Sail design

Sail design

This month will be giving you the opportunity to ask our panel of experts any questions you may have regarding sail design. With over 30 years of experiencing in producing championship winning sails our panel have a huge breadth of knowledge available to answer any question you may have from the materials used, panel layout, construction process to the aesthetic design. Just fill out the form below and watch out for a response!

Hi Experts, I have just bought myself a 2010 7.6m Tushingham X-15 and it gives me the option of using a 490 or 460, which is better? I generally reach back and forth on my isonic 111 but I plan to use it for doing speed runs too. 

Martin Cross


The 2010 X-15 was designed around a 490 (IMCS 29 mast). However, since our introduction of the Speed Pro mast, with flex-top bend characteristics, we have discovered that it works even better for downwind speed on the 460 Speed Pro. For all-round use though, where low-end and acceleration are considerations, a 490/IMCS 29 is the better choice, with the high-performance Ultimate Pro the best 490 choice from the Tushingham range.


I have a Tushingham thunderbird 2 sail, does the luff measurement include allowance of a downhaul pulley hook or do i add it on to my mast extension?

Kevin Spencer Jacobs


Hi Kevin
The measurement doesn’t include the pulley however the luff measurement quoted is a maximum luff length – i.e. when it’s fully fully downhauled. So for regular sailing you shouldn’t require any extra extension.
All the best
Peter Hart


I have heard good things about the Storm and want to get a 6.0m.  I have a North Viper full carbon mast and am wondering if it will work well with a Storm?  In other words, how mast specific is the Storm?



The  6.0 Storm is the first sail I pack for my clinics as it’s incredibly versatile with a huge tuning range. I’ve tried it on a variety of masts and prefer it on a standard diameter, as gave it a more locked-in feel and a more friendly twist.
Its ideal mast is a 430/ 21 constant curve. It should work OK on the Viper assuming it’s a 430. One issue I found with 100% carbon masts on free-ride sails is that because they return so quickly, they can feel stiffer than they are.  

Good luck
Peter Hart


Hi Guys. Can you tell us when the next version of the Rock will be available ?
I’ve read a few snippets and it sounds worth waiting for (new light weight materials etc?). Hopefully my existing 2010 / 11 Rocks will last till then (they get pretty heavy use living here in el Medano – about 200 days of wind per year !).

Richard Attree


Hi Richard

So the word is out about the new Rock eh? It is indeed fantastic. Taty Frans gave a prototype a go in Maui and really rated it as a freestyle sail, which is a true testimony to how light and responsive it is. We’re just checking the final prototypes now and they’ll be available by July.
If you and anyone happen to be in Brandon bay (Ireland) from 10-27 May, I’ll have the new ones with me and you’ll be welcome to give them a spin.

Peter Hart


Design process?
Do you draw a unique sail surface and you change it by trial error or you start with a flying shape and you work the surface tension and aerolastics?

Relationship mast curve and luft curve (twist, sail shape and surface tension).

Pau Guillot


Hi Pau, 

Not too sure of the question but I hope this is useful. The design process could be described as trial and error but it’s a bit more than that. Every new design is a refinement of a previous one. Masts, boards, materials & sailor’s requirements are always evolving so with this in mind we are constantly trying to find ways of making the rig aerodynamically more efficient and easier to use. There are so many variables that mathematical solutions are of no help. There is no substitute for testing in wide a range of conditions over a long a period of time.

Best regards,

Ken Black


I would like to know the weight of the8,3, 7,6 and 7,0 2012 X-15 sails. I currently have 3 x 2010 Gaastra Vapors and they are so heavy.

Symon Tabbenor


X-15 weights

4.6 4.45kg
5.2 4.65kg
5.8 4.95kg
6.4 5.10kg
7.0 5.35kg
7.6 5.60kg
8.3 5.85kg
9.0 6.10kg

The X-15 offers advanced riders the opportunity to compete at the highest level in slalom and speed sailing. Peak speeds approaching 50 knots and regular podium finishes in National slalom championships are testament to the sail’s stunning performance. Compared to most of its rivals, the X-15 is a particularly user-friendly sail, being lighter-weight than most, with a moderate width luff sleeve. The light rig is a real advantage in slalom where its pump-able foil can really help in accelerating away out of the gybes.

