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Gone windsurfing 2018

Thank God, the windsurfing season for one more year is underway!

5 boards (a sixth will arrive with Kostas), 7 sails, 4 masts, 3 booms & plenty of fins.

 

I wish everyone to have great sailings and hopefully I will post about mine upon return – the latest possible…:)

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I owe this post to my friend William of  the Atlanda Boardsailing Club.

Although I was aware since 2014 of MB as a fin company, I had not followed their introduction to the windsurf boards. Last week William woke me up.

MB boards – windsurfing 2018

Their boards look weird, adopting the snowboard/shaped ski approach. Much shorter, waisted instead of straight sides and wide on both tips.

My experience leads me to believe, that I will not enjoy a ride on them. Maybe they will perform well in freestyle, wave riding  and foiling as well, but it’s hard to imagine they will deal well going fast through the serious chop of New Golden beach in Paros.

If it wasn’t Hugues de Turckheim acting as a consultant to the company, I wouldn’t have second thoughts…Now I will start following, to see how it proves.

New brand. New shapes. MB Boards from Switzerland attacks the established brands with a parabolic shape concept. Four lines are already on the market, three more are in preparation.

In 2016, we asked “Is the Shape Revolution coming?” And reported on the patented parabolic shapes of Eduardo Cenzano. Now there is a new board brand from Switzerland, which takes up the concept.

Back then, Cenzano was sure that his concept of parabolic shapes would not only benefit surfers. He was convinced that the shapes in windsurfing sail with less sail pressure. Eduardo: “Windsurfing boards have more lift with this shape, they are faster and so they slide faster. Due to the improved buoyancy and the greater stability of the shape, the boards can be used for a larger wind range. ”

Since Cenzano does not produce its own boards, but only sells its knowledge, a group of Swiss around Mathias Bavaud and Benoît Clément licensed the calculations of Cenzano and founded a new board brand that produces windsurf and kite boards. From 2016, the Swiss worked on their project MB Boards. The name is composed of the first letters of the founders.

And when you think you have seen all possible windsurf tail shapes, there comes Peter Ross of OES Australia,

with his winger, single to double tail concave married to a Bat tail shape and double tail channels, on his new Dark Knight board!  

The short, chopped nose & tail, board trend

Now that the chopped nose & tail wave boards are included to the range of many brands – Fanatic Stubby, JP Wave Slate, Naish Global, Taboo 3s & Twister, I think I should point out who I think, was the one who first introduced this kind of board and proved the advantageous characteristics of the concept.

It was the Australian Mark Stone, who shaped an SSD custom board for his great wave rider son Jaeger , back in 2013. See the relative interview & sailing video in Continentseven.

 

As foldable boards & rigs become serious options thanks to RRD  (I only wish they change this terrible patchwork design they use…), the idea is applied to larger sailing crafts as well. 

Tiwal 3, inflatable/foldable dinghy

MY BEAUTIFUL BOAT

Tiwal is the story of a girl who wasn’t shy, Marion Excoffon.

Before making her name in design, Marion started out by hearing a “No”. Her father was refusing to lend her the family boat. That might have been the end of it had it not been for Marion’s feisty character – she dreamt up her own folding boat!

Then she decided to fill it with air, and the first Tiwal inflatable dinghy was born. 5 prototypes later, Tiwal pulled up in December 2012. It was a huge success. Following numerous awards and over 800 boats sold, Tiwal is continuing on its way, with boats in more than 45 country worldwide. Fair winds!

WINNING

INNOVATION
& DESIGN

 Tiwal has already been around the world, winning over the public wherever it goes! This fresh breeze has brought awards in the four corners of the globe and its oceans.

 

FUN AND QUITE A
BIT OF TECHNOLOGY

Tiwal wins with its concept of easy assembly. At least that’s true on the beach, but there were quite a few steps to get there.

Tiwal is the result of a whole lot of know-how and quite a bit of talent.

