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Video - Longboards can still be exciting.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 2210
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Del and others interested in tuning the Kona One battens for different conditions, the essence is this, though true testing and tuning will give more value and suggest precise settings:

Lower three battens: same for all winds. Enough tension to cause the batten above the boom to "S" and then reduce to just remove the "S" when lying all else is tensioned properly and lying flat with starboard side to the sky.

Upper three: more tension for light winds, less for higher winds. In light stuff, progress evenly from the batten above the boom as you go up, just with less tension going to the top. Higher winds for planing, much less tension as you progress upward to encourage mid to upper leach twist.

From the DH tension normal for the Kona One (not normal for most RAF sails) do not increase DH tension to add stability when racing b/c your upwind angle will suffer. If you can plane all the way around the course, you might be able to add a bit of tension, but I've not found it necessary. You do need drive. Add outhaul tension to balance the sail, and USE ADJ. OUTHAUL on both sides!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"" I tackled it once (Bamba) on a strong wind day, with a 5.0 sail, and suffered some real pain! At the far end of the island I had to beat up against a white capping viscious tide race swelly chop and funelling near gale, while avoiding lurking bits of reef, while armstretchingly overpowered. Almost in tears. I'll tell ya! (Boring indeed, NOT!) ""

Geez, GURGLETROUSERS... "That" is a very exciting, demanding, challenging adventure you did... that takes a lot of skill and conditioning!!!

And yes, a raceboard (or KonaOne or similar) would be the best choice for a "rounding" like that. And like you say, the other difficult thing, is what sail do you use. Because you're going to encounter very different wind conditions, and you're going to be very far from your car on the other side of an island (it's not like you can head back to the beach, for a different sail).

We do an annual race here in Seattle every Oct, that is a rounding of Mercer Island. It takes anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. But it's not nearly as tough as you describe, because we're in a big lake (not the sea)... and we don't have to worry about reefs. The only difficult manuevering we do is sail UNDER 2 bridges which are NOT tall and wide. The passage is tight and you have to sail around (tacking and jibing) many huge concrete pillars (the water opening is kinda narrow).
Anyway, we typically have winds between 5 and 30 for this, mostly 15-25 stuff we hope.
There's only about 10-15 of us that do it... half on raceboards, half on formula.
It's quite an adventure... but really, we're never that far from safety. The rounding you describe is much more risky.

Yeah... there isn't a more versatile windsurfer design, with a huge and efficient wind range, than a hi-performance longboard.

But, no question... if you live somewhere with really consistent higher winds or waves... or you want to work on a certain "shortboard move" then, sure, you need the "right tool".
They're all awesome in the right conditions !!
Greg Smile
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Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 367
Location: Cedar Falls, IA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the Kona rigging information. The tension on my lower three battens has not been enough. Unfortunately, a sail that is over tensioned just enough to start the "S" and then has the tension loosened just enough to remove the "S" doesn't look much different from one that actually needs more tension. So when I've compared my sail to others or when other people have looked at it, the subtle and very important batten tension differences are hard to spot. And I compounded the problem with too much down haul.

I'll have a better season this year. To paraphrase DuPont's old slogan, "Better Sailing Through Better Rigging." I hope to see you at the Kona Worlds in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gregnw44 wrote:
Gurgle… thanks for the great comments.

