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Surfboard Volume ?

 
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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
101 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostSat Dec 21, 19 1:25 am    Surfboard Volume ? Reply with quote

Calling all engineers and tech peeps...Asking for mathematical opinion on ideal board size - Specifically LENGTH vs. WIDTH = VOLUME including distribution of VOLUME aka SHAPE.

SUBJECT: Me - 275lbs - 6'1/2'' couple years kiting, 20 windsurfing & surfing

USE: Mostly Gorge swell maybe starting to check out the coast next summer (smaller waves)

KITES: 6 - 8 - 10 - 12 . Rebels mostly - "baby high wind kite" is a NEO -

TYPICAL RANGE: KITE SIZE @ 255lbs. (see table below)
# MIN Range MAX
12 16 8 24
10 21 8 29
8 29 8 37
6 38 7 45




HYPOTHESIS: Few 150-185 pounders can correctly extrapolate the experience of being a BIG GUY and the board companies build for the masses, so I'm not buying into the myth that just going to the 6 foot board from the 5'8 or 5'10 that the shop guys rip is the right UPSIZE for me to get stoked on surfboard use vs. TT (Yes I know foiling is the future, let's keep that for another thread)

In my shortboard surfing days I had a sweet Rusty 6'9'' but it was built wider like 20+ inches and thicker volume throughout the board with squash tail. In the too many years of windsurfing I never got good advice on boards and had to find my own way typically with much more volume for the systems to work.

Given that experience and NOT trusting the little people, I picked up a 6'1'' North WAM used as a test case - only have a few initial rides so far, but the board felt very small underfoot, like less floaty than my TT which is a crazy fly raptor 140x42 seen in picture for reference.

Clearly, I need more time on the water, but from my prior "hard lessons" trying to make sure that time is well spent on the RIGHT gear. Suggestions appreciated for the board stuff, yes I could lose 20-25 pounds but that's not fun and I'd still be 250lbs and that would mean no beer and lots of yucky green stuff like vegetables...plus a heart of GOLD adds a lot Cool

Mc

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
387 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostSat Dec 21, 19 8:30 am     Reply with quote

Use the same volume for your kitesurfboard as you use in your twin-tip.

If you want less performance and control over a particular part of the board, use risers to get your feet further away from the planing surface (underside of the board).

If you want more control and more performance, keep your feet closer to the planing surface of the surfboard.





McLovin wrote:
....I picked up a 6'1'' North WAM used as a test case - only have a few initial rides so far, but the board felt very small underfoot, like less floaty than my TT which is a crazy fly raptor 140x42 seen in picture for reference.


You have taken your first step away from the pronesurfing/windsurfing mentality that suckers kiters into thinking volume is useful......and you seemed to have missed it.

Foot print is more important - so long as you are riding it with a surfboard stance, and not a TT stance. So always remember that with a directional, your foot is WAAAYYYYY back on the kitesurfboard, forcing the tail into the water. And in this position, the tail of a kitesurfboard does not have the "lever arm" to push up on you from planing forces that a TT does. This means that you actually need to weight the front foot more than when on a TT. So you need different stances. And leaning forward on a directional is difficult to understand and get a feel for. It is kind of like only snowboarding powder with a back weighted stance, then getting to hardpack and having to lean forward to remain in control.

Many other factors exist when comparing the other two water sports you mentioned such as:

1. When prone surfing, volume is used to get up on the board and is relative to body weight/wave type/speed/skill BUT in kitesurfing the kite gets you going with no need for volume. And that is where you can see how actually reducing volume to an insignificant number is beneficial while still allowing you to ride waves.

2. When prone surfing, the force moving you forward is generated by going down the wave face and is in the direction of the wave's travel BUT in kitesurfing, the kite and the force from the wave have two different directions, requiring you to weight the board differently, at least until you can fully depower the kite (typically only for a split second).

