The new Select VMax fins are out. They claim to have improved performance over the 2012/2013 models through changes to the flex characteristics of the tip. Unfortunately the VMaxes we have just received are the old models (still good fins I think).
At last the new RRD X-Fire has also broken cover. As usual it looks fantastic. When I look at this board and the new Starboard iSonics, I see a move towards narrow tails (incorporated with flares and cut-outs of course)
I hope that Tabou is not falling behind the curve on the slalom front. The evolutionary approach to design is commendable as long as you keep winning races and I'm not seeing that at the highest level for Tabou.
I mentioned something a while ago about the new soft sail from Challenger. An interesting development and the latest iterations are starting to look like nicely resolved products.
The performance of these sails is said to be great with a lot more power than traditional sails of the same size. Riders mention the need to learn the new format and experiment with sailing style and settings to get the most out of the sail. I'm not too keen on this - I always have the best results from equipment which just feels right from the first time I get onto it and then gets better and better with tiny adjustments and tweaks. This product represents a new direction and approach however, so we should expect a number of teething problems I suppose. They seem to have done pretty well so far.
You may not have heard about Elix boards. They are made in France by people who know their craft:
This is their 130l slalom board. Just look at the workmanship and the materials used. Note the narrow tail as discussed above. Great work guys - we are available to conduct extensive testing here during your winter. Call me!
Eric Kaminga tells me that he has replaced all his 1012 Mantas with 2013 models. He recons that there are significant differences between the underside shapes and profiles between the two ranges. The 2013 models are flatter and probably faster but he thinks that they will be slightly harder over the chop. I have to say that the rides I have had on the 2013 71 where extremely comfortable over chop. Probably the most comfortable slalom shape I have sailed. Best of both worlds?
A reader informs me that CST (the high tech firm making masts for Avanti) are set to enter the windsurfing market seriously with their own mast range. This has to be something to look forward to. He also mentioned the fact that Severne has been having trouble with their Enigma mast breaking in the 2012 Reflex sails. It appears that the huge luff pressure generated by the Reflexes places undue pressure on the mast leading to breakages. As I said to him - when one bears in mind the issues we have been having with the NCX's, this news starts to ring an alarm bell or two. Anyway if anyone can recover and get things right, Severne is that firm. I have huge faith in the brand and look forward to more exciting things from them.
OK that's all for now.
Talk to you soon