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Author: Subject: Beginners advice (board/equipment)

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Registered: 29-7-2007
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posted on 29-7-2007 at 10:29 Reply With Quote
Beginners advice (board/equipment)

Hi everyone.

I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post - I hope it's not considered too cheeky!

I was introduced to windsurfing by my brother-in-laws father (who sails a laser at Datchet), and although I've had some help/advice I've yet to have any "professional" lessons - and am considering taking the RYA1 Windsurfing course.

Would the "course" approach be better than single lessons?

Also, I've been scouring the local papers etc and came across an ad for some old kit for sale.

It all looks quite old, and obviously hasn't been used for 5 years or so. The ropes on the board all look old and dry - and may need replacing(?), and the sails have quite a lot of mould on them in places.

There are no footstraps on the board, though it looks like it has mounts for them.

I've just looked at the pics I have and it appears that the deck-plate is missing, and possibly also a clip/locking device that fixes the boom to the mast.

I imagine it would be a hard job to get replacement parts for these?
[end of EDIT]

Here is a summary/description of the equipment:
- board: alpha 180 af pc competition base
- mast: rotho-duo/b
- sail1: riga world cup slalom 5.8 mast: 4.80 boom: 1.90
- sail2: gaastra sails 5.1
- boom: alpha

I took some photos and could upload them if it would help.

Would this equipment suit a beginner (I'm approx 5ft 10 and just over 14 stone)?

If so, could anyone place a value/price on the items so I could make a reasonable offer to the seller?

Thank you,


[Edited on 29-7-2007 by mcvw]

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posted on 29-7-2007 at 17:28 Reply With Quote
Hi Mike....
The kit (if you had all the parts) would probably work, but it really wouldn't be ideal as it is just so old. modern kit is 10 times easier to learn on and would be much better for you.

As far as value of the kit goes then it really isn't worth anything at all.... In fact the 'sellers' should probably pay you for taking it away!... I'm not being funny, unless I'm mistaken the kit is probably the best part of 15 years old and using it would only hold you back..... of course, it is still better than some of the kit many of us here learnt on, but it won't do you any favours.


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posted on 29-7-2007 at 21:18 Reply With Quote
Hi Al,

Thanks for the very helpful comments.

When I first saw the kit I thought, "my god, that looks like a pile of old junk" - and without wanting to sound snobbish - I was kinda hoping that it wasn't gonna be right for me

Could you perhaps give me some pointers towards a beginners board/setup - one which would be suitable for a few years afterwards too (if such a thing exists)

Also, if possible an approx price range for what I would expect to pay.

Thanks again,


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posted on 30-7-2007 at 17:08 Reply With Quote
Yep agree steer clear of that very old kit it will just make things more difficult, think I'd struggle on it!

About as old as would be sensible going is a board like a Bic Veloce 328 or F2 Phoenix 320 although these are still long and narrow by more modern boards (thats not that bad just makes it a little more tricky to start with).

Would think a get started course would be a good way to go. They provide the kit and tuition so its a really quick way to get started.

For the first few forays you'll want a high volume, wide board so its stable to get the hang of it, boards like the Staboard Start, Bic Nova, F2 Prime etc - all about 200L of volume and wide.

You could buy one of these but you may outgrow it fairly quickly. Might be a better option to learn the basics on centre kit and then go straight onto something like a Bic Techno 283.

Afraid there isn't really a board to take you right from the start to a couple of years time without a compromise (ie would feel big and bouncy when the wind gets up)

You could go for something along the lines of a Bic Techno 293 or F2 Discovery 170/190 but if you make good progress may find it a bit big fairly quickly (although could keep it for light winds/messing around.teaching friends/family and add a smaller board later).

Depending on your weight would want about a 6m rotational sail (no camber inducers). Again more modern sails feel a lot lighter and so make everthing easier. This is about an average sized sail to cover most conditions would want to add at least one smaller (about 5m) and one bigger too for when the wind is light (about 7m). Most people end up with a range - I go 4.2, 5, 5.8, 6.5, 7.5m.

Price range; if going used expect to pay about ?Ǭ500 if can find a beginner/intermediate package of fairly modern kit:

About ?Ǭ200 - 300 for a used board a couple of years old
?Ǭ100 - 150 for a used sail
?Ǭ50 - 100 for a used mast
?Ǭ50 for a used boom

Will also need mastfoot/base and fin but may be able to get these with the board. Sometimes see older set ups (like the Bic Veloce or Phoenix) for about ?Ǭ300-400.

Hope this helps!

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posted on 31-7-2007 at 18:13 Reply With Quote
Welcome to the forum.
I had a taster while on holiday then once back home I done my RYA level 1 then bought a ten hour hire ticket to get some practice then done my level 2.
I bought myself a myself a techno 283 with a 5.8 metre sail was a bit challeging at first but I got there in the end. I still use the techno today with an 8.5m sail and big fin for the light wind days
I think the RYA courses have changed a bit but would be worth looking into

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posted on 31-7-2007 at 21:54 Reply With Quote
Thanks guys - some real quality information

I'd best get a wriggle on - whilst it's nice and sunny

One last question tho... My parents have a caravan at Milford-on-Sea. Would it be worth trying to learn at a local club on the coast - or should I start on a reservoir nearby to me (i.e. Datchet, or Queen Mary)?

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posted on 1-8-2007 at 10:28 Reply With Quote
a pond always best bet for first foray . gives you that safety factor if/when something goes wrong , then when comfortable and you have someone else to buddy up with you move to the coast .


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posted on 13-12-2009 at 15:21 Reply With Quote
Update on choosing the right beginners windsurfing equipment...

It seems like the problem of choosing the right beginners windsurfing equipment is one that will never go away, which kind of makes sense since those looking to buy are the ones with little or no experience in the world of windsurfing.

I have written a comprehensive article on the matter giving all the insider secrets to choosing some great beginners windsurfing equipment. The article can be found on the following page:
The Secrets to Choosing Beginners Windsurfing Equipment

I hope this info helps those new to windsurfing from making any mistakes that are costly in both time & money!

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posted on 17-11-2013 at 11:53 Reply With Quote
Hey Mike,

I've just typed beginner windsurf package into google shopping. This website are offering a full set of beginner kit which is much more what you are after. the kit is here: />
This will be much better for you learning because the sail is light and simple and the rio will work great initially and still be good when you start learning to plane etc. I can't see any similar packages on the results maybe try them?

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