Firstly, designing a folding boat that combines inflatable parts and a aluminum framework subject to high stress requires a little (or a lot) of imagination.

Tiwal brings people together on the water, but it does so in the factory too. Tiwal calls on specialists in inflation, plastics, aluminum and textiles. Quite a feat!

Ultimately, over 50 suppliers put their know-how into Tiwal. Like a game of industrial Meccano® which all comes together in our in-house factory for testing, assembly and delivery.

My last – rather technical post – received mediocre viewing, so I’m forced to use lethal weapons to attract your attention…

Here is Janni Honscheid !

 

Windsurfing evolved from surfing. We all know that.

Most of the first successful board designs derived from surfboards. Good examples are the 1981 Weymouth Speed Trials, where  world champion Jurgen Honscheid smashed the world speed record, on a Tiki 2.32 m gun surfboard that he modified with a mast base & footstraps, and the 1982 Maalaea Dash Speedcrossing, where again Honscheid beats everyone including Naish, using a gun board made for him by D.Brewer (Check out some great vintage videos on the site of Jurgen’s – Northshore Fuertaventura com site).

Modern radical windsurfing boards have extensively copied their surfing cousins in order to become equally playful on the lip, by reducing length and adopting multiple fins.

I recently came across the ingenious Shapeshifter surfboard tail interchangeable system, that allows a surfer to adopt his single board to a very wide spectrum of different surfing conditions & parameters.

Don’t be surprised, if you soon see this system adopted to windsurfing wave boards. Compliments Mr Barr! 

 

BBS has won a legal battle against Vannetukku, one of Finland’s largest tire and wheel web shops, who sell alloy wheels under the 885 brand, intentionally chosen for its visual similarity to BBS.

In addition, 885 sells wheels under the names “LeMans” and “Classic RS”, which not only look deceptively similar to BBS designs, but are also sold under the guise of having motorsport roots.

On the 27th of January, 2017, a Finnish court ruled that the 885 logo used by Vannetukku was confusingly similar to the BBS logo, an internationally registered (FI-Marke No. 122033) trademark. Recognizing that the infringement of the BBS trademark by the 885 brand was at least negligent, the court prohibited its further use, and ordered Vannetukku to pay compensation to BBS. Although the Finnish court ruling is now final, further proceedings in other countries are still ongoing.

This is just one example of the successful cross-border pursuit and prosecution of brand pirates through the joint efforts of BBS GmbH in Germany and BBS Japan. “We will not let brand pirates profit by riding on the back of our brand equity,” explains Erwin Eigel, Vice President of Aftermarket Sales at BBS GmbH. “To make pirating even more difficult in the future, we will be applying a hard-to-copy authentication hologram to all BBS branded wheels manufactured from 2018 onward.”

So far, several dozen serious copyright violations have been uncovered worldwide and successfully prosecuted in the courts. While these legal proceedings can take several years to reach their conclusion, BBS vows to remain vigilant and relentless in the protection of the brand.  (Source BBS USA)

 

Unfortunately, visiting relative e-shops, I once more realize, that wining in court does not immediately rectify matters :  Here below are some of the many 885 (BBS copy wheels) on sale, a full year after the vindication of BBS…

 

More than 30 years ago, I ordered a custom full exhaust system for my highly tuned road engine.

I was expecting an inox system, but due to lack of the required tools, it was made out of tubing vulnerable to corrosion.

The High temperature spray paint that I used in 2 previous attempts to have the desired good looks, faded away quite fast, so around 1995, I thought of getting a ceramic coating treatment, by Zircotec, the UK specialized company, but I soon realized it was a non realistic option. The to & fro transportation cost plus the treatment, summed up to more than a new inox custom system…

For the next ~10 years I was periodically checking the Greek market without success. Last month, maybe due to the poor look of my exhaust, I checked again, and yes, there was progress. No further than 3 km away from my garage, K. Sainis (Swt coating & tuning shop), was applying ceramic coatings of the US Cerakote technology.

