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Longboard Sail(s) in North America

In 2014  - I have been short boarding for about 5 to 6 years.

Just the same, for the last few years, my longboard(s) have STILL always been my MOST USED board(s). In 2013 about 65% of my 70 outings were on a longboard. That is a very high ratio, considering that i use four(4) boards...(longboards, Free Formula, large freeride and smaller freeride)

My longboards are a BIC Dufour Wing (up at the in-law’s chalet),
{don't worry - that WAS the original sail that is NOT used any more !!}

Fanatic Ultra CAT (under repair after a catapult)

and a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR (purchased in 2013).

I once had a BIC Samba, but that has been dead n buried for some time now.

On these boards I have used various sails with some success ie worked okay. Can't really say any were ideal ...

My favourite range of sails is in the 8.x size, both longboard and freeride. That is due to my 100 kilo carcass and typically lighter winds in the area – under 18 knots.

On the longboards I have tried MauiSails Pursuit 8.5 (no cambers), MS-2 8.0 (rest cambered), TR-6 8.4 and TR4 10.0. Probably my favourite was the MS-2 8.0 with the cambers removed. I typically put less downhaul in order to have a tight leech.

And so, obviously for a longboard sail, a tight leech is of the order(is it leech or leach ? :-), also locked in shape, large range and probably UV durability. Some say the boom needs to be moderately longer - is this what they call high aspect ?? These boards and sails go out in a large range of wind speeds - people go out in 5 knots to over 25. For the board to do that is one thing, but for a sail !!!!

For the tighter leech, I have used old Dacron sails from over ten(10) years ago and also put less downhaul on the more "modern" sails. In some cases this seems to have caused broken battens , which is NOT ideal and a PITA.

For the locked in shape, cambers seemed to help a lot. However, since I often rigged for tight leech, battens were broken here too...

For the large range, one needs at least an adjustable outhaul with a sail that gives a big range and some people use adjustable downhaul. Some say the sail needs to be a little "soft" in order for it to handle big winds AND light winds...

UV durability and durability in general would be nice since these sails will be on the beach and in the water for many more hours than the high wind sails in your quiver. For this, dacron seems the way to go. Older sails had dacron and HotSailsMaui/HSM has sails made of this material. More on brands coming up.

As stated,  I have used older dacron sails with success. They must have full battens and some of mine even had cambers. Those cambers are NOT nearly as good as those of today. They often come off, do not rotate, etc. I rig them on epoxy masts, which are way out of date. You get the picture - not ideal and good luck trying to replace. And those sails were never larger than 7 square meters.

Which brings us to the present. Now I am looking for a GOOD modern longboard sail. I have asked Barry Spanier of Maui Sails if they have any intentions of making longboard sails - which would also be good for ice sailboard sailing !!  Companies like Maui Sails and Fanatic do not aim their products at a small niche of the windsurf world, which is already small and perhaps dwindling due to kites, SUPs , etc...

Since it is a small niche and specialized, these sails may be expensive and not easily accessible !!!

In terms of sail sizes for events, 9.5 seems to be the max for men and 8.5 for women and youth.

So, who currently HAS such sails ??

Here is a listing from the UK where longboard racing is still popular:
Some have cambers and some do not ...

KONA is getting ever popular and there are now KONA sails - They have added dacron only in high stress areas and go from 3.5 for a 30kg sailor to 9.8m2 for a heavy-weight sailor over 100 kilos. These sails have no cambers, but hold shape with their battens. Since the KONA is well known and international, these sails can be found. In terms of mast bend, no idea?? Believe people buy the rig kit to ensure mast compatibility.

There is also the BIC OD/One Design, but i am not too sure about that one ...
Have not heard or read much about it ...

Lefebvre – Germany – never seen nor heard of them before

Demon – UK – very $$ and very durable - never seen nor heard of them before

Demon Sail

Tushingham XR Race – England and never seen here before


Severne Race 8.5 and 9.5 - not in stock locally - 3 cambers - 4 wheel pulley

Starboard Phantom Race 9.5 - 2009/2010 only ?? 4 cambers - 4 wheel pulley- thought Remi Villa worked with Severne ??

