Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Medium Sized, Fast Board Problem


I have been doing some re-thinking about my ideal board quiver mix and I thought I would share some of this with you.

My ideal four board quiver has always been Big Slalom, Medium Slalom, Big Freewave, Small Freewave.  I have always seen the medium slalom board as a 70(ish)/110(ish) pure slalom or fast freerace design.  This is the part I have been re-thinking.  Recent sailing sessions have me convinced that for my weight (90kg), I need a wider board for this slot.  I am convinced that I need to be looking for something around 75cm wide and 120l in volume.

To this end, I asked Anthony for a ride on a Tabou Thunder 120/75.  He only has these boards in the heavy construction but I thought I would get a good impression anyway.  I took the board out with my 7m Vandal Stitch and the standard 42cm fin.  The wind was a bit marginal


The good news is that under full power, this board can be as fast as all but the fastest racers on pure slalom equipment (I blasted with one of the best).  The thing is an absolute rocket ship when ridden with intensity and it treats rough water with disdain.  A huge surprise.

The bad news is that I battled to get the board planing.  Charl (admittedly much lighter than me) was on a new Manta 116/71 with a 6.5 NCX Pro and was blasting off the beach and out of the gybes at the other end whereas I was left standing.  No good even if I was as fast once going.  The board just seems to want to sink into the water in marginal wind and pumping seems to make things worse.  Very disappointing.  Andy had no such problem with the bigger Thunder and he suggests that I may have had the mast foot too far forward.  I will try moving it back if I can scrounge another ride from Anthony.  If I can solve the planing problem then the Thunder 120 will become my choice for this slot.

Until I come right however, the Starboard Futura 121 keeps its position in my personal dream board quiver.

If you are a lighter sailor then you must consider the 2014 Manta 71/116 for this slot.  An awesome, awesome machine when properly finned!  We have received some guidance from Ben vd Steen about the fins for this board and I will share this info with you in the next post.

Talk to you soon        

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