ANTOINE ALBEAU :: FIONA WYLDE :: PRITCHARD WAVE CAMP :: MINDS WIDE OPEN NORTH AMERICA’S WINDSURFING MAGAZINE
KEITH TEBOUL IS ON A MISSION WITH TEAM +H2O EGYPTIAN STYLE
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The Stones play Waddell Seeing my son, Harley, out there actually competing in the Santa Cruz Classic at Waddell Creek after one year of windsurfing was surreal to me. When he got through the first amateur heat, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud; there is not a heat I’ve ever won myself that made me as stoked. Then, when he went for a Forward attempt in the next heat, I was seriously blown away. What I love most about my boy is that even with all the hype and excitement, he was totally himself: a fun-loving, friendly kid. None of it went to his head, and he is just excited to go to the next event to have more fun. Kids need to be kids... there’s plenty of time for him to be a pro, if that’s what he really wants a long way down the road. —Josh Stone
Harley Stone, first comp at 12 years of age. Makabe photo
Have fun while saving the planet. Carter photo
What’s Wrong With This Picture? The foreground shows ideal sailing conditions, but what’s wrong is this scene is outside some oceanfront hamlet in Denmark, not North America. And behind this sailing Dane is a white structure called an Energy Park—a facility combining wind power generation, wave power and, in the future, solar and geothermic power. But, why is this Energy Park in the tiny nation of Denmark—population five million—and not here in North America? Most of us know the environment is changing, with the huge quantities of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere and oceans, but many do not know that we are changing the chemistry of the oceans. Many scientists have observed that because of the CO2 and warming conditions, the earth’s sixth great extinction in underway: creatures are disappearing; wild weather abounds. If we windsurfers don’t want to sit idly by while our sailing sites fundamentally change, like the Danes, we need to work for technological change. The readiness is all! —Huck Fairman, author of Noah’s Children
Features 42 Pritchard Wave School
Learning the three R’s of wavesailing with Matt Pritchard and Kevin McGillivray.
46 Stories from the Santa Cruz Classic What you need to know from the first AWT event.
52 Egyptian Style
Phil Soltysiak and Steven Van Broeckhoven go on a unique adventure.
58 Minds Wide Open
Behind the scenes with Andre Paskowski while filming Minds Wide Open in Cabo Verde.
64 On a Mission
Combine pros, videographers, industry reps and environmental consciousness, and you get +H2O.
Great photos from around the windsurfing world.
82 Freeride Board and Sail Test Find your perfect lightwind board and sail here.
On the Cover Rider: Keith Teboul Photographer: Jerome Houyvet “Shooting Keith is always a pleasure, as he is one of the most stylish rider I’ve ever seen. He’s more like a surfer, using the power of the wave more than the power of his sail. He gets more turns on a single wave than anybody, and really turns vertical in front of the lip.” —Jerome Houyvet
Volume 30, Issue 3, Number 129
Camille Juban under the lip in Cabo Verde. M. Houyvet photo
contents two Volume 30, Issue 3, Number 129
Upfront 06 Forecast
The Stones and the great Danes
Too much plastic
16 Balance Point
Love letters and hate mail
19 In the Wind
How to windsurf through life
Departments 34 Radar
PWA freestyler and hairstylist Xenia Kessler
36 In the Lab
Meet Chinookâ€™s Caleb Walker
38 SUP Yoga
Exercises to open your heart
40 Ride Guide
Lac Bay, Bonaire The best place in the world to learn to windsurf
96 Getting Real
The dentist who cleans Rob Warwickâ€™s teeth
98 Close Out
Who deserves to be a pro windsurfer?
Ezri Heymans, full moon sailing in Bonaire. Willison photo
A Plastic Ocean
Patrick Bergeron does the right thing. J. Houyvet photo
Walking into Joe Dihl’s Davenport SurfSail shop, located just north of Santa Cruz, CA, for the first time was quite a trip. I had arrived for the first stop of the American Windsurfing Tour, the Santa Cruz Classic, and what better place to set your bearings than the local windsurfing shop? The place is amazing. It’s a big ol’ barn filled with tons of cool stuff that any windsurfer will appreciate. There are a couple of huge sail tables, and I find Joe at one helping a friend to repair on his own sail. Upon introduction, I have the pleasure to meet Dave Robinson. Dave has been windsurfing since the late ’70s, and is the managing director of Sealife Conservation,
Inc. (sealifeconservation.org), which is a non-profit oganization educating people about threats to our oceans with a hands-on approach. Over the past four years, over 14,000 individuals have sailed with Sealife Conservation aboard their 65-foot research vessel, the Derek M. Baylis. Dave was finding time to fix his sail just after getting the boat tucked in following an afternoon on Monterey Bay with 25 high school students. He shows me a study documenting unbelievable amounts of styrofoam and plastic debris collected in an area underneath San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and showed me photos of sea lions entangled in it. Eighty per cent of this junk came from
land-based sources like plastic bags and water bottles, to name just two. Go to sealifeconservation. org/debris for more on this study. I asked Dave for three simple things anyone can do to make a difference every day. He recommends, “First, get off single-use plastic such as shopping bags, straws, cups, tableware, Styrofoam foodware, etc. These are manufactured from oil, a limited resource, and will far outlive their usefulness—between five minutes and an hour—and will also outlive each of us in the marine environment, potentially harming the animals we love. Second, support sustainable seafood. Vote with your dollar by
purchasing sustainable seafood that supports healthy fisheries and fisher-folks. Third, get more people into your favourite ocean sports; more participants equals more people who will love the ocean, creating more ocean stewards. For extra credit, participate in your local beach cleanup, be a beach captain leading a cleanup, or even adopt a beach. There is nothing more rewarding than working to take care of your ocean and then sailing afterwards!” If Dave’s simple advice is not enough, then maybe the message from Team +H2O (read On a Mission, p. 64) will help. Enjoy the issue. —Pete DeKay, ed.
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VOLUME | ISSUE | NUMBER PuBlISHEr EDITOr SENIOr EDITOr
THE WINDSurFINg MOvIE WINNEr
The eternal question: can I squeeze in a session before my plane departs? I’m leaving Maui, not to return for six long months. The rain is torrential, the wind is spotty, the waves are huge; no one is out. I get on a big board with a little sail and head out into the tempest, resolute to sail lowers or stay inside the break. As I pass through the break, I remember the SuP guys nibbling on the edge of the second reef. That was earlier, they’re professionals and they’ve come in, but what the heck. I’m in 25-foot cross-waves when I realize it’s raining too hard and I can’t see the shore. “Don’t panic,” I think, and I start working upwind to hopefully head in. I spot a line of treetops... is it uppers Beach? Sewage Plant? Maui? Who cares? I head for shore. The squall ends (good) but the wind dies (bad). I sink into the water. The waves aren’t going down, so I guess I succeeded in getting upwind to the second reef. Now what? It’s time to stick my mast into the waves, and hope. One wave. Two waves. Maybe three. The next wave tosses everything in the air, myself included. I hold onto the boom but hear a loud snap. rDM masts don’t break, right? Wrong. I drift for a while, wondering what to do. Ditch the rig? Pray? I must be off Kite Beach. Will the kiters see me? Nope. I must pay for my indiscretions. After another hour of ﬂoundering in the waves, I thankfully touch land and drag my hypothermic ass to shore. I stagger up the beach and somehow make my ﬂight. The real storm is at home. My wife can see how shaken I am, so for three long, merciful weeks she says nothing. Then the real storm breaks as she tells me, “If you ever do that again, I’ll kill you and save the windsurfing gods the trouble!” She means it. I hope I mean it, too, when I promise, “Never again.” I’ll be back on Maui soon. We’ll see.
WRITE AND WIN
Harold Anderson, via e-mail Your movie-esque story is deserving of a copy of the Windsurfing Movie 2. Congratulations. —ed.
THE CONTOur CAMErA WINNEr
I am a 17-year-old avid windsurfer currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born just miles from where I live at the moment, yet I was raised in Cancun, Mexico, where I learned how to windsurf at age 12. In 2007, I won first place at the Mexican Windsurfing National Olympics at Huatulco, Oaxaca. In 2008, my family came back to live in the Bay Area, where I now windsurf as often as I can. I have been training a lot at the coast, and I am working on a video fully focused on my passion—wavesailing. I would love to use the Contour camera both on and off the water to capture footage for my video. Maybe you can post it on windsport.com when it’s ready! Nicholas Dudet, Menlo Park, CA We’re awarding you the Contour video camera, as it looks like you have a good plan for your movie, and you’ve said all the right things. Can’t wait to see it. —ed.
A vIDEO SuBMISSION
The great Movie Issue of Windsport motivated me to make the following video of myself sailing at le Jai near Marseilles Airport in France. Carl Spiess, a Canadian in France
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us what you think of this issue, and you may win a copy of BoardHeads. This monumental DvD made by a windsurfer tells many great stories about several different boardsports. go to boardheadsfilm.com for more info.
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ITW ISSUE 129
gear, advice & entertainment
Antoine Albeau answers to his friends
Is technology making us sail less?
Eco MAtters Climate changeâ€™s affect on the wind
Must-have smartphone apps
Adding style to your Carving 360
GROM Macgyver HOW TO Sam Bittner before her first heat at the Santa Cruz Classic. Makabe photo
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words by Phil Soltysiak | photos by John Carter
Albeau at sunset.
We all know Antoine Albeau is fast—winning the last five PWA Slalom titles—but is he fast enough to escape these tough questions from his tour mates? patrick bergeron: You’re one of the most well-known figures in windsurfing today. Do people recognize you in the streets? Yes, it has changed over the past few years. Now, where I live, people know who I am. Sometimes it’s annoying because I want to be incognito when I do my grocery shopping, and then sometimes it’s cool—I can skip the queue and get better service. I also get recognized in some strange places all over the world. Last winter, I was sightseeing in Hong Kong, and at the top of the cable car, some guy came up and
asked for an autograph. It’s very strange; there’s nowhere to hide anymore. ¶ nayra alonso: From the up-and-comers, who do you see with the most potential in slalom? Julien Quentel. He has a lot of natural talent and is, by far, the best young rider out there. I have known him for about 10 years. He trains with me whenever possible, and has spent a lot of time at my house over the years. We travel to all the events together, and his results in his career prove how good he already is. ¶ cyril moussilmani: Do you prefer
competing now or when you first started on the world tour? I prefer now because I’m winning! Unfortunately, my dad was not a millionaire, so for my first years on the tour, I had to work hard to get my sponsorship contracts like everyone else. I started at the bottom and worked my way up over many years. It wasn’t too difficult, I just needed to be focused and not spend all my prize money. I never considered giving up. ¶ chris pressler: What’s your favourite stop on the PWA Slalom Tour? I really like sailing in the Canary Islands. They have great slalom conditions, and I like sailing both slalom and waves in high winds. The best years there were back in the ’90s when I sometimes even used a 4.7-metre slalom sail there. ¶ kevin pritchard: You didn’t win a PWA Slalom title until you were 34 years old. You’ve always been fast, but what changed to make you start dominating? There are a lot of elements— being more confident, gaining race experience, having great gear, etc.—that just fell into place all at the same time, and then I started to win. But I still have to work hard to be where I am. ¶ tine slabe: How much do you train for slalom in comparison to wave and the other disciplines? Do you work out at the gym? I train in slalom probably 90 per cent of the time because it’s my main discipline
at the moment. I go to the gym when I can’t sail, which isn’t that often. In a year, I go probably less than 30 times. During competitions, I usually don’t go the gym... mostly just in the winter months between seasons when I’m in France or Maui. ¶ steven van broeckhoven: Why are you faster than the rest? Well, I can’t tell you that or you’d all know my secret! ¶ philip soltysiak: If you won a million dollars in the lottery, would you continue racing slalom? Of course. But I’d have a caddy and a physio with me all the time. No one does windsurfing for the money; I just love my sport and I love winning. ¶ max rowe: You’ve also had some good results in the waves. When will we see you do the entire PWA Wave tour? When I am available. For now, I try to do as many as possible, but sometimes other events have to take priority. I do enjoy waveriding, and with some serious training and time spent on the water, I could be very competitive. ¶ francisco goya: Do you see hydrofoils coming into racing gear? Not right now, they are too slow. But maybe when the equipment gets better we can try; they have potential in lightwind racing. I use hydrofoils for tow-in surfing and sometimes windsurfing, but I have never tried them seriously for racing. For now, there is no real reason why we
Albeau’s Last Five years 2006: Won his first PWA World Slalom overall title, finishing ahead of Micah Buzianis and Kevin Pritchard.
2007: Destroyed the competition, winning six of the seven events to claim his second PWA Slalom crown.
2008: Took the title of Speed World Champion from Finian Maynard, and won his third PWA Slalom crown in a row.
2009: Dominated the PWA Slalom field with six wins and a discarded second to win his fourth straight overall title.
2010: Edged out Bjorn
Dunkerbeck for his fifth title, with each winning two events, and was named French Sailor of the Year.
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should use hydrofoils in racing. the standard board setup is still better. ¶ matt pritchard: What do you see yourself doing in five years? Still living in France, spending a lot of time traveling and, of course, windsurf-
ing and still winning! No early retirement for me, if I can help it. ¶ laure treboux: Does your wife windsurf? Do you have kids? Have you started teaching them? My wife doesn’t really like to windsurf but has spent many
hours around pro windsurfers, so she knows a lot and could probably even give a lesson. I don’t have children, but if I did, I’m sure I would teach them to windsurf if they were interested. ¶ iballa moreno: What’s the best thing
about being French on tour? probably that I can swear and no one understands! ¶ bryan metcalf-perez: If I film you, will you try the world’s fastest Shaka on your slalom equipment? Sure, why not?
Cruising with Albeau.
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WordS bY Pete Dekay | pHoto bY riCharD hallMan
AGE: 13 • SAIL NUMBER: F11 • HOME: HOOD RIVER, OREGON, AND LOS BARRILES, BAJA • SPONSORS: SAILWORKS, BIG WINDS, GORGE DENTAL • DAKINE, O’NEILL WINDSURFING HERO: MATT PRICHARD • BEST RESULT: NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR FORMULA CHAMPION is there anything Fiona won’t try on a windsurfer? Not that I’ve seen. over the past year, I’ve witnessed her slalom racing in 30-knot winds in the Gorge, surviving mast-munching shorebreak in baja, lightwind tandem freestyling with her dad, and even taking on logo-high waves at pistol river... all with a smile on her face. Not only does this girl rip, she’s a great ambassador for the sport: getting school mates out on the water, giving clinics for kids whenever she can, and being a star whenever she’s interviewed. I asked her about her future goals, and her answer really sums up the type of windsurfer she is: “I want to compete on the pWA Slalom tour, improve in waves on the American Windsurfing tour and learn more freestyle. but the most important thing is to keep having fun.”
