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 Post subject: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Location: Maui
There has been a lot of discussions as to putting limits on the raceboards.
I really feel that it should be done immediately to prevent the problems that windsurfing had 10 or 15 years ago when we board builders (me included) started an "ARMS RACE" of trying to make wider and wider boards. This eventually stopped many people from getting into racing because they had to buy a new board and fin every month to keep up with the newest developments. Finally a restriction was put into place at 100 cm, but it was a little too late to keep the masses interested in racing and windsurfing in general. Have you seen how big and ugly these boards are and then try to check one in at the airport or put it on your car roof top?
There are also concerns of shipping these wide boards as checkin luggage or on FED EX, etc. I think the widest boards that FED EX takes in the US (domestic shipping) is 70 CM. They will not take the 85 wide windsurf slalom boards. As for international, each country has different limits with Fed Ex, UPS, TNT, etc..
I think a 70 cm limit would be very wise to implement now to keep the masses interested in the sport. Then you could race with just one or two boards in both extremely light winds or higher winds. Bruno has been winning the PKRA event in St Peter-Ording, Germany this week with a 59 wide for instance in very light wind races.
We board builders can always make a wider board that might perform at little better in the really light conditions but you risk killing the number of people that might be interested in the sport! Do you want just 15 fortunate elite sponsored people racing or tons of people getting involved. The Olympic Committee is probably very interested in where the IKA goes with this too.
Remember that wider boards mean bigger fins and so on and so on. The fins are $200 each. This is what I mean by an Arms Race...
We should really learn from the mistakes that were made in windsurfing and put limits now before it is too late! We have a good thing going here and ought to protect it...NOW!
AA


Last edited by alex a on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:29 pm 
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I agree, and I think riders think so too...at least the ones I spoke to.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:31 pm 
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If there is one change that should be made in Racing it's that races should not be cancelled if the wind drops. The race should continue till the last one is standing. This would lead to the development of better light wind kites by more manufacturers instread of the current low wind marketing bullshit comming from the majority of manufacturers.
Maybe that is the real problem... the majority of the sponsors of the race teams don't want to be seen in bad light when the wind drops.

Also I think there should be no limit on board size. Putting a limit on board size favors small riders and this is discriminatory.

Unlike racing big sailboats with kiting the gear should be alowed to scale with the rider.
Limit the board size and you will limit the size of riders...... and you will limit the participants.

Already it is hard to find some gear for large riders. Luckily there is the surfboard industry for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Toby wrote:
I agree, and I think riders think so too...at least the ones I spoke to.


How heavy were the ones you spoke to?

How heavy is Bruno?


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:44 pm 
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Bruno weighs around 80-82 kgs I think.
If you are heavy, then you can get a thicker board and still stay at a max width limit. What ever the max is, a lighter person will get this board anyway if he is one of the "elite sponsored guys".
The main idea is to keep the masses interested and not cater to a few.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:50 pm 
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I agree with Alex. The new board I am making is 75cm wide, or 75% of current windsurf limit. If we can limit the width and length bit, then we can concentrate on better shapes and fin configurations, but leave the volume alone to better help with different weight riders. One thing we do have to be careful of though is how much is limited. I say keep it simple. Fins and volume should always be kept open. The only limit there would be to clearly label what is a hydra-foil and what is a fin.

Garry
www.kiteracing.com


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:59 pm 
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The wides boards I have made are 60 cm. This is plenty wide when paired with the right fins, at the right angles.

What is most important here is to keep the "alienation" factor to a minimum. With the racing discipline gaining traction, we have to keep the fun in there!

At the Naish Maui Race Series, I heard repeatedly that riders were stoked to compete in the surfboard and twin tip fleets. Even the Elite racers like Alex A, Patri, and both Richmans were stoked to do all the fleets (and of course do them well...). No arms race necessary! What was also great is the involvement and stoke of the real core surf and wake guys.

Like Alex said, lets keep an eye on keeping people involved and stoked!

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:25 pm 
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Are smaller riders not at a disadvantage in most races?

In windsurfing, almost all the successful racers are big. They used a 2 board 4 sail limit on gear, which had to be declared in advance of the event.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:52 pm 
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alex a wrote:
Bruno weighs around 80-82 kgs I think.
If you are heavy, then you can get a thicker board and still stay at a max width limit. What ever the max is, a lighter person will get this board anyway if he is one of the "elite sponsored guys".
The main idea is to keep the masses interested and not cater to a few.


Volume?????

How is a thicker board going to compete? It's planning surface that gets you on the plane.
Volume adds displacement... displacement means shoving water out of the way.

I'm suprized that a board maker would write the above.

I really don't see how bigger boards are an arms race.

The sport is VERY young and it's rediculouse to pose limitation to designs. It would just create a status quo and keep bigger atheletes out of the sport.

I think this limitation is more about board makers wanting to keep things limited in size so as to facilitate shipping to customers and hence profit. Nothing wrong with that if you are honest about it.

One thing that is rahter alarming is that we are seeing some race board style boards apearing at very buisy spots and with very long and sharp fins. This could lead to some serious injury.
Nothing wrong with the idea of big fins, but it seems to me that if any consideration is to be given to safety I thing fin "kill factor" amybe should be considered.

The other day I saw a guy with a race board going through an area with swimmers. The board had 4 fins that were razor sharpe. The rider got all pissed off when someone called him out on that.


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 Post subject: Re: Yes, Put limits on width of Raceboards ASAP!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:58 pm 
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ronnie wrote:
Are smaller riders not at a disadvantage in most races?

In windsurfing, almost all the successful racers are big. They used a 2 board 4 sail limit on gear, which had to be declared in advance of the event.


Yup, but boards can be upto 1m wide.

Also what are the wind speed ranges of windsurfing races?

Kites can handle much lower winds so kiteracing should go to lower wind ranges.


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