Buying a board can be pretty confusing, specially if we don’t know what to look out for. Be it in a shop, surf centre, garage sale or some guy on the internet, there will always be a gap between our knowledge on what we need and the seller who wants to get rid of his board. Let’s try to close that gap a little today.
Here I have compiled a checklist for you to know what to take into account when going to buy a new or second hand board.
Buying a new windsurf board
Where are you going to sail?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself. The answer will have a very big impact on what you need to look for. If you are going to windsurf in El Médano you will not be needing the same kind of gear as if you usually sail on Lake Garda. In El Médano we usually have 20-25 knots (and more in the summer) which for my 75 kg means 80 – 100 litres waves board whereas in Torbole (Lake Garda) the average is 15-17 knots where I would need a freestyle or free-ride board in the 100 – 115 litre range. (more…)
I don’t know how many feet I have looked at in the last few weeks. No, I don’t have a foot fetish… sorry to disappoint 🙂
No, it was because I was asked if the foot straps were the right size. So here is my take on how big/wide the straps should be.
Foot Strap Screw Placement
When you put your foot in the straps, the sides should be touching. Not too tight as you want to be able to get in and out easily. Also, you don’t want them too wide. I have seen many who have them too wide and to make up for them being too loose they have to set them up very tight so as to only allow the toes to fit.
Foot Strap Width
You want about half your foot to fit in the strap. The idea is to be able to get in and out easily when you want but also to stay in securely when you need it. The consequences of them being either too wide or too narrow are both very unpleasant.
If the straps are too wide we risk two things. The first is not that problematic: being pulled out in a catapult. The second is pretty dangerous as if the strap is too wide we can end up with the entire foot slipping through the foot strap be it after a sideways landing of a jump or too much pressure on the back foot in choppy water. In that case I would definitely prefer a spin out.
If the straps are so tight that we barely get our tows in we lose a lot of control over the board on one hand, and lack of security against catapults on the other. The first is due to the fact that we can’t lever the board with our foot to keep in flat as we could with a wider foot strap. The second come front it being really difficult to resist the pull of the sail with only our toes as opposed to the whole foot. It is like wanting to do pull-ups with only your fingers instead of with the entire hand.
Ultimately the straps should fit around the foot nice and snug. As a rule of thumb, place your hand in the strap and have it fit loosely. This is a good width to start off with. I would begin with the straps being a little too tight and try going wider and wider after each tack until you find the width that you feel the most comfortable with.