Visuals of the 2016 Manta range are starting to show up.
Two bits of good news:
- They look stunning. Just look at the picture! The artist responsible for this has a very special talent. Carbon in a board always looks the same but this guy has incorporated the effect so cleverly into the deck design. A serious piece of art!
- The 2015 shapes are pulled through into the new range (all except the 61 which has had a full revamp)
I am pretty relaxed about the shapes staying the same for 2016. It simply means that they are considered to be as good as they can be at this time. The 61 Manta should be something really special though. The entire development effort concentrated on just one board. Awesome!
You may recall me telling you about Lars from Norway who was shopping for a replacement 115ish slalom board. I had suggested the Angulo Magnum and was awaiting his final decision. Well, he bought the Magnum and has started to ride it. Lars recons that the thing is a demon through the gybes. He also mentions that he is able to tack it and, when limping home in light wind, it is not too uncomfortable. This all speaks to the extra volume around the mast track and the extra length. Nice!
His problems include the board flying off the fin in strong gusts. He wisely moved the mast track forward and (I think) moved his footstraps forward. These are two good things to do. You will find that some sails may require you to come fairly far forward with the track. Lars has NCX's which are inclined to be quite back-handed in the gusts. This backward pull can cause your back foot to put pressure on the fin leading to spin-out and/or the board flying out of the water. Don't hesitate to move the track forward to improve control. You can move it back over time as you get dialled in and familiar with the board. Also, move your harness lines back. You should be able to let go with your back hand at speed and the rig should retain its angle of attack to the wind.
I also advised Lars to try a smaller fin with his 7.5 and 7m sails. He was using a 43cm Boss with these sails. His 38cm fin should be fine and will certainly give better control with better top speed. The other thing is to ensure that your NCX's are pulled down properly. Don't pussy foot with this and as the wind picks up, increase the outhaul a bit until the rig becomes tight and springy (not too much outhaul however). Remember that these are not race sails and they need this extra support to compensate for their lack of cams.
Speak to you soon