3. When windsurfing, volume is use to counter the force of gravity acting on the board because the sail is mostly upright and providing little to no lifting force on the rider after the waterstart BUT in kitesurfing the transition between waterstart and plaining is almost instantaneous, thus negating any need for volume to cope with "just standing there" at the beginning.







McLovin wrote:

HYPOTHESIS: Few 150-185 pounders can correctly extrapolate the experience of being a BIG GUY and the board companies build for the masses, so I'm not buying into the myth that just going to the 6 foot board from the 5'8 or 5'10 that the shop guys rip is the right UPSIZE for me to get stoked on surfboard use vs. TT


So after getting rid of the pesky hold-over of volume from other sports, lets talk about weight....of the board.

I highly recommend you get a strapped jibe down before you move onto strapless. It will be extremely beneficial to your understanding of the jibe and the ultimate capabilities of a kitesurfboard. But definitely put some strapless time in too. You will learn much about kite control when you do.

So if you are strapped, you need more weight in the board, given your body weight. And that weight needs to be in extra glass on the deck (and maybe a bit of extra glass underneath). This is essential to the board so that it does not have "disposable tendencies". Though it seems bad to have a heavy board, as a percentage increase of your body weight, it should even out.

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Last edited by Matt V on Sat Dec 21, 19 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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Windian

Since 28 Apr 2008
812 Posts
Newport, OR
NEWPORT OG



PostSat Dec 21, 19 9:04 am     Reply with quote

Width of a kite surfboard is going to be a larger factor than length in terms of how floaty and big the board feels under your feet. For bigger guys that are 200 lbs+ I would recommend a minimum width of 19 1/2" to 20" or possibly even wider. It does also take some time to get used to kiting with surfboards if you have mostly just been on twintips. Since much of the function and fun of surfboards is about turning downwind whether jibing or riding waves, it is necessary to fine tune drifting your kite and/or keeping it powered while transitioning. Keep at it and it will pay off when you start bashing lips.

Very Happy

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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
1521 Posts

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PostSat Dec 21, 19 10:00 am     Reply with quote

With a windsurfing background I think you will pick up directional transitions very quickly. When I transitioned to a directional from a twin tip I really hated having straps. I found them to force my feet into locations I did not always want them to be in. Took them off after one session and never used them again. Your mileage may vary...
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macgruber

Since 06 Dec 2011
443 Posts
SE PDX volcano
Obsessed



PostSat Dec 21, 19 11:10 am     Reply with quote

Yes to width over length. Volume helps mostly when stalling on an ocean wave. Not as necessary in the Gorge. I like my 19.5” wide Tyrant most but my 5’8” Celeritas is better at planing and more stable. I think the 5’10 Celeritas would be great for you. I didn’t like the Dialer but it has the most volume. Too high of volume makes waterstarting similar to a large windsurfer where you have to catapult up since it doesn’t sink much

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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
101 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostSat Dec 21, 19 1:25 pm    Board-OM Reply with quote

Matt V wrote:
So you need different stances. And leaning forward on a directional is difficult to understand and get a feel for. It is kind of like only snowboarding powder with a back weighted stance, then getting to hard pack and having to lean forward to remain in control.

I highly recommend you get a strapped jibe down before you move onto strapless. It will be extremely beneficial to your understanding of the jibe and the ultimate capabilities of a kitesurfboard. But definitely put some strapless time in too. You will learn much about kite control when you do.


Thanks Matt V - that sounds VERY familiar many many years sliding on mountains Smile

Why would I need a heavier board? Other than damage mitigation??

Will hold off on the strapped vs. free (how can you define something by that which is NOT there - aka strap-less is an odd term-) leaning toward free surf mode.

Mc


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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
101 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostSat Dec 21, 19 1:43 pm    Matters of WIDTH Reply with quote

Thanks also to Windian, Macgruber & Eric -

Seems a consensus is to be on the lookout for a wider deck? it's been a while but I recall my old Rusty was around 20 +/- wide and was much better than many other boards made for PEOPLE with less volume Smile

Would love any input from those with direct experience and tips from those in the OPEN weight class (+250lbs) for relevance.