In your earlier reply to this thread, you noted that…
In my video, I say that (at 200#)… I don’t have much time in the “back footstraps” of my raceboard. And you mention that you (at 180#) get to spend a decent amount of time in the straps of your KonaOne (a very good board that I like, by the way). There are several reasons for this (you touched on a couple).
The KonaOne is not (by definition) a “raceboard”. I mean, yes of course you can race them… you can race anything. And… the “One Design KonaOne race series” is one of the best things going in world-wide windsurfing now, for several years.
But the board design is more of a “fun-board” shape… and, it doesn’t have 2 sets of footstraps… or an adjustable mast-track. Leaving those things off… makes it a slightly lower performance board to sail… and saves: weight, complexity and COST.
The KonaOne’s design (except for it’s “step-tail”)… is very similar to my ’91 Bic Lambada in length, width, volume and over-all shape (no, not the same… just similar). F2, Fanatic and Mistral all made boards of this similar design as well.
Anyway, my Lambada ALSO HAS only one set of straps, like the Kona. And they’re mounted in approx. the middle (between) where the two sets of straps would go on a raceboard. The Kona’s one set of straps, is located in the same way.
So, the reasons that I don’t have as much time in the back straps of my raceboard, as you do on your Kona (in no particular order).
When… it’s moderate to high winds I usually sail one of my shortboards. I usually only sail my longboards/raceboards when it’s light to marginal winds. Since about the early 90’s, all raceboard’s have had 2 sets of straps: the forward upwind (or “beating”) straps… and the back “reaching straps”.
At my weight, if I’m using a BIG sail, I can get in the forward straps in marginal winds, quite a bit. But the reaching straps are so far back... that at my weight… I can never get in them, unless I’m going shortboard speeds (fast). But I almost never do this, because if it’s that windy… then, I sail one of my shortboards.
You… can get in the “one set of straps” that come on a Kona, because: they’re located much farther forward, and the board is wider there, and you’re lighter. In light to marginal winds, every 20 lbs between sailors is very important. Anyway, I can also get in the one set of straps in my Lambada, earlier than the back straps of my raceboard. Because they’re more forward (just like your Kona).. and the board is wider there (so it supports my weight at a lower speed).
So yes, because of the different design goals for those two hull designs… the straps on the Kona would be easier to get into, than the back straps on a raceboard.
BUT… you or I, can get into the front upwind straps on a raceboard, before we could get into the Kona straps… again, because of where they’re located.
Greg -

Your post seems to imply that a Kona could eventually have two set of straps, or at least have the back strap further back? I don't think it would work.

I mostly sail a Kona, I'm 210 lbs and learned to plane on it. For a while, I cursed the design and felt there was a need for straps further forward. I was planing in front of the straps most of the time. I was slow however, and this was caused by the board overall rocker. I was trying to keep the nose low, as on a raceboard. This would cause the hull area around the fin to be angled up, instead of down, slowing things down. When planing faster, I would even hear a suction noise... To fix this, I went on the straps and eventually learned to get in: faster to plane, more speed and without the suction noises.

Now if you look at the step tail and remove the extra upper tail, you will be left with a detuned 135ish slalom or freeride board with the fin in it's normal location. When on a plane, the extra tail area clearly doesn't touch the water.The back strap rear screw is more or less aligned with the fin edge. The board would be highly unstable on the plane if the straps were further back with respect to the fin.

I never sailed a raceboard, but I suspect I would need to get to the front straps to plane too, unless very well powered. This is not required on the Kona.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"" Your post seems to imply that a Kona could eventually have two set of straps, or at least have the back strap further back? ""

No, not at all.
Sorry if you got "that" impression somwhow, from my post.
What did I say, that made you think that?

Anyway, no... I did not mean to imply "that" at all. I think the KonaOne design is very good... and it has met it's design goals very well.
Greg Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe because of the comparison between the Kona and the Bic? I probably mis-read.

I am left with the impression than the Kona, compared to a old raceboard is:
-Much easier to use
-More rugged
-Better performance in rough water
-Somewhat faster while planing
-Somewhat earlier on the plane
-Slower in displacement mode
-Much slower going up-wind off the plane

Does this makes sense?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sailboarder. ...Using Kona and Bic turn about, the differences I find are;

The Kona is more FUN on the plane, in the straps, in roughish windy going, owing to its step tail and funboard biass. It compares well to mid sized 130/140 litre boards of all round type. The Bic raceboard is more of a handful the rougher and windier it gets, but no less fast.

Off the plane, the old raceboard is superior both in speed, and pointing with dagger hard down. It is also smoother and quiter (less wash and disturbance) with better light wind glide.

Durability seems O.K. on the Kona (mine is an 06 board) as it is on the far older Bic.

The Kona is a remarkable long funboard which can also be raced, as against the Bic (and others of that era) which are race boards on which you can also have a lot of fun. Either will get you to places short boards won't, in a wide range of wind strengths.