The arrangement was made and as soon as my faithful friend mechanic Dionyssis was available, he handed me the complete exhaust which was taken directly to SWT for sandblasting and coating.

The inside of the header’s was treated with Insulkote  and the outside with Glacier Titanium, while the rest of the exhaust was done in Glacier Black , so that it almost invisible behind the black exhaust ventilation grills of the car. As final touch, the tailpipe was also done in Titanium.

For me, the result is more than good to the eye, and if we add the engine bay temperature reduction that comes with the treatment, it was definitely worth the trouble & the cost. I hope it stays like this for ages!

If someone tries to find a single finned bump & jump board of less than 85 liters, he will be disappointed.

The trend these days is for multi fins and in order to have a small, fast wave-slalom board, the solution is to go custom.

In 1991 I became aware of the great Red-Line boards of Marco Copello, at a time Anders Bridgal was riding them in the Word Cup, but I never had the chance to even try one. Having shaped models for many of the famous windsurfing companies, always testing new materials & ideas, he has the ideal background for tailor-made projects. Knowing that Marco is making some fine customs under the Swell Expression branding since the early ’80’s, also digging extensively on the artwork, I decided to ask if he could offer me a board suiting my old school sailing preferences.

Here is how my SE/Copello – Hitthewave custom materialize:

Ciao Marco,

Windsurfing since 1979, I have followed your fascinating shapes, but never owned one like the Copello Red Line, because I was closely related to the Greek importers of F2, until Thommen and finally Patrik left the company. Later on, I became aware of HTS boards, but again at a time these were no longer available.

 

Visiting your site, I was attracted by your fine looking Swell Expression boards (which I have no idea how much may cost), but I would like to ask you, if you think you can make one for me, that will have my preferred sailing characteristics.
I mostly sail in New Golden beach in Paros island, Greece.

I enjoy sailing fast, always on single fin boards, using cross sails (5-6 battens – no cams), locked in – pressing hard against the fin, until I find a good ramp for a jump.

Although the spot often gets waves from the usual North side wind, I do not wave-ride seriously, so I do not sail in an upright position, nor I like loose feeling boards.

 

Last year I tried a few times the Goya One 85 in thruster mode.

Of course I was impressed with the ease it would turn, the less physically demanding sailing, the fast recovery of any spin-out…but it is not what I look for, so no thrusters for me – only power box singles.

 

My favorable board, is an Exocet Cross IV pro (at the time I bought it, Pro=bamboo), but when things are getting too much for it, I feel I need a slightly smaller (and stronger ) board to rig my 3.7 sail.

 

I believe that a scaled down “Exocet Cross” type of board, around 77-79l, would be ideal, so on this concept I would like to know if you feel confident to shape something for me – after all, you always come-up with sensational shapes…

 

weight 71 kg without counting the full body neoprene I always wear.

I’m 1.83m tall, shrinking slowly as I get older.

In small boards, I use 3 footstraps – single at the rear, with ~24 cm distance from the rear screw of the footstrap to the end of the board, while I set the front-to-rear footstraps at 40 cm distance. I have long legs and my balance is much better at a wide stance.

 

As I told you, my sailing style is the old wave-slalom one, something that we would maybe call these days power-freeride.

 

In general, I prefer longer boards, because I look for good control at high speed and not playful & turny behavior.

 

My sails as I said are cross sails (5 battens – no cams),

GUN Torro 5.3

Simmer Icon 4.7               photo attached

Simmer Crossover 4.0           ”         ”

Sailworks Hucker  3.7            ”         ”

 

From the photos of the boards you show on your site, I like the look of the visibly exposed carbon rails and possibly the bottom as well (without knowing construction details).

 

Best Regards from troubled Greece

Dimitris Savidis (zaosan)

Hitthewave blog

 

 

Dear Dimitris,

 

Thank you very much for your mail, It is quite rare to meet people knowing so precisely what they want and need…I really appreciate, that makes things so much easier!….

