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Archive for August, 2012

As you can see from the board’s side view, it has serious rocker and generous scoop, characteristics that set it apart from the slalom &  freerace categories. My coarse measurements, show scoop 172mm –  rocker 17mm, flat @104cm from tail  and dimensions of the wetted area 240 x 57 cm (which I consider more meaningful than overall dimensions – unless you shop for a boardbag). Talking about bags, the board I found @ Zois (Greek importer), was sold without one and in order to protect it, I got from Glaridis-Sfikas a Prolimit 238-60 bag that fits so well I doubt a tailor-made one would fit like this – my only complain is the lack of a fin pocket inside the bag.

Talking about measurements & fins, the board came with 34 Meanline/T1 fin, instead of the 32 indicated by T1. I checked with both T1 and Zois and was told the 34 is the right size fin for the board. (On the basis of the trial results, I don’t think anyone should argue, although a correction to the specs will prevent confusions)

My plan was to take with me both new T1s of the family, the RS 59 and the eXperience 165, but my son (rightful owner of the second), having a different vacation schedule, asked me to leave it behind

Well, upon arrival in Paros on the 4th of July, conditions were ideal for testing material, but I had to select carefully the equipment that would allow me to recover from my hibernation.

Mid June, I had taken the RS 59 to Shinias beach – just next to Marathon, to get a feel of the board afloat, but that was all, so I spend the first 2 days in New Golden Beach saluting  friends and fellow windsurfers, rigging 4 sails (5.7 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 3.7) and stretching my muscles & joints.

In the meantime, since the RS59 is being described by Thommen as the “most uncompromised racing tool”, I asked my friend Thiseas Kampas  chief instructor of Paros Surf Club, a competitor of top level credentials and co-winner of the first round of HSSWA SLALOM OPEN , to try and comment it.

He did it willingly and returning me the board, he told me he was pleasantly surprised by the speed and easy handling of it. The wind that day was 19-22 knots, and I fitted a 7.3 North Sail Natural of the club.

Having the opinion of an RS-X/slalom/ funboard champion, I decided to take the board to my close friend George Moustakis (Tigana), owner & chief instructor of  Aquatic water sports center in Santa Maria bay, the place where Paros windsurfing started in the early ‘80’s.

George is a freeride/wave athlete , who during the winter rides the waves in Australia, in company of PWA elite, like Peter Volwater, Karin Jaggi & Patrik Diethelm.

After a short ride, George praised the ability of the board to ride smoothly over the chop and the ease of  jibing, everything done at impressive speed. The wind was 21-25 knots and George used a 5.7 sail of his.

Taking the board back to New G.B., I met my friend & local legend Vagelis Maniotis who was testing his new 75l single/tri fin board that replaced the old trusted one that expired last year. The wind was 33-38 knots and Vag was already using a 4.2 sail which he transferred to the RS 59 and sailed away in the foaming sea. Ten minutes later he handed me back the board, saying: Nice board, you can do anything!

By now I was ready to take my turn. Depending on  the wind I sailed the board with the complete range of the 4 sails I had rigged and one day under ballistic conditions, that even with the 3.7 sail I was having a hard time, I strapped the RS59 to the roof rack & drove to Santa Maria, where I had a marvellous session riding the large waves at the entrance of the bay and then blasting back almost to the beach. My first impression was that the board was very fast, maybe faster than that I was prepared  to tackle the oncoming waves. Things would get almost scary sailing down the waves with the wind on my tail, and this powerful 34cm fin. Little by little I gained confidence, realizing that the RS59 is fast of course but friendly. I could go upwind in a way few could follow, jibing was smooth and natural at speeds I still have to adopt, while wave ramps were inviting for jumping that came effortless – in total impressive. The fin coped well with the largest (7.3) sail I used, although the Tectonics Talon 34 fin I borrowed from Arnaud, was somehow  better I think. The Tectonics F1-Falcon 32 was even easier, but lacked of course the drive of the Talon and the standard Meanline fin. I would like to try a ~30 fin again later on as I get used to the board, especially with the small sails of 4.7 & below. I envied the very comfortable pads of the RRD boards of the club, and I wish I had such on the RS59. Although a whole year has elapsed since the riding of the black CX87, my impression is that the RS59 copes smoother with the chop, but I cannot tell if this is thanks to the bottom design, the deck construction, or a combination of both. Any suggestions apart from the foot pads? Yes, as it is a narrow board I would like to have the option of a single rear foot strap.

Ten days later, I returned to Paros and of course the RS59 was on top of the loaded pack. I did not manage to find the smaller freeride fin I wanted to try with small sails, because such fins are rarely ordered in Tuttle box version, so I will have to place a special order for it. I had some wonderful rides and even tested the upper sails limits of the board fitting an 8.2 Naish RedLine cambered sail – one full meter larger than the maximum indicated capacity of its specs. The RS59 coped OK with it, although the nimbleness of the board was sacrificed.

In Santa Maria bay I rigged a vintage Arrows (F2) sail, a 1993 Grand Slam 6.1 cambered model of racing pedigree that I had not used for the last 15 years, curious to see how a 20 years design would feel on the modern RS59. Well, the combination sailed marvelously, as the sail is seriously powerful with lightness and good control, with a forgotten rattling sound of the monofilm material of that era from the loose leach…   To have one more view, I asked the young & primising rider Apostolis Theodoridis (son of the legentary Teo), co intructor at the Aquatic water sports center in Santa Maria, to give a try to the combination. I wanted to hear, how a wave rider of no cambered sails experience would feel. The smile on the last photo below, says it all! 

My latest information is that the RS boards range will no longer be available next year, so maybe there is an opportunity to get one of these exeptional boards at a very attractive price.

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