Since the last post Andy and I have had the opportunity to ride some of the new freeride boards. We have also been experimenting with Andy's Tabou 3S 96 with an S12 Select fin. I will devote an entire post to the Tabou stuff. I will then cover the Lorch Glider, Fanatic Hawk, (and the RRD Firemove if we get to ride it) in another post. Before all of this I want to discuss some of the new stuff on the market.
Three VMax fins from Select came in the other day and Anthony called me in to have a look at them before they were shipped to their new owner. The fins are extremely attractive, wrapped completely in carbon fiber weave - light and strong, each fin a work of art. They are really stiff which is a slight concern for me since we are all falling for the soft compliance of the new S12's. The rake and shape of the fins is completely different from the S12 so this may impart good control characteristics to the fin. The feedback from the power sailor who received the fins has been great. He is stoked but he is also really heavy, really strong and really skilled so I am going to reserve judgement on the VMax until I get to ride one.
The other new equipment comes from Avanti. They now have some other sails and masts on their site. The Poweride is a blasting sail to rival the likes of Severne's Gator, Gaastra's Cross and North's X-Type.
I would love to take one for a spin. The construction is both light and strong and I have a feeling that Dan has imbued the thing with some magic. Aesthetically I would prefer the head of the sail to follow the lines of their Viper wave sail but this is a minor niggle.
The Avanti Viper is a wave sail which looks so right to me.
The weights on this sail are less than any other I can find. A 5 meter Viper weighs 2.7kg. Compare this to a Severne Blade 5.0m (one of the lightest sails on the market) which weighs 3.12kg. Rig your Viper 5.0 on the Avanti Spine RDM mast (1.3kg) and the two weigh only 4kg. Now add a carbon boom from Powerex weighing in at 1.8kg and your entire rig weighs less than 6kg. Fantastic!
The Avanti guys are not playing. The people they use to manufacture their masts, also work on projects for NASA. Intellect, advanced materials and military tolerances - three of my favorite things! They do not show their Condor freerace sail yet. This is a 3 cam model which should be really interesting. For me they are missing a high performance camless (7 batten) model in the line-up but this may be in the pipeline.
I will talk about the Tabou 3S 96, the 3S 106 and the new Rocket 105 in the next post.