Tuesday, November 29, 2011

JP Super Lightwind

The centre has a JP Super Lightwind (165l/250cm long/95cm wide) on test and I had the opportunity to test it against Gareth on his formula board.  We rigged identical sails (Gaastra Swift 9m) and pulled each down the same amount and did some varied sailing.  In the light wind we sailed round the island in our lagoon and when the wind picked up we blasted back and forth on a 1.5km run across the wind.

We chose the island route first because it provides a wide range of wind and water conditions and requires you to sail across a wide variety of wind angles.  In the light wind the formula board planed earlier and also stayed on the plane better through the lulls.  Its 70 cm fin would have had a lot to do with this.  The formula board was much better downwind but strangely, the JP proved slightly better upwind in these light conditions.  Gareth's board is not that good upwind so beating it in this angle is not all that difficult.  Regardless, Gareth easily won the race proving that in the light, varied conditions the dedicated racing machine had the overall advantage.

As soon as we had completed the island leg, the wind picked up and we were fully powered for our drag racing.  Here the JP smoked the formula board on every run - no contest!

Here are my impressions of the good and the bad of this JP model:

The Good -

  • The fin they supply with the board is a pleasant surprise.  It is a carbon fin, thin and soft which results in really good control at speed.  As mentioned above it allows the board to motor upwind with little effort.
  • The deck of the board incorporates domed sections under each foot which give good support, comfort and confidence.  A nice touch.
  • The ride over rough water is comfortable and the nose never digs in regardless of the chop.
  • The bottom shape is a very slight V along the entire length of the board and this makes for a comfortable ride and really easy gybes.  Stand on the leeward rail and the board shoots round providing you have the speed.   

The Bad -

  • The board in the construction tested is far too heavy.  I'm not sure whether they plan to make this model in the light construction but if they do then it would be a big improvement.
  • The fin, although good, is really not powerful enough.  If you are in the market for this board you should consider getting a second fin with more power for the really light conditions.  When the wind picks up the standard fin is perfect.
  • Ease to plane is not quite up to that of the formula board we were using.

This Super Lightwind is the bigger model in the range.  I have the feeling that it may be aimed at the intermediate sailor.  I think that the smaller one (154l/90cm wide and 237cm long) would be more suited to the advanced sailor and I would be interested to do exactly the same test with this model (in the light construction).
Talk to you soon

1 comment:

  1. Yes those light winddays.. I have now the JP Superlightwind 92 (165liter) in wood and my resume after a rough windy day with about 20knots (always choppy wind and water condition) driving a 10,5m² sail (which was sometimes overpowered for these condition at Austria lake neusiedl):
    First resume in these rough condition was very great. The board was smooth and not bumpy - a new felling (I am an advanced windsurfer and have an "old formula" Mistral RTX so i can compare). The board was freeride felling and freerace in speed condition but always controlable (no top down- and upwind course as with the formula). I tried also my first jibe on this boards and it was also fine performing, but i need to optimize my standing comparing to the formula (back foot on the other side of the back strap) this is where the JP is then making a thight turn and for me first of all no change to get a planing jibe - but always easy turning no stopping.
    In the end it was real great, but in furture i would change to my smaler board in these hard conditons, due to i sometimes was affraid of the beating condition in the choppy water - a big knowledge for me in performing my windsurf skills.
    In first starting low wind conditions i saw other formula boards gliding where the JP was in stop and go conditon. Maybe this is something i need to upgrade in handling the JP or get low with my weight of 110kg.
    Anyway i was feeling happy and also had other light wind days where i was in planing condition and other normal boards where not.
    I also note the Lorch Bird 179 in carbon which might be better performing, on the other side carbon is very sensible if you crash so for me the JP was the better choice and i didn't rue it since ordering the board last year.
    I also tried a 12,5m² sail on the board too and it worked fine so this will be an option for the optimizing light wind days with planing conditions in furture.
    Enjoy those light wind days with a laughing smile. For me this blog was the ignition for testing this board before i ordered it. Thanks to the post of Phil
    The bad things about the fin i didn't note, but i have some other formula fin for the deep turtle board - maybe i will test in future to compare.
    For me the most fun is planing on long distance and optimizing my jibes now.....Hope to see you planing too.
    Peter the "Windglider"