Re: B&J boards

From: Ken Poulton (
Date: Tue Aug 18 1998 - 23:49:34 PDT

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Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 23:49:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ken Poulton <>
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Subject: Re:  B&J boards
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> I just demoed some gear in the Gorge, but conditions are very
> different here. So my question is, what do you look for in a board
> for Peninsula sailing?
> For instance, how small can you go and still be safe? Do many people
> take the risk of sailing a board they can't slog in, or is that
> foolish?
> How about board weight? I know light weight is very important for the
> course race crowd, but for recreational bump&jump, does it really
> matter very much? Why?
> What aspects of rocker, vee, outline, rails, etc make a good Bay
> board? I assume somewhere between a good wave board and a good slalom
> board. Are there unique design elements that make a good "bump&jump"
> board or is it just a compromise between wave & slalom?

In some ways, the Gorge is "cheating". The huge river current running
against the wind direction makes staying upwind easy (just drop in the water
for a while). The river's shape ensures that you are never more than
1/2 mile from shore, usually much less. To make up for it, the Gorge
has gustier winds than we usually get in the Bay.

For B&J in general, you need both speed (to make jumps work) and
maneuverability. For radical air (loops or other maneuvers while
airborn) you want light weight (=> epoxy), but for crusing, simple
jumping and especially, sailing in choppy conditions, a somewhat heavier
and less lively board (plastic or glass) is more comfortable (and
faster, according to one test). Either way, for big winds and swells,
smaller boards (say, 8'4-8'8 for a 5.0 sail) are easier to handle (and
more fun) as long as they stay planing.

For most sites in the Bay, we throw in the requirement that you make it
through 100 yards to a mile of lighter wind before reaching the target
sailing conditions. This argues for a larger board.

The last variable is sailor skill. I have found that as I got better, I
was able to sail smaller boards in light conditions, both in terms of
keeping on a plane and slogging.

So you have to experiment. I found that a Tiga 257 (8'5, 86 liters)
works well as my everyday board (3.5 to 6.0) despite being a knee-deep
sinker for my 190 pounds (200 pounds displacement vs ~240 pounds for me,
wetsuit, sail and board). I think this is because it planes much better
than you expect for those dimensions because it has relatively sharp
rails at the back (helps maintain planing) and is really wide - 23.5".
What I can't do well is slog it - if gets really light I'll be losing
ground, so I accept that if I have to slog back in a flood (a lot this
year) I'll come in downwind and have to do the Walk of Shame. I do pay
attention to the wind and try to avoid being on the far side of the
channel when it starts getting light.

Alas, Tiga no longer makes the 257 or anything like it. So read the
B&J magazine reviews, and *try* some boards before buying.

Ken Poulton

"Windsurfing makes skiing look like a ghetto sport."
                                        -- Moe Dixon

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