Monday, November 18, 2019

Some More 2020 Equipment and Luderitz


Sorry for the long delay. I will look at some more new equipment, add some thoughts and then briefly discuss the speed event in Luderitz.

New Stuff of Interest 


Patrik has tweaked his designs slightly and done away with the two construction approach.  He has also come up with really nice colours for the boards.  
He discusses each of the ranges on his site explaining the design approaches adopted for each model together with his reasoning.  Fanatic and Starboard have always done this properly and it is good to see Patrik join them in providing useful information for us.

If I had no equipment, a large bank balance and was looking for a board quiver to cover all of my windsurfing needs, I would consider ordering 2020 Patrik:
  •        Slalom 125
  •        F-Race 120
  •        F-Cross 103

Look at this thing – awesome colours, two footstrap plug rows, foil box…
a masterpiece of beauty, form and function.

The F-Race is light, long and cool.  It sports a long flat section under the feet for early planing and comfort.

The F-Cross is one of the perfect boards for high speed blasting over choppy water – no cut-outs, not too short, round tail, power box for your high end fins – awesome.

This 3 board combination would adequately cover all of the regular sailing conditions we experience here in Langebaan.   

The F-Race could be substituted with a goldilocks board like JP’s Super Ride, Severne’s Fox, Goya’s Carrera etc if a more playful sailing approach is preferred. 

Because of the advances in foiling, I am now of the opinion that we don’t require big slalom sails any more.  I would not go above 7.5m in the windsurf sail quiver.

Very light winds can be handled with foiling equipment which would add massively to overall time on the water.  A good time to be alive!

Gun Sails

I have always regarded the products of Gun Sails as being good value/middle of the road offerings – not worthy of too much attention.

Lately, the principal of “high quality sailors in an organisation, push the generation of high quality products” has hit Gun Sails.  Pieter Bijl, Ben Van Der Steen and Steven Van Broeckhoven (three mighty sailors from the low countries) have all been working on Gun’s flat water products and some real excellence is starting to emerge.
Note the Seal in high tech fabrics.

Look at the new Bow which I wrote about in a previous post – an inspired concept which represents just one example of Pieter’s creativity.  Search for his own high tech booms 
(Pro-Boom) for another example.

The 2020 Bow comes in two configurations – Bow Slalom and Bow-Fly Foil.

These new designs allow for high speeds in total comfort whether foiling or blasting on your standard slalom board.  All sizes rig on the special 490 bow flex mast.

One of these sails (the slalom model) was on the water here last week and I spoke with the rider.  His comments make me think that the Bow is an excellent concept but not quite past the prototype stage yet.

The guy said that the sail provides fantastic low end power, keeping good control as the wind picks up.  It is however, extremely heavy – heavy fabric and heavy 70% mast.  

The sail is heavy, both in terms of physical weight and because it works your body like a race sail (4 cams!).

Here are some (humble) suggestions for this concept going forward:

  •      Reduce the sail weight to half of its current weight
  •      Reduce the number of cams to 2 and maybe the battens to 6 as in the foil model.
  •     Reduce the mast weight.  Make it 100% carbon.
  •      Make the bottom half of the mast an ordinary Gun 460 or 430 (top spec) mast which could then come with two upper sections – a regular top and the bow top.  This would enable a buyer to sail regular sails as well as the Bow, with the same mast.
  •     Make the bow top, pre-bent for easier rigging.
Some things for Pieter to consider.

What I suggest is that we all keep an eye on Gun Sails.  The three above-mentioned sailors are creating something special in this company and some great new sails could emerge.  They were recently joined by JuJu who is rocking their pure slalom sails in the PWA and no doubt providing (with Ben), useful feedback to the designer.

Luderitz Speed Challenge 

This speed event kicked off at the start of November and they have had good winds.
Two of our local sailors, Karo and Louis, entered and participated 2 weeks ago.  They both did well, Karo hitting 44.55 knots, making her the fifth fastest woman windsurfer of all time.  Very nice and well deserved – she has really worked for this result and has to be the fittest person on our water right now.

Joos, Karo’s dad, accompanied her to help with rigging, carrying and general kit administration.  He says that the vibe in Luderitz is fantastic.  You have the fastest sailors on the planet, in one venue, happily sharing knowledge and experience.   You learn more about tuning for speed, fins, sails and board design in one week than you could learn in a lifetime on your own.  A unique event in a unique venue.

The best time so far has been from Vincent Valkenaers who clocked 53.25 knots on Sunday.  He is on JP Boards, Pryde sails and Z Fins.  

Quite a high percentage of the guys are on Severne sails.

Aurelio Verdi attended, bringing with him a pile of his new speed boards.  I had a look at Karo’s when she got back and it is a thing of beauty.  His workmanship is perfect and incorporates aero-space materials.  Very impressive.

Aurelio has joined Ben Severne and Patrik Diethelm to make three designers who attend the event, enter and ride their own creations down that hectic ribbon of speed and adrenaline.  Respect!

Good Winds    


  1. Nice to have new posts
    What about a new updated ideal quiver?

    1. Hi Fish
      I will give this some thoughts and hopefully give you something in the not-too-long future
      All the best

  2. Hi Phil - great to have you back blogging again. In the gap between this post and your last I decided to read your whole blog from start to finish - it's really a mine of information as well as being very entertaining to read. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Andrew
      Thanks for the kind remarks. I will try to be more regular with my posts.
      Good winds.

  3. Phil,

    This July I had the chance to speak with a rider who had recently added a Bow to his quiver, specifically a 7.8. He said that he was pleasantly surprised by its performance, and moreover its wind range. He explained that the sail would act like a 6.7 when the wind picked up but would provide the grunt of an 8.6, during lulls.

    To me this implies that one would be able to consolidate part of the sails quiver to a single sail. I suspect that since this design is very new, that Gun will provide newer versions more frequently (than say their other offerings) which is why I may hold off another season before considering one. As you said, new mast options and fewer cams sound like reasonable tweaks to work on.

    And speaking of Langebaan...Very charming and beautiful spot. Been here for 2 days, sailing out of Cape Sports.

    1. Hi Mert
      I hope you are still here. I haven't looked at these messages for some time unfortunately so I missed this one.
      I will keep an eye out for you and hopefully bump into you.
      Good wind tomorrow

  4. I have found that this site is very informative, interesting and very well written. keep up the nice high quality writing. Windsurfing

    1. Thanks for the kind words Micheal. (The spelling of your name looks wrong but I simply copy what is shown on the screen.)
      Please look out for the next post which will deal with the ideal equipment quiver.
      This has changed somewhat with the arrival of foiling.

      All the best