Monday, May 27, 2013

Equipment Feedback


I apologize for the lack of recent posts but our sailing season is all but over until October so windsurfing is not uppermost in my mind.  Anyway, here is some feedback and commentary on equipment which may be interesting.

Firstly, Gregor fins from Spain.  You will recall that Juan Alonso sent me his personal Vector Canefire fin to test and he included in the package, a prototype Gregor fin.  I was stoked by the performance of the Canefire but struggled a bit with the Gregor.  Well Fran (Francisco??), the Gregor designer, was informed of my findings and asked Juan to send me two of his regular fins.  These arrived some time ago and our retreating wind allowed me one afternoon of around 14 knots to ride the fins.  I was a bit under powered on my 7.8m/113l combo but got a good feeling for the potential of these fins.  Both were a huge improvement on the prototype I tested earlier.  I could easily live with either of them but my favorite would be the general slalom design over the downwind speed model.  I am hoping to get the fins out fully powered on my 7.0/113 to assess performance in more extreme conditions.  

The top fin is his general slalom model whereas the bottom one is for downwind speed

On the subject of fins, I have had some promising discussions with the guys at F4 Fins who may be sending us some of their excellent fins to try.  I suggested that we wait until October to do this so watch this space.  I am really keen to sail these fins and report back to you.  As I have said before, getting equipment out on the water is the only way to properly assess any board, sail or fin.  If we can make this happen with F4, Andy will be helping with the testing.  He will represent the more extreme racing side of things with me representing the normal advanced blaster who likes to go fast.  Hopefully we can come up with assessments and commentary which will be useful.

Other bits of equipment news:

  • RRD has announced a super light wind X-Fire board.  I'm not sure of the volume but assume the          dimensions will be similar to Starboard's UltraSonic.  The new RRD looks great and has a carrying slot for the fingers in the middle of the deck like the old Bic Formula boards.  Excellent feature!
  • The 2014 Starboard Isonic 107 dimensions are going to be 231cm long and 70cm wide.  A decrease in length and an increase in width from the current model.  I'm not sure whether they have gone far enough with the width increase.  My feeling is that for this size of board, with all the recent improvements in bottom shapes, the optimal width is 73 or 74 cm.  Starboard have the 110/75 of course so I suppose they need to keep some distance from this model.
  • Challenger sails have entered into an agreement with Heru Sails to develop a "Soft Wing Variable Profile" windsurfing sail.  The principles are quite complex but have a look on YouTube at clips of these sails on the water.  The future of windsurfing sails?  I'm not so sure but interesting stuff. 

That's all for now
Good winds


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