Grant, one of the local sailors lent me his Rocket 105 a few days ago. It is the blue and white model, between the blue and limited editions so is quite heavy for me but once up to speed it hauls. The chop is simply not a problem and the standard fin is good over unsettled water. This must be one of the best fast freeride boards of all time - fast and easy to control and nice to gybe. For more speed and a bit more directional stability, a Select S11, 35cm would cook on this board. I note that the 2012 Rocket 105 is slightly wider than the current model. Awesome!
Yesterday I rode Andre's 7.0m NCX and was impressed all over again. I rode with two of the power sailors both on full slalom kit (7.8+7.6 m sails). I was a bit under powered and found myself being pushed downwind and down current. This always ends in having to battle upwind which slows you down so I was not able to keep up but had a great sail nevertheless. I clipped the NCX onto Andre's Rocket 115 and had a few blasts. Andre has bought an S11 for the beast and the combination hauls. I could hang with the big guys for much of the way but lost out in transitions. The freeride stuff battles to get you into a commanding upwind position after the gybe especially when you are fighting the current. The slalom equipment with big race sails and fins has no such problem. All in all an interesting day. The camless sail was outpaced going upwind and downwind but conditions were marginal for a 7.0 so, with this in mind, it equipped itself well.
The new Select fins seem to have pushed quite a few of the guys into a different league as far as straight line speed goes. The fins can be sailed in larger sizes than the old SL7's and do not punish you at all. This allows you to concentrate on other things like the water state and tactics. Much faster!
Talk to you soon. (stay sheeted in)