Online Gear Calculator

Windsurfing Gear

What sizes and quantity of gear do you actually need?

Use this web application to calculate the number of sail or kite sizes you need based on your weight and desired target wind range.

Click below for the perfect quiver calculator:

This is something I have been playing around with for ages, and I finally got a chance to finish it. The idea was to design a web application that helped the average weekend warrior windsurfer or kiteboarder figure out just what sizes and quantity of sails or kites they needed based on their weight.

I have to thank James Douglass (who has a great blog) for creating his Windsurfing Calculator spreadsheet and Kiteboarding Calculator spreadsheet, on which this web application is closely based. I have to say, James did all the hard work figuring out these formulas, all I have done is change the way the results are calculated and presented.


Use this tool to run scenarios around your weight and target windspeed to get an idea of the range of sails or kites that you might need for different conditions. This should help you make more informed decisions about your quiver. This is particularly useful for heavier or lighter sailors who may find that the standard vendor recommendations not quite right.


Sailor weight input

Use this input to enter your weight. This can be in either kilograms or pounds, depending on which side of the pond you are on.


Sailor experience level

Here windsurfers need to select an experience level. This can be either beginner, intermediate or expert. I would select beginner if you are really just starting out. Intermediate if you can up-haul, hook-in and plane. Finally, expert if you can reliably do a carve gybe and stay dry.

Windsurfing activity

Here windsurfers need to choose their intended activity: freeride, slalom, wave, formula, wave, weed & shallow water and kids. The chosen activity sets the sail range and recommended fin sizes.


Kite type

The kite type lets you choose between either a bow or trainer kite.


Target windspeed

The target windspeed is that windspeed sweet-spot you want to build your quiver around. This could be based on the average windspeed at your favorite launch site, or perhaps more usefully, the prevailing windspeed during your favourite sessions from past season. Some ideas might be, 12.5 knots for mostly light wind sessions, or 16 knots for a fully powered up session where the lulls and gusts may fall 3 knots either side. 18 knots might be good if you live somewhere where the wind gods smile down upon you ;)

Wind range

This is particularly important for kitesurfers, because it is challenging to kite in less than 10 knots, regardless of kite size and it is also considered very dangerious to kite in more than 30 knots even with the right kite size. Nevertheless, there is no point having a quiver that covers a range or wind speeds you never go out in, so use these inputs to set your desired range.

Gap between sails or kites

This sets the gap in knots between sails or kites. Generally windsurfers will want a gap of about 3 knots, whereas kitesurfers should choose 4 knots.



Windsurfing quiver

The results for windsurfers are pretty straightforward. There is a list of recommended sail sizes for your quiver down the left hand column. This is followed by weight adjusted fin lengths plus or minus a value to compensate for stronger or lighter winds. Finally the recommended wind speed appears in down the right hand column.


Kitesurfing quiver

The results for kitesurfers are also pretty straightforward. There is a list of recommended kite sizes for your quiver down the left hand column. This is followed recommended wind ranges from light to strong. Notice how the kite range in the default example overlaps quite nicely.


So how did my hodgepodge of mostly second hand and some new gear compare to my recommended perfect quiver?

My perfect quiver

115kg intermediate sailor with a target windspeed of 16.5 knots

Well for the most part not too badly. I have the following quiver.

  • Severne CodeRED 11 m2
  • Ezzy Freeride 8.5 m2
  • Gaastra Matrix 7.5 m2
  • Gaastra Pilot 6.5 m2
  • North Duke 5.9 m2
  • Loft 360 5.1 m2

So it turns out I do have too many sails, specifically the 6.5 m2 and 7.5 m2. I should really just have a single 7.0 m2 to fill this gap. This pretty much matches my experience on the water with these sails. I often find that they are just too close together. It would have been nice to know this before I bought them - even if I did get them on second hand on eBay.

Posted by Henry Thomas, 10 years ago on Sunday, May 1, 2011


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