Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Equipment from North, Severne and MB


Here are some recent equipment developments which are quite interesting.

North Sails
Kai Hopf and the North slalom team are in Tenerife working on the 2019 Warp race sail.  

There is nothing new in this but on viewing the video, I noticed that a few of the protos had only 6 battens.  

At first I thought I was seeing things but just look at the stills I took from the video.

It seems that they are exploring 6 battens in the smaller sizes.

Is it just me or does the mast sleeve look quite narrow?

Look at the control issues with the 7 batten sail compared to the absolute composure of the 6 rod machine.  These foils are being sailed right on the ragged edge of course so these cuts are important for us to assess the two designs under pressure.

Action footage of 6 batten against 7 batten counterparts show very little difference in speed - if anything, 6 seems to beat 7.  Nice!  

Please have a look at the footage on the North site and see what you make of it.

North, if you are going to make some 6 batten Warp sizes, I salute you.  Very, very cool!


The Severne Dyno is up on the site with pictures, specs and tech info.  

Thanks Severne for one of the most elegant blasting+wave boards on the planet.  

They only need to create a similarly awesome slalom board now to become a complete one-stop-shop for every windsurfing need.

Here is a video from in the UK.  They speak to James Hooper, the board’s designer.

Of further interest to me is the Hex4 system which involves the use of one tool to tighten battens, footstrap screws, fin bolts/grub screws etc.

Regular readers will recall me bemoaning the fact that nothing like this existed.  A few of you told me about Flikka who use the approach but here is one of the big players finally embracing the concept.  At last!

The guys discuss this system from about 5min into the video.

Here is the link:

MB Boards

The company MB has always made fins as most of you will know.  Recently they started making boards as well.  

Being a sucker for things new and unusual, I swooped onto the site to have a look.

MB started with freestyle and wave type boards – an obvious choice given the snowboard – like outline of their products.
Balz Muller (a madman), is using MB boards now and says that they have revolutionised his sailing.

I can understand how the shapes would work for wave and freestyle but freeride and slalom? - not so sure but really keen to find out.

Unfortunately both freeride and slalom lines are still under development so no specs and no hope of any third party reviews just yet.

This is an ex-demo slalom board which they are selling from their site.  It just looks like a whole lot of fun with its easy strap positions and curious shape.

It could be exactly what the doctor ordered (providing it goes as good as it looks of course).  

Looking at the reduced wetted area around the fin, I think it could be very fast indeed but who knows.
Someone – please buy this board, use it and get back to us with your opinion.
Better still MB, send it to me and I will review, assess and post my impressions!

That’s all for now



  1. MB'line up seems to have incorporated various design influences which are more suited for speed (a la freeride/freerace/slalom) rather than the other end of the spectrum (freestyle/crossover/wave) that banks on manueverability:

    1) Ruler straight edges, probably to minimize drag. This is a common design characteristic for older race boards such as the RS:One, Phantom 320, 295 or even more comtemprary names such as the Fanatic Blast)

    2) Jagged edges, especially to improve aerodynamics and reduce swing weight at the front of the board. An extreme version of this idea was exercised in Angulo's slalom boards back in 2007 or 2008. Infact I'm intuitively baffled as to how a board with such straight lines would behave when cranked into narrow manuevers.

    Jagged and straight edges could also have the benefit of easier shaping and thus production...

    Of course I'm just speculating over here. It would be better to have the opportunity to test one, if not just observe one in person. And at the end of the day no matter what my intuition says it will never replace the insight and experience of an engineer and his/her science/math background.

    1. Hi Mert
      I agree with most of your observations.

      I also agree that the best way to assess a piece of equipment is to get on it and sail.

      I hope that we get some feedback from readers of this blog and from independent testers soon

      All the best