Here is the batten tuning piece I've been promising.
Batten tuning is, as we all know, an important aspect of getting one’s equipment dialled. Here are some tips for tuning your battens. This applies to slalom/freerace/ freeride sails. I can’t comment on the wave and freestyle kit which may have different requirements.
The NCX is a 7 batten sail so I will talk to this configuration. Your first task is to tighten all the battens until any and all wrinkles in the panels are eliminated. You could go on and sail now and the sail will perform quite well if you have downhauled and outhauled correctly.
To refine the setup, put some more tension on the bottom 2 battens (call these numbers 1 and 2). This will give more stability, better top speed and better power. Once again you could go out having done all of the above and have good performance but here comes some secret knowledge.
Move up to batten 4 and apply extra tension. Now move up to batten 6 and release a bit of tension until one small wrinkle appears in the panel. You are now ready to get really serious on the water.
When adding extra tension to a batten, ensure that it does not develop an S bend. This is a sign that you have over-tensioned and you need to back off a bit on the key until it straightens out.
I have been given a sneak pre-view of the 2012 Mantas and they look awesome. Very sleek and black and they really look the part. I hope that most of the black colouring comes from carbon however, and not from black paint. That would be really disappointing. My big problem with current Tabou boards is that they are all too heavy (I include the team and limited edition models in this) so I am really interested to see the new ones in the flesh. If they feel and go as well as they look, then they are going to be something special. I have not had permission to show you the pictures so you will need to wait for them to appear on the Internet.
Cheers for now and good sailing