Tuesday, May 23, 2017

PWA and some New Equipment



Here are some thoughts on the last two PWA meetings and commentary on some random new equipment coming down the line.

The racing in Ulsan, South Korea was not good for the men.  No wind meant that the two final heats were just not possible and so - no results.  
The ladies managed to get a result however and their ranking table was able to get started.  Sarak-Quita reigns supreme!

Japan was slightly better than Korea.  They ran foiling races in the light wind which gave everyone something to watch.  They also managed to achieve slalom results for both men and ladies.   Julien Quentel won the men with Jordy Vonk second and Antoine third.
Here are some of the more notable impressions so far

·   The young guys are coming but Antoine is still a force

·   I note that the GA riders all seem to be on last year’s sails.  Are the 2017 designs not working?  Not good for anyone who has traded their 2016 Vapors in for the new models.


·   Julian Quentel was smoking on Avanti sails and Patrik’s new hollow boards.  I provide some specs for this range of Air Inside slalom boards further down.
JuJu in full flight with Jordy on his tail

·   The S2 Maui slalom sails did really well I have to say and the design appears to also work well on foil boards.
Antoine Questel leading Seb on his S2 Maui Venom 

·   Foiling will benefit big time from the top guys getting competitive and pushing design envelopes to increase equipment speed, improve ease of use etc.


Here are some specs for Patrik’s 2017 hollow slalom boards:






The 130/81 board's length is disappointing to me because it will not serve as a good multi-purpose blasting machine.  It will shine as a pure race board with massive sails of course but put smaller sail and smaller fin on and you get a heavy, unresponsive pig. Pity!

Here is the 130 next to a smaller (but longer) brother

Simmer has developed a range of slalom boards which should prove very, very tasty.  They are designed by Aurelio Verdi who, as you probably know, worked for RRD for many years.  During his time there he produced some of the best windsurfing boards around.  I rate him as one of the gurus of our sport.

Well, Aurelio is now on his own and is evidently freelancing his talents in addition to developing his own board range.

Here are the new Simmer slalom boards.  

(They state that "all sizes features a Tuttle box" but I hope that the two large sizes feature deep Tuttle boxes -?)

OK, that’s all for now.  

Good winds and I will talk to you soon


  1. Those are 2017 GA Vapors, they have that yellow/lime batten pockets vs the more orange batten pockets of the 2016 models.


    1. Hi Jaco
      Mark van Osch also e-mailed me with this info but the reason for my comment is that I do not see the fancy cut-out detailing (at the boom end) in the sails being used by the team. If you or I buy a 2017 Vapor today it will come with this fancy styling. Why is this same styling not in the Vapors being used on the circuit?
      No big deal I suppose but just an observation.
      All the best

    2. Interesting, looks like it's being used inconsistently. (I hope my links show the correct pictures)

      Cut out:


      No cut out:

      Too your point, I would be bummed if I had bought 2017 Vapors only to realise my 2016 ones are being used on the PWA circuit.

      Also, is it just me or do those simmers look a lot like the RRDs? :)


    3. Hi Jaco
      Thanks for the feedback. Mark van Osch also got back to me to say that only the Vapors over 9m have the funny cut-out. The smaller sizes look like the 2016 model.
      Thanks both for your attention. I am still a bit unsure because when I look at GA's own media shots, I see the cut-outs on what appear to be smaller sizes.
      Regarding the Simmer boards - I agree they look a bit RRDish especially with those shiny lines on the decks. Maybe the old RRD slalom shapes belong to Aurelio and he is merely using them for this assignment?
      I will try to find out.

    4. Hi Phil, those media shots were taken april 2016 on Maui with prototypes. Only the the 2017 9.3 and 9.6 have a different battenlayout compared to Vapor 2016. The feedback was that the smaller sails lost the high end control with the different battenlayout.

    5. Thanks for the info Mark.

      This clears up the confusion.

      All the best

  2. As far as I know "Air Inside" was a boutique brand some 10 years ago, and produced free ride boards which were light years ahead of their peers in terms of durability and lightness. I remember watching youtube video of someone banging on a board with a hammer... and with no apparent consequence.

    If Patrik has managed to successfully incorporated this into the new slalom range, it would solve one essential problem that such boards tend to have: durability.

    As for the stated length of the 130 litre board: I am wondering if that is a typo.

    Not withstanding (and for what its worth) I think Patrik is my favourite brand out there, for the cosmetic elegance/simplicity of his designs and well as the performance. Even his free ride boards are quite a joy to ride...let alone the more dedicated slalom and wave boards he has.

  3. Hi Mert
    I also thought that the stated lengths I found contained a typo. However, look at the photo of the 130 next to a 110. To me the 110 looks much longer.

  4. Additional comment: I just checked out the specs on an older series of isonics which feature the same 'kink' in length...That is to say, the board gets progressively shorter as the volumes increase and reaches a minimum length at 130 litres, after increasing in length for the highest volume 135-137 liter version.