Fiona wins money in Baja. rose photo
Fiona at Pistol River.
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WordS bY erin GateS
iS WinD FoReCAStinG GooD FoR WinDSuRFinG?
ack in the late ’90s and early 2000s, it seemed like I was always excited to go windsurfing, whether it meant hitting the water in nuking conditions or just chilling at the beach if the wind didn’t cooperate. Windsurfers lived by the mantra, “don’t leave wind to find wind,” and if no wind was to be found, kickin’ it at the beach was pretty fun, too.
Fast-forward to today, and my day of windsurfing usually starts with a blinking incoming text message saying, “Where are you headed?” Quickly, I check the latest iWindsurf.com update from the phone to find where it’s windiest before answering. When I finally arrive at a sailing site, I often see clusters of windsurfers gathered around their vans, checking their smartphones for updates while they try to decide what to rig. I look out at the water and wonder, “What happened to the days of just heading to the beach, rigging whatever you have and being stoked to be on the water, no matter what?” I am left full of questions: are we really better oﬀ with all of today’s technology? Is the family in New York better oﬀ knowing that the week they booked to go windsurfing in the Gorge won’t be windy and cancelling their trip, or would they have had
U.S. Windsurfing director Karen Marriott says that when she lived in Colorado, she never paid attention to forecasting tools: “It seems like, in most places away from the coast, you’re better oﬀ to just go to the lake, rig your stuﬀ and sail.” She agrees that with so many forecasting tools available, fewer folks are “hanging out on the lake, teaching their friends or kids to windsurf when it isn’t windy. they just don’t go if it isn’t windy, and they don’t have lightwind gear because they aren’t planning on ever sailing in light wind.” Since moving to Florida, Marriott says she frequently checks iWindsurf.com for a general idea of the forecast, but would never
ARE YOU GLUED TO YOUR ForeCaSt UPDateS?
Pros checking the forecast. Carter/pWA photo
We SUrVey... YoU!
just as much fun going and making the most of whatever happened? Are we saving time by checking the current wind updates every few minutes to figure out where to go? Is it really worth leaving one site with decent wind to drive for an hour in hopes of finding better conditions elsewhere? Gorge forecaster temira Wagonfeld (thegorgeismygym.com) notes, “It does seem like more people came to the Gorge ‘no matter what’ in the past. Whether that’s because they didn’t know the forecast or they had more free time, I don’t know.” temira adds that on some days, the wind is easier to predict than on others, and she acknowledges feeling pressured to give an accurate forecast: “occasionally, I blow it, and that’s no fun. I try hard to be accurate. I rely on my forecast every day, and I know other people do, too.”
readers, how has technology aﬀected your experience with windsurfing? do you just cross your fingers and head to the beach, or are you glued to your forecast updates? We want to hear from you, so get on your computer or smartphone and fill out the following short survey. plus, we’ll randomly give away Windsport tshirts to at least three participants. You can find the survey either at windsport. com/wind_survey, or by scanning this Qr Code with your smartphone, using the ScanLife app (see p. 28 for more info). Stay tuned for the survey results and comments in Windsport’s next issue.
cancel plans to attend a regatta or go on vacation based on a less-than-optimistic forecast. She maintains that she doesn’t mind “cruising around on a longboard” in light wind, adding, “My direct experiences with windsurfing haven’t changed all that much with wind forecasting tools—except that I often have fewer friends to windsurf with because they stayed home due to a bad forecast!”
“Compact and Furious” 5IF'SFFTUZMF8BWFCPBSEDPMMFDUJPOTFUTOFXTUBOEBSETGPS GSFFTUZMFXBWFEFTJHO5IFCPBSETGFFMNPSFMJLFTNBMMBOEDPNQBDU XBWFCPBSETCVUQFSGPSNMJLFSFBMGSFFTUZMFCPBSETXJUIJNQSFTTJWF QMBOJOHBCJMJUZ/BSSPXUBJMTBOEOPTFTBOEBTIPSUBOE DPNQBDUGFFMHVBSBOUFFFYDFQUJPOBMUPQFOEQFSGPSNBODFBOEDMBTT MFBEJOHWFSTBUJMJUZ4J[FTSBOHFGSPNUPMJUFSTTPUIFSFhTPOFGPS BMMTBJMJOHMFWFMT XJOETUSFOHUITBOETBJMPSXFJHIUT 5IFTFCPBSETBSFQFSGFDUMZNBUDIFEUPUIFFRVBMMZWFSTBUJMF33% 4VQFS4UZMFTBJMT
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WordS bY Zoe naJiM | pHoto bY riCharD hallMan
iS GlobAl WARMinG AFFeCtinG WinD on tHe WeSt CoASt?
No matter where one resides, global climate change impacts are felt. Whether the presence of more wildfires, pine bark beetle outbreaks, melting permafrost, or coastal erosion is the headline of your local news, eﬀects are felt around the world.
Looking down the Gorge to the marine layer.
ere, in the Columbia river Gorge, problems loom large; windsurfers worry what the next 20 years of global climate change might bring, in terms of wind strengths. According to dr. Sam Iacobellis, research meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of oceanography, and benjamin Miller, meteorologist at WeatherFlow Inc. (parent company of iwindsurf.com and WindAlert), a decrease in the strength and number of west wind events in the Columbia river Gorge are both possible and likely outcomes of global climate change. Scientists pin the pacific Northwest of the United States among some of the regions in North America inﬂuenced most by global climate change. the U.S. National Assessment of Climate predicts that the pacific Northwest might warm up three degrees by 2030, and five degrees by 2050. Warming—a foreseen trend in the play-out of global climate change—of the pacific Northwest would wreak havoc on the windmaking machine in the Gorge. West winds in the Gorge blow due to a gradient created when the North pacific High (NpH) adopts its normal summer position just oﬀ
the Washington coast in the eastern pacific ocean and the thermal low over the Great basin region of the U.S. expands with heat from the summer sun. the NpH is created when air from the equator rises and moves towards the pole aloft, then falls or subsides at higher subtropical latitudes. this
Gorge. Such a change would also aﬀect northeast and east winds in Hawaii and northwest winds in the San Francisco bay Area. A likely outcome of a climate change scenario in the Northwest is for the NpH to move northward towards Alaska, and possibly away from the oregon coast. Generally, in the summer months, the NpH travels north to its residence oﬀ of the Washington coast. the winter finds the NpH in a position to the south, oﬀ of California’s Central Coast. As temperatures change and the sun seemingly migrates between the tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere and the tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere, the NpH’s position and strength change. the reduced size of the Aleutian Low and the increased intensity and size of the NpH during summer months help to keep the west coast sunny in the summer, sending storms north of the NpH. If the NpH were to move even further north—a possible outcome of a warmer local climate—west winds in the Gorge would weaken, according to Miller.
A DECREASE IN WIND IS A LIKELY OUTCOME oF GloBal CliMate ChanGe. subsistence, along with cooler air temperatures as it interacts with the ocean’s surface, creates high pressure. the air in the Northwest region moves from the NpH to the region of low pressure (the thermal low located in the Great basin), and wind is accelerated to its often nuclear strengths as it funnels through the only west/ east opening in the area: the Columbia river Gorge. A change in position of the NpH, either northward or westward, would elicit weaker west winds through the
When the NpH is further away from the opening of the Columbia river Gorge, it has less inﬂuence on the coastal and inland meteorological conditions in this area—evidenced when windsurfers in the Gorge take out their bigger freestyle and slalom gear. this setup might mimic the projected position of the NpH in a warmer climate; instead of the close-to survival conditions we now enjoy in the Gorge, fueled by a strong and proximate NpH, a straightforward thermal wind pattern would prevail. Such wind
speeds would tend to be in the low twenties and focused more in the western and central Gorge, from Stevenson to the Event Site. “A change of location for the NpH might also spell an increase in events associated with ridging for the Northwest region,” says Miller. ridging events create conditions that are best suited for wakeboarding or waterskiing. As a high pressure expands, a surface low develops and can encroach on the west side of the Cascades (normally the high pressure side of the wind machine). this situation, sending isobars on a northward cant, brings in warm, dry air and effectively shuts down the gradient or, if the ridging is strong enough, allows sailors to hone their upwind sailing skills in the easterly winds at Stevenson. Small disturbances, which can spur a pulse of westerly winds, are kept at bay. the San Francisco bay Area winds are also under the auspices of the NpH. the cold California current, a product of the NpH, ﬂows south, and with the help of the Coriolis eﬀect, creates a net surface water displacement away from the Coast, allowing cooler water from below to upwell. Cold water at the surface along the coast of oregon and California interacts with the moist, warmer air above and creates fog. Cold marine air creates a gradient with the warm thermal low inland to create the steady breezes that dominate the weather in the bay Area. However, a weaker or more northward location of the NpH would create a weaker California current, thereby creating possibly less fog. Scientists fear such a trend, as trees like the sequoias along the California coast thrive in conditions created by a thick marine layer. As windsurfers, the reliance of our fun on the exact location of the NpH and how it’s being aﬀected by global warming is disconcerting. Just in case, I recommend brushing up on some freestyle moves as a precautionary measure.
rider: Jesse Brown photo: Jérôme Houyvet
ump on the Panther 3 and notice how easily it sails: no yank forward, no back-hand pressure, just a velvety smooth ride. Its low weight makes the Panther extra easy to toss around. But despite its lightness, the Panther is strong. Each region of the sail consists of a unique material designed to address the loads speciﬁc to that part of the sail.
Windsport panther 2011-2.indd 1
And even though the Panther 3 is the most tunable wave sail on the water, it is also easy to rig thanks to the color coded downhaul marks and the color coded outhaul cords, making the sail’s massive wind range easy to navigate. And of course, quality is guaranteed because we rig every sail in our factory before it’s shipped.
1/17/2011 3:12:12 PM
I T W
swag More MUSt-HAVE AppS WinD alert the WindAlert android and iphone app from WeatherFlow (which also brings us iWindsurf. com) will notify you when your favourite conditions arrive at your local sailing sites. or you can simply observe the latest data from any of over 40,000 weather stations. Cost: Free WinD Geo Now available in iphone or ipad versions, Wind Geo lets you look up accurate, real-time wind data and temperature for any location in the world. Find data for your current location, or move the map to somewhere else and click “Get Wind.” Cost: $0.99
WHY You neeD tHe tRiCKtionARY iPHone APP
ow you can leave your Tricktionary book at home on your coﬀee table, and stow the Tricktionary dVd set by your tV or in your computer bag because the tricktionary app for the iphone is all you need to take to the beach. rig your gear, then just before hitting the water, review whatever trick or skill you want to work on so it will be fresh in your mind. the four available packages to download include beginner, non-jumping, jumping and wave, so everything is covered from uphauling to Flakas to landing an Air Chachoo. the beginner package is free, and the other advanced packages can be added for just $9.99 each. Every lesson includes an intro to the move, a photo sequence with text, video of the move, pre-exercises and a quick tips section. So, get this app and join the trickademy!
SCanliFe You may have noticed the strange pixilated boxes called Qr Codes scattered throughout this magazine or on the cover. the ScanLife app for any smartphone allows you access to bonus content with a simple scan. Cost: Free
Retro simplicity, rock solid stability and Sailworks' legendary build quality.
Photo: Jimmie Hepp
Rider: Patrick Bergeron
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MacGyver ARe You Knot FoR eASieR DoWnHAulinG?
i learned this knot from windsurﬁng instructor and gear guru alf imperato. He calls it the “old guy knot” because he learned it from an old guy. Forget tying a bowline or a half hitch, as this knot is easy to learn and fit for the job. With all the pressure involved in downhauling, it’s most important to be able to release the knot easily when you’re done. the “old guy knot” works perfectly and pulls free with a simple tug.
Take your downhaul line and make an overhand loop in the shape of a lower case letter "d".
Next, take the loop and fold it over top of the rope, toward your mast extension.
As shown above, hooking the line through the circle makes the knot; use a more solid object like your harness hook.
Fully downhaul your sail, and when finished, simply remove your hook and pull the end of the line to release the knot.
Jace Panebianco is sponsored by Hot Sails Maui, Starboard, Dakine and Poor Boyz Productions.
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WORDS BY BRENDON QUINN | PHOTOS BY CLAUDIA WILLISON
A HANDS-OFF APPROACH TO THE CARVING 360
The no-handed Carving 360 is not only one of the more stylish 360 variants, but it’s also one of the easiest once you learn to be patient and keep your hands off the boom. This move is best learned in flat-ish water using a moderately small sail (for me, it would be no larger than a 6.0 m2) with long harness lines.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS? CLEAN YOUR EARS: Generally not recommended, as balance is related to your sense of hearing, and this may impair that ability.
DIG FOR GOLD: Keep your hands away from your nose, as unexpected chop may leave you permanently scratching your brain.
THE JOKER POSE: Make any hand motion in the direction of your friends to show your no-handed prowess. If you fall, then the joke is on you.
HANDS BEHIND THE BACK: It looks stylish and promotes a nice, clean upright posture, and subtly lets everyone see where the boom is not.
Start by sailing fast on a beam reach, and while still hooked in, take the back foot out of the strap and place it across to the board’s leeward side with toes pointing either parallel to the front strap or slightly more to the nose. Move your foot without altering your direction or starting to carve. The next step is to set the rail to start carving. Gently push on your front hand and pull in on the back hand to pull your weight over the carving foot, which is set and waiting for that pressure. Keep your back straight and your knees in front of your toes and nose to carve smoothly and keep leverage over the rig . Once balanced and carving, it’s time to start showing off: while gently guiding the sail to the back of the board, keeping tension in the harness lines, release the back hand and continue pushing the sail to the back of the board with your front hand for an instant before releasing it . Now it’s time to just stand there and look pretty [3-4]. Wait and don’t touch the boom yet... I know you want to! Once you’ve lost speed and the board has stopped turning, you can do something with your hands: place the front hand on the boom right by the mast, and push the sail towards the back of the board once more while stepping forward with your front foot, placing it just in front of the mast . Unhook while stepping forward by lifting your hips and continuing to push the sail back with the front hand and away from your body with the back hand. As with the standard Carving 360, to finish the last part of the carve and get the board’s nose all the way up into the wind, it’s critical to keep driving your back hip into the sail while pushing the sail back with the front hand and away with the rear hand. Finally, once into the wind, drop your weight down into the mast base while pushing out on the front hand to sheet-in and steer off the wind . Keep practising, and eventually, mid-trick, you’ll be able to yell, “Look, mom—no hands!”