*Alternatively, a challenge to the math majors, a F(x) Formula that implies an ideal target dimension changed by the weight/volume of the rider assuming normal powered conditions let's assume a K static force given the proper choice of kite size for any given wind speed.

PS - Eric sounds like you have some straps to spare?

Mc


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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
387 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostSat Dec 21, 19 3:25 pm    Re: Board-OM Reply with quote

McLovin wrote:

Why would I need a heavier board? Other than damage mitigation??


Yes, damage mitigation is the main reason. But you were asking specifically about "scaling". And a 150lb rider on top of a surfboard with 2 layers of 5.4oz S-glass will likely never break that board, especially if they are strapless. If you get on that same board, I would give it about a week before it has no value because of your heel prints, and 3weeks of life on the Oregon coast before it snaps. So scaling up the glass schedule is necessary even for strapless. There is more here, like wider board = more force up (must be resisted by force down, but that is the simple of it.

If you are strapped kitesurfing, there are also some benefits of having a heavier board with handling chop/how it affects your body (lighter boards bounce around more). Even quick/powered jibe techniques are different when considering weight. And while I have not done extensive testing with same hull shape with a weight change, it is reasonable to assume that a heavier board just has more plain old inertia when you hop step to the other side.




McLovin wrote:

Will hold off on the strapped vs. free (how can you define something by that which is NOT there - aka strap-less is an odd term-) leaning toward free surf mode.


Not so fast. In prone surfing, you just cannot use rigid straps for two reasons.

The first is paddling difficulties. Shortboards just cannot be prone paddled easily, or stood up on easily, if there are straps on the deck. And longboards are just too long for anyone to make sense of multiple strap positions. On longboards/funboards, a surfer definitely NEEDS to move their feet around over the length of the board. So prone surfing has never truly been able to utilize straps, even if they wanted to.

The second is that surfing is very big on conformity. This tends to bleed over onto kitesurfing also. But some of the greatest pioneers of surfing were called "kooks" for thinking outside the box. And in the end, strong personalities that could not be shamed into conforming, invented tow-in surfing. And it turned out that more control at higher speeds could be had BY BEING IN STRAPS!!! To translate, there is a higher performance potential with the straps, vs being strapless. Is strapless more of a challenge? - Yes! Is it harder to pull off simple jumps or rolls strapless, than when you have straps? - Yes! So strapless is a definite handicap on any kitesurfboard (under about 6'-0"). If you want that handicap and admire those that choose to have it, so be it.

As far as "leaning toward free surf mode", I was with you there a long time ago. I was so convinced that I needed my kitesurfing to be just like my surfing that I even spouted that rhetoric anytime someone questioned the strapless religion. Fortunately, I made myself learn the strapped jibe before I took off the straps. But even after becoming a competent strapless rider with jumps and rotations, I realized that straps expanded the performance envelope of kitesurfing. And if you do become competent at both, you too can compare.

Now I have taken off the shroud of "wanting my kitesurfing to be more like my surfing". For me, I now wish that my "surfing could be more like my kitesurfing".

If you don't want to take "outside of the strapless box" advice, then any old bigger surfboard, coupled with a wave kite is going to be fine for simulating prone surfing at your weight.




McLovin wrote:

*Alternatively, a challenge to the math majors, a F(x) Formula that implies an ideal target dimension changed by the weight/volume of the rider assuming normal powered conditions let's assume a K static force given the proper choice of kite size for any given wind speed.


Unfortunately, rider style/experience/approach/goals are variables that outweigh rider weight as a factor. This is unlike windsurfing in that kites are not necessarily matched to boards like sails are matched to windsurfing boards. Think tiny board with huge kite, or tiny kite with huge board. Then throw in "style/experience/approach/goals" and there is just no way to "math this one out". I am not berating you for trying or thinking about it - that is good! But you are flying a wind power harnessing device that allows you to actually ride a blow up doll. Pinning down what is ideal with something that has that kind of range is gonna make your head hurt.

