TECH TALK: HOW TO BUILD THE PERFECT FREERIDE QUIVER
Building the perfect freeride quiver should be an easy topic for us to advise you on – all you need to do is buy an E_PACE in every size and you will be covered for all conditions! But that’s not the reality for many people – whether it’s money, space, or a number of other factors, we have put together this article to help you buy the equipment that is right for you! When buying a quiver, there are a few factors that need to be considered – the conditions you want to go windsurfing in, your skill level, your body size and fitness, the budget you have available to you, what board(s) you have or are looking to buy and how many sails you want in your quiver. With so many variables at stake, this article isn’t designed to tell you exactly what you need to buy, but more give you the understand of how best to shape your quiver and some things to consider.
WHERE TO START?
First you should define the biggest and smallest sail size you will need to cover all wind speeds you want to sail in. This mainly depends on your body weight. For the purpose of this article we are going to consider a “average” 75kg person but you can adapt it to suit your own body weight using this theory:
A heavier sailor needs to take a larger sail size to get planning in the same wind compared to a lightweight. Roughly speaking, for the biggest sail size: to get going in the same wind a 10kg heavier guy requires a 1 sqm larger sail.
So back to our 75kg person, and let’s assume this person wants to sail in “any kind” of wind.
The biggest sail size this person would need is something like a 7.3. With a capable 100-120 litre Freeride board this size would get them planning in approx. 8-10 knots.
Their smallest size would then be a 3.7 on a 70-80 litre (Free)Wave board they should be fine up to approx. 40-45 knots.
BRIDGING THE GAPS
The next thing to do is to define the sizes in-between the sails.
Important to know: the wind pressure (which you feel in your hands) raises in square in relation to the wind speed. Therefore the smaller the sail size the smaller the size increments need to become. For large sails, the gap can be up to 1.5 sqm, while for very small sails it can go down to 0.3 sqm.
Taking all of this into account a typical quiver for our 75kg person could look as following:
7.3 - 6.0 - 5.3 - 4.7 - 4.2 - 3.7
Taking the “10 kg = 1 sqm” rule (see previous point) in consideration a typical quiver for an 85kg person could then be:
8.3 - 7.0 - 6.0 - 5-0 - 4.5 - 4.0
And for a 65kg person:
6.3 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4
The characteristics and models of sails you choose to build up this quiver is then down to the conditions you like to sail in and personal preference.
PICKING THE RIGHT SAILS FOR YOUR NEEDS:
Covering the 3.7-7.3 range, you could use a variety of different sails from the Duotone Range, so how do you know which ones are right for you?
In the bigger sizes its easier – if you want a more race-oriented, cambered sail, go for the S_PACE for the 7.3 and 6.0. If you want an easy to use sail with the widest trimmable range on the market, opt for the E_PACE (no-cam) for the 7.3 and 6.2 (or 5.8).
For the next sizes down, this is where it gets complicated for a lot of people. Do you choose the smaller freeride options with the E_PACE or do you swap to wave-oriented sails? The answer depends on your boards and conditions on your spot. If you swap from your 100-120l freeride board onto a (free)wave board then it’s recommended to use more wave-oriented sails. If you have a smaller 100 litres or less freeride board then stick with the E_PACE range. Why? If you’re using a (free)wave board, it’s likely the conditions are more choppy or wavey so the wave-oriented sails will provide more manoeuvrability due to the higher cut foot angle. Comparatively the E_PACE with its lower foot cut keeps the power lower in the sail for a more locked in blasting feeling.
If you choose to go down the wave-oriented sails route, which is anyway required for sails under 4.6, you need to choose between the SUPER_HERO and SUPER_STAR models. With most brands, the main difference between their wave range is the number of battens in their sails, however at DUOTONE we have designed two completely different feeling sails. This feeling comes from the draft position, or in simple terms, where the sail is pulling from. In most modern freeride sails (E_PACE/S_PACE) the draft is set forward – this is important when selecting your wave sails if you want to have a similar feeling across all of your sails.
Draft positioning is described in two dimensions:
Basically there are 2 different kind of wave sails:
Draft centered (= balanced pull on both hands) and low (to keep the sail controllable) – SUPER_HERO
These sails are the ideal companion for multi-fin boards. Since the balanced pull on both hands makes them super neutral in your hands they shine especially in real down the line conditions. On the other hand they feel very different to modern freeride and slalom sails (which are very forward pulling). So if you are using such draft back/low wave sails only very occasionally as your high wind flat water sail you might be better off with the second type of wave sails.
Draft forward and up (to still generate enough low end power) – SUPER_STAR
These sails work on both single- and multi-fin boards. With the forward pulling feeling they are more exiting/direct to sail and have a very similar feeling to modern freeride and slalom sails. In addition, they are the ideal choice for side-onshore jumping conditions as the higher and forward oriented draft helps/accelerates rotations in the air (especially forward loops).