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Xenia kessler words by BRaNdoN QUINN | photo by claUdIa WIllIsoN
pwA rookie of the year, Xenia Kessler’s smooth, fluid style really stands out on the water. she has been training hard in bonaire this oﬀ-season, dialing in some of the latest freestyle moves to help her improve on her ﬁfth place overall result from last year’s tour. watch her in action live on your computer by tuning into the pwA’s live feed of the freestyle events in bonaire (June 12-16) and Aruba (June 19-26). SAIL NUMBER: d-211 • AGE: 21 • hOME: AARHUS, dENMARK • SPONSORS: Jp-AUSTRALIA, rOXY, mAUIsAILS, rEPTILE, sOROBON bEACH rESORT, sKULLCANDY AND CHOCO FINS • GO-TO TRICKS: FUNNEL, CLEW-FIRST pUNETA AND FLAKA 720 tRICK GOAL: sHAKA AND KONO • BEST 2010 RESULT: 5TH IN LANZAROTE BLOG: WWW.KESSLER.DK
the Warrior Princess!
Ͳ^ĞĂƌĐŚĨƌŽŵŽǀĞƌϱϬ͕ϬϬϬǁĞĂƚŚĞƌƐƚĂƚŝŽŶƐ ͲƌĞĂƚĞsŝƌƚƵĂů^ƚĂƚŝŽŶƐĨŽƌĂŶǇƐƉŽƚŝŶƚŚĞǁŽƌůĚ Ͳ^ĞƚůĞƌƚƐĨŽƌŽďƐĞƌǀĂƚŝŽŶƐŽƌĨŽƌĞĐĂƐƚƐ ͲƵŝůĚĐƵƐƚŽŵƉƌŽĨŝůĞƐĨŽƌǇŽƵƌĨĂǀŽƌŝƚĞĂƌĞĂƐ
in the lab
Chinook’s Caleb Walker words by PETE dEkay photo by RIcHaRd HallmaN
Meet Chinook’s product developer, Caleb Walker, who has worked hard bringing the new and incredible Pro 1 Carbon boom to a shop near you. What’s cool about the new chinook Pro 1 carbon boom? well, it’s cool that they’re popped out of the press about 100 feet from the Columbia river where we test them. the one-piece carbon boom is not a new idea, and we didn’t want to just jump on the bandwagon unless we could make one that’s really better. It needs to incorporate all the theoretical beneﬁts of a one-piece boom body without losing the durability and feel that our customers love. so, after months of discussion with our riders, and agonizing over the bend curves, we ﬁnally pulled the trigger and cut the moulds. It was awesome to see the ﬁrst part come out of the press, and then when we put it together and got it on the water, it was so satisfying to feel that we had nailed it. can you tell us a little about working with carbon? Carbon ﬁbre can be laid into a mould to form almost any shape, and the ﬁbre can be positioned and aligned to provide very speciﬁc reinforcement in key areas. however, there is a tremendous amount of technique and skill involved in working with it. this is where we have an advantage: our production staﬀ are not just machine operators or labourers, they are skilled craftsman and even artists who have years of experience and take pride in what they build. the result is the boom you buy and sail is going to work and last the way it should. Tell us more about the new boom line. the smaller size booms are narrower, allowing wave and freestyle sailors to stay closer to the rig and get over the top of the board for manoeuvres. but we also realized that there are sailors who like blasting on everything from 5.0 m2 sails and bigger, and who want a wider curve to match the race or freeride sail’s deeper draft. we designed wide booms that start at only 10cm larger than the largest, narrow wave shaped boom. we want you to be able to have a boom that closely ﬁts your quiver and sailing style.
Caleb and the new Chinook Pro 1 Carbon boom.
How long have you worked for chinook? and what does your job as product developer entail? I have worked for Chinook going on five years now. I love my job, but it’s not all fun and games. the job actually requires a lot of desk work sourcing materials and components, quality control, and doing design work on the computer with CAd software. As for the design part, I think it’s important that I don’t get stuck in a narrow way of thinking. though I like to design things the way I would want them, I always end up using a lot of feedback from riders and customers by talking to our sales guys and people in shops and on the beach.
How much time do you get to spend on the water? What are you working on in your sailing? because of Chinook’s sweet location— right on the water, here in the Gorge—I get to sail quite a bit. but, because I’m really busy with work, family etc., I don’t get a lot of real marathon sessions. sometimes I’ll only sail for 45 minutes, but it’s just so convenient. you’d think that because I’ve been sailing so long I’d be pretty good, right? well, I’m pretty much working on everything in my sailing now... I can’t decide what to learn ﬁrst. I really like the new freestyle moves, especially Flakas, shove-its and shakas, so I’m going to get serious with Flakas now. hopefully, I’ll never stop trying to learn.
Chest and Heart Openers
Seated chest and shoulder stretch.
words by Emma-Rose Rossoff | photos by Jock Bradley
ach morning, I wake and begin to move by gently stretching my head and neck. Then, as if the sequence was automatic, I begin to move my arms in a similar way, awakening my body as I begin to breathe in a few full, deep breaths. It’s always seemed so natural, and my body seems to say “Thank you” for not bursting out of bed and rushing into my day. It’s in this gentle, loving nature that I enjoy teaching the beginning of each class. As a 75-minute yoga class progresses, I will incorporate stretches like these chest and heart openers to gently increase the flow of blood, energize the body and mind, and increase the range of motion in our ever-important shoulders, chest and back.
All fours with lifted arms.
Seated Chest and Shoulder Stretch (Easy): With your paddle in hand, position yourself onto a comfortable seat at the centre line of your SUP. Bring both hands to lightly grip the paddle at a shoulder-width distance apart. Inhale and raise the paddle up towards the sky. If this feels good, lengthen the width of your hand grip and continue to bring the paddle towards the rear of the board. Hold, breathe and enjoy!
All Fours With Lifted Arm (Easy): From an evenly weighted all-fours position, place your left hand on the centre line of the board. Inhale and lift your right hand up towards the sky, keeping hips square to the board and without dumping weight into your left arm. Continue to breathe as you create length from hand to hand and from head to toe. Exhale to release and switch sides.
Camel Pose (Intermediate): If youâ€™re experienced in back bends then try Camel Pose. Begin by centring yourself on your shins with the knees at hip-width distance and tuck your toes in. Stand tall by engaging your core and lengthening the spine. Come into the pose by taking one hand to the heel of the same side and then the other hand back. Breathe restfully and release, coming up the opposite side.
Revolved Squat (Advanced): Standing poses can be much more challenging on a SUP, so even if youâ€™re a practised yogi/yogini, be prepared to take a splash into the water. Begin in Chair Pose with hands touching at heart centre and inhale. Exhale and turn your upper body to the right side with the left elbow crossing to meet the top of the right knee. Lengthen your spine and lift your right shoulder up towards the sky to create more space in the belly for big, juicy breaths. Exhale to release, and practise a gentle forward fold before switching sides.
Emma-Rose Rossoff owns Anahata Yoga in Hood River, OR. yogahoodriver.com
HaRBoURToWN: ADVANCED FLATWATER TRICK AREA THE EVENT sITE: THE PWA CONTEST AREA
soRoBoN BEacH REsoRT: STAY RIGHT ON THE WATER
WINdsURfING cENTREs: JIBE CITY AND BONAIRE WINDSURF PLACE
BoNaIRE words by BRENdoN QUINN | photo by maRkUs sEIdEl
some places challenge you physically because of the conditions, but in bonaire, the challenge is to try and be better than yourself. the flat, warm, shallow water allows the things you do back home to come easy and naturally. If you’re looking to return home from a windsurfing vacation with one of the best souvenirs out there—a new skill or move—then this is your place. travel-
ing around, teaching windsurfing with AbK boardsports has been my life for the last three years, and I’ve found no better spot than bonaire’s Lac bay to get better, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or pro. the windy season typically starts around december and builds in strength as the season moves towards July. the wind averages about 17 to 18 knots, which let me use
my rrd superstyle 5.2 and rrd Freestyle 100 the most. however, over my three-month stay, I did get to use my 4.9 and 4.5 a decent number of times. As the months change, so do the water levels: the highest frequency of deeper water (more waist-deep water) occurs earlier in the season—from december to February—with more frequent, shallower water (closer to knee depth) occurring in
← SCAn thiS Qr CodE UsInG thE smArtphonE sCAnLIFE App (sEE pG. ) to wAtCh LIvE wEbCAms oF LAC bAy From both JIbE CIty And bonAIrE wIndsUrF pLACE.
maNGRoVIa: LOCALS AND PROS DON’T SEEM TO MIND THE FIRE GRASS
THE dEEP ENd: LESS CROWDS AND SLIGHTLY BIGGER RAMPS THE flaG: MARKS A SHALLOW REEF
E saIlING aREa: PLENTY OF SHALLOW, WARM WATER
march and April. both windsurfing centres are geared up for the shallow periods, with twin-fin and short-fin boards to keep you ripping regardless of the tide. Lac bay is an incredibly safe place to sail, but there are a few things to watch out for. the red flag is home to a shallow, urchin-covered coral reef that you won’t make it over, no matter how short your fin. other areas
can become more of a problem, depending on the water depth. Just remember two simple rules: first, if it looks shallow, then unhook and slow down; second, if it’s brown, you’re “goin’ down!” remember, if it’s too shallow across the run you’ve picked, then you can either sail in the deep-water area or walk your gear further upwind to find a deeper water section. If sailing mangrovia during
any part of the season, be prepared for some itchy stings from jellyfish and fire grass. bonaire may be the perfect beginner spot, but it also oﬀers a ton for every level, including the pros. three of the top ﬁve pwA freestylers call Lac bay home, and many other top pros choose bonaire as their oﬀ-season training ground. be sure to watch the live feed of the pwA Freestyle contest this June 12-16 on the event site.
WORDS BY PETE DEKAY | PHOTOS BY CLARK MERRITT
hoever came up with the saying, “Those that can, do; those who can’t, teach” never went to a wavesailing camp with instructors Matt Pritchard and Kevin McGillivray at SoloSports Adventure Holidays in Punta San Carlos, Baja. Matt is a former world champion, while Kevin (a.k.a. K-Smac) is a household name for windsurfers all along
the west coast. These guys “do” well and “teach” well, making for a lethal combination when it comes to the world of windsurfing instruction. How do I know this? Well, I used to teach windsurfing as my full-time job for ABK BoardSports, where I learned the ins and outs of instruction and teaching clinics. When Matt offers to let me in the clinic, I jump at the opportunity, as my trial-and-error
approach to developing wavesailing skill is becoming extremely frustrating. Instructional clinics are a great way to learn a ton of skills in windsurfing; however, the teachers must be on their game to keep their students progressing and having fun. Here are four important elements that Matt and K-Smac used to get us all on the road to better waveriding—setting goals, land lessons, video analysis and time on the water.
Video and radio coaching is key.
Pritchard teaching on the fly.
Why they call him K-Smac.
Who sets a goal of buying a plane, learning to fly it, and taking their first international P.I.C. (pilot in command) flight down to San Carlos in order to join the clinic and learn in the best wavesailing conditions possible? His name is Dan Tran—one of my fellow students—and I may be exaggerating a little bit as to why he bought the plane (this is definitely why I’d get one). Tran wants to learn how to do an aerial
off the lip, so you know he has cajones. But the guy who beats all comers for throwing caution to the wind and having nerves of steel is Richard Shirey, who sat in the co-pilot’s seat for Tran’s inaugural flight down. He tells me about the most white-knuckling part: “The dirt landing was more exciting than I would have liked. We came down hard and bounced about five feet in the air before settling. It was like a little chophop at the end.” We all saw the
infamous “bounce,” and strongly recommend flying down with one of SoloSports experienced pilots (no offence, Dan). The real goal-setting starts once everyone arrives, and Matt and KSmac make us each put down in writing and surrender a signed copy of what we hope to accomplish for the week. Mine is to learn the correct way to really hit the lip. Peaking over my fellow students’ shoulders, like copying on a test, I spy everything from shortboard tacking to full-on
aerials. Now our teachers know exactly what to do on an individual basis for each student in the class.
I always look forward to San Carlos’ calm mornings for surfing or stand-up paddling, and this trip is no different. However, the perfect wind and waves we have been experiencing, like Groundhog Day, have me going a little easier than normal, in order to save my strength for the guaranteed afternoon blow.
During one legendary K-Smac class on “smacking the lip,” fellow student Marie-Lyne Deschenses stealthily passes me a note. It reads, “Do you know, that at the beginning of his teaching career, Kevin was an imposter? He barely knew how to windsurf, but applied for a job teaching it at a Club Med. They called him back for an interview and, luckily, a friend had told him what to say… ‘Oh yeah, I can duck jibe’… and he got the job!” Looks like K-Smac has come a long way and he just got smacked by Marie-Lyne!
San Francisco Bay Area sailor John Buestad sums it up the best: “Video really is the truth—it makes such a discernable difference. Although I thought I could wavesail, the truth is I’ve just been going down the line in front of the whitewater, nowhere close to a true bottom turn let alone an off-the-lip. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to study myself on film that I made big strides in my wavesailing.” The video doesn’t lie, and each morning KSmac shows us the truth about our riding. If you know that you can’t handle the truth about yourself, then you better be content with where your wavesailing is because you won’t improve as fast as if you watch the video.
instant and direct way of controlling your student, and the best part is, they can’t talk back. On my first wave with the Headzone helmet, I find myself making excuses for my lame ride out loud as if Matt can hear me. Immediately, I realize what I am saying is actually lamer than the ride was, which is pretty sad. It’s time to put up and shut up. Two waves later, I have the wave of my life, scoring five top turns, with Matt giving me one simple bit of advice to follow before each one. He may be blowing smoke, but I later find out that this was a highlight moment of the week
for K-Smac, who tells me, “I was sitting in Ginger [an empty chunk of a fishing boat on the cliff that has been turned into a viewing seat] videoing you while Matt was talking to you through the helmet. Matt told you, ‘On the next wave, we want to see you just charge straight up for the lip, no matter how late or threatening it looks. You actually did it, and it worked!” Matt and K-Smac’s next camp will be August 6-13th (immediately following the AWT’s San Carlos Cactus Cup). Go to solosports.net for more info and to sign up.
