Can you convert a surfboard to a Windsurfer?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by dylantorquerol, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. dylantorquerol
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    dylantorquerol Junior Member

    I have a nice 7' mini tanker surfboard that I don't use that often. There is wind and not really too many waves outside our house, so I would use the windsurfer a lot and I windsurf. :?: Do i just need to add the mast step track, and is that possible to do AFTER the board was glassed + finished? :?: And its a 3-fin tail so thats fine for a windsurfer. Thanks
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  3. Paul Kotzebue

    Paul Kotzebue Previous Member

    You can add a mast step track on a finished board no problem. Your mini-tanker is probably way too thin to use as a windsurfer. I've seen people try to convert old longboards to windsurfers back when old longboards weren't collectable, and it never worked.

    Because your mini-tanker is a nice board, you may want to try the conversion on something not so nice first.
  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Anything is possible, but consider you still need a dagger board near the center of effort for the sail, all the rigging and a proper sail. This will not be inexpensive. Why don't you just search your local Craig's list, or used sport equipment shop or swap meet, and buy a used complete sail board. Better yet, go rent one for an afternoon to see if you even like it before you bugger up a good surfboard.

    You can convert a surfboard to a sail board, but it will be a lot of effort, it likely will not perform very well, and cost more than just buying a used one. If you had a beat up board, a used mast and a sail already kicking around your garage, it might be worth playing around with it to see if you can make it all work together. But there are many parts to the way the sail board operates that are not obvious, and you will be doing a lot of trial and error. So do it inexpensively, or just go buy a used one. I am sure you can find them cheap. If you ask around all your friends you might even find one someone will give you or allow you to borrow since they have not used it in years.

    Good luck.
  5. dougfrolich
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    dougfrolich Senior Member

    Volume, and some degree length is the issue. You will need about 83 liters of volume MINIMUM for a fun bump-n-jump board. The problem is even if you had the volume (you don't) typical surf board construction would not give you the strength needed to land even a small jump.

    The shortest board I ever sailed was 8'6" long (78 liters volume). Obviously a full sinker, and only good for 5.0m^2 conditions and stronger. Lots of fun in the right conditions-but had to swim in when the wind went light (>15kts.)

    Dont even consider a daggerboard unless you are on a board 12' or longer.
  6. dylantorquerol
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    dylantorquerol Junior Member

    Thanks you guys. I know NOT to use a daggerboard on a board like this, its just not needed at all. The rigging is no problem either it all goes on the mast+sail+boom. It is a nice board, so I think I should just buy a real windsurfing board from Naish. I have been using the 140L and want to get to about a 100 so I will keep renting. Thanks again,
  7. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Good call.

  8. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    I think that's the answer... You probably could convert the board, but you'd turn a decent surfboard into a pretty lousy sailboard and probably end up chucking it out and buying a decent sailboard anyway so you'd be down a decent surfboard and all the effort of converting it.

  9. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    It sounds like you're looking for a high-wind board, so as others have said it's probably not ideal. Using a tanker (which is what we Aussies call a mini-mal, I think) could work for light-wind wavesailing but your board is very small for that role.

    Is the shape anything like this board?

    There's also the AHD Sealion which is a big fish type that's apparently great in some conditions - is that anything like your board?

    Quite a few people find them lots of fun for light-wind wavesailing.

    You could go to the Hot Maui Sails website and ask Jeffrey Henderson on the forum - he's a leading light in longboard wavesailing so although a 7' is a lot shorter than his normal boards he's familiar with the use of malibu (and probably tanker) rocker lines and outlines.

    It's no big deal to fit a mast box in a surfboard, and some of the SUPs just have a threaded hole for the mast. You don't need straps if you're going to play in light-ish winds.

    Rocker lines are an issue, because SUPs, wavesailing longboards, tankers and mals tend to have more rocker and therefore don't plane like a dedicated windsurfer. And you'll probably lack the volume in the rails, as others have mentioned.
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