I hate the decorative graphics of most recent boards, while at the same time I appreciate riding Thommen shaped boards, having spent most of my windsurfing years on his F2 designs.Above: old loved Peter Thommen F2 boards
Having followed closely Thommen’s departure from F2 and the initiation of his own T1 brand, I realized that T1 not only produces the most aesthetically appealing to me boards, but is also the most ecological oriented brand, mainly thanks to their BambO2 construction, which is something that fits perfectly to the Veggie-Wedgie approach of my daughter.
I contacted T1 asking for a CX87 board in black (it is the color of the STYLEX freestyle board), instead of the standard white. Marije from the office in Holland responded immediately stating that “with us anything is possible”.
They needed 7 weeks for delivery and 10% surcharge over the standard board price, with the remark that the foot straps could not be black like the STYLEX photo, as these were a photoshop creation.
Considering this a fair deal, I placed my order.
The board arrived 10 weeks later, marginally in time to take it along for the usual Paros windsurfing vacations.
The classy board bag in which boards of this high category are packed, gives a very good first impression. Having read in the windsurfing magazines reviews about the exceptional T1 boards finish, I must confess that the CX87 is impressive (especially in black), but upon closer examination, finish is not always something to rave about.
This is the first time I ride such a short board – 2.42m (my short board has been a 2.67m), while wind was strong enough only 3 days to test the CX.
I can say it is a light, fast & responsive board, relatively fast planning. The high stiffness combined to the firm pads are ideal for slalom use, but landings of even medium height jumps, are hard to the rider.
The foot straps offer average comfort, while the one screw fixation system is not very effective.
I used 3.7m, 4.7 & 5.5 sails and I think the CX87 should be offered with one more fin (30), as the standard 27 fin barely accommodates the pressure of a 5.5 sail, not to mention the 6.8 indicated by T1.
I asked Arnaud Deschamps who again this year was in New Golden Beach testing all the 2012 material for the French Planchemag magazine, to have a go and comment, but unfortunately, his schedule was very tight.
Upon return, while rinsing the board, the automatic valve just fell off, broken in half.
I contacted the willing & communicative Marije @ T1, and she told me that replacement valve was send immediately.
The valve together with the special tool arrived one week later although they were send by courier.
The very nice and helpful T1 Greek importer Zois Theoharis fitted the new valve easily & fast, while I noticed that the material of the broken one was rather fragile. Without knowing if it is technically feasible, I think the valve should be made out of Teflon or metal, while I have my doubts about the trouble-free operation of the valve for sea use.
As with most products, innovative solutions need time & care to be perfected, but if you fancy a T1, go to the local dealer, check the available boards, choose the one that satisfies your standards and take it home with you, being sure it will ride exeptionally.