Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

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sodani
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Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

I've windsurf a handful of times in my life, and am looking for a windsurf board to use on the Chesapeake in light wind conditions. I'll mostly be launching from my sailboat while at anchor, and would want a daggerboard.

I'm 5'10" and weigh 160 lbs. It seems that the Bic Techno 160D is priced lower than many other freeride boards, and wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on this board for my situation.

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

btw, welcome!

Quick question before I launch into one of my infamous long winded explanations - are you going to store the board on the sailboat or just tow it out for an easy launch? How much time off the sailboat vs going to other locations? (You live pretty close to OBX, for example.)

Quick answer - the Bic is a fine board. Molded, less expensive construction and the design has been unchanged for about 10-15 years which is why it's cheaper. Pretty robust and stable for someone your size. Also, do you paddle, too?

Side note: Look into an ABK clinic either in OBX or if they offer one in your area. One weekend will save you years of trying to sort things out on your own.

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Hello,

I'd be storing the board on the deck of the boat while I stay on the boat for about a month. I think it would be about 60/40 in terms of using it on my sailboat vs going to other locations.

I've never paddle boarded but a dual-purpose board could be convenient to use as a tender.

I'm a little north of New York City, and there appear to be ABK clinics in Long Island, but it's a bit far from me and I like spending years trying to figure things out on my own.

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Short answer- the Bic is a solid choice.

Longer answer: Bic's Ace-tec construction is pretty robust so not as likely to get dinged by casual activity on deck. Ace-tec is basically a thick layer of glass over the foam core covered by ASA plastic. More expensive boards are typically sandwich construction where the outer layer is a sandwich of glass-dense PVC foam 2-4mm thick-glass and/or carbon. Sandwich can be stronger, stiffer, lighter and sometimes more ding resistant but it comes at a cost. High end sandwich boards can be as much as double the price of a Bic. Many manufactures offer a similar option on their boards which is usually the cheaper/heavier model of the same shape.

Even longer answer - you have a lot of options to choose from.
Used classic raceboard/transitional - you can find these as cheap as $100. Stick to a good one like 90s vintage Mistral, Fanatic, F2, etc. Good light wind glide. Down side is that they are all narrow by modern standards, not as stable and hard to paddle. Most are 66-69cm wide. There's a lot of junk out there, too. Caveat emptor. If there is something you are considering, let us know and we'll chime in with our $0.02

Modern transitional - Bic 160D/185D, Fanatic Viper 80/85/90, Starboard Rio/some Gos, etc. Much wider, use modern fin boxes so you can use larger, more readily available fins for better performance in planing conditions. Centerboard allows them to easily go upwind. Some brands (e.g. Fanatic) have full EVA decks which make them comfortable multipurpose boards. You can paddle them but they tend to be under 300cm so don't glide very well. Don't paddle in waves well due to rocker line.

WindSUP - with or without centerboard depending on model. Longer than most modern transitional boards so better glide in non-planing conditions and when paddled. Surf oriented models have rocker lines that make them more suitable to light surf. Many times these go upwind pretty well without a centerboard so if your skills are solid you can dispense with the weight and complexity of the centerboard.
https://isthmussailboards.com/wind-sup-crossover.html
https://www.nbwindsurfing.com/shop/Windsurf/Windsurf-Boards/WindSUP-Boards.htm

Special case: New Windsurfer LT. Reissue of the classic Windsurfer One Design with modern construction/fittings. Does a lot of things okay.
Special case II: Kona. See Chris's comment below: https://windsportatlanta.com/comment/45782#comment-45782

Inflatable boards - if you are cramped for space and who on a sailboat isn't? There are good inflatable options in the Windsup world. Typically, if there is a "front" fin, it's literally a fin in place of the centerboard. Decent performance and stow away pretty well. Good options on both Isthmus and North Beach site.

There are other retailers as well but those are two good places to start your investigations.

"I like spending years trying to figure things out on my own." Oh, you will, you will. Biggrin Remember that our body's instinct is basically wrong in everything windsurfing related. If clinics aren't your thing, here are some great Youtube channels worth your time: https://windsportatlanta.com/wiki/FAQS#How_can_I_learn.3F

These are my thoughts - the two retailers above plus most others can offer you solid advice, too.

