Sorry for the long break. Our winter is not a great time to be thinking of windsurfing and I have also been struggling with medical issues. Anyway I’m back and able to share some thoughts with you.
Here are some interesting new products and developments:
Most of you will have followed the demise of North Windsurfing and its transition into Duotone. Thankfully, the new company retains all of the product design rights and would only have needed to move their manufacture to other facilities. The team remains exactly the same. Duotone is perhaps not the most inspiring name for a windsurfing company but who cares if their stuff works.
New sails are creeping onto the various sites and everything seems to be getting lighter, faster and stronger - exactly what we need. I have started paying more attention to Pryde’s freeride and free-race sails now, in light of their phenomenal new race sail. I’m sure they learned some things developing the race blade and usually, design aspects from an apex product find their way into softer models. Look at their Speedster or V8 (most of the speed of a pure race sail but way more ease and fun). Bargain!
Four Goldilocks Boards
I watch for boards capable of being fast, easy to gybe and fun to ride. My current favourites which tick all of these boxes are the Fanatic Blast and JP’s Super Ride. These are both designs which, with proper fins under them, promise to be just right in terms of speed, gybing and the generation of happiness.
Reviews and commentary about the Super Ride are starting to appear online and riders are stoked in every bit of feedback I can find. Incidentally, both the Blast and the Super Ride come with half decent fins so you start with a solid base.
If I had to include one slightly faster board to this small list I would have to include the Severne Fox. A slightly more freeride design would be the Naish Starship.
So there you have it – 4 boards that are, in my opinion (and for my type of sailing) just right.
Some fin options (not an exhaustive list) for the above boards:
· Zulu Shaka (new edition)
· Tectonics Phoenix
· Tectonics Falcon
· MUF Freeride
I will give my suggestion about how to incorporate one or two Goldilocks boards into your quiver further down the page.
New Severne Board
Severne have launched the Psycho, a free-style board. This has to be on your list if you are looking for such a thing. I like the fin.
I often wonder what one of these boards would be like with slightly outboard strap options. Free-style boards have such pop and immediate acceleration – I think you could frighten your mates on free-ride boards.
New Slalom Boards
The new JP slalom boards may not be that visible on the PWA but if you look at the European circuits, they are taking names. Have a look at recent IFCA events which show plenty of orange boards under purple sails winning. I recall reading something recently about a new open water speed record on a JP slalom board. If I remember correctly, the guy averaged over 40k across one nautical mile.
The only criticism I would make against JP is the lack of a 75cm wide slalom model. To me this is the only size slalom board needed by the non-racing windsurfer. RRD on the other hand has presented its new slalom range and they have included a board of this width. Well done RRD.
New Zulu Fin
Robbie at Zulu has re-vamped his trusty Shaka fins. I have taken this post from a page on his site and use it allow his words to speak for themselves:
When Robbie says they have tested thoroughly, he means it. My first gen Shaka is still in use and remains an all time favourite.
So here is a suggestion about a good way to incorporate one or two Goldilocks boards in your quiver:
- Your big board would be a foil-optimised, 80-90ish wide, light wind killer. Think Patrik’s Formula-Foil 91 or Pryde’s RS:X Convertible Board.
- The only pure slalom board would be a 75cm wide model.
- The next board down is a Goldilocks design (68cm wide if you are lighter, 73 if you are fat, both if you are rich and have the space)
- Your small board will be picked from the many excellent free-wave offerings available today (Severne Dyno, RRD Freestylewave, Patrik F-Cross, Fanatic Freewave etc)
Your sails would ideally need to start with a 7.5 and 7.0, both able to be sailed easily with a foil and also be racy enough for your 75cm slalom board. I am thinking Severne NCX, Pryde V8, Ezzy Lion etc.
Your next two sails could be a 6.5 and 5.8 in a nice light sail like Severne’s Gator with the smallest sail being a good wave design in 4.7 or 4.8m.
There you have it – a quiver for most wind and water conditions. Add a good foil and some great fins and you are set to glean maximum enjoyment from our sport.
That is all for now.
In the next post I will write something about a new foil from Zulu and pass on some rider feedback regarding foil vs normal lightwind kit. Giuseppe Scullino from Italy has been doing some in depth comparisons with his mates and his findings interesting.