Kind regards,

Paul Simmons – General Manager


If Peter Hart is in Brandon Bay in a couple of weeks time, can he give some feedback on the new Rock’s and how they feel compared to previous years, once he has had chance to use them.

Duncan Adam


Hi Adam
I’ll be happy to do that. Brandon is a great place to test wave sails because of the variety of conditions you can score in the same day – like side off at Gowlane and then side-on jumping at Dumps or Mozzies. I think sometimes the focus of wave sails move too much towards perfect conditions where on off trimming is the key element. Most people are NOT going to double up on sail sizes so want their wave sail to do a bit of everything, ride, jump and freestyle but without feeling like a compromise.
I was using the prototypes in Mauritius in November and I can promise you the signs are very good!
See you there
Peter Hart


There has been a lot of talk over the years about the use of zips in sail bags (just check the various forums where people are asking for this). Any chance your future sail bags could come with a simple drawstring instead of a zip. It would save a lot having to prize the buggers open when salted up. I think at least half my zips are broken. A drawstring would also be cheaper to produce.

Phil Luckhurst



Hello Phill,

A draw string would certainly be cheaper. We try to make an attractive practical bag that’s easy to put the sail into and holds the sail in a compact and supported way. We’ve always specified a high quality zip with a plastic slider to get round the corrosion issue, however, 12 months ago we increased the size of the zip, the current one is pretty chunky and we don’t expect any problems with the new setup.

Roger Tushingham


Hi all…right in my garage I have a Tushingham SRS 5.4m (Speed Race Slalom)
that I bought many, many moons ago!! It’s fluoro yellow…3 or 4 cams I think.
Odd cams too ….. you had to fold them out and push them onto the mast. Very
solid sail with none of this modern floppy leach stuff.
My question is… anyone have any idea of just how old it is? My memory is
One day soon it will make it’s majestic return to these fair waters

Eric Chardon


Hi Eric
You’re talking to the right man here! I had the job of testing the first SRSs out in Barbados in 1985 – and the Tush team used them with success at the Banks beer slalom challenge. Check the pic of the then Tush sail designer Lester Noble getting some serious air with one!
There were 3 camber inducers which were indeed a little temperamental. You’re right about the ‘twist’ situation – there was none in that era. The sail’s set  on aluminium Serfiac Pro masts which were rigid. Compared to today it was like hanging onto a brick wall. Still they did the job and were very competitive at the time.
Anyway, to answer the question, yours is about 25 years old – loads of life left in it!


I need specs for a 2007 Thunderbird 7.0 – will NP SDM masts be a perfect match?



Hello Ole,

The 7.0m T3 isn’t super-mast critical. It was designed around a 460/IMCS 25 mast with a slightly flex-top bend curve (the standard curve Tushingham uses). Most NP masts we’ve seen have been compatible with Tushingham sails, with similar bend curves to our own masts (around 15 for a 460)

We’re sure the sail will be good on a mast with bend curve between 13 and 16 bend curve, which is all 460 NP masts we know about.

Kind regards

Paul Simmons


Tushingham Quiver bag  2m and 2.40m. Do they have any padding at all?  What are they like inside? What are they made of? Reselers’ descriptions are very spars.
There is a distinct lack of small, short quiver travel bags on the market. I often need to travel with couple of small rolled up wave sails, short boom plus usual smal giblets like fins etc etc. (my 370 and 400 masts  can be transported in my oversize board bag). I am a minimalist and don’t need six sail, five boom, three meters long  £200 bag. There must be others lik me?

