Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Equipment News Continued

Here is the rest of the material that started in the previous post.

Eric Kamminga e-mailed me a few days ago to discuss his slalom board quiver.  Eric went the whole hog with the new Tabou Mantas and acquired the 85/135, the 71/113 and the 61/98.  In my view this is one of the best  slalom quivers available today.  Eric, who is a hard core GPS sailor, recons that he is happy with the 61 and the 85 regarding the speeds he is able to extract from them.  He says that he is battling to achieve similar excellence from the 71.  This surprises me because I have witnessed Hennie, one of our local power sailors, reaching phenomenal speeds on his Manta 71 so I have no doubt that the board goes fast.  Eric is quite adamant, however, that his middle board needs to be going faster.  My first suggestion was that he experiment with fins.  If this yields no marked improvement then he should think of looking at Starboard or RRD.  I also mentioned to him that he may consider another board which has been in my thoughts lately.  This is the Monster 120l from mXr.
The boards in this picture are their Godzilla, 85/150, a Monster and two Rockstar speed boards.  The white Monster comes in 66/100 and 72/120 sizes.  These boards all have stepped hulls which have the effect of making them really easy to sail.  They are the brainchild of Martin van Meurs (well known speed sailor) and Ron van den Berg (famous Dutch board builder).  These guys are totally speed orientated and Martin is obsessed with the importance of control to optimize speed.  If you refer to the top GPS sites you will note that mXr speed fins (I am not talking about their slalom fins) are among the best on the planet.  All these factors make the Monster boards really interesting to me.  They arise out of a design ethos which does everything from a speed and comfort point of view.  Eric tells me that he has knowledge of mXr boards and says that they are not really as fast as some of the top dedicated slalom boards available today.  I would very much like to test a Monster to form my own opinion.

This is a picture of Ron with Tomas Persson from Simmer.  Simmer have taken the Monster and Godzilla models into their board range.  I understand that the Simmer boards are made in China whereas the mXr models are made by Ron and his brother from carbon.  Nice!
The mXr guys have always made good fins but nothing in carbon on their site.  Here is their Katana slalom fin in carbon however, so expect this tasty blade to reach dealers soon.

Some of you will have seen pictures of the new Fanatic Formula board.  I understand that Dan Aeberli is involved with its development.  I wondered how Dan's creativity would manifest itself at Fanatic and this seems to be the start.  I suppose that it will not be easy for him to contend with the overpowering presence of Sebastian Wentzel but hopefully they can make things work between them.  Two awesome designers.  It is good to see Fanatic getting back into formula boards

The width of the board makes Dan look like the world's smallest windsurfer and his cap with pom-pom somehow contributes to the illusion.  The source of this picture is ABC News.

On the subject of Fanatic boards, the 2014 Falcon 120l has been narrowed from the 2013 model's 76cm to 74cm next year.  This is, in my opinion, a really good move and one which will enhance the performance potential of the Falcon range.  I have come to believe that a slightly wider board in the 110-120 liter size is needed and width should be increased from the common 71cm to 73 or 74 cm.  Modern hulls are so good now that the advantages of a slightly wider board should exceed any drawbacks.  Starboard's 75/110 iSonic started me thinking along these lines.  The 75/110 is another board I would really love to  ride.

OK, that's it for now.  I will discuss the fin material in an upcoming post.      

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil - I love your blog!

    I'm a national newspaper journalist in England who is part of a group putting together a new 'extreme' outdoor sports and travel website. The site is also an environmental and social and enterprising in design.

    As I'm putting together articles and sourcing videos and photos at the moment, I was wondering whether there was any chance of you submitting some copy for us on windsurfing? I can obviously credit you and send you a link to the site when it's up?

    Maybe you would like to submit things on a regular basis further down the line?

    We believe we will have a lot of people visiting the site when it is ready and have people contributing from all over the world so our reach should be quite large.

    Any help you can give us would be great. Please get in touch at gemma.features@hotmail.co.uk if you think you might be interested.

    Many thanks for reading

    Gemma Wise