»TRY TO AVOID COMBINING DRAFT FORWARD/UP- WITH DRAFT CENTERED/LOW SAILS IN YOUR QUIVER AS THESE SAILS FEEL AND BEHAVE EXTREMELY DIFFERENT.«
Perhaps as important as having the correct quiver, is also having the correct hardware to match this. When it comes to hardware choices, the only real thing to consider is
PRICE = PERFORMACE
The more money you spend on hardware, the better the performance will be.
UNI.XT < UNI.XT SLS < POWER.XT 2.0 < POWER.XT 2.0 SLS
With the UNI.XT you get basic easy rigging thanks to our loop and go system – make it SLS and you get the carbon version – the lightest XT on the market. Upgrade to the Power.XT 2.0 and you get effortless, precision trimming both on and off the water thanks to the unique integrated ratchet system. Once again if you upgrade to SLS you get the same revolutionary ratchet system but with a carbon extension tube making it 180g lighter.
BLACK < SILVER < PLATINUM SLS < PLATINUM AERO
The BLACK series is our most basic and cheapest boom in the range. Still constructed with premium T8 aluminium, it is the lightest boom in its class. Stepping up from BLACK, you have SILVER – 30% stiffer due to an oval tail section and 7075 high-tech aluminium. Most importantly with the SILVER booms comes our integrated VTS tail system – finally making it possible for you to trim your outhaul perfectly like a pro, every session.
The setup to carbon booms with the PLATINUM SLS series, is however a true game-changer in performance. Also coming with the VTS Tail system to give you the perfect trim every session, the PLATINUM SLS booms are stiffer, lighter and thinner not only increasing the performance of the rig, but also reducing the demand on your body meaning you can sail for longer and more comfortably. Furthermore, as carbon doesn’t bend or corrode, your carbon boom is likely to last 3-4 times longer than an aluminium one, making your investment in this domain worthwhile. Putting the cherry on the cake is the PLATINUM AERO range – using T900 carbon it is 400g lighter than the platinum boom making it the lightest boom in the World! As it is such a premium product, we only produce an extremely limited number so expect to be paying premium prices.
BLACK < SILVER < GOLD < PLATINUM SLS < PLATINUM AERO
The mast story is a very similar story to the booms – the further up the range you go, the lighter and more responsive the masts become and thus the performance is improved. Why is the mast so important? It is the backbone of your rig! Finding the right mast is like the goldilocks principle – too stiff and the rig becomes hard to control and uncomfortable to sail; too soft and the engine of the sail (the profile) becomes too flat making it unreactive and feel slow. Generally speaking, the bigger the sail, the stiffer the mast needs to be as it has to support a greater area of sail.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MASTS:
The most important consideration with masts however is that the bend curve of the mast matches that of the sail. There are three main categories of bend curve on the market:
But even within these categories, every brand has their own flex point, and it is this bend curve that their sails will be designed around. Therefore, it is almost more important that you buy a sail with the accompanying mast from that brand, than the carbon content of that mast.
DIFFERENT LEVELS OF MAST AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Compared with glass fiber (the other main component of a mast), carbon is
stiffer – so with higher carbon content, less material is needed to make a mast of the same stiffness, ultimately making the mast lighter
more reactive – this allows the rig to twist when a gust hits to absorb the sudden energy instead of pulling you into a catapult. The faster the reflex, the quicker the sail is ready to absorb the next gust
So what’s the difference in the range?
First up, when buying a DUOTONE sail, we do not recommend you buy a BLACK.50 series mast as the thick walls of the Black Series do not fit in the headcap of the DUOTONE sails. Our bestselling mast is the SILVER.70 series – offering the best price:performance ratio. 70% carbon makes it not as stiff or reactive as our GOLD.90 and PLATINUM SLS masts but it is the best price friendly option selected by a lot of our customers. As you go up the range into GOLD.90, PLATINUM SLS andPLATINUM AERO 3.0, the performance improves and truly makes a difference to your experience on the water.
There you go – our absolute guide to the ultimate freeride quiver. The key messages:
work out what your biggest sail you need is and then work down from there
take bigger gaps between your bigger sails and the gaps get smaller the smaller the sails are
make sure you keep the draft point consistent throughout your quiver to help you achieve the same feelings across all the sail sizes
use the right mast bend curve for the sail – try as much as possible to buy the same brand mast as sail
price = performance – the more money you spend on hardware, the better the performance and the easier the ride for you
We hope this helps you in deciding how best to shape your next quiver, but if you have any further product specific questions, please check out the DISQUS section at the bottom of our product pages where you can ask DUOTONE Product Manager, Raoul Joa, directly.