Monday, February 20, 2017

Some Reader/Rider Feedback


Here is some feedback from readers and riders and a small rant to end off with.

·      Joos has acquired two Zulu fins for his Severne Fox 105.  In strong winds last week he sailed the board with the new 34cm fin and his 6.0m NCX.  He tells me that the fin has turned the board into a perfect high wind blaster.  Carbon fettled by Robbie shows its class once again.  

   The standard Fox fin is good but is also really powerful.  Severne say the board (105) will take sails up to 7.8m and I believe them.  The G10 fin will hold a 7.8m sail with no trouble whatsoever.  The problem you have comes with a smaller sail in strong winds.  The same fin can boss you around badly.  Robbie’s 34cm fin is exactly what the doctor ordered – fast, easy and rock steady in rough conditions.

·      I reported on Severne’s new race mast in the previous post and I stated that the new masts were lighter than the outgoing model.  Well quite a few of you e-mailed me to correct this.  Most of the new sizes are lighter but the 490 Apex-pro is actually a bit heavier than the outgoing 490. Sorry – I did not look properly.

·      Eric Kamminga from the Netherlands is an old member of this site.  I recall that he joined up when all of 10 people had signed on.  Anyway we have had many discussions over the years, wrestling with equipment options and choices.

    Eric tells me that he has opened a windsurfing shop in Roden.  If you are a Dutch reader living near Roden and need some assistance, please drop in on Eric.  He is a kindred spirit and his shop offers some nice brands.  He can also arrange repairs if required.   

    Eric's shop is in Kanaalstraat, (a common street name in Holland I imagine).  His website is :

·      Martin Cross queried why the Starboard Kode Freewave was not included in my list of recommended blasting boards.  I have to acknowledge that this board would easily hold its own against anything recommended (just read the reviews – it is one fantastic machine) but I exclude it because its centre fin slot has a US box.  This means that I would be unable to use any of my precious power box fins.  I am also a little unsure of the stability of a US fin under extreme loading.

    If your free-riding is more wave-orientated and your stance more upright, then you should absolutely consider a Kode.  It is invariably the test favorite in reviews and as Martin pointed out, quite a few fast fins are now available with US heads.

In the vein of the last point, I want to express some unhappiness with certain brands within our industry.  I use Severne in this example but other manufacturers make the same mistake from time to time.

The example on my mind right now is the new Severne Fox.  The Fox line represents a landmark in free-ride/free-race board design in my opinion – a really important board.  The biggest Fox is 140l/78cm wide – a light wind rocket.  Note that its weight is the same as the 70cm model.  So far so good!

My problem is the fin box.  Severne give us a power box in this Fox size.  

Most buyers of this board are going to be old sailors with good technical abilities.  Such people will have their own fin quivers and such quivers will almost certainly include one or two good 44cm(ish) fins with deep Tuttle heads.

One of the first things one would want to do on purchasing a Fox 140, would be to try it with a variety of fins.  Why on earth would Severne offer such a board with a power box?  No-one has aftermarket 44cm fins with power-box heads.
Buy a big Fox but you can only use the standard fin!  Why punish your target market in this way?   The big Fox should be offered with deep Tuttle box in my opinion.  The board’s class and potential are on a level with any good (or even really high end) fin.

Ok – that’s all for now

Good winds                                                         

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Patrik Slalom 100.


I rode a Patrik Slalom 10011 the other day and will give some impressions and thoughts about this board.

Erik Beale recently spent some time here, testing fins. He stayed with Joos to be close to the water and to have access to a workshop. He also borrowed a few Patrik boards for his assignment.

Well, Erik has returned to Maui leaving the borrowed boards with Joos – an opportunity for some testing I think. I have been thinking about Patrik’s slalom boards recently and have wanted to ride one or two to get an idea of their characteristics.

On this particular day, I was already rigged on the beach with my own stuff and the wind was building rapidly. Joos arrived at the beach and I asked him for a quick ride on the Patrik 100 slalom in his care. He kindly agreed so I screwed in one of my old slalom fins, ran down to the beach, clicked my E-Type 6.6 on and set off ahead of the approaching storm.

Despite the strap positions being totally wrong for me (speed guys have their own way of setting up!) and my fin not being good enough, the board performed fantastically. It is so settled over rough water, fast, comfortable and controllable.

I was only able to hang on for three runs, going from totally over-powered to “I think I am going to die now”. This is unfortunate because I would have liked the time to re-position the straps and find a better fin. A board of this class warrants proper ancillary equipment and a balanced set-up.

After my short ride I got to wondering about whether it would be possible to use the 100 as a fast freeride/B&J machine. It is:
  • easy
  • forgiving
  • confidence inspiring, allowing you to really push on in heavy conditions
  • perfect with free-ride sails
  • etc
In short, everything we look for in a fast, blasting board.

If I ever acquired one, I would be tempted to have a slightly inboard set of foot-strap holes professionally inserted, one or two high end carbon fins (Zulu Umbani for example) and I would also add a fast free-ride fin (Tribal Powermax 34) into the mix.
This equipment selection would allow for:
  • hectic B&J sailing
  • fast free-ride blasting
  • pure slalom racing
Simply vary fin/sail combos and foot-strap positions.

All of the above options from one board!


Good winds