For years wavesailing was about getting on the smallest possible board, that you could manage out through the break, so that on the wave you got nice, smooth bottom turns and sharp top turns. But as equipment is developing bigger boards are coming to the forefront, even those that used to wallow out, thigh deep on their boards are being swayed over to their more floaty counterparts. So what are the benefits of bigger wave boards? And are there any drawbacks? How has board design changed of late? Boardseeker catches up with the exceptionally talented Francisco Goya to find out more...
"In the past we used to make the boards super small and gunny in the tail to make them controllable with all the lift from a single fin. Now with the majority of boards being multi fin, there is not one single fin giving a large amount of lift. This means the rocker shape and the bottom of the board becomes a lot more critical, this also allows the boards to be a little bit bigger too as the board is more planted in the water. The single fins in the past were almost hydro foiling, which now doesn’t happen with multi fins.
Turning an old style single fin is a lot more technical, you have to sink the tail first, then come forward, then weight the rails, it was only the most advanced that could ride really well.
The quads brought the direct link between what you want to do and actually being able to do it, they have made waveriding a lot more accessible; the boards actually go where ever you want! And even for the most advanced riders the quads work, they can just push the boards even more and take their riding even further.
Now equipment does a lot more for you; you can have one board fairly big, which gives you enough volume for the light wind days, but is still controllable in the high winds. This previously was just not possible. To us, it’s about simplifying the range and the products. We all look for the same thing from a board, whatever the level. We want it to ride well, go upwind, have some speed; it doesn’t matter how well you can wave ride. So now, with how the multi fin boards work, producing a lot less lift we can combine all of the best aspects of boards into one, instead of having separate boards for different conditions.
Obviously, a bigger board is easier to ride around and makes it easier to catch a wave, the drawbacks used to be that on the wave they would then be uncontrollable, but now by carefully tweaking the board shape (along with the multi fin set-up) a bigger board will stay in control.
It is really incredible how much boards have progressed, we are always trying to achieve a real surfy feel with our boards, something we are always working on, but I think we achieve and again the multi fins help this. We now produce sizes like the 92 Goya Quad, which before would have been seen as so big for a wave board, but with everything I have explained is a great all round size of board. We want everyone to get the most possible from their windsurfing and really enjoy the sport, having a ‘big’ quad wave board just means that the enjoyment should be more and more!"