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
387 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
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PostSat Dec 21, 19 3:43 pm     Reply with quote

eric wrote:
......When I transitioned to a directional from a twin tip I really hated having straps. I found them to force my feet into locations I did not always want them to be in. Took them off after one session and never used them again. Your mileage may vary...


This is my backstory too. I loved surfing without straps, and I was always trying to get away from straps in windsurfing. Then when I began my directional kitesurfing experience, it was on a borrowed board that I could never adjust the straps wide enough for my feet to get into. Thus I had to ride that board with my feet on top of the straps. And I cannot say that I pulled off an honest jibe, though that board was an old Naish from 2001 or so.

I vowed that when I finally purchased my own directional, I would only be a strapless rider. Fortunately, I forced myself to at least learn the strapped jibe before "throwin the straps in the bin". Even more fortunately, I did not actually throw the straps away as I was going to give them away.

After learning the strapped jibe, I did go strapless for a long time. Long enough to really start having fun strapless by getting good at the things that were so challenging about it.

But every once in a while, I would put those straps back on because of bad conditions or to do some boosting with the TT'ers.

In the end, I came to realize that the straps let me push the performance envelope of the kite/rider/board system in ways that were not possible (or even truly fun) when strapless.

But sometime in the future, when my body is falling apart more so than it is now, I intend to tone things down and go strapless once again.....and maybe even dedicate some more time to hydrofoilling.





eric wrote:
......I found them to force my feet into locations I did not always want them to be in.


This is the error that most kitesurfers make , who come from a prone surfing background, regarding straps!

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can only press down while in the straps. You can actually shift your weight to any where on the board by USING the entire strap and playing with the forces you can apply to the board through the straps. Twist, pry up on your toes, pry up on your heel, pull up, and push sideways - all allow instantaneous weight shifts WITHOUT MOVING YOUR FEET! Coming from surfing, this will seem very odd as you cannot get close to the high forces without the straps, even with punt wax or even Velcro! This is what leads to a strapped kitesurfer looking more jerky in their movements as opposed to a strapless rider looking smoother. The "smoothness" in strapless comes from the added time and stability needed in the movements. The "jerkiness" in strapped comes from the instantaneous capabilities of the connected board.

By learning to really push the limits of the system when actually connected to the board, you will open up a whole new world. And that world is more than the sum of surfing and kiteboarding.

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eric

Since 13 Jan 2006
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PostSat Dec 21, 19 4:12 pm     Reply with quote

McLov, I sold all of my straps over the summer. I had a lot of them
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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
101 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostSat Dec 21, 19 4:49 pm    Good Advice Reply with quote

Thx again Matt V -

I can see the limitations of the question I was asking and the too many variables involved, but your discussion and thoughts covered some of the many points that have been rattling around in my head.

Appreciate your comments on 'straps' especially reference to the OG Maui crew - I'm open to all forms of fun and plan to try them all eventually - a lot to learn - bonus to have the board safely on my feet for boosts but it sounds like I better be a smooth lander or have a BIG quiver of disposable boards (I don't BTW) for jump mode.

If the question is CAN YOU KITE IT? Obviously the answer is YES, mostly Smile
the Giant thong has to be the coolest...Cool at 1:21
https://youtu.be/CFKu8Ke0sGE

Mc

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sfbomber

Since 27 Jun 2012
90 Posts

 



PostSun Dec 22, 19 7:35 am    surfboard size Reply with quote

Hi,
I typically recommend the same size surfboard for kitesurfing, as you would use for prone surfing (thanks to Felix Pivec). There are many different styles of surfing; strapped versus unstrapped, chicken loop versus fixed, hooked versus unhooked. These different styles would would affect the size of the board (e.x. strapped = smaller, chicken loop = smaller, hooked = smaller).
The firewire surfboard volume calculator doesn't go up to your weight, but if you plug in 140, then double the numbers you get (strong waves/weak waves):
beginner 82-96
int/beg 60-74
intermediate 48-62
advanced/int 38-54
I think it is best to be realistic and conservative on ranking your ability. Those numbers don't take a wetsuit into account, which can add 10-20# of water weight. If you are on a volume (or surface area) that is too small, there is more drag/less momentum, so you need kite power to maintain your plane.

