Saturday, March 01, 2008

Goya 90l custom wave series review

As mentioned in earlier posts, I recently had some awesome light wind wave riding sessions.
This was also due to some pretty damn good pieces of gear I put my hands on. Specifically:
- a great board
- a great fin
- a great sail.

Today's review is about the board. The reviews of the other two components will follow soon... stay tuned.

I my search for the holy grail of light wind wave sailing, I've been testing a bunch of big wave boards lately. Finally I put my hands on something that got me stoked from the very first wave. The reason is that in this case I didn't have to adapt my style to the fact that it was a BIG wave board...
In fact, I ride it the same way I ride my smaller boards and that's something remarkable, considering that I can easily uphaul (both feet at the water level... my weight is 70kg/154 pounds), float through the lulls and yet rip on the wave.

This video has been shot in very, very light wind conditions. The board is so floaty for my weight that I didn't even need to rig my biggest wave sail: a 5.5... the advantage of having a lighter 5.0 with a shorter boom was huge.

Have a look, because I believe that the enthusiasm that you can feel in my live comment is more explicit than a thousand words...

Here's the board.

By the way, I have now enabled the comments again, but with my moderation. That means that the comments won't appear directly, but I will have to approve them.
I need to test this system, so I encourage you guys to post comments and let me know what you think and if you have specific questions about the board.



fswp said...

you're life comments are GREAT, haha lache

Anonymous said...

It's great that you are exploring the light wind aspect of wave sailing! That is something a lot of us US east coast guys have done for a long time out of necessity (most our sailing crew are in the 200lb (88-90kg) range). We get a lot of onshore stuff so most of us ride a 105L big wave board, with 5.8/6.3 sails for the light stuff. (For me it's all Super Freaks!!!!)

A lot our crew ride the Exocet 105 Exo Wave (now X-Wave)for our light air wave boards, since they were one of the earlier companies providing wave boards in that range. Plus they fit our onshore conditions. I was glad to see other companies finally start to take notice of the light wind wave board market! This will provide more choices in the future.

Some of the crew found the older Naish Floater wave boards were perfect for the light wind stuff. You can't pry their hands off them as the used market is dried up.

Looking forward to the KP fin review!


Anonymous said...

fantastic! ... if this board make you so happy...i want to be happy like you ... so I'll buy this board soon! just a little problem .. I live in a big were can I use this board that can make me so happy! mmmhh ... i do not have the answer yet...but one day...! ciao grande Giampaolo!!

cammar said...

fswp, thanks.

brianm, the lack of good big wave boards on the market has always shocked me.
Somehow the industry chose to damage itself by giving the message that serious wave riding can happen only when it's blowing 20+ knots...

As I said already, I'd take light wind wavesailing over strong wind wave sailing all the times... because the waves are smoother!
Ask Keith Taboul, he'll give you the same answer. Any windsurfer that also surfs will agree.

90l for my weight is pretty big. But when it's really, really light, I still need to jump on my 12.2 longboard.
105, uh? Great! And why not 120 or 140?!
At the SUP boards showcase I attended lately, there were some board with volume indications (finally!!!!). I think the smallest was 106 or something... that means that all the others were bigger, right?
And those were surfboards. Solely made with the purpose of riding waves!
Anyone out there that still believes that there can't be wave boards bigger than 80l?
I need to talk to Francisco and convince him to start building bigger ones...

KP fin review coming up. In the meantime, enjoy the video... I was using a 23cm (9") one in it.

Anon, get out of the big city first... ciao.

Anonymous said...

Great blog you have here! Have you looked at the Kona windsurfing ( board range for light wind wave sailing? It's more of a long board style, but that seems to be coming back, and they can also be used as SUP boards. I am looking at getting one. They seem really versatile.

cammar said...

AndrewC, welcome on my blog. You must be new, otherwise you would know that I'm a lot in longboard sailing.

Let me brag and make a little history.
Back in 1996 Jeff Henderson started the whole return of the longboards by deciding to put a mast track in a tandem board that he and his wife were getting shaped.
He re-discovered how much fun it was to sail in light wind and specially to ride waves in light wind!
He spread the word as much as he could. Here's Jeff in a video I shot of him lately.
In december 2003, after having spoken with Jeff (and seen him ripping) I ordered a custom 12.6 from local shaper Jeff Timpone, mostly for wave sailing in light wind.
Here's a photo taken during the 2004 Aloha Classic which I entered on that board.
And here's a photo taken on February 2006 that ended up on double page on Windsurfing of June 06.
In the meantime, I saw Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and Loch Eggers doing the standup thing and I ordered a paddle from local artisan Malama, hence becoming standup paddle surfer number four on Maui.
But it was only thanks to the advent of the SUP boards lately that the sailing longboards finally came back on the world's beaches.

OK, thanks for allowing me.
Now back to your comment. Yes, they are very versatile boards. Can't comment on the Kona boards (not many in Maui), but I lately tried the 10.6 Naish and liked it a lot. Not a beginner SUP board, though. Plenty good boards in the Starboard family too. Lots of good info in the longboard sailing section of the Hot Sails Maui forum.
Get one, you won't regret...

