Saturday, February 11, 2012

Light wind maiden voyage

Hey, I got to test the light wind board in around 15 knots on choppy water. Didn't break!!

Here's a few observations. I can't connect all of them to a feature so all input is welcomed.

i) Very smooth ride, zero spray in the face. I put this down to thin board (6mm) and 30mm rocker which is more than any board I've had before.

ii) Amazing upwind. Tracked up wind better than people on same size kite on surfboards. Strange thing about it. It didn't feel like it was trucking up wind. Normally a lot of force and edging hard is associated with tacking hard upwind but this didn't. I put it down to the very straight rails.

iii) Skatey feel. The extra width (44cm) made it difficult to hold the rails down because of this. The extra distance from my heal to the rail is too much to be able to edge hard. Although its the width that is the driver of this I think the real variable at work here is the distance from heal to edge which depends on your foot size.

Because the board flattened out it slide out easily. Landing jumps  was tricky because it was hard to get the edge it and so the only way to land was to land with the board pointing down wind. I watched another couple of people ride it and the same thing with them. I'm going to increase the fin size ( its got 1.75" fins but am going to put 2" fins which are proportionately larger than the size increase). Other then move the footstraps to one side in the next version and maybe channels I don't know what else could be done.

iv) Light wind coasting - it planed with almost no forward momentum at all. Great light windness

v) It rode over chop without any spray at all but wasn't exactly comfortable. I felt every bump. Each piece of chop was like a ramp and board jumped over each one. The board didn't cut through the chop with a sense of stability like the flatter boards I've ridden. This could be for a few different reasons:
i) The rocker is curved in middle then straight. The straight section would be hitting the chop at a steeper angle than my other flatter board. Maybe this pushes the board up more.
ii) The concave profile is set up so that the concave is largely gone by the time it reaches the footpads. This means that the tips are flat which I believe doesn't spill water as well as concave surfaces.
iii) The thinner board being more flexible than the others means that the tips bend up then recover with bigger amplitudes so you have the chop plus the vibration of the board together.

Not really sure. Could just be as good as it gets. Don't know...

Overall, I'm very happy with it. Landed a few big jumps and it felt tough enough. I'm still tentative about taking it into the big surf. The plan for the next board is to reuse the outline but shrink it to 130x41 and add an extra 2 mm thickness in the middle to stiffen it a bit. Will be interesting to see the impact of reducing the size.

vi) You're definitely aware that its a bigger board. Its takes more to turn it in the air and it feels heavier even though it 3.5 kg (with accessories) which is very similar to my other board. The dimensions must just give it more inertia.


  1. It's good that it worked out after all the problems you had with it