Translator from GOOGLE

"Free" Shortboards 117 to 170 liters

This seems to cover MOST of the boards used by average joes like myself. How does one differeniate amongst the different types and choose a board for one's skills, area, etc ...

Formula boards are 100 cm wide and do up and down wind runs
FreeFormula are typically 85 to 95 cm wide and less up and down wind oriented.

Before we continue … what about Fanatic Viper 85 ?
Firstly it has a centreboard and is labeled a “Funboard”
This means for me a beginner FreeRide board, but may be classed as a longboard due to daggerboard.
OK, what about Tinho Dornellas’ Z2 custom board ?
Can call it a freeride since it is “only” 84 cm wide:-)
Freestyle, wave and bump n jump are typically less than 117 liters …

The reason I started this discussion actually is the same subject as at this link: freeride vs. freerace vs. slalom:

The interesting thing to me is: the categories seem to be based on performance – in the same order listed – namely freeride, then freerace and finally slalom.
The freeride is considered the less “technically demanding”. However, in the article they state that with today’s boards, an advanced or intermediate rider can ride any and all of these boards. The riders may not be able to get every last knot of speed out of the boards, but the boards have all become more user-friendly …

Some examples:

Freeride: Tabou Rocket, Mistral Screamer, SB Carve, AHD FF, Fanatic Shark/Hawk, RRD Fire Ride/Storm, JP X-Cite Ride,8098.html
Freerace: Fanatic Ray,  JP Supersport, SB Futura,  AHD Freerace, RRD Fire Race

seabreeze advert

Slalom: Exocet Warp, Mistral SL, SB iSonic, AHD SL, Fanatic Slalom, RRD X-Fire,   JP Slalom
FreeFormula: BIC Techno Formula, SB Ultrasonic, JP SuperLightWind

This is my BIC Techno Formula - NOT made any more

Formula: Starboard, JP, Exocet

Funboards:  NOT to say the previous categories are not fun – this is a beginner type category that often performs just fine …

pic from Fanatic

Where the line becomes difficult to draw – for me – is the freeride, freerace and slalom categories. People say “it all comes down to speed and performance”. Top speed, acceleration, and early planing ALL come into play and have different weights depending on the race being held. Obviously sailor skills are a given !! Some experts can ride anything anywhere !!!

How can I categorize these boards by just looking at them  ?? carefully analyzing – I imagine .. Let’s see if I can find some technical details …

In these articles they speak about vee, tuck and rails. The slalom boards are meant for speed at the PWA and are aimed at guys over 100 kilos that are solid muscle. The boards are light, stiff, fragile and “difficult” to jibe/gybe. They are not really made for mere mortals like us. The freerace on the other hand are just a little less fragile and yet are based on these speed machines. Some say freerace is toned down slalom for the mortals that are not necessarily racing professionally !! Also, slalom boards are designed with race sails in mind. The freerace on the other hand work well with freerace or even good RAF sails…again – more forgiving …

Here is a small table i filled to try and differentiate between the types:

Fast Faster Fastest
Expensive More expensive Most expensive
Somewhat fragile More fragile FRAGILE
Most user friendly Require some skills NEED skills to get most out of the board
Almost any sails Freerace sails Race sails
Not too stiff a ride Stiffer ride STIFF ride

And THEN just as I think I am getting the hang of all these terms … RRD came out with a board called the FireMove which is now classed as a FreeMove. The 140 liter model is 90 cm wide and 238 cm long. Now this sounds like a smaller FreeFormula to me :-)  Butt it is NOT. It has a much smaller tail and flat bottom to make it almost slalom like with a VEE to help in chop …What are newbies gonna think now ? Sounds like windsurfing is FREE :-) People are saying freemove is a faster, earlier planing Bump&Jump/FreeStyle-Wave board. The following is a pic of the FreeMove from the RRD site. So, how do i know it is a freemove ? by vee, tuck n rail ? {no not f'n rail :-) } Even liters seem to be less of an indicator. RRD and Dave White are saying this board is as 8 to 9 liters more than indicated ...SB used to be less than indicated ...

In 2013 Fanatic released the Gecko which is to compete with the RRD FireMove. The  135 liter version is 83 cm wide and is to support sails of 7-oh to 10-oh with a 46 cm fin. I use a 48 cm for sails of about 8.5 on a 160 liter freeride board.  So, this board works like a much larger board. One comment i read somewhere made me laugh. Person stated the wider board may feel larger, butt a 105 liter sinker will still be a sinker :-)

This FreeMove thingie seems to be catching on ... I did a verification in 2014 to see who else is getting on the "band wagon". Now they are saying the following boards are in this group as well: Mistral Synchro, Exocet Xcross, Simmer Freemove {never saw a Simmer BOARD} and Lorch Glider {never saw a Lorch, but have heard of this as a board brand out of Europe - especially longboards} + F2 XTC ?? {thought they were gone or purchased ??} Actually F2 XTC was from around 2008 !! And so , this freemove thingie is NOT so new - after all. This report from 2008 discusses the free boards and mentions the move back then already -->

The local windsurf shop called auventfou {translated means in crazy winds} has summarized these categories in their recent local circular using maneuverability versus speed with movement on the left and race on the right.

maneuverability                                                                                                speed           

Here is the Wind Junkie/Spennie take on these "free" boards :-)  No sale here !!

some more links ...

"The Race gear is exactly what it says on the tin. Fast and scary! You need to be good to get the best from this gear; otherwise you are going to have a seriously bad time on it. But if you are good enough and want to be fast, why would you settle for anything less?

And before I leave it at that, how about this for a thought… why not put the Freerace rig with all the benefits of stability, speed and extra glide through the lulls onto the Freeride board, with its control, comfort and fun factor? Well, we did and to be honest, it was arguably the best and most all-round setup of them all!"

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