Monday, December 28, 2015

Some Equipment Concerns and a Useful Link


I have had feedback from several readers regarding the piece I wrote about my experience with the Tabou 3S 106 some time ago.  Guys are buying this for a high wind alternative to their slalom equipment - a great choice as far as I'm concerned.  

What worries me slightly is the fact that almost to a man these guys have picked the Severne NCX 7.0 as their sail of choice for this board.
The sail size is covered by the board specs for the 106 on Tabou's site but I am slightly worried about the NCX.  My experience with the NCX 7.0 is that it is quite racy and heavy - fine for a slalom board but I'm not sure how it will work with the 3S.  

The 106 really shines with a light, fast, flat, freeride sail and if properly rigged, one of these in 6.5m can be a revelation on the water - fast, comfortable and fun. Change down on sail and fin size when the wind jacks up and you can reach astonishing speeds in difficult conditions.

Interestingly, the NCX sizes smaller than 7.0m are perfect for the 3S (the new NCX 6.0 is fantastic). I must say that the NCX 7.0 I sailed is from 3 years ago and I know how Severne improves their stuff every season so I may be worrying for nothing.  

Here are some of the sail models I know will work with the 3S 106 for high speed blasting:

  • Severne     - Gator

  • GA              - Cross

                           - Matrix

  • North        - E-Type (I recently acquired a 6.6 E-type and                                                                                                             will be giving feedback soon)

  • Hot Sails   - GPX

  • Maui Sails - Switch

  • S2 Maui    - Banshee

  • Loft          - Oxygen

For all of these models the 6.5 (ish) size will be the sweet size but the board will fly with smaller sails in strong wind.  Don't hesitate to screw in a slalom fin like Select's High Wind G10 or iFins Fight Club.  Hold on tight! 

Here is a link to the global wind map.  Many of you will have this already but if you don't, it demonstrates what is really happening with your local wind,42.38,512

I take this opportunity to wish every reader all the very best for the new year.  Happiness and proper wind for a change!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Reader Feedback


Guiseppe, an Italian reader gave some feedback after my article on the difficult rotation of Gareth's 2016 GA Phantom.  He tells me that he is in bed with influence - (WTF?).  It took me a few seconds to work that one out!
Anyway, Guiseppe makes some good points in his e-mail which I will attempt to summarize.

He recons many cammed sails come with spacers fitted today.  I was unaware of this, not having bought a high performance sail for some time.
He rightly points out that your new sail will be tight for the first few sessions and your rotation could indeed be difficult.  In this case remove the spacers.  The sail will stretch over time however, and it is advisable to check the fit of the cams on the mast from time to time as the sail beds in.
As soon as you detect looseness, re-fit the spacers (start with the smallest provided, increasing in size as required).  This will ensure that you maintain optimal efficiency over the life of the sail.

Thanks for this Guiseppe and I hope your influence clears up soon.

The comment on my previous post regarding Flikka boards was a strange thing.  I had just been on the Flikka site (which I do from time to time) and this comment appeared on the blog out of the blue about Flikka boards. Not sure how that sort of thing happens.  

On the subject of Flikka, I know that they test here in Cape Town sometimes so Flikka guys - if you bring any slalom stuff please spend a day or two in Langebaan and give me a shout.  I would be very interested to ride one of your boards (120l or 140l) and provide commentary for the readers. 

Good winds

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Call for Standardization


Looking at our sport I have to say that we have little to complain about.  Every brand has great designers who are pushing for continuous improvement in design and materials.  Apart from the very high prices of new equipment, our sport is awesome.

What always irks me however, is the lack of standardization in areas where it could be so helpful, practical and easy.  Here is what I am talking about:

A while ago I included an image of Starboard's new light footstrap and remarked on the adjustment system they had developed.  Here it is:


The system appeals to me because it is simple and easy but while looking at it I was reminded of the failure of our windsurfing brands to get together on standardizing a few non-proprietary elements we all use.

I would like the screw head for every footstrap screw to have an internal hex button-head cap like the bolt below.

I would like all fin bolts to have exactly the same head.  I would also like the air screws on my boards to have this feature.

Lastly, the size of the hex aperture on all of these things should be exactly the same as in the batten tensioning grommets on my sail.  

This level of standardization would allow me to carry one small key (on a string round my neck or in a harness pouch) which I could use to tighten any or all of the above while on the beach or indeed while standing in the water, waiting to launch.


Come on suppliers - this would be so easy to do and would enhance the enjoyment of everyone who loves this sport.

Good winds