Matt coaching Ruben lemmens.
TiMe on THe WaTeR:
These lighter wind moments are also a perfect time for Matt, K-Smak or Tabou team rider Casey Hauser (making a guest appearance) to lecture, answer questions and dryland simulate everything we want to learn. The manuals we receive cover all the basics of what we are learning, but I know the key is to keep a pen handy and take notes during class. Instructors never like to put their best secrets or most entertaining analogies down in print… call it job security!
East coaster Michael Penfield recalls, “I was slowing down, waiting for a wave to build, when Matt shows up next to me. He says, ‘This is our wave,’ and motioned for me to drop in. Having seen Matt and Kevin work some fantastic, logosized waves together, I knew what to do. In my mind, the soundtrack to a windsurfing video started playing as I bottom turn and top turn, alternating with Matt repeatedly. It was awesome. OK, the wave was only chest-high, but it really was cool to ride with a world champ.” Having both Matt and K-Smac on the water with you, sharing waves and advice, is great. But what’s even better is having Matt speaking directly into your ear as you drop in for a wave. How is this possible? Strap on one of the Headzone radio helmets that SoloSports has, with Matt sitting on the cliff talking to you via a handheld radio. To me, this device is an instructor’s dream; you have an
THE AWTâ€™S Santa Cruz Classic
WORDS BY PETE DEKAY PHOTOS BY LORI MAKABE
seventy wavesailors took over the beach at Waddell Creek for the kickoff event of the American Windsurfing Tour, the Santa Cruz Classic. There was wind, waves, music and parties to keep the competitors and spectators entertained all weekend long. With too many highlights and stories to share, weâ€™ll let the photos do the talking.
Ingrid Larouche wins. Pritchard photo
High-tech judging… with tablets!
Noireaux’s Crazy Pete (or Dark Flip).
Kevin Pritchard gouges. Pritchard photo
THE AWT’S Santa Cruz Classic
Expert and Youth:
With the two top finishers in the youth division, Bernd Roediger and Morgan Noireaux, also competing with the experts, these two divisions go together better than you’d ever think. Expert winner, the silent assassin Nathan Mershon, comments, “The last time I competed here at Waddell, I won both the Youth and Amateur divisions. Now, the youths are competing against the experts!” Many people seem surprised to hear that Mershon won, beating the likes of Kevin Pritchard, Francisco Goya, Josh Stone, Keith Teboul, Kai Katchadourian and a host of other incredible Maui talent. All I can say is, if the wavesailing contests hadn’t dried up 10 years ago, Mershon would have had plenty more first place trophies on his mantle. Head judge Matt Pritchard.
Roediger’s head-tweaked aerial. Wiewel photo
Expression Session winner is Josh Stone.
Nick Dudet’s huge Forward. Pritchard photo Harley stone advances!
Women, Amateur and Masters:
Ingrid Larouche is a serious competitor. She knows all the ripping Maui girls will be showing up for the final AWT event at Ho’okipa in October. Upon registering for the Santa Cruz Classic eight weeks before the contest, she noticed that no other women had signed up. Fearing the thought of no competition, she was allowed to join the Amateur division, making it a unisex class. At competition time, Larouche was pleased to have her hands full in both divisions. She out-battled local sailor Carmen Hsu and Leah Doran to take the women’s crown, and was edged out by Eric Sorensen for second place in the Amateurs. The Masters saw a return to windsurfing by the legendary Brian Caserio, owner of Side-Off Video. Congrats Eric Sorensen.
Larouche riding backside.
Mershon wins the expert division.
Nice cast Watermeyer.
Wave Train plays.
THE AWT’S Santa Cruz Classic
I would love to say the competition was close in the Battle for the Boom Expression Session—where the winner would get a new Chinook Pro-1 carbon boom—but it wasn’t. Josh Stone put on a clinic in the light conditions, landing planing Forwards, Push Loops, Willy Skippers and impressive waverides. Other riders sailed well, but couldn’t find the power to match an energized Stone. And then there was Troy Collins. Wearing only a pair of Lycra underwear, Collins braved the 50-degree water to catch some waves. His moves may not have impressed the judges, but his spirit did impress Stone, who re-prized the boom over to Collins for the effort.
“When Nathan told me he and his wife Chandra were going to Maui for a few weeks this spring, I had a feeling that results like this were inevitable.” —whit poor
Caserio takes the Masters.
Nathan Mershon Kevin Pritchard Morgan Noireaux Francisco Goya
Ingrid Larouche Carmen Hsu Leah Doran Kathryn Fisher
Bernd Roediger Morgan Noireaux Jordan Reed Nick Dudet
Brian Caserio Reed Nelson MacRae Wylde Atilla Tivador
Eric Sorensen Ingrid Larouche Nick Dudet Reed Nelson
Follow all the action on the AWT at americanwindsurfingtour.com and facebook.com/AmericanWindsurfing. News updates, videos and photos will be posted constantly throughout the year.
Haywood, Porcella and Juban.
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spend a good part of my life looking at seasons, statistics, weather patterns, tides, fronts, clouds and forecasts. But no matter what I conclude from all the information I take in, it’s still a matter of being at the right beach at the right time. This trip to Dahab is a result of gossip I’ve been hearing amongst my European tour friends that Egypt is the right place to be. So, here I am. Mother Nature never hinted it was going to be the wrong week, though. Maybe I’m spoiled... the truth is I’ve had a few short, mediocre sessions, but leaving Egypt on a note like this won’t quench my immense thirst for windsurfing. The last thing I want to do is go home without sticking any new moves. After all, the word on the beach is that in Dahab’s perfect conditions, you can learn any freestyle trick. And so, I’m determined to leave with sore muscles, blistered hands, and maybe a Kabikuchi (a variation on the Kono move) under my belt.
Phil Soltysiak sliding.
ith my final weekend approaching, I start asking around about a secret spot I’ve been hearing tales of, called Ras Abu Galum. Can this windy lagoon with beautiful turquoise water really exist not too far from here? Steven Van Broeckhoven— my housemate in Dahab—and I decide to take a chance on our final weekend in Egypt and try to find it. But how do we get to this windsurfing seventh heaven? ¶ After speaking with some local friends, we discover we have three options. Option one is to take a small boat, load it up with our gear, and plow upwind through the Gulf of Aqaba chop for a few hours. We would have to leave at 3 a.m. to get there at a favourable tide to slide over the shallow reef into the lagoon. And then there is a possibility of not making it over the reef at all, so we scratch this option. Option two is by truck. The only way to drive to the lagoon is in complete roundabout fashion, circling away from the coast around the Sinai Mountains and then back towards
How do you start this thing?
Our main concern is that the camel will lie on its side on top of the board bags and crush all our gear. the gulf. This choice sounds good compared to the first, until the locals suggest option three—by camel. ¶ Steven immediately asks, “What about our board bags?” ¶ Our local friend, Salama, replies, “Mafish mishkela, my friend,” which means ‘no problem’ in Arabic. ¶ “Do camels have roof racks?” Steven jokes. ¶ Salma answers, “Yes, yes, don’t worry.” So, it’s decided: we are taking camels to go windsurfing this weekend. ¶ Early Saturday morning, the adventure begins. We meet up with our Bedouin guide and three camels. The ‘roof racks’ are not exactly what we expect, but we manage to hang one board bag on each side of the sturdiest looking camel. Our main concern is that the camel will lie on its side on top of the board bags and crush all our gear. We definitely won’t be able to file any damaged baggage claims if that happens. When the camel stands up, it’s looking strong but impatient to get the trip started, so off we go. ¶ The first part of the trip is a steep climb up and down a desert mountain, and our guide recommends we walk our camels. As excited as we are to use our means of transport for the day, we listen to his advice and are happy with the choice, watching the camels slip and slide through the steeper sections of the walk. After the descent, it’s time to mount our camels. The animals kneel down so we can sit on them, and then stand up, bringing us nearly seven feet higher than before. The view is startling from atop the camel, and the seat is not comfortable at all; as the camel ambles, a balance must be reached between protecting your groin and lower back between the animal’s humps. The humps of the camel, contrary to popular belief, store fat from food, not water. It’s true, however, that the animal can survive five to seven days without water because it stores it in its bloodstream. We don’t get a chance to see it, but when a thirsty camel finds water, it can drink up to 20 gallons in 10 minutes. ¶ Our journey atop the camels takes us
between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Sinai Mountains. Across the gulf, we can make out the shores of Saudi Arabia. Many parts of the journey are dodgy and, at times, I can see and feel the camel’s feet slip on the sandy rocks that cover the treacherous trail. ¶ It’s late morning now, and it seems like our mission to find wind is going to be a success. To our right, the wind is already starting to churn up the water. We round another rocky corner coming out of a small bay and see the light at the end of the tunnel: a small blue lagoon lying on the far end of a sandy peninsula. We dismount and unload in what looks like a camel parking lot on the sandy neck of land, and we’re driven the rest of the way in the back of a pickup truck—our destination is too inhospitable for the camels to spend the night and refuel. There are a few huts to sleep in at the lagoon, and a small Bedouin shelter where the locals offer some bread and a few simple options for food. They invite us for traditional sweet tea, and we sit drinking it, overlooking the lagoon on which we’ll be spending the rest of the day. ¶ The wind is off the beach, making it extremely gusty by our launch. A spit of sand shooting down the length of the lagoon creates a perfect, windy flatwater area for our freestyle tricks further downwind. Luckily, we were using short, 16-centimetre fins, as the best point of approach to do a trick is over a shallow, rocky reef. Steven and I spend the day powered by 4.2-metre sails in freestyle paradise: strong wind; perfectly flat, warm, turquoise water; beautiful scenery. Within the first few runs, I land my first-ever Kabikuchi, meeting my personal requirement for exiting Egypt. We take a break after our morning session for some Bedouin bread with cheese and tea, and after that, we’re back on the water until the evening. ¶ At Ras Abu Galum, there is no running water or electricity, so there isn’t much to do when the sun goes down. We hang out by the lagoon watching the stars, and soon retire to lying on top of some mats and board bags in our little hut, snoring the night away.
Phil sticks a Kabikuchi.
Within the first few runs, I land my first-ever Kabikuchi, meeting my personal requirement for exiting Egypt.
unday, we awake to the rising sun shining its rays through our wooden shack. With sunlight in our eyes and flies all over us, there’s no lying around. We eat a quick breakfast, and taking a look around, all we see is our rigged equipment and a windy lagoon… so we go windsurfing again. The light on the mountains when we hit the water makes the session that much better. After a short session, we decide to try something different. We make the quick hike upwind along the coast and find a narrow, sandy launch between the shallow, dangerous-looking reef. This is the open water, so the wind is churning up some bigger chop, calling for some different moves. Luckily, the local Bedouins have a pickup truck, which we load up with our gear and drive up to the sandy launch to give it a try. Now we really feel detached from the civilized world. ¶ Our Bedouin friends drop us off, along with our 4.2’s and freestyle boards, and leave us. It’s just Steven, Sumsi (our photographer) and me hanging out between the Sinai Mountains, a shallow reef, the Gulf of Aqaba and Saudi Arabia. We sail along the reef where the swell is breaking onto exposed corals, with the hope of finding a steep ramp. Moves for this session include some big Shakas, Push Loops and Forwards. Late in the session, we hope to sail back to our shelters on the lagoon, but it proves impossible to find any passable area of reef to access land. Everywhere we look, the water is too shallow, even for our tiny fins, so we return to our lone sandy access point and wait for our ride back to the shacks. ¶ We’ve packed a full day’s worth of sailing in early. The sun is still high, but we’re exhausted, and it’s time to go find our camels to load them up for the trip home. The cargo camel isn’t running so smoothly on the walk back; it hugs the cliffs of the mountains, occasionally getting the board bags caught on the rocks. We fear for our equipment, but there isn’t much we can do... just hope that everything makes it back safely. In the end, we don’t have to file any damaged baggage claims, and we officially call our weekend getaway on camels a success. We return to Dahab for our final evening, hungry and exhausted from the trip, but with huge smiles on our faces from an adventure like no other. ¶ For more detailed travel info on Dahab, Egypt, go to windsport.com/travel.
Steven throws a no-handed Burner.
January 25, 2011 is a day that will go down in history, marking a huge change in Egypt. What started off as protests by smaller groups of people was soon to be the biggest revolution the country has ever seen. Inspired by recent events in Tunisia, more and more Egyptians went to the streets daily, refusing to work, leaving no doubt that they weren’t happy with their long-time president, Hosni Mubarak, who had been in power for over 30 years. The people were determined and didn’t rest until they reached their goal of removing Mubarak from office. With daily riots, it was only a question of time before the situation had a big impact on tourism. With the goal of keeping people safe— but maybe also to put a bit of pressure on the government—most countries, apart from Great Britain, stopped flying to tourist destinations on the Red Sea, including Sharm el-Sheikh, which is the destination airport for Dahab visitors. In Dahab, you couldn’t feel even the slightest bit of the riots up in Cairo, Alexandria and a few other cities—we were watching it on TV like the rest of the world. There were a few days when we feared there may be shortages of fuel and food, but it never got that far. After a few weeks of emptiness, most countries began allowing planes to fly in once again, and things started coming back to life. To reassure tourists that Dahab is safe, and to promote sport tourism in Dahab, many businesses are getting together to organize a “revolution festival” to show off windsurfing, kitesurfing, free diving, scuba diving and wakeboarding in the area. So, yes, Dahab was effected by the revolution, but both the present and future are already looking promising. — Marco Wedele, Harry Nass Dahab Centre manager
Words By Andre Paskowski Photos by Michael Sumereder
Victor Fernandez does everything well.
spending four weeks at the end of last year with absolutely no wind and waves on Sal, Cabo Verde, the isolated African island normally synonymous with perfect wavesailing conditions, was incredibly frustrating. Not only could we not get any filming done of four of the world’s top wavesailors—Victor Fernandez, Kauli Seadi, Marcilio Browne and Ricardo Campello—for our upcoming movie, Minds Wide
Open, but the PWA event scheduled there ended with no result. Every windsurfer has experienced getting skunked—even the top pros. To make the best out of the situation, we spent every day stand-up paddling, surfing and exploring the beauty of this remote place. In the end, we vowed to return in a few months to get the footage we wanted from this special place.
