I'm turning 46 this year and want to get back into windsurfing in the Adelaide area. I used to windsurf in the 90's when I had the time and i must admit the gear I had was second hand, and I am pretty sure it wasnt matched (sail to board) and i was probably a tad heavier (85kg) than what it was intended for. My skill level wasnt great but I managed water starts easy, bumping over small waves, and the occasional jibe without stalling or falling over (I blame the equipment). The only gear that is worth keeping is the harness seat and 2x adjustable booms. The sails and boards are crap compared to what I see available now, so Im looking at getting a new rig.
I have a couple of questions to help me make a decision.
Firstly I only intend on advancing to freeriding (not ready for wave riding yet). I have watched what other guys are doing on the beaches in Adelaide (Seacliff right up to Semaphore) and from what I can determine this falls in the freeride category (correct me if I am wrong).
I am 100kg, but loosing weight since I started getting back into fitness a few weeks ago. I guess by the time I get around to making a purchase I will be 95kg.
1. What type of equipment should I be looking at. From my research, I think I need a board around 145~165 Litres, and a sail around 5.5 to 6.5 m2. I think the winds I'd like to tackle are in the 15 to 22 kts, I assume once it gets strong, better switch to a smaller board and smaller sail right?
2. For the money is the Bic Techo 144 or BIC Techno 165D okay? I cant find much on the internet (reviews or youtube videos). Or would a JP Magic Ride be better? I am quite biased towards JP range, so it would have to be a strong argument for me to consider anything else. I'm considering the BIC so my kids can learn on it too.
3. What type of sail should I be looking at? I am biased towards Neil Pryde, since the combat wave I had in the 90s was absolutely awesome, I used it all the time because it gave me power at starting in all wind conditions, and I never felt overpowered like the Gaastra race sail I also had. Personally I like the look of the NP X:Ride but I really dont like the Orange/White colour combination, I'll hang out for 2020 model which is so much better looking (gotta look good right).
3. Where is the goto place to buy? SHQ online looks good, but I think it would be wise to make a trip to VIC to check out what you are buying right?
I am looking for a progressive system, something that is easy to ride but will challenge me to improve, and to have a lot of fun with.
All opinions welcome, I wont judge.
Repost your question in the General Windsurfing forum. There's a lot more people your weight that use freeride gear in this section (mostly east coast sailors) and you'll get some good advice. I'll see you around if you've sailing the northern beaches
I was a bit like you 6 years ago. After sailing in Adelaide in the late 80/90s, I had a break for 20 years and I am now back into windsurfing again. I know what you mean about the quality of gear that is available now - awesome but expensive!
For Adelaide conditions ie 12-22 knots, I would suggest two boards initially, 135/140 litres, with two sails - 8.6 and 9.4.
and a 112/115 litre with 7.2/7.8 sails. No cams or two/three cam sails are a good option. JP super sport or all ride type boards unless you want to get into slalom speed which is what I love doing. I sail a lot at Boggy lake and the Murray mouth btw but also at semaphore in the summer when there are nice seabreeze conditions and reasonably flat in 12/16 knots is great sailing.
Anyway, give me a call if you want on 0422803792 if you want to chat some more.
Wow I don't own a sail over 6.5 and I'm 88 kilos. Never have trouble getting going on 117 litre board.
but you're an advanced sailor JB. Beginners and return sailors need more horse power and float while they are getting their skills up.
Kyran, This is a Sema4Centric view (watching the signs that the seabreezes are coming....):
RE: Board - Start big but it gets quite choppy on the Gulf so for a smoother ride be prepared to switch down to a smaller board - maybe 40 to 20 L + body wt, as your skill level increases.
Consider sailing on a lake (Goolwa is excellent, West Lakes might play a role but gusty there) initially to get the benefit of flatter water whilst bringing the skill level back up.
For the big board (150L+) consider one with a retractable dagger board if you're planning to teach beginners and children - I've read it avoids them heading straight down wind, car trips to pick them up the other side of the lake, etc....
RE: Sails - a smaller sail on a bigger board is a good combination for learning.
Sema4 sailors generally rigging 4.5 - 6.0 for sea breezes.
RE: Supplier - I use and recommend Ocean Surf Co and SurfSailAustralia
RE: Brand - if you're stoked on a sick board+rig from your favourite brand I say go for it for the psychological advantage it gives you!
Happy safe windsurfing!
Boggy lake's alot better than Goolwa and more reliable in terms of how often the forecasted wind on the day actually blows. The runs are alot longer and you can touch the ground over a pretty large area.
Have a look, It's the area protected from lake Alexandrina. (little alcovey area) Also look at Mulgundawa on willy weather for the forecast.
As a person that has gone through (and still going through) a return, my suggestion is consider buying a bigger sail (approx 7.3 / 7.8 even an 8.5) - and sail in lighter winds (12-16 knots) earlier in the day. As the arvo breeze really picks up - conditions get very choppy - so the fun and relearning become harder anyway. (You might be able to hang onto a smaller sail and higher winds, but the sea state is pretty messy.)
Wide boards like the JP Magic Ride or Fanatic Gecko all claim to 'plane early' so with the right sail size you should be able to get them going nicely even with milder wind.
As your skills improve, you'll still be able to hold down the bigger sail in stronger winds.
Its also easier to find smaller sails second hand when you need one (locally), but harder to come across bigger No-cam (freeride) sails.
Depending on how old your kids are, and how serious they are about learning, perhaps something like a Starboard Go might be ok (full EVA top deck - soft for kids).
This is from another post - but handy contacts to have.
people who are based in Adelaide that you can talk to about new gear.
Ty Andrews from Ocean Surf Co - www.facebook.com/oceansurf.co/
(Lots of different brands)
Jack Fletcher from Fletcher Boardsports - www.facebook.com/fletcherboardsports/
Shane O'Callaghan from Binks Marine
PH: 08 8294 6211
Good luck and hopefully see you on the water soon.