Sorry for the delay but I've been waiting for RRD's new slalom models to comment on but they seem to be taking forever so here is some random equipment news. The testers from Surf Magazine are here testing new equipment, quite a highlight for us locals because we get the opportunity to see new models in the flesh and look at how they perform on the water against each other. Unfortunately there is no slalom equipment this year, only wave/freestyle/freeride stuff. Very disappointing. The Fanatic guys are also here testing their own equipment and I spotted a 96l Hawk prototype. It has the same width as the current 100l model so it will be thinner. Very nice! This board would be my idea of the ultimate freeride machine - light, fast, easy and fun. Probably not as fast as the equivalent Rocket but so much more involving to sail.
I am a huge fan of the RRD brand and based on all the reviews and commentary out there, their slalom boards have to be among the best (specially for the advanced recreational guys). What always disappoints me is when an admired brand gets it wrong (North's heavy sails for example) and RRD's Firemove is one such case. Here is a fine example of a freemove design (probably one of the best) but the weights are way too high. Their light construction 110l model weighs 7.6kg. Totally unacceptable. The equivalent Fanatic Skate weighs 6.3kg. If Fanatic can get it right then the rest of the brands can too.
Gareth, my sailing partner unpacked his new Severne Gators (small sizes) this week and we rigged them. They look really cool and it will be interesting to see how they perform. I will report back once we have had a few runs. Let's see how they stack up against the Remedies. He is also considering a Gaastra Savage 6.7m to replace his old GTX. Good decision I think. Gareth recently acquired a Rocket 105 (limited construction) and I recommended a 35cm Select S11 to complement the standard fin. This may seem long for the board but the S11 is so manageable that you can go a little bigger than you could with the old SL7. You may recall that we put an S11 39cm into Andre's Rocket 115 and it smokes. The S11 is turning out to be a real star in the smaller sizes (39cm and down) and seems to work on every board in all conditions. Perfect for the overpowered sailing done in this place.
Talk to you soon