Marcilio hiking in.
Classic Kauli Seadi.
“Kauli is the pepper, Marcilio the salt, Victor the oil, and surely Ricardo is the spice .” The local market.
it’s not easy to organize top pro riders who are scattered all over the world when you are trying to watch the forecast and book a trip to score the most epic conditions. The Atlantic has been flat for weeks, but from out of nowhere an angry red pattern predicting a big swell appears on the long-range forecast map. I put out the call, waking up all the riders from their long winter’s sleep. Kauli and Ricardo are at their homes in Brazil, Victor is in Europe attending the Laureas Awards (a ceremony honouring the best in all sports), and Marcilio just arrived in Maui after a trip to South Africa and now must return to Africa. Everyone arrives anxious for the swell to hit. After a couple days of solid wind and small waves, the dam finally breaks. We hear the thunder of the waves long before we reach the beach. I can feel the tension from the riders as they anticipate the session ahead of them. We first hit a spot known as Ali Baba, an amazing wave that is perfect for the boys to throw some crazy aerials. Two hours and three broken sets of gear later, we decide to check out the famous break at Punta Preta and grab some food at Josh Angulo’s place. Punta Preta is going off, and I have the pleasure of swimming just inside the lineup to film all the action from right up close. The wave here is long, clean and extremely powerful. Riders have to fully commit and ride perfectly or pay a steep price of getting washed up on the rocks. Ricardo breaks five masts but still has a huge smile on his face after the session. Looking at the Minds Wide Open team, if I’m the chef making this movie then Kauli is the pepper, Marcilio the salt, Victor the oil, and surely Ricardo is the spice. Kauli is a sort of spiritual person, which comes across in everything he does and absolutely suits the movie we are filming. Plus, he is a real standout on the water. Normally big-wave riding doesn’t impress me much because riders start to go straight. Only very few, and Kauli is one, still get nice full rail turns in critical sections.
Driving through town.
“Trying crazy 30-foot Back Loops off the lip will force you to pay a price!” Loaded up.
victor is absolutely open-minded about everything. You ask him to wake up at 6 a.m. to catch a first session in morning light, and 10 times out of 10 his answer is, “No problem.” It’s hard to find one thing that stands out for Victor because he just does it all. Marcilio brings a competitive spirit along with his incredible moves to our crew. He definitely watches the other pros and tries to top their level with his own riding. Recently, he’s been training a lot in Maui at Ho’okipa, so he really shines at Cabo Verde’s spot known as Little Ho’okipa. Ricardo is Ricardo. He makes the trip funny and interesting. He is an absolute raw athlete, in terms of talent, who never changes who he is or what he is about for anybody. This mentality also shows on the water. Every spot he sails he rips hard and breaks gear. He always jokes with me, asking, “Hey, Paskowski, what’s wrong? Why am I always going onto the rocks?” I always answer, “Trying crazy 30-foot Back Loops off the lip will force you to pay a price!” As I now sit writing about the Minds Wide Open crew and our first couple of trips filming in Cabo Verde, I realize that for all windsurfers, no matter whether you’re on vacation or shooting a DVD, waiting is just a part of the game. And it’s an important one. Without it we would not appreciate the excitement and beauty of that perfect day on the water. The Minds Wide Open team thanks Planet Windsurfing, Red Bull and Pousada WindJeri for their support and asks you to “friend” them at facebook.com/mindswideopen.
Marcilio rips a lip.
Ricardo spices things up.
Ricardo gets us back on the road.
Checking the footage.
Pascal Bronnimann looks for the lip.
MEET TEAM +HO WORDS BY PATRICK BERGERON | PHOTOS BY JEROME HOUYVET You might have seen the +H2O logo or heard of its activities through the various social networks on the Web or elsewhere, as it has been very proactive ever since its inception in October 2010. Pronounced positive H2O, this is the story of four top-level and dedicated windsurfers—Jake Miller, Keith Teboul, Levi Siver and Pascal Bronnimann—giving back to the sports and elements that provide them with passion and a means of livelihood. Through this new endeavour, they have found a two-way medium that can benefit their professional activities, while more so allowing these same professional activities to benefit the greater good of clean water and more for all of us.
“We will do anything to protect and preserve our source of happiness.” —Levi Siver Reef cleanup.
Where did the +H2O concept originate? KEITH TEBOUL: The concept came from Jake and Pascal wanting to put a team together to look for outside of industry sponsorship. It started about three years ago, and it has sort of warped and turned into more of a clean water project. It motivated me to get the community involved with cleanups, and to give something back, both to the sport that has given me so much, and to this beautiful world that I have had the chance to travel around. ¶ How did the +H2O team ﬁrst come together? JAKE MILLER: I came up with the idea of creating a team and ran it by Pascal, who, at the time, was my co-worker. He really liked the idea, so we decided on two other team members—Keith and Levi. We have also had help from Grace Delivers Communications and our other partners. Our love for the water and finding ways to give back that involve water are some of our biggest passions, and have been the driving force for +H2O. ¶ What is the mission of +H2O? LEVI SIVER: The world is in bad shape. Since we live in the ocean and enjoy nature’s rewards so much, it seems only natural to want to get more involved in restoration and awareness. ¶ What is each team member’s role? PASCAL BRONNIMANN: Jake is the team captain, Keith is the travel guru, Levi is the video production and works on creating concepts, while I’m in charge of multilingual communications. ¶ How does this tie in with your day-to-day work? K.T.: We meet once a week to go over any pending issues and projects. Daily, for me, would be difficult because of everything else on my plate, but we work weekly on getting different tasks done. ¶ J.M.: Most of my free time is spent keeping +H2O moving forward.
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes activity that has to be kept track of. I’m filming a lot these days, too, so having the rest of the team on the water is kind of a win-win situation, which ties into my other work as well. ¶ L.S.: We’re working on creating unique events and connecting with others who are like-minded. It’s really more about collaborating with creative companies and organizations to help accomplish the goals. ¶ How does the +H2O mission tie in with windsurﬁng? L.S.: Being a windsurfer or surfer, it’s only natural to care about the ocean and clean water. I’m not sure if that makes you an environmentalist or not, but it does say that we do care and will do anything to protect and preserve our source of happiness. ¶ What has +H2O accomplished so far? J.M.: Our launch was in October 2010 with the North Shore Cleanup. We had approximately 170 volunteers who helped remove over 13,000 lbs. of trash from Maui’s north shore. We also had a +H2O Water Charity Fundraiser that same evening with a silent auction. We helped raise over $3,000 that went to Water Charity (watercharity. org) and the Surfrider Foundation (surfrider.org). In February 2011, we partnered with the Maui chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and created monthly cleanups that run across the entire island, and on April 15, we hosted the Ho’okipa Cleanup. We are also creating a +H2O Watermen fundraising event in the Maldives later this year that will involve a diverse collection of individuals and athletes.
Jake Miller gets tweaked. Mauiwatershoot.com photo
Siver throwing buckets.
“Our goal is to create awareness of how important water issues are to the world.” —Jake Miller
How far do you intend to reach with this endeavour? K.T.: We will reach wherever water issues bring us. As Jake mentioned, we are working on a fundraising project with Six Senses in the Maldives at the moment. I would love to do something in Madagascar and the Marshall Islands if we can get the support. ¶ Have others shown an interest in what you have started? P.B.: Yes, we already have a board of advisors, of whom most are enthusiastic watermen as well. Also, we are regularly contacted by individuals from around the world through our website (positive-h2o.com), who let us know they would like to help out in the future in any way they can. ¶ Does +H2O plan to tie in other water sports? J.M.: Well, I think we already tie into other water sports since we all do more than just windsurfing. If you look at our Facebook fan page (facebook.com/positiveH2O), you can see a variety of water enthusiasts who are already fans: windsurfers, kiteboarders, surfers, bikers, skiers and non-athletes concerned about water, sanitation, clean lakes, rivers and oceans. This isn’t an issue that only affects certain kinds of people, it affects everyone. ¶ Have you managed to increase interest outside of the windsurﬁng scene? K.T.: We’re working on a project outside of the windsurfing industry that could potentially be very exciting; it’s a great fundraiser that will raise awareness for clean water and dying reef issues. ¶ What’s the long-term goal for the team and +H2O? L.S.: To have tangible results we can look at to see that our efforts have made a difference. From little beach cleanups to working with large corporate companies that want to change for the better—that’s why we’re doing this, and it’s why we formed +H2O.
“For me, this is a way to give back and help keep our water and reefs clean.” —Keith Teboul
How can people get involved and help you out? P.B.: People can donate to the +H2O Campaign for Water and Sanitation through our partner, Water Charity (positive-h2o.com/causes). Keep up with what we are doing and interact with us by becoming a fan of our Facebook page, and through our Web blog. Anyone can get elected onto our board of advisors or simply become ambassadors for +H2O by getting the details My boom!
off of our website. ¶ Any last words? K.T.: For me, this is a way to give back and help keep our water and reefs clean. Growing up in Madagascar, Africa, I have seen such beauty and destruction. I feel like giving something back in any way that I can. ¶ J.M.: Our goal is to create awareness of how important water issues are to the world. We believe in providing information and solutions that will help create stronger communities, educated individuals and positive changes in the world. Plus, I’m really stoked to be doing it with these guys. ¶ P.B.: I’m stoked to be part of the team and to make a change for keeping our waters clean for generations to come. ¶ L.S.: +H2O is an opportunity for watermen around the world to work together to reconstruct the image of windsurfing. To build community, we bring people together with common interests and goals. +H2O is an online forum for us to explore these interests and goals, while raising awareness for important issues that we are passionate about. Interviewer Patrick Bergeron is sponsored by Sailworks, RRD, Dakine and NoLimitz.
Teboul’s other oﬃce.
kai lenny la Perouse bay, Maui. Quincy Dein photo
Jason Polakow Paia (a.k.a. Jaws), Maui. Darrell Wong photo
CamilLe Juban 'S boat trip in Boa Vista, Cabo Verde. Maxime Houyvet photos
George Markopoulos Gusting over 50 knots in Delaware. Janis Markopoulos photo
Peter Norie Squamish British Columbia. Dan Galic photo
Bryan Metcalf-Perez The Hatchery, Washington. Jock Bradley photo
D N I W T H LIG T S E T D R A BO EIGHT BOARDS THAT BRING THE FUN BACK TO FREERIDE Over the years, there’s been a lot asked of freeride boards in the 130-to 150-litre range. It’s the only board size that’s purchased as often by advanced riders looking for light-air performance as it is by a progressing sailor looking for something to open up their world of planing.
In the past, these boards were often toned down race shapes, and rarely in racing is “having fun” part of the winning equation. However, over the last few years, we’ve seen a marked difference in how freeride boards have been designed, and for the first time in our bigger freeride testing, we find ourselves often comparing simply how “fun” boards are rather than just quantifying speed and power versus user-friendliness. In this group of eight, there are ones that are faster and ones that turn better, but each will put a smile on your face for at least one reason or another. With the JP Super Lightwind 154, you’ll find yourself smiling simply because you’re on the water planing while your buddies are schlogging or sitting on the beach. It got us planing in much less wind than any other board, and could have gone
sooner with an even bigger sail. At the other extreme, the Quatro Freeride 125 preferred the windier days, feeling most at home when matched with our sails below 7.5metre. When the Super Lightwind was on the beach because it could no longer be controlled, the Quatro was just coming into its own with a fun ride that eats up chop and rips through jibes. Between these two extremes are six boards with a similar wind range, as well as the ability to fit the needs of everyone, from the accomplished sailor to riders still trying to work at becoming accomplished. Advanced riders will marvel at the jibing ability of the Starboard Carve 131 and Naish Nitrix 145 and find themselves rethinking how big of a board they’re willing to ride. The progressing sailor will love the perfectly placed
inboard strap settings, and will also appreciate the performance gained by moving the straps outboard once comfortable in them. Between the two, the Carve has a slightly livelier ride, providing more speed for advanced riders, while the Nitrix’s extra “hidden” volume makes squeaking out your jibe or tack a little easier. In a world of single-fins, the Exocet Twixx 130 and RRD Fireride 135 stand out as two options with twin fins. Besides being able to be sailed in shallower water, there is an auto-trim feature that twin-fins provide, making these the easiest and fastest boards for riders learning the subtlety of board trim. In the jibe, they do not change their arc as readily as the Carve or Nitrix, but the grip and smooth entry give riders the confidence to push themselves at all
times. Of the two, the Fireride is livelier and faster, while the Twixx offers better control in chop. The Fanatic Shark 135 and Goya FXRS 144 are more traditional shapes with stronger resemblances to racier boards. In flatwater, this means more speed and quicker planing, but less user-friendliness as the wind and chop builds. With their inboard strap settings, both of these boards are incredibly easy to get into the straps on, making them great for progressing sailors in lighter winds, and as you improve, the outboard strap setting turns both into speedsters. The FXRS is more capable of handling bigger sails and prefers a wideboard sailing technique with lots of weight on the mast base, while the Shark rides like a smaller board, preferring to be ridden like a slalom shape.