Of course I would be glad to shape a board for you, the board characteristics you are looking for are among the ones I like the most.

Your knowledge of the evolution of windsurfing (cf. attached documents) means that you are aware of that and the success of the Red line ” wave slalom” and ” convertible” shapes witnesses it…

 

For the particular use and the sailing conditions that you described, two options could fit your program, either a fast but very easy to handle wave-slalom board, or an on-shore oriented, fast wave board.

 

To save space, I show in a unified text the exchanged views:

Marco in black –  Dimitris in blue

The size of a board fitting your sails range could be in a range from 2.30 to 2.35 m and a width from 54 -56 cm, of course, the smaller the board is, the easier it will be at rough conditions….

Sounds reasonable, and I think a board shaped by you will be much easier in rough conditions even if is ~56 cm wide.

 I hope that my suggestions have been satisfying for you and of course do not hesitate to contact me again for any precision or additional questions.

All the boards are equipped with a simple kind of valve, therefore I don’t drill the hole trough, it is unnecessary as long as the board has never been broken and the eps core hasn’t been in contact with water.

To leave the rails without paint with apparent carbon is not a problem, so you don’t have to mind about that.

How do these 2 possible options compare (upwind/downwind speed, ease of planing & gybing, high wind control), to the Exocet Cross that I use (which I suppose you describe it as wave-slalom and not fast wave)?

 In regard to the top speed downwind, the speed potential of both options is quite similar; the main differences are recordable on the upwind speed (which would be significantly higher for the wave-slalom).

The ease in turns of each option wouldn’t be much affected by the differences in the shapes, although the wave version would be more comfortable in tight turns, while the other would prefer larger, fast carved turns.

The general feeling of both options is very close; the wave version is just a little less effort demanding.
Actually I’d rather put the Exocet in the wave slalom category, but a custom board is shaped according to the customer’s request and there are endless shades and combinations…the most important thing for a shaper is to understand exactly what the customer expects…So i think that the best would be to tell me what you like riding this board (Exocet) and what you would like to improve or to change.

Ok then, from the first ride I tried the Exocet, I was attracted by the fact it was fast & reassuringly friendly, passing with ease over the chop, and not losing plane when gybing in my open radius/medium speed turns. Everything was happening under good control, without the need to sheet-out and reduce speed.

Easy to jump, but this is something many other of my boards were fine.

When the original fin broke, I did not find a new fin to suit as good to the board (maybe my sailing). Then the board broke, so I will continue fin testing this coming season.

 The fin is always a major element affecting the riding performance of a board and a good fins quiver can enhance and improve both the performances and the range of use of a board…however, the basic potential of a board is set by the shape option, that’s why it is so important to define precisely the customer’s demand…

Concerning the construction and according with your past (bad) experiences, i would suggest a top full sandwich carbon-vectran construction, the same as i usually apply for radical waveboard programs.

This technique combines an inside-sandwich carbon structure with omega carbon stringers on the bottom and deck side and an outside full carbon-vectran skin reinforced with full carbon patches (one or several layers) on the most solicited areas.

 And how does visible carbon-vectran look like? Any similarities to either the dark or the more grayish HTS finish of the photos I send?

 There are several cosmetic versions of this fabric, the one I use looks just like normal carbon fiber (vectran has no color and can be colored up to demand), the most current version is the kevlar/carbon aspect, personally, i don’t really like it because I dislike to pretend something not being absolutely true…and also because I consider that the carbon/vectran hybrid is way more efficient and modern as the carbon/kevlar combination!

This technology offers a unique combination of strength and durability and an incomparable weight /resistance ratio.

Both versions will be equipped with heels shock absorbers beneath the foot pads.

The price of a board crafted in this technology would be 2.000 €.

Is this price full inclusive (decoration, straps, fin & delivery to me)?