Be aware that the kind of sailing you do on a a big wave windsurf board (like the Goya) is completely different from the sailing you do on a Standup board with mast track. I like and do both and choose which one to do in a particular day based on wind and wave conditions and on my mood.

Ok, one more last thing. Today I had my first real session on a Starboard Serenity (completely different beast, light wind sailing on flat water only, no waves, no standup). In addition to the tens of whales (it's calves' jumping training time) I met a bunch of 6-7 huge manta rays swimming right under my board. Something I will never forget. Svein, thanks for that.

Northy said...

Hi Giampaolo!

Theres quite a bit of debate in the UK now on lightwind sailing - and taking advantage of nice pealing waves in low it SUP, or a Kona type board or indeed a large scaled up version of a wave board of freeride board.

You say in the blog that "Be aware that the kind of sailing you do on a a big wave windsurf board (like the Goya) is completely different from the sailing you do on a Standup board with mast track"

Can you elaborate on this - ie what do you think are conditions (wind speed, wave height) better suited to a longboard or SUP + Sail over a scaled up waveboard eg Evo 100?

Also, can you comment on what SUPs perform well in a dual role as paddlers and light wind wave sailing eg from Starboard, which models seem to work well with sails?

Thanks a lot - i really love your blog - so much fun and enthusiasm! But reading it from a cold, wet UK can make me feel too jealous! More pictures of grey skies please ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Giampaolo!

So for light wind wave mailing you mean that there is no wind enough for planning on your way out?
You say that you didn’t rig your biggest wave sail (5.5), that does mean that you are not even trying to plane and you are slogging on you way out and surfing on the way in?
I sail in a wave-less place (Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina) but I travel to the ocean one or two times a year and I’m interested in this light wind wave sailing.
I have a Goya FXR 105, do you think it would be a good board for me at 85kg?

Thanks and best regards

cammar said...

Hi Northy,

thanks for the blog appreciation, but don't ask too much... grey skies photos are hard to take here! ;-)

If the wind is steadily less than 10 knots (yes, you can wavesail in less than 10 knots and it's a hell lot of fun, seen the smoothness of the waves) no doubt: SUP with sail will be the choice, no matter what the size of the waves is.
I've wave sailed in mast and a half waves with a longboard, but it's "comfortable" up to mast high.
In general, for a given wind speed, longboards can handle bigger waves thanks to the bigger volume and stability. It's relatively easy to go over a head high wall of white water on a longboard... as long as it' moving forward. Step all the way back and jump back in the middle right after...

Longboards don't like chop, so if the wind is gusty or up and down or if it's light on the inside and stronger on the outside (at the end of the video of this post you can see Glenn backlooping... that means he got a strong gust and that's why I wasn't out on a longboard), then you want to use your big "traditional" wave board.

Those are the wind conditions guidelines (that work for me).
On top of that, it's my mood.
If I feel like sailing aggressive, sharper turns, hitting lips, doing floaters and stuff, then a strapped windsurf board with sharp rails is the call.
For me, longboard wavesailing is rather about style and feel than radical turns.

Another big difference is the non wave sailing part of the session (probably 98% of the time of a session). With a big wave windsurf board in light wind, you slog. Nothing wrong with that, as long as that 2% of wave riding is worth it!
With a longboard, instead, as long as it's longer that 11 feet, you glide. Gliding is a great feeling, way better than slogging.
See what I mean? With a longboard you enjoy more also that 98% of the time you're not on a wave.
You sail upwind way faster than a slogging windsurf board and you catch way more waves. But what you do on them is way less radical.

Everything I wrote is true in side shore wind conditions and long period swells breaking on reefs(which is what we almost always have here... sorry again!). I can't comment for other wind directions or wave conditions.

I wish I had tried the naish 10.6 for sailing, but I haven't yet, so I can't tell.

The Starboard that I know better is the 12.2 (because I own one). It's a fantastic board for wave sailing. Too bad Svein decided not to make it anymore because it didn't have a big sale success. In fact it's not an easy SUP board at all, being only about 27 inches wide (can't even remember exactly now...). So, unless you're a really light weight or advanced SUP surfer, it's a difficult SUP surfing board.
Don't know much about the sailing ability of the new Starboards (would love to try them out!).

I hope what I wrote helps whoever already has both kind of boards in choosing the right one for a specific session.

If instead you're trying to choose which kind to buy, seen the huge differences in feel and versatility of use, my suggestion is: buy both!

Hope this helps!

Oh, one more thing. Use whatever you like on your windsurf board, but if you go wavesailing on a lonbgboard in light wind, do yourself a favor... get a Superfreak!
The quiteness, smoothness and softness of it a THE perfect match for that kind of sailing.
I sailed a longboard once with a monofilm sail I almost puked out at sea...