TEST EDITOR: DEREK RIJFF | TEST TEAM: PETE DEKAY, ANGELA HURLEY, DON JACKSON, TOM LEPAK, BRENDON QUINN, RANDY RHODES
EXOCET TWIXX 130 The Exocet Twixx may not be the only freeride board with two fins available to windsurfers in North America, but it is the only one developed purely as a twin-fin model. The knock against twin-fins has always been that the extra fin creates more drag and, therefore, leads to a slower shape. While the Twixx may not be the fastest board in the test, it certainly is no slouch. There is plenty of speed to plane out of jibes, get upwind and keep even the most experienced sailors entertained. The ride is incredibly stable, especially across chop, and despite what some would say about extra drag, the Twixx
V: 130 L: 250 W: 74 exocet-original.com is one of the most efficient boards in the test. It cruises through lulls, and despite not being the lightest board in the test, gets planing with ease. The twin fins do take away some of the board’s response to subtle trim work, but that’s partly due to the fact that the twin fins do a lot of the trim work for you. For intermediate sailors, this is a huge plus, as you learn what the sensations of a properly trimmed board feels like at a much earlier stage in your learning curve, and with little fear of spinout. Another plus is that the perfectly sized twin fins provide a huge sail range. The Twixx handled the 7.5-metre test sails as well as any of
the other boards, plus it was one of the most comfortable “big” boards to ride with the smaller 5.7-metre sails. The two fins definitely help in the turns, providing efficiency and stability to effortlessly plane through jibes as its soft-ish rails drive through chop easily. There is so much user-friendliness in the Twixx that its only fault, in our eyes, is that the footstrap inserts are a bit too close to the rail for instant success with those learning to get into the footstraps. The Twixx left testers wondering, “Why has it taken so long for someone to make a modern twin-fin freeride board?”
FANATIC SHARK 135 Fanatic’s Shark has become one of the most consistent freeride models you’ll find, with only subtle updates coming every year or two. Covering an impressive array of users, it has become the benchmark against which we compare most other freeride boards. Its key trait has always been perfectly placed footstrap inserts that allow the Shark to morph from a stable, progressional shape into a flatwater speedster by moving the straps. With a trend towards easier “fun” boards appearing in this year’s freeride test, the Shark is
GOYA FXRS 144 The Goya FXRS complements their FXR model as a faster and higher performing freeride board. The unique tail shape allows it to have the width of a racy slalom board merged with a more traditional freeride tail. All this width makes it one of the most stable boards when you’re schlogging, and helps it carry our biggest test sails with ease. We’re sure it could carry sails in the 9- to 10-metre range without any problem. Despite being Goya’s high-end freeride shape, there are still plenty of options for footstrap positioning. The middle setting is fairly far inboard, so we don't recommend
V: 135 L: 245 W: 73 fanatic.com one of the faster riding boards that can still accommodate someone learning to get into the straps. If you ride predominately flatwater, no other board in this test will serve you any better once you get past the footstrap-learning stage and move the straps outboard. Here, the board responds well to trim work and eagerly gets up onto the fin. The stock fin is well sized and works well to start, but replacing it with a stiffer, higher-end model will unlock the board’s full potential. As is usually the case, the faster the board, the more experience required when jibing. In the past,
we’ve always thought of the Shark as one of the better jibing freeride shapes, but in this year’s test, the bar has been raised considerably. While the Shark does a great jibe on flatwater, it doesn’t take much chop to increase the level of difficulty. Without some confidence, the rail hesitates just a little as you initiate the turn, and the arc is one of the widest in the test. It does keep up its speed very well, so as you learn to drive the rail and move the water line towards the nose, you’ll find yourself planing out of jibes even when you don’t have full power in the sail.
V: 144 L: 250 W: 77 goyawindsurfing.com using the furthest inboard setting, as it would be difficult to find a comfortable rider position at planing speeds. The middle position is perfect for those learning to get into the straps, and a swap to a smaller fin allows the board to be ridden with sails down to 6.0-metre—so long as the water remains flat. In the outboard setting, it reaches its full potential. You will have a refined sense of trim technique to get the board onto the fin, as the narrowing tail prefers a more seated stance and weight on the mast base for it to really break free. Once at speed, the ride is very impressive as it
skims across chop, and seems to only get smoother the faster you go. It takes a lot of sail power to get you here, but once you’ve figured out the correct stance, it becomes one of the fastest boards in the test. At full speed, the FXRS planes through jibes in an arc that is much tighter than expected, but requires a powerful entry and good technique, as the tail does not have enough power to hold you on it forever. Beginner jibers will benefit from the FXRS’s stability, which makes it easy to finish the turn with a “dry,” non-planing, pivot jibe ending.
LIGHTWIND BOARD TEST JP SUPER LIGHTWIND 154 With the new Super Lightwind, JP aims to increase the planing time for recreational riders. It gets planing as early as a formula board, yet, unlike a formula board, it performs best at what most people do: reaching back and forth. As a freeride board, there is a bit of user-friendliness built into it to get it planing and keep control without requiring the same strength and ability as a race board. It is, by far, the biggest and widest board in the test, so it was expected to be the earliest planing, but how much earlier still surprised us. In a gusty 10- to 15-mph breeze, we were able to do full planing runs and jibes using
V: 154 L: 237 W: 90 jp-australia.com
a 7.5-metre. It makes us wonder how little wind we could have planed in with a 9- or 10-metre sail. To achieve this performance, there is still a certain amount of ability needed. The straps are positioned close to the rail, and with the ramped foot strap area, the “Race Deck,” it takes a light touch to get into the straps at a comfortable speed. However, the acceleration is gradual, allowing you a perfect amount of time to get there. Once in the straps, serious trim work is needed to roll the board flat through a lull and then keep the rail down in a big gust. In the flatwater that normally comes
NAISH NITRIX 145 For 2011, Naish is moving in a unique freeride direction with the new Nitrix. The outline is much rounder, making it look more like a giant waveboard than a typical light-air freeride shape, and Naish claims this makes it one of the most versatile boards you’ll find. We can’t really argue this claim, as the Nitrix was one of the most fun boards in the test to ride. Although not the fastest board in the test, or the quickest to plane, it offers an efficient and responsive ride that is complemented by impressive jibing prowess. It’s one of the few big boards that really mows
QUATRO FREERIDE 125 Quatro makes the Freeride for riders looking for fun in flatter water. As the smallest board in the test, the Freeride 125 shines when the wind picks up and the other test boards are starting to complain about the chop. Not only is it five litres smaller than the next biggest board, it’s also almost four centimetres narrower. It works well with the lighter or lower drafted 7.5-metre sails, but it really comes into its own with the 6.5-metre, which allows for the most comfortable rider position. With a little less weight and power on the nose, it
with such light winds, this is not nearly as much of an issue as when the winds picks up and you find yourself facing more chop. Jibing also takes a more refined technique, as the width and footstrap positioning make it difficult to aggressively weight the rail. We found that it liked to be either jibed off the tail like a formula board, or aggressively driven off the nose if the water is really flat. Anywhere in between and the board seems to get confused and quickly loses speed. Another key is to transition your feet as quickly as possible to better commit your weight on the carving rail as you exit the turn.
V: 145 L: 260 W: 74 naishsails.com down chop, making it a great board for open waters, or when ridden with smaller sails for an increased wind range. It feels much smaller than its volume, and compares more planing-wise with a 130-litre board. With well-balanced inboard and outboard footstrap options, it’s a great board for progressing sailors to get comfortable in the footstraps, with plenty of performance to grow into later. In the outboard setting, it responds well to sailor input, and with the long stock fin, the Nitrix gladly breaks free for an overdrive gear. Versatility carries through into the jibes, as well. The Nitrix works
V: 125 L: 245.9 W: 67.7 quatrointernational.com
planes up with ease and skims across chop like it’s not even there. It also works well with the 5.7-metre sails, giving it the highest wind range of the test. The excellent MFC Liquid Pro Fin is well sized for the board and helps it break free with a little trim work from the outboard and back strap setting. However, it feels like one more insert added further back might unlock some untapped speed. The range of insert options does a great job of giving intermediate sailors a variety of strap positions to move through as their comfort in the straps progresses.
The Freeride’s smaller and narrower shape gives it better jibing performance than any other board in the test. The radius of the jibe is considerably smaller than the bigger boards, and it will still plane out with ease. It takes very little effort to engage the rail, and just like in a straight line, it erases any chop it encounters. While carving it is more responsive than the bigger boards that require a more refined technique to hold the rail, confidence is easily found, as there is no complaint from the board as you learn to be more aggressive.
just as well for aggressive experts as it does for those just learning to jibe. The rail sets without hesitation, making for a smooth entry even if you’re just attempting one of your first jibes. Plus, the board’s stability helps you through a slow-speed turn, making it as easy as possible to at least keep the hair dry. As you gain confidence in shifting your weight forward during the carve, you’ll find it carries more speed through the turn, and can even lead to a tighter arc. Its ability to alter the turning radius and still keep up speed makes this one of the best-turning “big” boards we’ve ever sailed.
RRD FIRERIDE TWIN 135 For 2011, the Fireride 135 is available in both a single and twin-fin edition. Why choose two fins? The obvious reason is because they allow you to sail in shallower water, but an even better reason is, that for a negligible change in freeride performance, you get a more stable and easier riding board. Last year, we tested a single-fin Fireride and found it to be a fast, all-around freeride shape, and we’ve come to the same conclusion after riding the twin-fin version. There is a difference in the responsiveness and liveliness of the board, but if there is any decrease in planing, overall speed or ability to drive
V: 135 L: 248 W: 72 robertoriccidesigns.com
upwind, it’s not obvious. With the twin fins, there is something of an auto-trim feature to the board that keeps the ride stable and smooth without having to do nearly as much trim work—most intermediates will sail faster on the twin than the single fin because of this. Other pluses to the twin version are that it is less picky about footstrap positioning and rider style, and has an increased sail range. We rode all sail sizes from 5.7- to 8.0-metre on it, and at no time did we find the rider position to be uncomfortable. For those learning to get into the footstraps, we would have liked to see the inboard strap
placement to be just a touch farther inboard, but there are numerous positions to dial in the perfect stance for those already comfortable in the straps. While maybe not the easiest board in the test to jibe, it is one of the more fun boards to jibe because of the efficiency and overall speed you’ll keep through the entire turn. With the WTech construction, the Fireride feels light underfoot and seems to glide forever without losing speed. Beginner jibers may need to work a little harder to set the rail, but the more stable, smoother ride of the twin-fin will help them stay balanced.
STARBOARD CARVE 131 Last year, after a two-year hiatus, Starboard reintroduced the Carve to its faithful fans, having found a whole new group of people flocking to this impressive shape along the way. For a board that’s supposed to be user-friendly, there is a lot that advanced riders will like as well. With the footstraps placed inboard, the rider position, smoothness across chop and ability to handle smaller sized sails provide all the user-friendliness an intermediate sailor could ever want. But with the straps in the outboard position, the speed increases noticeably, and you’ll
V: 131 L: 251 W: 71 star-board.com
find an efficiency that’s rarely seen in a freeride shape. Extracting top speeds from the Carve does take a refined ability to trim the board and get it up on the fin, but the board is eager to do as it’s told. The fin provided is perfect for most, but riders looking for more speed or to increase its sail range will have to find a tuttlebox fin of their liking. As impressive as the Carve is in providing performance for both intermediates and advanced riders in a straight line, it’s actually in the corners that it really shines. Once again, with the straps inboard, there’s all the security,
stability and smoothness that an intermediate learning to jibe could ask for. Yet, an advanced rider will not only appreciate these traits but will also find it carves like a much smaller board. It’s one of the few big boards that willingly turns off both the nose and tail, allowing you to either rip through highspeed slalom-style jibes or get in the back seat and crank a much tighter turn. For those who are “not interested in sailing bigger boards because they don’t jibe,” you will have to give the Carve a go before making that claim again.
FOOTSTRAP INSERTS: FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE! Bigger freeride boards often come with a ton of options as to where to screw the footstraps into the board. The general rule is the more inboard and forward the straps, the easier it will be to get into them, and thus better for learning. Moving the straps outboard and back allows for more speed and requires more experience. However, there are two things to watch out for: TOO FAR FORWARD: Occasionally, the most forward setting is too far forward, making it impossible to find a comfortable planing stance. These boards will usually have a “middle setting” that will be fine for learning footstrap use. Only use the most forward inserts when used by a child with a tiny kid's rig.
MATCH YOUR FIN: Big fins create a lot of lift on the windward rail, requiring the rider to stand more outboard for leverage against the fin. With straps inboard, you will feel like the board is trying to flip over. Smaller fins and many weed fins match up better with inboard to moderately outboard strap placement.
D N I W T H LIG T S E T SAIL
FOURTEEN SAILS TO COVER EVERY ASPECT OF FREERIDING The freeride moniker has become popular in many sports, but in none more than windsurfing does it cover as great a number of riders, styles, and aspects of the sport. Within the fourteen “freeride” sails we got our hands on to test this year, these differences could not be any larger, so pay attention to make sure you find the one that’s right for you. To help you compare, we’ve broken down the sails into three groups: easy freeride, performance freeride and cam freeride.
By far, the most user-friendly in light winds is the Chinook Power Glide. It allows for quick progression, as it encourages proper technique right from the start. For those looking to progress in higher wind, the very similar Chinook Rush and GT Sails GT1 offer a much larger wind range and better sail handling to make the most of doing things at faster speeds. The Rush can be rigged on the same components as the Power Glide, adding to its value, while the GT1 was sent to us with a 100% carbon RDM mast. Changing out the mast proves that these sails are nearly identical, with the only difference being that the Rush uses the same materials that have given Ezzy sails a renowned reputation for durability, while the GT uses a thinner grid material that makes for a noticeably lighter feel and crisper performance. Despite their larger sizes, the Naish Rally, Severne Convert and Goya Nexus would have been closely matched to the Rush and GT1. With its mostly monofilm construction, the Rally was constantly praised by testers for its light weight and impressive balance, despite being the largest sail. It’s a great choice for those looking to quickly upgrade their sail-handling skills. The Convert’s all- X-ply construction has added durability, and stood out for its simplicity of tuning and how easily it finds power. Like the Nexus, it has a bit more stability for a greater upper wind range,
even though it takes a bit more effort in transitions than the other six-batten sails. With Goya putting pro-level technology into the Nexus, it has a slightly more refined feel than its somewhat price-conscious competition. The benefit of the performance-driven design is a larger wind range while maintaining excellent sail-handling characteristics.
In this group, we find the refined feel that’s typical of sails with performance-driven designs, and that bump up the upper wind range with the stability required for more speed. These sails may be slightly harder to clear for a waterstart and flip during a jibe, but feel locked in and secure as they take gusts and turn them into greater acceleration. With a large monofilm section and RDM mast, the RRD Fire has the lightest feel both in straight-line as well as during transitions, and is also the least technical when it comes to tuning. Part of the allure of the Ezzy Freeride and Sailworks Retro is that these sails have an incredible tuning range, allowing them to be tailored to any rider on any style of board. With a slightly lower draft and cam-like seam-shaping, the Freeride feels the most locked-in of all the no-cam sails for high-speed blasting, while the Retro, once again, sets itself apart as the no-cam with power that’s normally only found in camber-induced sails.
