Last weekend we had some decent onshore wind in the 15-20 mph range. It would have been good conditions for my 6.8 sail and shortboard, but that sail is currently out of commission. So I had to choose between being jacked on an 8.0 or underpowered on a 5.5. I chose the 5.5 and paired it with my modified 10'4" Angulo Surfa windsup, thinking that combo might help turn the moderate wind and choppy water into something interesting. It ended up being a great session. Here are my observations, followed by a video.
Observation 1: Launching a windsup with no footstraps to grab onto is horribly awkward. I've decided to put a pair of front footstraps on the board to serve as handles, regardless of whether or not they're necessary when sailing.
Update- I did put footstraps on it- just the two front ones, and they work well.
Observation 2: The board planes! At first I could only plane on the way in to shore, with a little boost from a wave or swell. As the wind built I was able to plane on the way out, as well. Pumping helped with initiating planing, and the overall feel of the board as it got planing was like a really big waveboard. The board goes upwind well when planing and doesn't need to be tilted to windward to do so.
Observation 3: The fins I used (23 cm Drake wave fin and 21 cm Angulo sup fin) seemed like a pretty good match for the 5.5 sail and the conditions. There may be better sizes and types of fin for different conditions, but I'll try to figure that out later.
Observation 4: The board turns fine, and seems to have a more "drivey" type of turning than the "pivoty" type of turning it had before the modification. I didn't do any good jibes because I was timid in my attempts, but I think with practice I'll be able to jibe it nicely.
Apparent Wind Fun
4 hours ago