Of course we all like short boards, but why just limit our windsurfing to them?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"" Maybe because of the comparison between the Kona and the Bic? I probably mis-read. ""

Ok, I see. Yeah, probably just a mis-communication. Anyway, no, the Bic I was talking about didn't need 2 sets of straps either, just as the Kona doesn't.
The board in my video is a '93 (or '94) F2 Lightning raceboard, which is a different design goal.

FWIW - There is an official Raceboard class, always has been. It use to be very popular world wide. It's not so popular in the US anymore... but is still an active race class in other parts of the world. And that's why Starboard and Exocet have come out with new raceboards in the last several years. (People are buying them in other countries.)

The popular raceboards from the big 4 major players in the windsurfing industry of the 80's and 90's (Mistral, Fanatic, F2 and Bic)... were the Equipe, Mega-Cat, Lightning and Bamba. And there were many more very good boards, that were also in the raceboard class from AHD, Alpha, Sailboard, Hi-Fly and many others.
Although all these raceboards were different, built by different companies, constructed differently, with somewhat different specs and components (they were not a One Design class)... still, they did share some design similarities... and they fell within the raceboard class parameters.
The Kona One has it's own class. And in an official raceboard race, would not compete with new raceboards from Starboard or Exocet... or the old stand-bys.

As to your other impressions, comparing the Kona to raceboards? Yes, I guess some of those do make sense to me. But I won't comment on any specifics, cause I don't have enough personal experience comparing the two... that my opinion would carry much weight.
I've read some things... and heard others.. but I don't have any real life things to back it up.

Suffice to say.. there's no doubt that the Kona design is good and deserves to be as popular as it is.
In fact, with the typical wind that is normal in most populated places in the world where people usually live... boards like the Kona should be even more popular IMO.
Greg Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note - good reply from Gurgletrousers. But, so there's no confusion - he is talking about a Bic Bamba (which is a raceboard). And in the post that Sailboarder was asking me about, I was talking about the Bic Lambada, and I clearly say that, in the post.
Two very different longboards.
Just as a Kona One is a very different longboard than an old raceboard or a new one from Starboard or Exocet.

In the 80's and 90's there were 100's of different longboards. Many of them were similar in specs and components. but many were very different and performed very differently... or were designed to be used in certain conditions and not others.

Newer windsurfers, only active in the last 15 years... are aware of MANY different types of shortboards... but may not know that much about longboards. And therefore might lump them all together... like they're all the same. But, they aren't Smile

From 1980 to 1995 Mistral probably offered 15 (or more) different longboard for sale, each model year. They were all for different types of people, and for different conditions. Of course, there was some overlap between many of them.
Greg -
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse another longboard outburst but we are in a prolonged spell of Arctic temps. and snowfalls - fourth severe winter in succession, and now coldest for 50 years - and I'm angry!

We all have favourite boards, usually wave, B and J, or slalom, but to me it's conditions and a sense of purpose in getting somewhere in those conditions, that ultimately does more for a sense of wellbeing, than the 1,039th B and J or surfing session, which will have been little different from all the previous, or those still to come.

Longboards have been neglected for far too long because people don't quite know what to do with them. If they think they are only for light wind days they are surely missing the point!

Little compares on a sunny day with a steady force 3/4 ish, a smooth rolling swell, and a good old raceboard with a distant island to round and explore. It would take more self control than I possess to avoid a prolonged burst of the Pavarotti's on hitting that purposeful 'gallumphing' not quite planing close reach sweet spot of poetry in motion, while watching the island drawing ever closer. (Especially when all the sea life pop their heads up and tell me- that look- to knock off with the racket!) (The gulls just crap on me!)

Those are the memories to savour, but for many, windsurfing seems to have become more confined nowadays. Same old ins and outs grooveriding, with little variation. After all, most folk cycle but they don't just spend the day riding back and forth on some local road.

Longboards are perfect for GOING PLACES and exploring. Just be sure to carry split kayak paddles for plan B get you home safely, in case of problems.
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