Monday, November 13, 2017

Karo’s Luderitz trip, Zulu speed fins, Local Foiling and some Slalom fins I am Trying


A few readers have e-mailed me requesting information and opinions about Naish’s windsurf foil.  I will address this in the next post.  In this post I want to give some feedback regarding the Luderitz Speed Challenge and give you impressions around some Zulu fins I'm trying.  


Karo took a trip up to Luderitz to participate in the challenge.  

She planned her stay to co-inside with  a windy front which thankfully showed up when she got there.  The wind at Luderitz this year, seems to come in bursts of one or two days, each followed by a week of nothing.  Not good!  I wonder when we are going to see the winds experienced in 2015 again. (?)

Anyway, Karo, never having done anything speed related, climbed onto a Patrik speed board/Zulu Hamba speed fin and small, purpose built speed sail from Severne.  She hit a maximum speed of 47.3knots with a 500m average of 39.2knots.   I have not seen these speeds reflected on the Luderitz Speed Challenge site yet, but I understand that they have been slack in updating the sailor stats.

Anyway, this was a phenomenal effort for someone new to the speed discipline.  The winds were not quite strong enough to get into the really serious speeds but I’m sure that if she gets stronger wind next year, she is going to kick all kinds of  ass on that desolate canal.

Karo tells us that Robbie’s speed fins were absolutely awesome – easy, fast, slippery and rock solid in the gusts.  No surprise to me

Zulu Fins

That brings me to some Zulu fins I am trying out (when we finally get some decent, constant wind).  I have 5 fins – all 38cm but with slightly different lay-ups.  I had enough wind the other day, and also today, to try the first fin and it is absolutely epic.  It squirts upwind, screams downwind and planes really early.  It does all of these things while keeping the board’s nose flying beautifully over the chop (no tail walk, no spin-out).

What I now find is that a small force field has developed around the fin making it difficult for me to remove it from my board.  I hope I am able to screw it loose to test the others.  If not I will just have to keep this one.  Maybe Robbie will understand!
Robbie has the gift of being able to create a foil which not only performs phenomenally in its role but which also seems to unify the other rig elements, allowing each to perform optimally in concert with the others.  My E-Type has always performed impeccably with free-ride boards but with slalom shapes, seems to push the nose down causing an imbalance of sorts.  The imbalance brings terror when over-powered.  This all happened with fins from another supplier.  

I’m not sure what causes the above imbalance but it disappeared when the first test fin was screwed in and I entered a nice wind band.  The fin gently lifts the nose above the chop, freeing everything up for unreal speed and comfort.  Very impressive!

Robbie visited us a few weeks ago with a foil.  It comprised a Starboard mast for which he had fabricated a fuselage and some wings.  One of the front wings was quite racy and small (not sure if it was from Starboard) but the other was a big, light wind wing, designed and fabricated by Robbie himself.

Here he is sailing each of these wings with his Starboard Ultrasonic and Loft Racing Blade 7.8.

The Severne sail at extreme left of the picture is the new Turbo GT - a beautiful thing which is feather light and rotates imperceptibly

Robbie sailed very carefully as the pictures show.  He avoided sheeting in fully but still went impressively well.  He had no crashes and gybed pretty successfully.  Joos says that he was hard to keep up with on slalom kit (especially upwind).

OK that’s all for now.  I will talk about the Naish foil in the next post and also provide a link to some interesting foil reviews.

Good winds

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