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Setup for a beginner
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 766
Location: Seattle, Wa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Setup for a beginner Reply with quote

RSPvideo wrote:
First post! I'm hoping all you experienced people can share some good info!

I would like to get into windsurfing and am looking to purchase a used setup. I don't know anything about windsurfing, so all info is good!

Background info:
- I grew up surfing in New England
- I'm now land locked in Northern Vermont, close to Lake Champlain
- I have been sailing a 16' Hobie Cat for 4 summers, so I have a decent understanding of sailing small crafts
- I'm 5'10" 170 lbs
- Typical wind ranges from 5-20 knots
- Primary use will be on a lake with minimal (1-4') chop

What do I need for equipment? Board, mast, sail, harness? What specs should I be looking for? What other info should I provide?

Thanks for the help!

I totally agree with the advice given... especially the two posts by dOuglass and the links in his first post... well worth your time.

But I can also put a very positive spin on this, in your case (I've been windsurfing a long time and teaching it for almost as long).
Your initial post was very good with lots of great info !!
And you're the type that will probably learn windsurfing as fast as possible. None of this is "needed"... but these things will help you learn this challenging, but rewarding and fun sport.
You're athletic, you like being IN the water/ocean, you're already comfortable in wetsuits, you have some good sailing/wind knowledge, and you're not a heavy guy (weight is a big deal in windsurfing).
Also, you say you have good wind from 5-20 knots.

Maybe I missed it, but did you say that you just wanted to sail shortboards?
Anyway, many other people talked about beginner boards, etc.
The bottom line is what dOuglass said. It's about how much wind you have. Longboards aren't for beginners... they're for going fast in light winds. And at your weight and background, you could EASILY learn, on almost any longboard. The important part is good instruction, and in the correct conditions.
If you instead buy a very short and very wide beginner board... it's true, that you won't ever fall off it. But they're also not "that good" for sailing, after your first day. They're slow, very twitchy and you'll almost always end up downwind.
With "the right" longboard... at your weight and with good coaching you might fall off a couple times, but you'll learn some sailing skills, and you'll be going places quickly.
Last summer I taught a 48 year old mother, of two college kids, that does NOT have "your background"... who had never been on a windsurfer before... on this board -
... in a 5 mph breeze... and she fell off one time each, in the first 2 - 90 min lessons. And at the end, she sailed around, back and forth, tacked, and came back to the same spot, mutiple times.
(Yes, we used a light 4.5 M learning sail.)

Anyway, yes... if you only want to buy a shortboard... you probably won't ever do any windsurfing in the area that you described. If you moved to some warm, popular windsurfing place surrounded by instructors, you probably could. But to have fun learning windsurfing, in your situation, I'd say get a big board (much longer than wider) over 200 liters with a centerboard... and be friendly with others who will gladly offer help.
And there are some really good beginner vids on youtube (and lots of 'em that I think give bad advice)... that someone like you could learn and do well with.
Keep up the stoke,
Greg Smile
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Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1059
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

since RSPvideo is a little lighter {than I Smile }
and I have not tried this board - only heard about it ....
could he start with something like this ??
older board with centre board and NOT expensive
Bruno ships and goes south sometimes
NOT implying to buy it now
butt when the bug bites ....

YES, lessons and rental first
here in Montreal we have the APVM which is like a windsurf club and you can rent all kinds of equipment ...

welcome to the BEST watersport in the world
and be patient Smile
once you're in - you will be hooked 4 life
with a harness of course
{prepare your better half}

btw the Dufour was a joke and yet was used successfully on numerous occasions
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 766
Location: Seattle, Wa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Joe... that would be a fine board for the original poster. It'a a bit on the small side... but like I said, he's light and he's got some good background. So, especially with some good tips, he could learn on that board no problem.
That's the later version of the Mistral Malibu... it's a very fast board... and very all round good model. Those Mistrals were the highest quality boards. This is the later version with the "through the deck finbox"... all the components are top notch. There's nothing better today as far as components are concerned.

With this board, he could learn on it in light winds... with a few more falls than with a full sized longboard... but it would work. And, it will be a bit slower in light winds (under 10) because of it's lower volume.... although it will glide faster, than any short-wide board. But... it'll be as fast as a shortboard in 15/20 knots for his weight... which he said, his area gets.
If it is, as good as it looks, it's a steal (no damage or repairs).

I notice it doesn't have the original Mistral mastbase, for the adjustable mast-track. It has an after-market base instead. This won't be an issue for a newer sailor, cause they're not going to be adjusting the mast-track while sailing anyway. But I'd want to make sure that "this base" fits well and is solid and secure... and doesn't harm the mastrack. And I'd try to find an original Mistral base some day.
Greg -
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