I've been looking at some of the new boards and I must say there is a lot of nice slalom stuff around.
RRD has always been a top windsurfing brand and the new Xfire range looks very impressive. F2 has some tasty stuff as well. Their Silver Arrow slalom boards are really light and by all accounts really fast. I always take notice when the designer of a piece of windsurfing equipment is himself a top sailor (Dave Ezzy, Patrik Diethelm, Bruce Peterson, Ben Severne, Andrea Cucchi, Josh Angulo Anders Brigdal etc) and I think Dan Aeberli has produced something special for us with the Silver Arrows. I like the fact that they also have a range of Silver Arrow sails which I think are being done in collaboration with Sailloft Hamburg. A nice concept but I would have made the sails a bit racier (3 cams, extra light construction, blistering speed)
Speaking of Josh Angulo, I see that his 2011 slalom board is back to a conventional shape. What happened to the extended nose and reduced tail area which in 2009 and 2010 were claimed to be such an important breakthrough? I understand that those 2009 and 2010 boards actually worked pretty well too so who knows.
Watching both Patrik Diethelm and Karin Jaggi in the racing last year, I have no doubt that the new Patrik boards are also something special. Patrik is exactly the kind of person we need to be designing boards - a top rider who is technically excellent and totally obsessed with windsurfing (slightly insane some would say). The right man!
Quite a few interesting moves have taken place amongst the top slalom racers. Benoit and Sylvain Moussilmani have moved to Tabou and, as one of the readers commented, can a move to Gaastra for these two guys be far off? This in turn makes one wonder if Simmer is backing out of slalom racing. If Benoit and Sylvain leave Simmer then only Kurosh remains as a top racer for them. If you look at Simmer's list of riders Kurosh is not there (?). I also note that Simmer's 2011 race sail has still not been unveiled even though they promised it for 01/01/2011. If they pull out I will definitely miss the sight of those green sails giving the main brands a good go in the PWA videos.
Peter Bijl has left Fanatic, joined JP/Neil Pryde and will be racing again this year - good news. He also joins Antoin and Micah in the development of the new JP slalom boards. Other moves are Jesper Vesterstrom to North and Sean O'Brien to Starboard - two potent guys so good news for those two brands.
I still have no idea what sails Finian is going to be using this year. The RRD Xfire promo video shows him riding the boards using Pryde sails so maybe he is returning to Pryde. There is nothing on the Pryde site to suggest that he will join them though.
On the local front we have had some excellent winds recently and have sailed ourselves to exhaustion. We had the downwind dash last week and Bernd Flessner won followed by Alberto Menegatti. Two awesome sailors. I took completely the wrong equipment and was totally out of control for the entire race. A nightmare!
Pit is leaving for a week to do some sightseeing with his family so I will run some of his fins while he is away. He has Deboichet and Lightning fins so it will be interesting to run these back to back with my Select models. I'll report back if we get suitable winds for the fin sizes he has.