Comments by Henry Thomas

Date Article Author
October 5, 2011 How to Plane Henry Thomas

Hi Tom, Thanks mate, I thought I would try something different - glad you found it helpful. The board is a Starboard Go 165L (circa 04), and my sails range from 5.1 up to 11. However I find that my Ezzy Freeride 8.5m is my most often used sail. I am 5'11" and weigh about 240lbs. In force 4 winds a 7.0 m is a pretty good size for me, and my 6.0 m is good for force 5. My small board is a 140L Tabou Rocket - but I really need more than 16 knots to sail it.

September 26, 2011 Nevs board repair - PART 2 Henry Thomas

Hi Eva,

Nev didn't want to peel back all the EVA deck, so I didn't have a large flat area around the repair to stick the double sided tape to, so I figured I would try to seal it with the duct tape. As you point out, it never seals really well, but it sealed enough to hold the vacuum. I am still learning.

September 8, 2011 Tabou Rocket Mods Henry Thomas

The foam rubber is called high density EVA foam - I purchased mine form a local foam rubber supplier. Its a bit like the stuff that camping or exercise mats are made from, but firmer. You may also see squares of high density EVA foam sold in hardware stores as mats to stand on in your workshop to stop your feet getting tired - these floor mats are the high density type of foam, so could be used as a substitute.

September 8, 2011 Tabou Rocket Mods Henry Thomas

It depends how heavy you are. I weigh in at 110 kg, and I use my 140 as my strong wind board, and my Starboard GO 165 as my light wind board (which I also learnt on). I also have a 190 Z Class formula board for really light wind ocean cruising. Based on my experience I would suggest at least 50 litres of positive buoyancy if you are a beginner - so if you are around 90kg the 145 would be a good fit. It all depends where you are up to. If you are a real beginner and falling in a lot - a soft EVA deck is a really good idea to protect you from injury - you can lose a lot of skin from your shins falling on those sandpaper like hard deck surfaces. If however you can confidently uphaul and/or beach start without falling off then a hard deck may be for you. Don't underestimate the need for a good 50l of positive buoyancy - without it learning and light wind days (12-14 knots) get really tiring because the board is lower in the water and the drag is hard work on your arms. The other really important factor is the width. If you are uphauling, 90cm wide makes it much easier, 75cm and you will fall in a lot, but eventually get there, but 65cm is too narrow for a beginner and you will likely give up from embarrassment long before you feel the joy of any success.

September 8, 2011 Tabou Rocket Mods Henry Thomas

It certainly can take some abuse, but not as durable as a beginner board like a Bic or Starboard with tough skin. In my case, I really clobbered the front and it was only a small bit of damage, so it pretty durable.

August 10, 2011 Learning to Plane Henry Thomas

Hi Johan,

I have read lots of Formula pros and others say that you need your boom high - the higher the better - personally I disagree. Mind you, I use a seat harness. I have the boom relitavely low. Low enough to hook in without having the pull the sail back or lift my pelvis up too high. I have found that when I have the boom too high I can't get enough leverage and I get pulled forward - with 30" long harness lines and the boom lower, I can really hike out.

I tend to water start or beach start, place the toe of my front foot on the mast base and hang low with straight arms for a short while, then hook in straight away. Because I use bigger sails than most, they strain and tire my arms if I don't hook in early. Next I bend my legs into a crouching position and sit down into my seat harness. This transfers my weight through the boom and down the mast base to the centre of the board. The sail is then taking more of my weight. My torso is upright, so my arms are bent and I am shifting my body weight around with my bent legs to pull down on the rig. As I build up speed I constantly test the rig trim until I feel that surge (and the associated drag) that it is going to plane. Next I step back into the front foot strap and continue the couch transferring my weight to the sail. This tends to launch me and my board out of the water and onto the plane very quickly. Next I point down a bit, build a bit of speed, then turn up a bit and move my back foot out onto the rail, slip it sideways into the back strap and I am away. At this point the board has another surge of speed. Next I place my back hand just behind the harness lines, and I rake the sail back and sheet out slightly. This continues to accelerate the board and allows me to point much higher into the wind.

Hope all this helps.


August 9, 2011 Learning to Plane Henry Thomas

Hi Johan,

Without having a look at your rig, I am only guessing, but here are a few things you could look at. If the back is bogging down, try moving the mast track more forward. Do this until the opposite starts to happen - the nose starts to sink and then bring it back a bit. This may upset all your other settings, like boom height and harness line positions. So once you find the mast foot position that corrects the tail sinking problem, mark it with a permanent marker. Next work on the boom height. You should be using long 28"-32" lines, depending on your height. Set the boom height so that you can hook in on the water with with a slight lift of your hips - mark that boom position on your sail. Next work on harness line position. Rig up you sail and hold it with one hand into a light breeze and find the point where it is evenly balanced. Mark each side of your hand, this is where you should place the harness lines. Make sure you have enough downhaul on your sail so the second batten down has a tight pocket (is pulled away from the mast), also the top three panels on the leach should be floppy. Set your outhaul to neutral (i.e. not loose and not tight).