Camber-induced sails have come along way recently, in terms of their suitability for recreational riders. The Aerotech Rapid Fire and Loft Switchblade are well-rounded sails that offer an incredible wind range by combining decent low-end power with all the stability most sailors will ever need. These two are also the easiest to jibe, as they rotate well and offer a hint of a neutral feel before powering up. If you’re looking for maximum planing power out of a big sail, look no farther than the NeilPryde Helium or MauiSails TitanGS. Both of these sails will power your board out of the water and up to speed in the blink of an eye. With its long boom, the TitanGS is the most capable on the widest boards and classic longboards, especially for ripping upwind. For how much power it has, the Helium is remarkably light. This makes tapping into its abundant power slightly easier, and gives it an edge in transitions. The North S_Type comes in as the fastest and most stable sail in the test. Its unrivaled stability gives it the ability to remain controllable in far more wind than any other sail, and go ridiculously fast. Add to this a slippery profile, and the S_Type begs you to keep sheeting-in, even though the “safety first” part of your brain is telling you not to.
TEST EDITOR: DEREK RIJFF | TEST TEAM: PETE DEKAY, ANGELA HURLEY, DON JACKSON, TOM LEPAK, BRENDON QUINN, RANDY RHODES
AEROTECH RAPID FIRE 7.5 Clearly ahead of its time, the Aerotech Rapid Fire was the first cambered freeride sail to be built with a long-lasting 100% X-ply construction. With two cams and seven battens, it’s their go-to sail for anyone looking for flatwater goodness with some ease of use. The Rapid Fire may not be the absolute fastest or most powerful sail in its class, but its all-around effective performance made it one of the first test sails to hit the water each day. By not focusing on power as much as some of the other brands, Aerotech can keep the draft a touch lower, making for a sail
LUFF: 486-90 BOOM: 204-07 aerotechsails.com
with a lighter feel that can be held down with confidence in big gusts. The draft is still high enough to use footstraps close to rail, but the rider does need to be a little lighter on their feet. If you prefer your straps to be inboard, then this is one of the few cam sails that will allow you to have a comfortable stance. The cutaway clew keeps the boom short, adding to the light feel, as it takes little effort to sheet-in and propel you to speed. Even before fully tuning it up, the Rapid Fire has an impressive top end, which only gets better when needed, after playing with the downhaul and outhaul. Take
note that, despite the manufacturer’s large range of possible settings, we found the Rapid Fire to have a much smaller sweet spot for the downhaul than what’s suggested, as small adjustments made for noticeable changes in the sail. With proper downhaul, the two cams rotated cleanly without much fuss, and the sail’s thinner profile gave the Rapid Fire more of a neutral feel than most cam sails. For intermediates cleaning up their jibe, this can be the difference between squeaking out a jibe or going for a swim, as the sail will give you a moment to recover, should you need it.
CHINOOK POWER GLIDE 6.5 With all the technical evolution in the sport being focused on the extreme disciplines, a number of companies have lost sight of the need for a simple entry-level rig. Thankfully, Chinook has come to the rescue, as their Power Glide fills the need with a simple, durable, cost-effective rig. The Power Gide is the perfect building block for any newbie to the sport, and helps bring the price of admission to within reason. Though the Power Glide is a little too soft for true highwind in-the-straps performance, its lightwind subtlety trumps any of these technically superior rigs. Instead of feeling like
CHINOOK RUSH 6.5 After launching a successful line of kid’s and entry-level sails last year, Chinook is stepping up to the plate with the performance-oriented Rush. Like all the Chinook sails, the Rush is designed by Ezzy and uses the same materials, just with a different build. As the maker of some of the most commonly used rig components, Chinook outfitted us with the Rush as a complete rig. The aluminum boom and extension were parts that most of us have in the garage, while the mast was a regular diametre fibreglass/epoxy mast. Not since the ’80s had any of us used a mast without at
LUFF: 462 BOOM: 197-200 chinooksailing.com
a door, the Power Glide responds to the smallest puff, letting riders feel the efficiency of a properly trimmed sail. This promotes impeccable sail control, giving one the building block to quick progression. A lightweight construction also means that sail handling comes quickly, as it is easy to move the rig around and there is little consequence if it’s dropped and needs to be uphauled. All this low-wind performance is not lost on more advanced riders either, with the Power Glide perfectly complementing anyone with a longboard or SUP who wants to cruise the lake. You may buy the Power Glide to
teach friends, but don’t be surprised if it helps you rediscover that there’s fun to be had in light wind as well. More often than not, entry-level sports equipment is disposable. You buy the gear to get a taste of the sport and then completely upgrade when you want to progress to the next level. Since the Power Glide rig comes with the exact same parts that you’d buy individually from Chinook, they have seen past this. Upgrading to their Rush freeride sail will allow you to use all of the rig components you already have, and take your newfound skills into higher winds with confidence.
LUFF: 470 BOOM: 198 chinooksailing.com least a trace amount of carbon in it. This, admittedly, made it a bit hard to head on the water with an open mind, but after a run or two, every tester remarked that the rig felt remarkably good. It may not have been the lightest we’ve ever sailed, but it was well-balanced and easy to manage at all times. The low, forward draft was easy to sheet-in and helped hide any extra weight. It wasn’t the fastest or most powerful sail in the test, but it had enough of both attributes for any-level rider to appreciate. After being shocked with the Rush’s performance on the “stock” mast that arrives with its kit, we
rigged it with the RDM mast from the very similar GT Sails GT1 to see what kind of difference it would make. Of the two, we clearly would choose the RDM, as it made the rig lighter and even more well-balanced, while also making the sail more reactive to gusts and lulls. However, there was a trade off: the standard diametre mast gave the Rush a certain stiffness that actually felt solid across chop and while pumping up onto a plane. Considering the difference in price for the two masts, it would be hard to justify the RDM.
LIGHTWIND SAIL TEST EZZY FREERIDE V 6.5 For 2011, Ezzy brings us the fifth edition of the Freeride, a sail that has gained a reputation as a flatwater speedster with a huge wind range and all the durability Ezzys are known for. This year, there is a refined panel layout that uses lightweight Technora cloth to full advantage. Ezzy’s on-sail rigging guides are some of the best in the industry, being simple to use and covering the sail’s entire range. Most people want to synchronize the colourcoded downhaul and outhaul guides, but we found using them independently gets you the most range. Use the downhaul guide to
LUFF: 467-70 BOOM: 189-98 ezzy.com
help set the sail’s draft to match your board and sailing style, while the outhaul guide is used to control the sail’s power. A bonus for being an efficient sailor who can balance a lower draft is that the sail seems to get more slippery and more stable as downhaul is added. Compared to previous versions, the new Technora sailcloth makes the sail noticeably lighter, eliminating the one critique that people have had of the robust Ezzy build. Designed around the Ezzy RDM mast that also has a renowned reputation for durability, purchasing this rig can certainly be viewed as a long-term investment.
GOYA NEXUS 6 6.9 Built with the same attention to detail as Goya’s highly renowned wavesails, the Nexus sees the same upgrades of sail materials and construction in a lightweight, yet durable, freeride package. We got our hands on the 6.9-metre, which has six battens and is the largest model defined as “freeride.” The larger sizes add a seventh batten and lower-cut foot for what’s termed as “freerace” performance. More and more sails today are being built with new sail materials to make them lighter than ever, but without sacrificing durability. However, our tests have found that often these materials seemed less
GT SAILS GT1 6.5 New on the U.S. market, the first range of GT sails is labeled the GT1 Freeride series. With six battens and a moderate foot, the GT1 finds the middle ground between a true speedster and a wave or freestyle sail. It’s mid-height draft placement suits narrower boards or those with the straps placed inboard. Combine this with a relatively simple build and RDM mast, and you’ll find a light feeling rig that’s perfectly suited to progressing riders or those more concerned with perfecting their jibe than beating everyone to the mark. With ample
With copious amounts of seam shaping, the Freeride has stability that nearly matches the cam sails and, with a firm pull on the downhaul, it nearly has all the speed and efficiency as well. Being a no-cam, the Freeride has a much smoother rotation, making transitions less of an ordeal. It’s in the transitions that the Technora cloth makes itself most noticeable, as the sail is more easily thrown around than ever before. The large foot area keeps it from being the sail of choice for a manoeuvre-oriented sailor, but that’s why Ezzy makes the Wave Panther in large sizes as well.
LUFF: 486 BOOM: 200 goyawindsurfing.com stable than traditional monofilm, making sails feel soft and sometimes quick to overpower. This is not the case with Goya sails, as their Carbon Stretch Control System allows these materials to be added with little change to the feel, except for lighter weight. With six battens, it is a little more on the manoeuvrable side of the all-around freeride spectrum, but it still has an impressive upper wind range. Unlike most of the other sails with new lightweight cloths, the Nexus remains controllable when overpowered, despite a noticeably different pull from the sail. There is some elasticity to the Nexus,
LUFF: 470 BOOM: 191-198 isthmussailboards.com seam shaping to lock the draft forward, it has power that’s easy to tap into, and remains light and manageable even when fully powered. The overall feel is efficient, with consistent power that’s easy to rely on as the head twists off in gusts. Its wind range is about what you’d expect, being better than a wavesail but not quite that of the more straight-line-oriented sails. The on-sail tuning guide is hard to read, as all three tuning options seem to be reached at the same time, but after a couple days of use, you’ll easily find your preferred set-
ting by how loose the top of the sail becomes. The GT1 is very similar to the Chinook Rush, but built with a different X-ply, providing a slightly crisper and lighter feel but possibly a little less durability. Being one of the lighter and softer sails in the test, the GT1 was a standout for manoeuvrability. Due to the seam shaping, it can be argued that it does not go completely neutral. You will still be able to tell when the sail has rotated, but of all the sails in the test, it feels the most well-balanced while being flipped, cleared or moved around.
which helps its low-end power while allowing it to expand quickly when sheeted-in. For locked-in blasting, it is a little more responsive than speedier cuts, yet, an advanced rider will relish the feedback received from the sail, as it aids efficiency in lulls. We love the on-sail rig guide, as it’s perfectly placed and gets you on the water that much faster. In the turns, the elasticity also helps the sail go neutral quickly for a freeride sail. Along with a relatively small foot, the Nexus displays many of the characteristics that make Goya’s wavesails so popular: a seamless rotation, good balance and smooth power changes.
LOFT SWITCHBLADE 7.8 After a short hiatus from the North American market, Monty Spindler’s Loft Sails are back. In the time since they left, they have established themselves as one of the sails to beat on PWA slalom courses. The Switchblade is Loft’s three-cam recreational race sail that puts their Racing Blade’s performance in an easier-to-use package. We’ve always been impressed with the refined look and feel of Loft products, and the Switchblade carries on this tradition. On the water, the sail masters combining low-end power, efficiency and top-speed control.
LUFF: 486 BOOM: 214 loftsails.com
Even when un-tuned, it has one of the largest wind ranges in the test, and when an experienced sailor starts pulling on the strings to tune it up with downhaul and outhaul, there is no other sail that can match it. The draft height is well positioned for freeride boards, regardless of them having the straps set inboard or farther to the rail. Despite a fair amount of hardware, the Switchblade’s weight disappears in your hands, as it is perfectly balanced with a slightly forward draft that is easy to sheet-in. The Switchblade does a great job of giving you camberinduced stability with a feel that
closely matches that of a no-cam with same number of battens. A growing trend amongst cam sails is the use of RDM masts, and Loft Sails has been at the forefront of this movement. With every Switchblade you get two sets of cams, along with a handful of spacers guaranteeing it will fit any mast. Don’t be afraid to use the spacers to get a tight luff sleeve, as the roller cams are some of the smoothest we’ve ever used and rotated cleanly, even with some tension. We tried the Switchblade on both types, finding a little more power with the SDM, while the RDM rotated smoother with no loss to its top end.
MAUI SAILS TITAN GS 7.5 Wide luff sleeves have revolutionized race sails, making them more efficient than ever. This year, in Maui Sails TitanGS 7.5, we see the technology filter down into a recreational two-cam as well. One of the advantages of the wide luff sleeve, aside from greater straight-line performance, is rigging is made much easier, as the cams can be popped into place after the mast has been effortlessly inserted into the sail. This may not seem like a big deal, but it drastically reduces the amount effort needed to rig a cam sail, and certainly helps make the TitanGS a clear choice for cambered rigging ease.
NAISH RALLY 7.9 The Rally is Naish’s go-to model for anyone looking for a lightweight and easy-handling freeride sail. In smaller sizes, it has an outline that focuses on manoeuvrability, while in the larger sizes, like the 7.9-metre we tested, it has six battens to ensure plenty of speed and stability. What makes the Rally really stand out from the crowd is its light feel; part of this does come from a mostly monofilm build, with only key areas built or reinforced with stronger materials. The rest of the lightweight feel comes from shaping, with a draft
LUFF: 482 BOOM: 221 mauisails.com
On the water, its wide luff and long boom generate a massive amount of power to get you up and planing in the lightest breeze. The grunt is strong enough that intermediates had better be well-prepared, as there is no slowing down the Titan once you begin to sheetin. The long boom and high draft prefer a wider board underneath it, and maybe even a farther forward mast track position than other 7.5metre sails. It offers plenty of support for outboard strap positioning, and will drive you to the front of the pack on any point of sail. While it’s more stable than the RAF sails, this was the first cam sail to lose
stability when overpowered. Since it gets you planing so early, it still has a very impressive wind range, but you won’t be able to claim the ‘tough guy award’ for holding down the biggest sail. A downside of the wide luff can be waterstarting when full of water; however, with the zippered boom cover in place, we actually found that the luff held so much air that it floated the sail remarkably well, keeping it from filling quickly. The long boom and cams make sail handling more difficult, but will help get you planing sooner than any other sail once you’ve made your transition.