I can’t find simple, small padded bag with basic roofrack provisions. Someone said that Tushingham makes them? I would use a bag like this on top of the car in the UK and abroad as well as take it on the plane. It would be good if the range started from 1.80m. I would definetely buy that length! It would be good to re use the bag for a pair (or two pairs?) of skis in winter! Lots of my friends use short skis between 1.30 and 1.60m long. Again padding is needed and roofrack as well as the plane capability. 

Voitek Jezior


Hi Voitek, 

We offer three different lengths of quiver bags which you can see HERE. It has a brief description of what the bag is like. There is no padding inside the bag but there are reinforced areas at either end to make these more durable. The strap however is padded to make carrying easier and more comfortable. 

If you want to know where you can purchase this check out our where to buy section of the website. 

Hope this helps. 


Hi all , I live in south of France and I’ve lost my two cambers of my (old)
but so good VECTOR 5.1 (year about 1990  , I don’t remember) . I would like to
know where I can buy 2 new on the net or in France if possible . Thank you for
the attention you had for my ask and sorry for my bad english. Good wind for

Marc Gutierrez


Salut Marc!

Your English is as good as the Queens! The Vector! What a sail. It was actually the first design ever to introduce external cams. The idea was to make it the ultimate allrounder. Cams in is you wanted a harder, locked in slalom feel and use it a little over-powered; cams out for easier manoeuvres and handling.
So yours is 20 years old and still going! That says something about Tushingham’s build quality. Well although it’s still perfectly useable without the cams, Roger Tushingham himself has dug around in the bowels of the warehouse and found you 2 (photo attached), which you can have for the fantastically reasonable price of £15 including VAT and shipping!
May you and your Vector be happy together for many more years to come.

Bonne chance!


I was looking at getting a large sail for my freestyle board to use on lightwind days mostly with carving moves. I don’t need top end, just really early planing and light handling. So i saw your Concept sail, which seemed like a good choice in a 7.5. But i don’t see any luff or boom specs on it, could you please tell me?



Hi Rene
Yes the Concept would be a good choice. If you’re trying to make big sails work on smaller boards (I’m assuming your freestyle board is around 100 ltrs) then weight is really important. The Concept is especially light both in kilos and in the hands. It has a luff length of 478cm and a max boom length of 205cm.  

You’re right in that a full, grunty slalom sail just would send the board sidways.

All the best


Is the Rock OK for a 14 year old  T15 windsurfer?



The Rock will be excellent for a 14 year old. For youth sailors they are the best option as they tend to have a flatter profile, are softer and lighter in the hands and therefore easier to uphaul and waterstart, compared to a free-ride sail.

A top tip is to set the Rock on the softest recommended mast, depending on his or her size, they’re likely to be on a sail of 4.2 or less which ideally takes a mast of 340 (IMCS 14). Any longer and stiffer and the rig still works but is noticeably heavier in the hands and less reactive.

All the best
Peter Hart 


The Panel

  • Roger Tushingham
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    Roger Tushingham

  • Dave Hackford
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    Dave Hackford

  • James Connor
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    James Connor

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  • Sam Ross
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    Sam Ross

  • Peter Hart
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    Peter Hart

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    Simon Bornhoft

  • Get Windsurfing
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    Get Windsurfing

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    Warren Rowe

  • Team Rider Louis Morris wins Amateurs Tiree Wave Classic 2016
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    Team Rider Louis Morris wins Amateurs Tiree Wave Classic 2016

  • Final Post Of My European Road Trip
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    Final Post Of My European Road Trip

  • Pre Training For European Championships 2016
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    Pre Training For European Championships 2016

  • UKWA Cup Event 4 was held at Weymouth over the weekend 16-17 July.
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    UKWA Cup Event 4 was held at Weymouth over the weekend 16-17 July.

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    Club Vass Summer Break

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    Sara Kellet Europe Road Trip Blog 1

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  • Hectic Few Weeks for Our British Slalom Champion
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    Hectic Few Weeks for Our British Slalom Champion

  • My First BSA Slalom Event
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    My First BSA Slalom Event

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    Dave Coles

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    Scotty Stallman

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