The price only includes decoration, foot pads (and bumpers) but fins and delivery are not included (this price is already very low in regard to the construction and the finish…;-))

Ok, as it is the first time I’m taking part to the building details of a board, I would like to ask if visible carbon-vectran is more sensitive to sun exposure than painted surfaces. I have also heard about Super Sap entropy resin which offers better UV protection.

One of the major advantages of the vectran fiber is to be 100% UV resistant! So there are no worries about this factor, therefore not-painted surfaces are black, this means that they can possibly overheat, which could become a problem for large, plane surfaces, like the bottom of the board; nevertheless, if the customer choose to have large parts of the board in black, it is recommended not to leave it too long exposed in direct sun, and to put the board in a bag once out of the water.

To leave the rails without paint with apparent carbon is not a problem, so you don’t have to mind about that.

The decision about the graphics of the board belongs at 100% to the customer! ;-)) My commitment is to achieve the best technical job according to the customer’s wish…

 Although the cost of the fin is not included, I suppose you recommend some fins you acknowledge work better with a specific board of yours.

 Yes but the choice will depend of the shape options…there are some fin companies more specialized in slalom, other in wave fins etc., so. Once the final program and the shape options of the board are fixed, we’ll know which manufacturer to contact.

 The board types you have in mind, are they similar to the latest HTS boards I have seen on the internet? I attach retouched photos. Also you do not mention anything about BioFlex, although I noticed you apply it in slalom boards as well.

The HTS boards in attachment are mainly slalom boards, so, not  exactly like your program, the bioflex is excellent for wave or free wave boards, it dramatically increases performances and ease but needs more care in storage of the board (never put it vertical on the tail!) and it is not adapted for heavy jumps with rough landings…(risk of cracks at the junction between soft and hard part of the tail)

In a slalom program, with my test riders we tried several versions of this concept, some of them showed a slightly higher performance in certain conditions, however the (little) advantages do not justify the higher cost and technological complication.

I decided to order a wave-slalom board, decorated with powerful fighting spirit motif and thanks to our kind common friend Arnaud, the delivery was arranged early July directly in New Golden beach – Paros… Couldn’t have dreamed of anything better than that!

On the 5th of May, Marco received the EPS core he would shape my board,

On the 13th of June, he send me the first photos of the board laminated

On the 23rd, he send the photos of the custom artwork applied

Hi Marco,

 

Looks great, but quite different from what I expected. 🙂

I send you an oriental dragon-tattooed girl but you kept only the dragon…!

Ok, the dragon combined with the swords gives a much stronger fighting appearance than one that would include a female figure.

 

I also thought that the bottom could be fully visible of the HT construction and not white… 

 

Will the finish of the bottom be anti-drag to avoid the sticking of water layer?

 

I’m sure it will be a beach attraction and a topic of discussions for days!

 

Any suggestion about fin selection?

 

Please let me have the measurements of it. 

 

Thanks/Regards

 

Dimitris

 

Hi Dimitris,

The dragon gives a much stronger personality and character to the board, it also emphasizes the shape and makes all the finishing details more visible.

Concerning the bottom, there is a very simple and technical reason for making the major part of the surface white: the heat!

A full-surface visible carbon bottom would attract the sun rays and the temperature could quickly and easily rise up to 80-100 Degrees C…I just let you figure out the catastrophic result that this could have on the structure of the board….!

The finish of the bottom on the picture I have send is not finished yet, the final finish is longitudinally sanded with 30 microns sanding paper, which is the most effective anti-drag finish.

There are several kinds of fins you could put on the board, the range goes from radical slalom fins to free-ride or even wave on-shore fins, obviously with each kind of fin, you will magnify the characters of the board corresponding to the fin program, and reduce the others. With an “allround” free-ride fin you will probably get the best combination and the widest range of use, but not the highest performances….

