In this post I will give some feedback on the Savage 7.8, the 2012 Falcon 113 and a brief comment on the Tabou 3S 96l but first let me tell you what happened regarding my search for a good waist harness.
As I mentioned last time I have planned to get a decent waist harness. The hook on my old one rides up and my ribs and back get punished. Waist harnesses are not generally used by my fellow slalom sailors here. The local blasters are really seat harness people who give you strange looks if you rock up in anything else. The upshot is that we know mighty little about waist harnesses.
I did some research and the waist harness I would choose is the Mystic Shadow - a serious and elegant piece of engineering.
Unfortunately the Mystic suppliers here are all kite shops and do not stock windsurfing stuff. Anyway, I decided to look at some kite harnesses and went into the Kitelab here in Langebaan. A consignment of Dakine's Pyro waist harnesses had just arrived and the price was excellent. I decided to buy one and give it a go.
If you decide to try a kiting harness I would avoid this type of hook. I believe that they refer to it as a hammerhead spreader. I suspect that it would be difficult for us to unhook quickly from this.
The good price on the Pyro allowed me to take a gamble on the thing.
Note that the hook looks a lot like a windsurfing hook and the whole thing is really well made (it is the top of their range). I have now used the harness quite a few times and must say that on the water it is excellent. It gives massive lumbar support and is ridiculously comfortable. Hooking and unhooking is totally trouble free. I'm stoked! What a pleasure when a piece of equipment does exactly what it purports to do. Who would have thought that the dark side could produce something this good for a windsurfer!
I have also had the opportunity to do some sailing with the 7.8 Savage against Gareth on his cammed 7.5m. I definitely struggle to get going as quickly as he does. I also battle to stay upwind of him on a run. We are going to do a lot more sailing with these two sails and I will keep you informed. The things I have no problem with, are sailing the Savage overpowered at speed, gybing with no rotating problems, easy downhauling etc.
I am getting used to my Falcon 113 and the process is interesting. The board is nowhere near as quick to plane as my old Falcon 104 so it needs power. When it gets going it is way more controllable over rough water at speed. I need to re-set all my equipment combinations for the various wind strengths. This board is going to be ridden in far greater wind strengths than the 104. I know that a forward mast foot position is recommended but I go quite nicely with a mid track setting when using the 6.4m Cross. With the 7.8 Savage it seemed to work well at the front but I'm not totally sure yet.
Andy very kindly suggested that I ride his 3S 96 and give you some feedback. I took it out today with a Select Eagle 29 fin underneath and my Tushingham Storm 5.0m on top. A nice combination I think, but the wind was far too strong. I got flattened so could not give it a fair run. The few gybes I managed were unbelievably easy however. The 3S supports you beautifully through every stage of the carve. A bit of witchcraft right there. I look forward to doing more on this board and Anthony has said that I can take his 3S 86 out as well for comparison. Watch this space.
Talk to you soon