A good place to start for off the shelf boards are fish, eggs, and funboards, as they tend to be wider. Joe Blair in California specializes in boards for bigger guys.
https://www.jblairsurf.com/big-guy-surfboards/
I have his 7'7" x 24.5" x 3 5/8" 75.7L SB White (> 8M kite). I weigh 200#, but I surf in strong currents and have a bad shoulder, so like the extra paddle power of wider boards (like Bob Simmons)
My favorite all around board is a Kirk McGinty L41 Butter Knife model.
https://www.l41surfcraft.com/models
It is kind of like his TV Dinner SUP model, but in the dimensions of a surfboard. The width is 24" (not sure of the other dimensions, but around 6').
When I am more powered up, I have fun on a Placebo Surfskate (5'4" x 19.5") [Note: This board would be too small for you]
I recommend checking out noseless shapes, as you don't use or need the traditional surfboard nose, it just adds swing weight for a kitesurfer.
In terms of length, the longer the more likely you'll hit the nose with chop. My first directional was 6'6", which is fun. Anything over 7' starts feeling like a mini malibu, (unless it is a mini-gun). Anything over 8' feels like a longboard.

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Makelo295

Since 09 Aug 2016
8 Posts
Hillsboro
Kook



PostMon Dec 23, 19 9:45 pm     Reply with quote

I understand the concern about riding on the heavy end of the spectrum the board and kites are designed for. I agree with what Matt V wrote earlier about some people preferring big board small kite and others small board big kite in the same conditions.
I have been kitting surfboards for five years and here are my numbers for the Gorge where I mostly ride swell with typical choppy conditions:

TYPICAL RANGE: KITE SIZE @ 190lbs.
# MIN Range MAX
10m 19 8 27
8m 24 8 32
6m 29 8 37
5m 38 8 42+

I transitioned from twin-tip to a surfboard five years back. My first surfboard was a tiny 5’9”, 17 3/4 wide, 23 liter board. This was great for learning jibes (transitions), and it handles similar to a twin-tip in many ways. Water starts are super easy, because the tail sinks. After 20 years windsurfing, I felt like jibing a snappy smooth turning surfboard has a similar feel and I picked it up quickly. I still love this board, but the drawback of such a tiny board is that it requires a lot of power to work. Actually it works best when I am slightly overpowered. When not well powered, it is hard to stay upwind on this board. I still use this board strapless with my 5m and 6m kites.

My favorite board these days is an 5’11”, 18 1/4” wide, 25 liter board. The extra width and volume make this board work well when slightly under powered. The funny thing is, this is not a big jump in the numbers from the tiny board, and the rocker lines look about the same. But I can keep this board upwind as long as I have just enough wind that I am not having to work the kite constantly to keep it in the sky. I use this board with 6m, 8m and 10m kites.

For reference, I still keep a 142cm twin tip that I use with 10m and 12m kites. It feels like a slightly smaller ride than my 5’11” but slightly bigger than my 5’9”.

I have demoed boards as big as 6’0” 32 liters. These are fun for me on a 12m in smooth flat water but become uncomfortable in the choppy Gorge once powered on a 8m. To me, such a big board is frustrating to turn and just feels too thick to respond to my weight. I feel like to board pushes me around when I try to make quick turns in choppy water.

For what its worth, assuming you are kiting in the Gorge, I would recommend staying smaller in board volume initially since it will be easier to switch back and forth with your twin tip, and focus on a size that is good for the typical 24-32mph day. Actually your 6’1” WAM sounds like a good fit - it might be the perfect size for 255lbs. Enjoy going back and forth between the two board types and have fun experimenting.