Now with your rig dialled in, have a look at the beginning of my [ Getting into Footstraps ] clip and see if that helps. It all about hooking in and getting enough grunt out of your sail to lift you and the board out of the water, followed by trimming the sail as it accelerates because as you go faster, the wind direction changes (its called apparent wind) and comes more from the front, so you as you go faster, you need to sheet the sail in more and more by stepping further out onto the rails. Hopefully that helps a bit - best of luck ;)


July 24, 2011 My GPS Setup Henry Thomas

Hi Claes,

I have no problem with the features of the GT31 unit (which in my opinion are superior to the Foretrex), just that in a Aquapac its a bit bulky and so most sailors I have seen using them wear them on their upper arm facing out. Their complaint to me was that they couldn't read data while they were sailing. In this regard the Foretrex has a clear advantage. Its small, light and works just like an oversized wrist watch.

July 22, 2011 Wind and Tide Links Henry Thomas

Gavin has been the 'cat that swallowed the canary' on quite a few occasions lately. It been quite uncanny the way he has picked just the right sail and caught wind the rest of us missed. There are certainly swings and merry-go-rounds in this game, but winter winds are just so flukey.

July 22, 2011 A Rare Bird Henry Thomas

My pleasure Mat. It is always a struggle striking the right balance between time on water, work and family. My goal is at least one session a week. Trying to pick which day to go out in winter though is the real battle.

July 21, 2011 South Westerly Window Henry Thomas

No Problem Mat,

I use go pro cameras with the helmet mount kit. Here is a bit of info on how I keep them fog free etc [ Go Pro Tips ]. I purchased them on eBay. Just do a search for gopro. They are pretty indestructible.

June 9, 2011 Predicting the Wind Henry Thomas

I have not had a session there yet, but Andrew and Al had a few sessions in the marina last winter. From what they told me the key issue is the tide - you have to be there an hour before high tide, and the wind needs to be northerly (NE, N or NW). For kites, the shallow water isn't as big an issue, but for us windsurfers with long fins it is - so we need to launch at the boat ramp, or for a North-westerly where the astrix is. My recollection is that Al launched over in the South east corner somewhere.

May 16, 2011 Elliott Heads Board Riders Association? Henry Thomas

I agree, its pretty clear that Kites are growing in popularity and will continue to eclipse everything else. Nevertheless, there is also a solid contingent of windsurfers who are regulars, and we all share a common interest.

Insurance sounds great idea. I think it would go a long way to demonstrating that we are responsible recreational users of Elliott Heads.

Andrew, we might also look at having the association join the Coral Coast chamber of commerce? - that might give us a better insight into the rumoured changes.

May 13, 2011 Elliott Heads Board Riders Association? Henry Thomas

Brent emailed the following:

Have you done any research into what is required of a club/association legality wise? If your still keen this could be something that we could work on?

I have some info on how to set up non-profit grower group organisations (for farmers), can't imagine that EHBA would be much different. I actually have a toolkit for doing it, which will come in handy. We should probably get a group of us who are interested in getting involved to get together one afternoon (when there is no wind ;) and go though it. It is reasonably straight forward from what I can tell.

Chime in if you want to get involved!

Do you think that the term boardriders covers both wind surfers and kiters ok?

I think boardriders is pretty descriptive because it covers kite, SUP and windsurfers. I had tried to come up with something around wind and water sports, but it didn't have the same ring. Elliot Heads Boardriders Association gets a tick from me.


May 13, 2011 Learning to Hook-in Henry Thomas

While it may seem a bit narcissistic to post such embarrassing videos of myself online, my motivation for videoing sessions was so I could figure out what I was doing wrong. It takes a lot to overcome the almost daily humiliation of being a beginner - particularly if you thought you were much more competent because you windsurfed when you were younger - but then I figured that was exactly the point, when you are getting back into a sport like windsurfing and finding it all really hard, it helps to see that lots of other newbies make all the same mistakes. Sharing this online helps, particularly if there are only a few beginners like you in your area. I think its also interesting now to look back and see how quickly I progressed with regular time on the water. Just got to nail my gybes.

Best of luck barload ;)

May 12, 2011 Elliott Heads Board Riders Association? Henry Thomas

Personally, I am all for it!

I really worry that if we don't get organised and a member of the public gets injured - regardless of who did it or how - we will all get kicked off the beach. I would be prepared to contribute say $50-100 a year as an annual membership fee and put it towards making sure we continue to have access to our launch area.

Some ideas:

It would be great to have a laser etched stainless steel sign that explained to bathers and fishermen how kites and windsurfers launch, and a safe distance from the launch site to bathe etc. Also perhaps some designated areas for learners etc.

Would be good to have a tee shirt design competition and get a small run of them printed so we can look a bit official.

I like the idea of organising trips and other social events like BBQs ahead of time so we all know when and where to turn up.

I have also been looking into getting a remote weather station set up, with updates posted on this website, so we can get accurate wind reports. Having an association behind that project might help with getting permission to install a pole with the sensor and remote telemetry.

May 2, 2011 Easter Monday Henry Thomas

Hopefully we will still get a few good sessions before the winter wind pattern spoils the party.


April 30, 2011 Rob & Terry Kitesurfing Henry Thomas

Yes Justin,

I think we all owe you a shout of beer.

April 22, 2011 Board Nose Repair Henry Thomas

Thanks Eva,

I really found your website very helpful and I am grateful to you for sharing your considerable knowledge and experience.

I did find it really hard to get a smooth clear top coat, but in the end I am not unhappy with the results.

October 14, 2010 Ray & Caleb Kitesurfing Henry Thomas

Hi Guys,

Sorry this took so long to complete, had some other stuff come up in the mean time...

<<first <previous 1 2 


Welcome Guest, [ or ]