Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Old Formula Windsurf Board, Again

This is my new old windsurf board. It's an Exocet Turbo Formula II from (I think) 2004. It's 230 cm long x 100 cm wide, with a 70 cm fin.

It is a grand irony that this is the exact model of formula board I had FOUR boards ago when I lived in Fort Pierce. I sold it then because I was too busy playing with other water toys (like kiteboards) to use it. Then I moved to Massachusetts and shifted to more wavesailing and paddlesurfing gear, simplifying thing by selling all my kiteboarding gear. I didn't miss the formula board much until I moved south again, to the Florida Gulf Coast, where the wind was light and there were no waves. I grabbed the first cheap formula board I could find, a very old (85 cm wide) Starboard. Soon I decided I didn't like that one, and I traded it for an 87 cm wide Bic fv1.2 that was almost as old. But the Bic was just a stopgap measure, because I REALLY wanted a full-fledged 100 cm width board that could hold an 11.0 m^2 sail and plane super early.

In the pursuit of cheapness I got a home-built "Don's Lab" formula board. It was 100 cm wide and had some other good characteristics. I enjoyed fiddling with it, but ultimately decided it was a white elephant. The feel of it didn't suit me, and it wasn't quite as lively and early planing as I'd hoped. So I sold it with no replacement lined up. Standup paddleboard racing kept me busy enough that I could bide my time in light winds, waiting for the ideal, good-enough-but-also-cheap-enough formula board to float in front of my nose. I passed up some that were too expensive, or where the seller was too far away, then finally found my perfect board, again, in Fort Lauderdale.

I used it for the first time today, with an 11.0 sail in iffy 10-knot winds. Even when it didn't seem like there was enough wind to plane, the board LEAPED up and ZOOMED, with just a little pump of the sail. It was fast, and frisky, and well-behaved, and I rode it all up and down the shore from Bonita Beach to Wiggins Pass and Back. YESSSSS!


joe windsurfer said...

ok james - we want videos :-)
was ll that chatter on iwindsurf an influence on goin back to Formula ?? :-)

Bryn Kaufman said...

Just curious, what was the maximum gusts during this session? I am trying to understand just how low a board can plane in.

Sounds like you had a great time!!!

I am planing maybe with just slightly more on average with my Kona CarbOne and Ezzy Zephyr 7.5 sail. I weigh 165lbs. Always thinking about how I could get going with even lighter wind and a larger sail is one option. The Zephyr has the boom length of an 8.5 and supposedly pulls like one.

James Douglass said...

Joe- I'll get some video next session. Hopefully that won't be too long from now- Only single digit winds on the horizon for the next week.

Bryn- The maximum gusts were more than 10, but not much over 12 knots. The board really had no trouble planing in 10 knots. I think I'd be overpowered on the 11.0 sail if it got to 15 knots. The wide formula board with a double-digit sized sail and 70 cm fin planes dramatically earlier than a Kona or freeride gear. With the 11.0 planing in 8 or 9 knots is probably not unrealistic.

joe windsurfer said...

holy crap - planing in 10 knots, ok ,you are a bit lighter than me, but still
this is my Mistral Equipe II XR carbon in about 10 knots with a 10 m² race sail !!

James Douglass said...

Hi Joe- Yes, it's definitely possible to plane in 10 knots with the right board and rig. Thanks for sharing your video. In those conditions do you ever try putting the mast track forward and the daggerboard all the way down? That should allow the board to "rail" and let you get your feet in the railing straps on the side, and it will be a lot faster. My general rule with longboards is you should either have the daggerboard all the way down and the mast track forward, or all the way up and the mast track back.

joe windsurfer said...

As you saw,I had track in the middle - first attempt with that sail/board combo. Have not tried much adjustment on the fly with this board yet. Mast forward and dagger down is also more upwind for me. However, you are now the 2nd person suggesting railing with that setup for speed in light wind. Will give it a shot. thanks