 kilos. So for you 130 litres. Any less and it will be a real battle to learn. Look for a free ride board a little narrower than your Fanatic. I would keep the Fanatic for light wind days.


I was thinking I'd keep the 136 fanatic for light wind , but I'm not so keen on getting another board of the same volume - doubling up seems a crazy. From a pure numbers point of view going to 115 - 120ltr seems like a good separation between the boards. If I get a 130 freeride board I would sell the Fanatic, maybe that's a better option?

515
306 posts
30 Sep 2019 5:29PM
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I've been to Wanaka plenty for snow but speed sailing at Glenorcy and racing when different wind in different arms of the Lake there's different spots.
With fresh water there is a buoyancy difference.
I agree to keep your slalom for the lighter days and go down in 10 liter increments. Or just go for 115 liter so when its gusty you still float. As you get better you can go below your weight for really windy days.
Enjoy spring

peterowensbabs
NSW, 228 posts
30 Sep 2019 9:52PM
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Select to expand quote
BenAS said..
Hi,

I'm new, so hope this is in the right place.

I am after some advice. I am wondering about swapping boards but wanted to make sure this is a good idea.

I'm an intermediate 100kg sailor. I have not got carve gybes yet, but super happy with water starts and straps and harness. I sail in Wanaka in NZ, where the wind is generally strong, gusty with mid-size chop (freshwater). edit: Sailing on 6m sail mostly, sometimes a 7m.

I have a 136 Fanatic TE Slalom board (85cm wide) which I got at a great price, but I wonder if it is making things hard for me to improve? I was wondering about swapping down to a slightly smaller board and one that is not so race-focused to make thing a bit easier to progress. The 136 is great, but hard to control over the chop and I'm not enjoying instigating turns on it!

Would a different board make progression easier, do you think it is worth swapping it out - if so to what?

Edit: most of the guys that sail here are on wave boards, sailing 4-5.5m sails - if that helps you get an idea of the conditions, but they are also smaller than me!


Been there done exactly that.

I had a Fanatic Falcon (125L) that was blisteringly fast and awesome in a straight line (when I could get it dialled in) but for me it was a bitch to get going, it was very unforgiving of poor stance or bad foot position or incorect fin choice, prone to spin out when working up wind off the fin, super slappy in the chop, I could not uphaul it for love nor money and stacked my gybes regularly, operator error I know as others were having a ball (it was also fragile and easy damaged) .

I grudgingly had to admit to myself that I'd made a bad choice. It was ego that had kept me from going for a less than "top end professional" type board and being a snob about a less full on speed machine in favour something more "amateur" well I was wrong I don't slalom race and don't need a slalom board.

Seeking advice from Sam at wind surf n snow he recommended at least trying the Fanatic blast 130L - well what a difference -
Fast-tick
Gybes-tick
Tacking-tick
Uphaul-tick
rock solid over chop-tick
Fun-Big Tick

Ive never looked back, totally put the stoke back in my sailing . It is not as top end fast as the slalom (but close) 90% more time plaining then swimming more than makes up for that. So to answer your question YES get on a fast free ride board, and I can't recommend the Blast enough. Also agree with others 130L is right for you.

PS Blast is foil ready if you have any desire to go there!

racerX
NSW, 371 posts
1 Oct 2019 2:56AM
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Select to expand quote

BenAS said..

edit: Sailing on 6m sail mostly, sometimes a 7m.




Big slalom boards gybe beautifully when your properly committed to the task. i,e an 8.6 heavy cam sail with 85kg+ rider who has a bit of practise... i.e. mast foot pressure, engaging the rails in the midsection of the board or however you want to describe it. (and yours is for heavyweight racers)

Once you get the hang of it you might really like the board, but a narrow board that doesn't required the same commitment, is probably a more fun. Something 70cm wide, in a freeride or what ever they are now called which might be 130L in a freeride but a slalom board is probably around 110L. Depending on what is going in your price range, a 70 wide slalom with a 7m can be nice combo, and not too full on, if you have a flat water spot, or it could be a disaster, Like many things it depends. The equivalent freeride board will be much bigger in volume, definitely easer to tack. FWIW I only tack my big slalom board, and always gybe the smallers boards regardless of wind strength.

When you looking at the planning aspect of the sport volume is irrelevant, your existing 136 Fanatic TE Slalom board (85cm wide), would probably be about 170L or more if they made it a freeride equivalent which of course they don't.

Personally I would hold onto the big board and get something in around 70 -72 cm wide first.

boardsurfr
WA, 926 posts
1 Oct 2019 1:49AM
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No doubt a decent freeride/freestyle wave board will make jibing easier. When deciding on the volume, check the width, too. For example, a Fanatic Blast 130 is just 70 cm wide. It has much less volume in the tail and is therefore a lot easier to jibe, and will feel like a big step down from the Falcon. In comparison, the Tabou Rocket 125 is 75.5 cm wide, and the Rocket 115 69 cm. If you choose the Rocket Plus, the 113 is 73 cm wide; the 3S+ 116 is only 66 cm wide.

The Rocket 125 would be a good choice relative to your current board. Rockets are much easier to jibe and sail in chop than the slalom boards, but still have lots of speed. The 3S 117 would give you even more control and be a bit slower. It's closer to what other guys at your place are sailing. I think you'd be quite happy with either choice.

snorkel692
QLD, 260 posts
1 Oct 2019 10:12AM
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I think I'm reiterating a lot of what has been said, but yep a slalom board makes getting gybing nailed far more difficult than on a Freeride or even freerace. Go Freeride or mayyyybe freerace design, best with plenty of volume and a decent amount of vee. There are lots of good designs out there, ideally see if you can try before you buy!

BenAS
4 posts
1 Oct 2019 10:53AM
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I am leaning towards selling the Fanatic TE and buying a 125-130 freeride board after reading this advice. I see the argument for keeping the Fanatic, but I suspect as I improve I will want a smaller board for windier days. We don't tend to get too many light wind days, down here in Wanaka. Also means I can recoup some money rather than have it sit in the shed for a year or 2 depreciating!

sboardcrazy
NSW, 6750 posts
3 Oct 2019 1:06PM
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I think you'll enjoy sailing more if you replace the slalom board. I'd imagine it's ride is much harsher and hectic than other options especially if the general sailors in the area are on wave gear. it must be pretty rough!
If you want fun, plug and play and ease of gybing Excocets are great.

Gestalt
QLD, 12138 posts
3 Oct 2019 2:17PM
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your board is too big for the sails your using in rough water.

bigger slalom boards need big sails to keep them pinned down through chop and the rail engaged when gybing.

freeride and freestyle wave boards are usually designed to work with smaller sails.

PhilUK
7 posts
3 Oct 2019 4:04PM
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Select to expand quote
BenAS said..
Also means I can recoup some money rather than have it sit in the shed for a year or 2 depreciating!


I dont know about NZ, but in the UK no board depreciates quicker than a slalom board. Racers want the latest thing, or those more on a budget just a year or so old. I'd sell it now. Your 6 & 7m are way too small to get the best out of the board anyway.

BTW, on my visit to NZ in 2002 I stayed in Wanaka 5 nights. 1 day kayaking on Wanaka Lake, 1 windsurf session, and another 3 days wind surfing on Hawea. Really nice place.

P.C_simpson
NSW, 1400 posts
3 Oct 2019 7:21PM
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110 freestyle wave, if you can water start easy you won't have to uphaul it, if the other guys are on wave boards there must be plenty of chop for jumps, you will out grow a big freeride board fast once you can gybe and want to start to do jumps.



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"Intermediate on a Slalom board - not sure?" started by BenAS