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sodani
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FoilDodo
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

+2¢
Kona is the popular one-design. They've made a change to the design, ironically (with a provision to add weight to the new version for regattas). So, the really serious KonaHeads will jump to the new hull and we'll likely see more used ones on the market. Soft deck and robust construction with lots of volume make them good for light to heavy folks. I think they paddle ok too, (but I'm not sure why anybody wants to do that). I have some racks on my boat that attach to the stanchions so a board sits outside the lifelines and not on deck at all.

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webguy
sodani
sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Thanks so much for the advice.

After looking at these various options, I'm getting the sense that an inflatable WindSUP board might be a good option for me. While I could lash it to the stanchions when not in use, it sure would be nice to be able to store it below deck if I'm underway and carry it inside my Scion xB (an 8 ft board would still probably fit inside, but an 11ft board wouldn't).

I've never SUP paddled before, and I don't quite get the current craze but it would be convenient to use as a tender to get to the dock or to shore. I've got a zodiac type inflatable dinghy and a 4hp motor for it, but the thing is a beast to inflate and deploy. And I don't have the center seat for it, so I can't row it either.

So after browsing those two retailers mentioned, the 2018 Starboard Windsup 11'6 Touring Inflatable Zen caught my eye. It seems to be quite cheap compared to the other inflatable Starboard WindSUP boards.

I also found a used 1999 Mistral Screamer 268 x 56 93L for $100. My concern is whether I'll be able to go upwind without a centerboard and be able to get back to my boat. I'm not sure what angles you can sail with these.

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?
sodani wrote:

Thanks so much for the advice.

After looking at these various options, I'm getting the sense that an inflatable WindSUP board might be a good option for me. While I could lash it to the stanchions when not in use, it sure would be nice to be able to store it below deck if I'm underway and carry it inside my Scion xB (an 8 ft board would still probably fit inside, but an 11ft board wouldn't).

I've never SUP paddled before, and I don't quite get the current craze but it would be convenient to use as a tender to get to the dock or to shore. I've got a zodiac type inflatable dinghy and a 4hp motor for it, but the thing is a beast to inflate and deploy. And I don't have the center seat for it, so I can't row it either.

So after browsing those two retailers mentioned, the 2018 Starboard Windsup 11'6 Touring Inflatable Zen caught my eye. It seems to be quite cheap compared to the other inflatable Starboard WindSUP boards.

I also found a used 1999 Mistral Screamer 268 x 56 93L for $100. My concern is whether I'll be able to go upwind without a centerboard and be able to get back to my boat. I'm not sure what angles you can sail with these.

I think 90% of our local experience is with Gene's Chinook inflatable which he's had a few years and has enjoyed. Probably worth a call to the dealer on that one.

The screamer is an entirely different zip code area code time zone. It was a good board in it's time but that time has past. It's very narrow compared to modern boards, longer (deck space), will require a good sized blow - solid 6.0 and below - even at your size (I'm just a bit more than that) will require some skills since it will barely float you to get around. A modern 105-115 l 64-68 cm board can handle everything from a 7.0 down to 5 something. Basically, it will cover winds from about 14 or so to gusts over 30. Look for something from around 2004/5/6 or newer. If you aren't planning to sail in that much wind, something around 75cm 110-120 l will cover you from 12-25. If you are concerned about getting back upwind without a centerboard in any shape or form, I'd pretty much strike the Screamer off your list straight away as there are so many more suitable boards out there which would be fun and not a PITA (or worse).

Where are you headed on the boat? Also, that you bring up the Screamer suggests I may be mistaking on your skill level - if so, I apologize. What skills do you feel like you have/could do better? Thanks!

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Good Morning,

You had mentioned Mistral boards from the 90s, so that's how I stumbled on the Screamer. I know nothing about the board, and am certainly a beginner. In the past, I've been able to go in the various points of sail and tack. I haven't done water starts or jibes.

My wife and I have our sailboat in Deltaville, Virginia, on the western shore of the Chesapeake. We're planning on sailing to different parts of the Chesapeake in September. Incidentally, the bay is known for its light winds. I would probably look to windsurf in 5 - 15 knots of wind initially, and would need to uphaul the rig. Does that mean that I should look at boards that are more than 120L?