LUFF: 495 BOOM: 218 naishsails.com that’s lower and slightly more forward compared to other sails its size. This makes the Rally a good fit for those looking to ride with the straps in more inboard settings, even if the board itself is fairly wide. It’s a touch behind the cam sails in terms of immediate power, but the long boom will still get sluggish boards up and moving with ease. For those still gaining confidence in the footstraps, the consistent increase in power as you accelerate makes this a sail that’s easier to trust than cam sails offering immediate grunt. Once in the straps, it has a slip-
pery feel that can be pushed to a respectable top speed. It also has enough stability to be ridden fully powered up with no control issues, giving it an impressive wind range. Matched with some great carving 140-litre test boards, the Rally had testers pulling out there favourite old-school carving tricks in less wind than we’ve tried them before. Along with being light, the Rally’s ability to go neutral made it much easier to throw around than a sail this big should be. It makes any sail handling from uphauling to Monkey Jibes that much easier.
NEILPRYDE HELIUM 7.5 Introduced a couple years ago, the Helium gives you jumbo-size power without having to rig a jumbo-size sail. NeilPryde claims it to have the power of sails a metre bigger, yet a compact clew, short luff length, and two highly engineered cams still make it one of the lightest and most manoeuvreable sails of its size. In the test, we had a few other sails that tout power as their strong point, and the Helium definitely stands its ground against these rivals. To generate this much grunt, there is a relatively deep draft that carries itself to points fairly high in the sail. With
LUFF: 471 BOOM: 212 neilpryde.com
the draft placed well forward and the boom length being reduced by the compact clew, the power is easy to tap into with the Helium being easy to sheet-in. It is best matched on wider boards that have some space between the rear straps and a fin long enough to be pushed against. Once planing, the Helium remains smooth and efficient, even in the biggest gusts. Downhauling too far to increase the wind range will eventually result in leech flutter, but with the Helium having such a big wind range, rigging down to a 6.0-metre is probably going to be the better call anyways.
NORTH S_TYPE 7.3 North’s S_Type continues to receive trickle-down technology from their PWA leading WARP F10. It has the racingrequired multiple cams, along with a substantial compact clew. The only noticeable difference is a traditional luff sleeve size. Of all the sails in the test, this had the raciest pedigree. Even amongst the cam sails, the S_Type has, by far, the greatest top-end speed and control. Where the other cam sails focus in on using the locked-in draft to increase power, the S-Type uses them to make sure the sail remains stable well beyond the normal wind range of a
RRD FIRE 7.5 This year, RRD makes its easy-to-follow sail line a little more complete with the addition of the no-cam sevenbatten Fire. Before hitting the water, we noticed the low-cut foot, ample seam shaping and cutaway clew telling us that RRD had done its homework on how to make a true performance freeride sail. The seam shaping meant that there was no hesitation in the Fire to power up and get us planing, while the low-cut foot kept the power in our hands with plenty of stability. The draft is placed well to give the
What sets the Helium apart from its rivals is that it creates this power without a weight penalty. With two cams and a luff sleeve wider than a sail without cams, it uses a lightweight monofilm build and minimal reinforcements to achieve this. Being rigged on a 460 centimetre mast with minimal extension is noticeable as well. In transitions, the deep draft and two cams are prominent as the sail rotates, but the cams never stick and do not take too much encouragement to move. It’s not the sail for the progressing beginner, but if you’ve acquired some sail-handling skills, then the Helium will treat you right.
LUFF: 468 BOOM: 204 north-windsurf.com 7.3-metre. Testing how far it would go, the S-Type showed no signs of complaint with us pulling it out on a day when we had already been sailing powered 4.5-metres. There is enough power in the S_Type to get you going when you would normally rig a 7.3-metre, but there is a lot you can get out of this sail at the top end. Try rigging this sail a full metre bigger than your buddies, and then use it to pass them like they are standing still. The difference from a topof-the-line race sail is slight, but with a shorter boom and the reduction of hardware, the sail becomes light enough that you’ll
LUFF: 479 BOOM: 208 robertoriccidesigns.com rider a comfortable rider position on all but the widest Formulastyle boards. A large monofilm mainframe provides a crisp feeling that enhances the Fire’s great efficiency, and the cutaway clew keeps the clew weight down so there is enough responsiveness to easily allow for subtle sail trimming. The top end is as impressive as the low end, giving the Fire a huge wind range that only gets better the more you are willing to tune the downhaul and outhaul. Clearly not a wavesail, the Fire still goes neutral in transitions quicker than most. This made
the sail light and easy to rotate, even though the large foot did demand to be given some space at times when crossing the board in a tack or against ones shin in a jibe. Like any true freeride sail, the Fire does a great job of offering a lot of on-water performance while being hassle-free on land. Rigging with the RDM mast was a welcomed change after fighting with some of the cam sails, and its large sweet spot for downhaul tension made it easy to get the harness lines set correctly, so we were on the water without having to sweat the details.
have a chance to keep your buddies from catching you in the jibes. It does like to have a little help to get things moving when it rotates, although, from there, it continues through its complete rotation in a smooth, progressive manner. If you really want to improve the rotation, there is also the option to remove the bottom cam. For such a racy sail, the rigging is as easy as it gets, thanks to North’s informative on-sail tuning guides. We must say, we were very glad to have a downhaul crank when it came time to get the sail to its maximum position, as high downhaul tension and top-speed go hand in hand.
SAILWORKS RETRO 7.5 One of the most popular sails of all time, the Sailworks Retro has become the benchmark that other freeride sails are compared to. For 2011, they have made more significant changes than the usual year-to-year tweaking, but it is still a Retro and it will still be as popular as ever. While the abundance of seam shaping and downhaul tension that have always given the Retro cam-like stability still remain, this year’s edition receives a new panel layout that has lightened things up substantially. This is definitely the lightest Retro we’ve ever ridden.
LUFF: 483 BOOM: 205 sailworks.com
We have always been amazed at the tuning range of the Retro, and with similar shaping from past years, it once again can be quickly transformed from a powerful Mack truck into a speedy souped-up El Camino, simply by adding downhaul tension. When rigged for power at the lower end of the downhaul spectrum, we found this year’s sail to have a slightly lower draft than in the past, allowing smaller riders to plane up as comfortably as bigger riders. In top-end speed mode, the draft feels more locked in than ever, making the Retro one of the few no-cams that has a chance of
taking on a true race sail. Being a no-cam sail with a nearly full X-ply construction, the Retro shows a touch of softness that makes it a little more forgiving to riders dialing in outboard footstrap positions. While the lighter weight is certainly appreciated in transitions and for waterstarting, the firm rotation and powerful seam shaping do take some effort to manoeuvre during transitions. However, it still can be thrown around much more easily than any cam sail. The Retro is still a force to be reckoned with, due to how impressively it handles considering it’s cam-like straight-line performance.
SEVERNE CONVERT 7.5 For 2011, Severne has reinvented its value-driven sail line, introducing the all-new Convert. This sail range brings a number of contemporary features, such as an all-X-ply construction and a cutaway clew, to the recreational rider at a lower price. The all-X-ply construction will go a long way in making sure that progressing riders can push themselves without fear of things going awry. To help keep things in check, the Convert has a number of hidden features that make it the perfect rig for those still acquainting themselves with the
LUFF: 486 BOOM: 203 severnesails.com
finer points of rigging and sail control. Rigging is almost impossible to mess up, due to its huge sweet spot for proper tension, plus the amount of downhaul needed is noticeably less than most other sails. Yet the Convert still has all the stability you can ask of a six-batten sail to help give it an exemplary upper wind range. The low end is impressive, and it easily finds power, as there is enough elasticity for the sail to quickly expand. What makes the power so easy to find is that the sail pulls from a large area, making harness line and hand placement less criti-
cal than in more responsive and technical sails. The cutaway clew greatly reduces swing weight and helps this large 7.5-metre fit on the same boom that can fit much smaller sails as well. In transitions, the Convert showed great poise as it went neutral when asked, and had a seamless rotation. Despite the use of the durable but heavier X-ply cloth, the sail feels fairly light in the hands when being flipped or cleared for a waterstart, allowing one to focus on technique rather than trying to muscle their way through things.
SAIL TUNING: FINDING DOWNHAUL PERFECTION Never judge a sail after just one ride because you can drastically alter many sails’ performance and feel by simply changing the downhaul tension. Downhaul tension can alter sail stability (wind range) and draft height (feel of the sail). Each sail design is different, with some displaying a huge range of tuneability for one or both aspects, while others show practically none. Also, some sails react quickly to the smallest change in tension, while others hardly seem to react at all. We recommend experimenting over a few sessions to find out all you need to know about your sail. Here are three key related indicators to help get you started. LOOSE LEECH: Most brands screen print tuning guides up at the sail’s top. These are usually three markings that indicate minimum, normal and max downhaul. While adding downhaul, watch the looseness in the leech area (the top trailing edge) gradually creep across toward the mast. A looser leech generally allows the sail to handle more wind without becoming overpowered.
DRAFT HEIGHT: As downhaul is added, you can watch the top of the sail become flatter as the shape is pulled lower. A lower draft is more comfortable for smaller riders, and matches better on narrower boards. However, pulling the draft too low will kill your ability to plane, while leaving it too high may cause you catapult pain.
DRAFT DEPTH: Less downhaul results in a deeper draft for more power, but also possibly more drag. More downhaul usually flattens the sail’s foil for more efficiency and greater speed. Also, remember that you can quickly and easily affect draft depth with outhaul tension... but we’ll save that for another sidebar.
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Andy olsson breaking rob Warwick’s candy habit.
Andy olsson photo by RIcHaRd HallmaN I moved to the Gorge in the summer of 1998 to learn to windsurf, and fell in love with the sport. Lucky for me, my girlfriend (now wife), JJ, felt the same passion for the sport, and we spent the next few years working at a local windsurﬁng shop to save up for sailing adventures to places like Australia, baja, Costa rica and maui. In 2002, I decided to go back to dental school with my eye on the “prize” of opening a business in hood river. In march of 2010, part of this dream came true, and we opened
Gorge dental. one of our ﬁrst promotional moves was to sponsor local windsurﬁng pro rob warwick, as his dedication to the Gorge and stoke for windsurﬁng is truly contagious. plus, we ﬁgured it would be a win-win since he’d want to keep his pearly whites, well, white for all those magazine pictures. we saw more of him on the water than in the oﬃce, but if he keeps up his unrivaled candy habit, I’m sure we will be seeing him in the dental chair soon. —Andy olsson
a Tale of Two Windsurfers words by mITcH GINGRIcH | photo by JoHN caRTER/PWa
not many people in the windsurﬁng world remember randy Achziger, but those who do will smile at his mention. he started windsurﬁng over 20 years ago, before he could drive. Coming from a modest family, randy did odd jobs and wrangled for scraps of gear and advice. not able to aﬀord gas money to make it to the beach, he rode his bike to the dalles waterfront park and borrowed gear from instructors. his dream was to be a sponsored windsurfer and travel the world competing. It never happened. A decade later, and on the other side of the world, a father took his son sailing. the boy took to it and flourished. the boy, Jonas Ceballos, and randy shared the same dream. Jonas practised and plied hard for sponsors and results. In 1999, he became the spanish Junior Champion for waves, freestyle and racing. It was only the beginning. he won the 2004 pwA wave stop in sylt, and in 2008, he climbed to third in the wave rank-
ings. Jonas flat out rips—there’s no question about it. And his dream? well, it seems living the dream isn’t quite as satisfying or as easy as Jonas hoped. After years of swamping cherries (a process that involves getting to work at 4 a.m., picking up 50-pound buckets full of cherries, dumping them in tractor bins, and working as late as 8 p.m. with only a 15-minute lunch break), shuttling the likes of me, Kevin “ponch” ponichtera, Luke and Levi siver to the beach, and sailing his heart out, it was clear to randy that professional windsurﬁng wasn’t going to pan out. the industry lagged in the mid-’90s, and to randy, a diﬀerent life, one of service and family, beckoned. randy joined the U.s. Army with plans to go career. his drill sergeant—not a bunch generally known for doling praise—called randy the next General patton. there was talk of a west point sponsorship, which, I have on good authority, was his
for the taking. his potential was sky-high, and future bright. but his life took another turn: while in the service, randy met and fell in love with his wife, wendy. so strong was the pull of family life that he left the Army and found work in the hood river area, where he lives and works to this day. randy quit sailing after the Army. the mixture of work, family and the high cost of windsurﬁng gear overcame his caustic passion for windsurﬁng. he last sailed in 1997, and talks about salivating, still, when he sees smoke on the water. For many, this appears a tragedy... far from it. randy chose a responsible, honourable life, and is filled with joy and satisfaction from his children and wife. he’s also learning to skateboard (the Facebook updates are hilarious). randy’s service for his country and family prove he’s a man of integrity. his life’s been more difficult than it’s permissible to mention publicly; the amount
of pain the Achziger family endured over the time summarized here would make oprah stagger. randy’s perseverance through horrific circumstance, his ability to make virtuous decisions and remain positive in the face of them make him deserving of going wherever his passion takes him—be it to windsurf, skate, or just home for dinner. while randy endured pain, agony, and served others through it all, Jonas lived his dream. he wasn’t bound by family or service to his country: he placed high in competitions regularly; he lived in one of the best windsurﬁng locales; he got free gear and paid to windsurf; most of all, he got to windsurf when he wanted. he had the exact life randy had dreamed of. people who get what they want always ﬁnd ways to want something new, something more, or want it for longer than someone’s willing to give it. recently, Jonas wrote a letter that continentseven.com published. Few were impressed. In the face of declining sponsorship and limited resources, Jonas lashed out at his previous sponsors and the windsurﬁng industry as a whole. he threatened to walk away from windsurﬁng because he felt the reciprocation from the industry unfair. Go, read the letter and wonder, as I did, whether Jonas’ keyboard felt the salt of his tears. It’s a display of spoiled passion. yes, Jonas ripped. yes, it’d be nice if he could make a living windsurﬁng. but, the world is not his to demand from it as he wishes. windsurﬁng exists in a tiny world. the world, on the other hand, is huge. randy found peace and happiness in a huge world and through extreme trial. he kept his mind and wasn’t left in ruin. Jonas’ sniveling rant against the tiny world that treated him so well— the world that gave him randy’s dream—makes me wish randy had that chance instead of him.
SCAn thiS Qr CodE wIth A smArtphonE to rEAd JonAs’ LEttEr.
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