Monday, March 20, 2017

Slalom Models of Interest in 2017


I want to say a few words about the slalom boards which are on my radar right now and give some commentary.
The three brands occupying my interest are Patrik, Starboard and Goya.


To me, Patrik Diethelm is probably the leading expert when it comes to cut-outs.  He has spent such a huge amount of time developing, thinking and testing over the years and this, together with his drive and supreme personal talent as a fast windsurfer has produced some wonderful slalom shapes with the most effective cut-outs.
Very elegant

I like the two strap screw hole arrays - if you want a slightly different angle for the front foot

This year I note that Patrik has registered his standard slalom range with the PWA but also his hollow boards.  Very cool and I look forward to watching the Patrik team go.
I know that his Air Inside boards are not made in the Cobra factory and this leads me to worry about the ability of the other facility to produce volumes of the hollow boards.  Will they only go to team members - I wonder (?).


Starboard has to be at the very top of the pile with its current slalom range.  The ultra core reflex carbon versions are impossibly light and the effortless speed these things achieve over the water is awesome.  Louis, a new local sailor has bought a few of the new iSonics and just blasts and blasts.  You can’t catch him and can’t get him off the water (+Severne Reflex-8 sails + Zulu fins).
One very small niggle I have with the new iSonics is the number of sailors complaining about the front foot feeling light on some of the sizes (can’t keep front foot in strap).  The problem is probably not that big a deal and I’m sure that swapping fins, releasing outhaul, lowering boom etc can all be tried to remedy the problem.


Goya is a company which has never been of interest to me, catering as they did, mainly to wave and freestyle guys.  Not so long ago however, they began quietly moving into the free-ride and free-race areas of our sport.  Now, with the new Proton Pro slalom board they have ended up with a formidable board and sail range.
Proton Pro

Being wave guys, they have adopted a slightly left field approach (no cammed sails, 6 batten maximum in their fastest Mark sail, extra long free-ride board shapes etc) and I have to say I’m a total convert.
Read the reviews on their Bolt free-race board – light fast comfortable and beautifully built.  The new Proton slalom boards also tick all the boxes but in addition have re-inforced skeg boxes suitable for foiling.  How intelligent is that!
(Severne - take note - the big Fox should have one of these!)

Incidentally, when you look at their other kit you understand that these guys are serious:

Ultra light masts – tick
Ultralight, carbon booms – tick
Ultra slim carbon booms – tick
Proper mast extensions - tick

They have (at the time of this post) only one slalom racer in the PWA this year and I will be watching him and the Protons with interest.

That’s all for now.  I will write about foiling in the next post.

Talk to you soon  

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