Ezzy Zephyr - only 7.5 ?? not available locally

Aerotech Zenith – some say it is the predecessor to the KONA sail (6 battens and no cambers 7.4 and 9.0).  Dagger has 4 cambers and available in 8.5 and 9.5. Available from 30noeuds ??

Aerotech Dagger
NP RS:X - Olympic sail running off the hybrid board. Have not seen any locally ...

HotSailsMaui/HSM: Geoff has tried to convince me that I should try a dacron Hot Sails Maui SuperFreak/SF or SpeedFreak. If the PowerEx 460 RDM mast would have been better suited to an HSM SF Ultralight/UL, I would already have arranged to take a 7.0 square meter SF-UL off Geoff's hands. As I am a strong believer in mast/sail compatibility .... I will purchase the appropriate mast and HSM sail.

HSM SpeedFreak

Before I make a purchase - this year or next - no rush, i would need some advise.... It seems you run HSM sails off RDM - even in the over 8.x sizes ...Like the 8.1 I was looking at with the 490 mast.
I am more used to using standard diameter / SDM masts in the larger sails ...
Especially as a heavyweight of over 100 kilos.

For now , it is wait n see - will use my MauiSails TR-6 8.4 sail...

Disclaimer: I took the images from the suppliers wherever possible. If any were not and it offends someone - my apologies - you post it on the WWW and it is NOT private = sorry...

In this discussion, which I found later , they recommend the Sailworks Retro - mostly due to range with adjustment to sail...

Conclusion:  for me this year - 2014
Start with the TR-6 8.4 - as discussed + tape up the MS-2 8-oh (NO extra cost).
Look at HSM Speed Demon at 30noeuds - about $400 - with RDM mast.
Try mounting SW Retro 8-oh on my MS 490/75 $770 +TX.
What about Ezzy Cheetah 8.0 - mounts on PX/100 RDM $735 +TX.
Determine cost of 2012/2013 MS Pursuit 8-oh - still goes on the MS 490/75. $750 + TX

The cheapest solution is stay with what i have - obviously.
After that RDM $400 to $735+TX.
Most expensive $770 + TX.
Which would be the BEST solution regardless of cost ?? THAT is the question !!

If you're gonna do it, do it right !! I have sent requests to Demon and Lefebvre in Europe !!!

Update - still 2014: the HSM SpeedDemon was too much monofilm with some nicks and so, no go. I am NOT a fan of RDM in over 7-oh and so, was not going to purchase HSM. However, Geoff offered me his HSM SpeedFreak/SPF with a NP SDM 490/100 mast. It is NOT a perfect longboard since it lacks some grunt. What I do now is bring both the TR-6 8.4 and HSM SPF 8.5 and choose when on site. Here is a pic of my new toy...

Update2: The above HSM SPF8.5 has a PVC window which MAY have issues in the winter ie cold, ice n snow. And so, I purchased a used 2007 SW Retro 8-oh for the winter and if it is still alive next spring... it will be tested on the longboard and shortboards...

Yes, I DO have three(3) 8.x windsurf sails. It is my MOST used size and each sail is meant for different purposes. In the winter the Retro will NOT be the most used sail, but I am testing a new sled for the snow and would HATE to miss sessions due to lack of sails... Here is my longboard sled for the snow :-)


  1. Nice post! I remember seeing some older dacron Lefevbre sails in a stash that had been donated to my graduate school's windsurfing club in Virginia. The 7.5 was really powerful for its size but not too stable. There was also a huge watermelon-colored (pink and green) 10.0 or 11.0 with a very long luff length. I remember trying to rig it on my 550 formula mast but the modern mast was too stiff or something and I don't think I ever sailed it. I'll be interested in your thoughts if you get one of the modern Lefevbre or Demon sails.

  2. The Kona sails will rig on constant curve masts. The rule requires 75% carbon or less. At the Worlds, the Kona mast is required, but I guess most people will use rented kits anyway.


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