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?
sodani wrote:

Good Morning,

You had mentioned Mistral boards from the 90s, so that's how I stumbled on the Screamer. I know nothing about the board, and am certainly a beginner. In the past, I've been able to go in the various points of sail and tack. I haven't done water starts or jibes.

My wife and I have our sailboat in Deltaville, Virginia, on the western shore of the Chesapeake. We're planning on sailing to different parts of the Chesapeake in September. Incidentally, the bay is known for its light winds. I would probably look to windsurf in 5 - 15 knots of wind initially, and would need to uphaul the rig. Does that mean that I should look at boards that are more than 120L?

You are absolutely correct there - it was a 90s Mistral. Biggrin The Mistrals to keep an eye out for (but they are long) Equipe, IMCO (One Design), Competition, Superlight (if it has all the parts), Superlight II, Malibu. I think the Malibu is around 170l or so and the others are 230+. All between 66-69 cm wide which with only one ot two exceptions was about the widest at the time. Around 1998, the width of boards began to explode as designers figured out how to make them handle a much wider range of wind. The added stability of width introduced a new generation of boards that were much easier to use, performed better in 10-20 mph and much more stable to stand on.

In those winds and your current skill set, I'd suggest sticking with the original plan: something 150 l plus and 75cm plus in width at a minimum. Make it easy, make it fun. Use it on those light days, paddle it around and explore when there's no wind or you want to go over to a beach, etc. As your skills and time on the water progress, you'll know when you want to add something more high wind oriented. A good board that's easy will get used a lot. The one that's not will end up on CraigsList or a garage sale.

Whatever you get, you must post pictures here of your trip! Sounds like fun. Biggrin

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Thanks very much for all the advice. It all makes a lot of sense. And yes, I will post pics once I get out on the water!

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Hello,

Here's me windsurfing on my new Bic inflatable board off the Chesapeake in Deltaville, Virginia, specifically on Fishing Bay. I kept the board on the deck of my sailboat, and it was relatively easy to launch and come back provided I wasn't getting overpowered by the wind. The gear is very portable and fits in the trunk of my car. I'm back in New York and have windsurfed a couple of times here as well, and am hoping to continue through the winter.

One thing I've noticed about my rig, which seems odd is that even though I have the outhaul and downhaul pretty tight, the luff of the sail gets bunched up around the opening where the boom goes, so a small amount of the sail is backwinded when I'm going upwind. Any thoughts on what could be causing this? Should I contact the manufacturer?

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Randy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

A picture of the problem area would help us figure it out. Did you buy a complete rig package from Starboard? That is what it looks like from the picture. Here is a picture of the sail from the starboard webpage. Is the long "wrinkle" in the sail what you are talking about? It is at the front of the blue area and goes from the lower batten to the lower part of the blue area. If so, seems like that is they way they intended it. It may be that it opens up in wind to give the sail a more powerful shape. I've seen sails like that. (IIRC Hot Sails Maui Superfreak.)

There is no off season.

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Looking good! Sorry for the delay in saying anything - some of us were down in Florida.

Generally speaking... windsurf sails have two grommets and most new windsurfers get them wrong. The downhaul gets a lot of tension and the outhaul not much at all. Again, generally speaking, with a modern no cam sail, we tension the downhaul and then only add a couple of inches max outhaul tension. It's important not to have the sail flat as it makes the sail twitchy, hard to trim and prevents the leech from twisting off.

Your sail may be a bit different (being lightwind specific) in that it may take lower downhaul pressure, in which case, downhaul it just about to the numbers - mast + extension = luff length (e.g. 430 + 17 = 447 luff). With more conventional sails, people are usually shocked how much downhaul tension we put on them - you can't do it bare handed but need something like a piece of broom stick, harness hook, etc to wrap the line around. Again, I'd think your sail takes less but it will take some.

But, Randy is correct. Hit us up with a pic of the rigged sail in case you are one of the 5% who actually got the tension correct. Biggrin If you have the tension correct and there's a vertical wrinkle (we saw that with the Windsurfer LT sail), the wind pressure will pull that out. If your sail is tight with no wrinkles on the beach but wind pressure puts a wrinkle into the boom area, yeah... more downhaul. Biggrin

Keep us updated!