You will discover the amazing potential of this board, as well as its smoothness and easiness…

 

Hereby you will find the dimensions of your board:

Length: 2.31 m

Width: 0.56 m

OFO Tail: 0.375m

OFO Nose: 0.405 m

Volume : apprx.: 80-83l

Weight without straps: 5.995 kg

 

Looking forwards to hear from you soon, Best Regards,

Marco

 

And finally on Sunday 8 of July, the always kind Arnaud handed me the wrapped toy…The parcel was really light, but surprise-surprise, I could not sail it as it was.

Marco in his effort to meet the time of dispatch, having run out of footstraps, packed it without, planning to send straps upon receipt of the new lot.

The fin box was not Power box, but of the twin screws Tuttle system (definitely stronger & more secure), while this option actually demanded a twin rear footstrap configuration, without I think, the possibility of a central strap as an alternative…

Being in Paros, away from my warehouse and running out of time, I went straight to Bit Of Salt, where I asked Petros to order a complete set of JP  straps which I considered well matching the artwork of the board. The issue of the Tuttle fin looked harder to deal with, because I had brought plenty of Power box fins, but no Tuttle, while the slalom boards sailing friends around, had much bigger fins than the size I needed!

Two days later, the JP straps were screwed in position – though with more effort than expected, while Alekos sourced a suitable red 32cm RRD fin from his vast equipment collection. As Kostas (of Evelyn) was still in Athens, I arranged a smaller-28cm- fin I had at home, to be handed to him and bring it with him to Paros 2 days later. Nice to have friends to assist! 

Finally, with all fittings attached, the Copello Swell Expression – Hitthewave special dragon custom, was ready to be sailed.

Now apart from myself, I needed a few competent riders to evaluate, while giving me the opportunity to take some photos.

My Serbian friend Costa, was the first I wanted to try it. This season he had received in Paros a full range of 2018 Goya fast wave boards, in addition to his Starboard slalom fleet. A nice guy, who enjoys to sail all the best of these 2 kinds of windsurfing, the ones that were combined in the concept of my custom. He rigged his 6.7 RRd  Move sail and set off (conditions for me were for a 5.3 sail, but Costa is big , much taller than me and ~20 kgs of muscles heavier) .

Twenty minutes later, he returned and his puzzled expression frightened me.

Well? I asked anxiously…

U-n-b-e-l-i-v-a-b-l-e! He replied. It rides as there is no chop, turns easily, it is comfortable and very fast. Maybe my small slalom can go faster, but I wouldn’t have a good time with the existing chop. I want to try it with one of my good Z fins!

Now it was my turn to give it a try, and as Arnaud & Frank were preparing for some distant testing to the large Golden Beach-via Makronissi, I grabbed a 5,3 wave sail from Goya center and went along. It was a wonderful sailing experience, in company of those experienced testers riding some of the best new material available. Of course upon return, Arnaud pointed out that the sail I had used was fine for wave riding, but that did not match well with the need of a stable profile sail that would allow to exploit the potential of the board.

The next few days  the younger guys took turns, first Kostadinos, and then Teze who happened to come for a short visit. Similar comments about user friendliness, ease to turn & speed.

When my wave riding friend George “Tigana” took turn, he said it was very comfortable but scary fast for the circumstances (yes, it was very windy & wavy that day), and that  he would love to try it again with a good 5.3 sail in less extreme conditions and that would be the fastest enjoyable combination. 

Mid September I received the outstanding footstraps from Marco, together with their screws. I was a little shocked to see the correct screws for the Chinook inserts Marco uses on his customs, and having received the board without any fitting instructions, I run a serious risk by having used in Paros  the JP (Cobra industry standard) straps hardware…In addition the straps were not any Swell Expression special order, but usual black Dakine Primo. I believe such beautiful custom boards, should be paired with more unique straps.

Now, this winter will seem painfully long, waiting for the next Paros/windsurfing season, where this wonderful new toy will be fully exploited. In the meantime I will look for more fin options and maybe try a single, rear footstrap set-up. 🙂