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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
101 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostTue Dec 24, 19 4:25 am     Reply with quote

Makelo295 wrote:
Assuming you are kiting in the Gorge, I would recommend staying smaller in board volume initially since it will be easier to switch back and forth with your twin tip, and focus on a size that is good for the typical 24-32mph day. Actually your 6’1” WAM sounds like a good fit - it might be the perfect size for 255lbs. Enjoy going back and forth between the two board types and have fun experimenting.


Thanks for chiming in Makelo! Appreciate your direct experience. I'll have to get on the water and see how it goes, nice there are plenty of options locally if needed - stopped into W/D today to peek, several good options in the SS line - maybe Celero 5'11'' good looking shape except the tail and wider TBD? - I feel a DEMO coming on

Guess I'll keep my new/old blue WAM for now and see how she rides...have a feeling I may end up on a bigger/wider ride...or collect a few - haha Smile

PS - Thx SFBomber - good leads on bigger boards if needed, I SAVED those links

Mc


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pajsan1

Since 09 May 2012
3 Posts

Kook



PostThu Dec 26, 19 9:28 pm     Reply with quote

Well I think the question is how do you want to ride in the Gorge. Strapless air, cut off’s the lip ETC ETC. For myself (yes being lighter) I just dusted off and old self made board based on the Simmons design, mini Simmons. It’s smooth as butter and yes foot positioning is key. I’m currently in La Ventana where the wind been very iffy lately. It’s been a joy to ride with the gusty conditions we have down here now. Check out Gong Kites their Matata model to give you an idea. I do foil as well, but the mini Simmons got me back to strapless surfboard, just smooth carving and pure fun.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
449 Posts

Obsessed



PostSun Dec 29, 19 10:54 am     Reply with quote

McLovin - I believe we met at Rooster this year (perhaps September) on an easterly day. There were just three of us chatting in the parking lot before heading out. I walked up to launch you.

We are about the same size.

A lot of peeps posting on this thread that know a lot about kitesurfing, but don't know much about kite surfing at 275 lbs. I recommend they go put a 100lbs sack of sand on their backs and then go out and give it a whirl...

Length of board - makes no difference.
Volume of board - makes very little difference (only when going very slow).
Width of board - Most import attribute.

Having a wide board allows you to maintain a plane with much less power in your kite.

I have ridden all sorts of different size boards over the years and can jibe them all (skinny, fat, short, long). If you want to come out of your jibe in a plane on a small board you need to be very powered up and extremely efficient with your process. If you hit a lull you will instantly slog out of a plane which isn't much fun.

I would recommend the 5'10" slingshot mixer or the 5'10" slingshot celero.

If you are looking for used boards look for an old 5'10" slingshot dialer (the board I learned on), or a 5'10" slingshot celeritas (the board I currently ride).

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sfbomber

Since 27 Jun 2012
90 Posts

 



PostSun Dec 29, 19 2:56 pm     Reply with quote

Food for thought:
http://www.surfline.com/blog/entry.cfm?id=27888&sef=true&CFID=427536&CFTOKEN=88058971
Because you are using a kite, you can underestimate your age. I call kitesurfing the lazy man's surfing. The more juiced you are on your kite, you can underestimate your weight.
Webster surfboards (in Australia), gives you an idea of widths and volumes for big guy surfboards.
https://www.webstersurfboards.com.au/big-guy-boards/
Carrozza in California, has the big guy hyperlink model:
https://www.carrozzasurfboards.com/collections/surfboards/products/hyperlink

I too have tried all kinds of shapes, lengths, and widths. Though I appreciate the speed of a narrow gun, wide boards are "fun". Some big wave surfers are going shorter and wider on big waves. Perhaps stand up paddle boards has introduced surfers to the glide of wider boards.

Here is some finless fun on a low aspect ratio board by young Ryan Burch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adMAvGZz0t0

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