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

I was finally able to get out on the water today with work and lousy weather getting in the way for a while.

I applied some more downhaul so the sail didn't look too wrinkled in the boom area. But once I was under sail, the wrinkle appeared in the boom area and that part of the sail would get backwinded when going upwind.

Based on what you're saying, it sounds like I need to apply even more downhaul (I'm tensioning it barehanded, but I could probably borrow my wife's broom handle), and perhaps less outhaul. I use the 5.5 setting on the boom for my 5.5 sq meter sail, but maybe I need to adjust it so there is less outhaul.

I took some pictures in the parking area, but I'm not sure if they would give you a good idea of what's going on.

The wind died to 0-2 knots today, and I had a fun time trying to get back in. I had no idea sailing in such light wind could be so exhausting! Crazy

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Someday you'll look back at those pics.... Lol

Okay, I'm super happy that you posted and are asking us for help! That hole that you are attached the downhaul hook to is for threading the bottom end up the uphaul through. The elastic end of the uphaul goes through there after you've finished rigging and around the bottom of the extension before you attach the sail to the board. It's a really good thing you didn't pull any harder.

Here, this should help. It's not exactly your sail but close enough. You''ll see the "hole" you used at 0:53 The actual grommet you should be using will be at 1:21.It looks like you should set the extension all the way at the bottom with your 5.5 if I'm reading the guide to your sail correctly. It only needs 4cm of extension so that should be the bottom setting unless there's a setting above that marked "5" or "5 cm". It may be that your extension is already marked.

current product page: https://windsurf.star-board.com/products/sup-windsurfing-sails/
Promo video for the '17 model which may be more like yours. The grommet you used is pictured at 1:17

Your sail won't take a lot of downhaul pressure but there will be some mast bend. Just rig it to the numbers and you should be good for a start. You should be fine barehanded. If you were downhauling a more high wind oriented sail, I'd recommend the broom handle as they take more tension.

Yeah, in almost no or no wind, we basically fan the sail for propulsion. If there's no wind, we create our own. Not fast but it gets us home.

Hope this helps - keep us posted. And maybe think about a trip south to FL or OBX this winter or spring.

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moredownhaul
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

According to this
https://d4fy9c5aoe5kg.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/14113439/SUP_WINDSURFING_SAIL-1.pdf

Your mast base extension and boom should have a marks to show you where to set them for the 5.5 sail
After you set both and rig the sail. pull the downhaul rope until the pulleys on the bottom of the sail and the pulleys on the base are touching or as close as possible. Don't worry about breaking the mast, you wont!
After your downhaul is set pull the outhaul line until the grommet on the sail is almost touching the rear of the boom.
It should look like the photo with a nice little bend in the mast

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

This is all very helpful, thank you! I see that I was using the wrong grommet for the downhaul, and that I need to tighten it more than I have been.

I'm curious about how you can fan the sail when there's no wind. I've never heard of being able to do this on a sailboat, so maybe it's unique to windsurfing. The wind is quite fickle where I am on the Long Island Sound especially in the winter, and it often will go from 8-10 down to zero.

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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?
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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

I will have a look at those. Thanks a lot!

I hope to get out on the water this week although the wind is too light today and then too strong tomorrow. Wednesday could be good.

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webguy
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webguy
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Well, did a bit of pumping and fanning myself yesterday. As I was making my way home, I remembered something that is very important in light air: Windsurfers have relatively small underwater surfaces. You need to get the board moving before pointing anywhere upwind. Otherwise, you'll just slide along.

My friend, "Big Al" Stewart likes to tell the story of when he began longboard racing that another fellow, Gregg Cattanach, would yell at him, "Speed, THEN direction!"

If there's zero wind, this won't apply but if you are ghosting along, it's good to remember.

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sodani
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Re: Board advice - Bic Techno 160D ?

Ahh I see. Thanks for pointing that out. I've also noticed that sometimes I'd be stalled after coming out of a tack, or the board would be slipping sideways. I probably need to point lower to pick up speed first. I wonder what the wetted surface area has to do with this though. I've sailed on some small sailboats and have noticed the same thing.

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