Two new boards which may be of interest are the Gecko from Fanatic and Naish's new Bullet.
The Gecko is a freeride board which looks extremely easy to plane, sail and turn (look at the teaser video on the site). Not the fastest thing on the water but a nice board to have on those days when you need to give the blasting a break and just have fun, polish the gybes or try new moves. You may have a partner who is not keen to blast at full speed all the time and this looks like a great board for such a sailor. The board comes in 3 widths (69, 77, 83). They give no weights at this stage and I have to say that I expect these boards to be a bit heavy. We shall see when all the specs are available. Too much weight will be a pity because this type of board should be feather light.
I am attracted to the width, the flatness and the large range of foot strap positions.
Naish has resumed making proper light slalom boards for 2013. Up to now they have had the Grand Prix - a nice board I am sure, but in a heavy construction. The Bullet promises to be light, fast and comfortable over rough conditions. Naish have kept away from the modern trend to wider, shorter boards and also, they do not increase board lengths in the smaller sizes, opting to increase length as the boards get bigger. If it were some other company doing this I would be the first to criticize but these guys know what they are doing. They test their stuff in their own sailing ground and the videos show that conditions there can get wild. Robby is a grand master of course so I have to believe that the boards are something special. Unfortunately they are off limits for us here but I would really love to test one.
The sizes are 95/60cm, 115/66cm, 130/78. All in all quite long, narrow and fat compared to most of the other slalom boards out there today.
One thing I like about Naish slalom boards is the two rows of foot strap holes. The site states that the boards come with Deboichet SL7 fins. I had never heard of such a fin and Deboichet's site makes no mention of an SL7.
Well here it is.
Not a bad looking fin but in Deboichet's cheaper construction. I hope the fins are man enough for the job. Always remember, you can wreck the performance of a board by putting the wrong fin under it.
Talk to you soon