I will just lump these things together because each is too small on its own to warrant a separate post.
In June, I received an e-mail from Jose Luis Soria Ibanez (Spaniards have great names) in Madrid. He is a 66kg guy who was looking to upgrade from a 1999 F2 Ride - 115l. He had tried a modern design (JP Supersport) and had a nightmare of a sail. What to do?
Well we whittled the options down to a Tabou Speedster 65 and a Starboard Futura 101. My choice for Jose was the 101. He battled for weeks to get hold of a carbon 101 facing all sorts of alternative suggestions from dealers but held firm and finally secured first prize. I like this board for a light sailor looking for a very small board quiver. It is lightning fast but has three footstrap rows so you can de-tune if required. It also has a huge range of sail and fin sizes. The upshot of all this struggling is that Jose is absolutely stoked with his board. He tells me that it excels at everything and that the gybing is almost too easy. I have advised that he upgrade his big sail (North Natural 7.5) to an X Type to really milk the board's capabilities.
Juan Alonzo purchased a Tabou 96l and a range of Gaastra Crosses and is completely stoked. I gather that his sailing mates are now re-considering their board choices. Juan also purchased an RRD Firewing 7.0 sail. Regular readers will recall my commentary on this sail during the Defi. I was astonished that a board brand sail could hold its own against all the hot slalom stuff out there. Anyway - Juan read the article and purchased one. I did some digging and found that the Firewing was designed by Dan Kaseler, so I was able to give Juan some tuning tips. He recons that the sail properly rigged, is fast, feather light in the hands and so easy to sail. The performance was so good that it inspired him to buy an RRD X-Fire 105 to go with the sail. Some of you may recall that Juan is the man with the Vector Canefire carbon fins. A great example of a sailor getting things right!