In light wind you transition the sail a lot from full frontwind profile to flat or even to full backwind profile.
On a regular sail that means to be yanked around with loud "BANGS" (the battens).
On a superfreak it's like being rocked in your birth cradle...

Hola Luciano,
yes absolutely, we call it slog and surf. Slogging means slowly sailing without planing.
I personally think that planing on a windsurf board is way overrated.
I mean, I'm a spoiled bastard that lives in a place with consistent waves, so I really don't care about planing, as long as I can ride waves.
But it's also your preferences. There's sailors in Maui that ONLY slalom sail...

I don't know that board, but 105l at 85kg sounds like you should be able to sail it in light winds...
Well, since own one... maybe you should tell us if it's good for you! ;-)
Hasta luego.

Anonymous said...

cammar, thanks for the post and the video. as i originally wondered, can you extrapolate anything about your light wind test to the use of this board by me at 95kg, where the 5.0 freak will be about 20knots, and in the middle of hoped for use of 5.5,5.0 and 4.5? The narrowness appeals for highwind control, but still with enough float in the impact zone to get out. Paul

cammar said...

Paul, that's a bit hard for me, since I'm 70kg.
I had 10 minutes in a session in which the wind got stronger and I was slightly overpowered on a 5.0
Even though it was a bit uncomfortable, it wasn't as bad as I expected. Didn't sail like that for too long, since I had a smaller board in the car, so why bother... I just switched board.
But my previous experiences with big boards in high wind were definitely worse.

The other thing I can add is that my friend Ulli had a go on a superlight wind day (I think it was the day of the video). He's 190 (86kg) and the light wind and my 5.0 just didn't work for him. But he caught one wave and after slogging 20 minutes to get back upwind it came out of the water saying:"this board is sick!". He really liked the way it turns.

Sorry, that's the end of my poor contribution. Any heavier (than me) blog reader that owns the board and feels like commenting?

Here's another thought (not related to your question).
Light wind wave sailing ain't easy. It takes a lot of practice. Somehow it's like surfing good on small waves... more difficult than on big waves!

Joe Agliozzo said...

Can you learn to windsurf on a kite capable SUP (like an SOS Big Red with mast track for example)?

I have surf skills (30+ years), kite skills (3 years), but have never windsurfed.

I was thinking that in small waves: zero wind - SUP, less than 10 kts - SUP with windsurf rig - over 10 kts - Kite.

I would pretty much have it covered!

cammar said...

Joe, absolutely!

An SUP with mast track makes a good board for learning windsurfing (unless you're over 220 in which case you may need the width of a starboard Start kind of board). The SOS big red particularly (I love that board).
It doesn't have a centerboard, but a big fin and the long water line will be enough to make you stay upwind... maybe not the first day, ok?
Otherwise a starboard 12.6 is really stable and has the option for a center fin that acts like a centerboard.

Your surf skills won't help at all (until you get good enough to sail on waves).
Your kite skills will help very little (at least you'll know where the wind is coming from).
So, my suggestion is to take a (or a few) beginner lesson to understand the basics and then practice a lot.

You plan is good. If you get hooked to windsurfing it's higly possible that you will change it like this:
small waves: zero wind - SUP
less than 10 kts - SUP with windsurf rig
from 10 to 20 kts - Kite
over 20 kts - shortboard windsurfing...

Good luck!

Oh, check this out. Third day... pretty remarkable student! Must have been a good instructor too... ;-)

Unknown said...

Nice to have the comments back! That was an especially useful summary of the pros and cons of longbds vs big wave boards. I'm surprised the big wave board comes out ahead in gusty winds; personally, I'm more comfortable with the stability of the longboard when its gusty, but it hasn't been in waves.

The last poster is great! A kiter considering learning windsurfing to become a more all-round waterman. Just what the sport needs. How many SUPers do you get asking about sailing after battling some headwinds?

cammar said...

Mf4, it's nice indeed to have the comments back.
And it's nice that with this new moderation thing, I get an email notifying me of a comment so that I don't have to go check if there's new comments. That's also why you will see more prompt replies from me.

Your personal preference for sailing a longboard in gusty wind have just the same dignity as mine... whatever works for you and makes you have fun!
Yes, just like Joe, who is ready to experiment a new way of enjoying the ocean...

SUPers are a weird category (I hope nobody gets offended).
In my opinion, Maui in winter time is a phenomenal place for light wind longboard wave sailing and yet, a very very little percentage of the SUP boards that I see have a mast track.
And among the people that own an SUP board with a mast track a very, very little percentage actually sail it.
It's an unexplicable mistery.
Oh well, too bad for them...

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,

I agree--to bad for them! The day I was there when it started raining in the afternoon (2 thursdays ago?), I went out on the Starboard 12'6" from Stable Road--it was such a hoot! Sailed over an 8 foot Manta Ray and saw humpbacks spouting 100 yards in the distance. Was able to get the board on a plane for awhile (with a 5.6), and did manage to ride a rib high wave as well. I was "a-hootin' and a-hollerin' the whole time! Obviously would have missed all of that fun if the gray skies kept me off the water!

All the best,