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15 March 2014

Jim Crossley starts a blog

One of the UK and Worlds fastest windsurfers Jim Crossley has started his own blog. Already in a couple of days he has written some brief but very useful articles. Its well worth a look.


19 December 2013

Testing new iSonics and new Sonntag Fins

The new Sonntag Fins will be tested soon in Tarifa! And I look forward to do it, this will be to understand how the fins work with the (new) iSonics.

The following will be tested: the all new Sonntag SL-R series, the revised SL-P and the revised 2 SL-S, sizes from +-30 ~ 50cm. These will be compared with the older Sonntag Fins models to make it possible to translate experience of the past into an advantage for the future. Can't wait for some windsurfing :)


29 November 2013

The underlying story behind speedsurfingblog

Today somehow I felt I wanted to blog a little bit, just to have a bit windsurfing related stuff to do, my wetsuit has to many leaks and I can't use a cold now. As the followers of this blog know my energy and time spent in windsurfing or this blog has decreased dramatically since +- begin 2011. I think I never blogged why this happened, and now I am able to share the underlying story why this blog has changed.

2008 till 2011
In this period did grow at 100% - 700% per year.

What did happen begin 2011?
From begin 2010 till begin 2011 I was progressive full-on speedsurfer and proud of the speedsurfing community and growth. The question most asked when I decided one day to start a business in the Netherlands in the middle of the darkest economic crisis ever: why? And yes in 2011 I questioned myself several times the same question, why?

But why do it? I can answer now (at that point of time it was my gut telling me to do it). Speedsurfing evolved from dream to hobby (when I could buy a GPS as a kid), from hobby to sponsorship and lateron income generating "hobby". It was just pure pleasure for myself at start, being on the water with friends. The turning point was begin 2011: there was a bit of a struggle, performance was a bit down, I was actually focussed on everything but the fun that windsurfing gives. This was actually the third time within a year for me when I reached this point, I analysed by speaking with friends and recognized I lost drive and ambition. In the following weeks I didn't found a convincing method (with windsurfing at nr 1 priority) to break this cycle and grow again. After much consideration I chose to break the cycle and put windsurfing at an another priority (later on I figured out this is a common approach in philosophy). What did I do? I restarted the family business (which stopped short after my birth) and windsurfing was put on second and lateron third priority.

I learned starting a business is much like becoming a good speedsurfer/athlete etc. During 2011, 2012 and 2013 I have learned a lot of stuff that does relate to high performance. Later (2014 or soo) I will give you detailed insights what I learned so far. It is today easier to see what didn't work for my speedsurfing results. One thing I would like to share, for me it was the best decision ever to break the cycle. My girlfriend is convinced I will return as a strong speedsurfer one day, and I always tell her "that will be fun to do, but now windsurfing is just there as a hobby to keep me in balance".
I enjoy 99% of my current windsurfing sessions, which is good. The results are often mediocre or the equipment doesn't match perfectly but it doesn't matter. My last windsurf session was at the Alkmaardermeer with the iSonic 117 and Reflex 7.0, (yup I know a strange combo), it was weeks or a few months ago (way too long). I was literally flying around and having a challenge when hitting at high speed a windgap (that is when the nose of my board want to rocket into the sky).

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03 June 2013

Severne Reflex 4 versus Severne Overdrive R4

Since a couple of months I have the Severne Overdrive R4, it was not really my idea to get one, but the dutch importer recommended me to try the sail. I am very happy with the Reflex performance, a happy user of the Reflex I, Reflex II, Reflex III and now the Reflex 4! Now having used the both the Reflex and Overdrive sail I have got emails/phonecalls about details... differences... Since more than a few of windsurfers are interested in the differences I made a little blog about my experience.

Rigging: How fast is it onshore?
I can't say there is a big difference in rigging. It is different, but hard to point out which one is easier? The Overdrive has rollercambers which makes it less sensitive for camber/batten pressure and rotation performance. The Reflex has 1 more camber. I think the reflex is rigged a bit faster by me, but just because I am used to it.

Tuning: Do you need a guide?
Overdrive... Much easier. Put maximum tension on bottom 2 battens, medium tension on middle 2 battens and no tension on top battens. The reflex 4 is the same idea, but the reflex has a smaller tuning range. So downhaul should be good in a range of 5mm where the overdrive works in a range twice as big. Same with outhaul, battentension, tackstrap, etc...

Durability: Which one will last longer?
This is difficult, since I have the sails only for a short period. My experience is the reflex can do at least 50 sessions without any loss of performance, the overdrive has yet to prove itself for me. When using it normal the sails are good for many years for a weekendracer. The overdrive is lighter and the reflex seems to have a bit more expensive materials. My feeling the Reflex will last a bit longer, but not by a big difference because the construction method is almost equal.

On the water: The feeling is what really matters
To my surprise there is a small difference over the whole windrange between both sails. So when sailing the overdrive in the sweetspot it is a slightly different feeling compared to the reflex. In short:

  • Gives more feedback, preventing oversheeting the sail continuous. It is much easier downwind
  • More powerful for its size and lighter, you will be earlier away. Or you can sail smaller with a much lighter sail using a smaller board 
  • Stiffer profile and leech, the overdrive is not a floppy sail. I use a 460 blueline in 8.6 (490 is rec.) which is OK. The Enigma 430 in my 6.2 is giving a stiff profile (for lighter weight speedsurfers I would recommend RDM or a shorter SDM)
  • Easier rotation 
  • More stability in highwind, in strong gusts the sail opens and gives the rider range, if willing to tune it and willing to sail big (for example 7.0 in 30kn+). My feeling is the difference it not the construction, but more the hours of development per sail, reflex is just developed to a very high standard with enigma mast
  • It is possible to increase lift very quickly by outhaul,
  • Upwind performance
Speedtalk: numbers
I know this is speedsurfingblog, so the numbers on the gps are one important parameter to be considered. In many conditions the Overdrive will not disappoint you, eventually the reflex will be faster in each size but I think when you just take a smaller Overdrive you will be competitive. I did not do yet a fast session this year, my 2013 bests:
Reflex is faster when you are willing to sail powerfull and know what to do without feedback of the sail, the difference is estimated <1km/h up till +- 80km/h boardspeed. I believe the Overdrive is faster when you don't have the big muscles and don't know exactly how to push the sail in the right angle at any time. For me it took a few good hours to tune the Reflex, and a few minutes for the Overdrive.

11 January 2013

About is a project which started begin 2008. Nowadays with a team of passionate speedsurfrs Trying to making speedsurfing bigger, bring speedsurfers together/ aware of each other by sharing all news on this blog for free.

Since mid 2011 the activity slowed a bit down on the blog since my time is limited. Once in a while a new article by me or one of the other speedsurfingblog writers Or just use the blog search function below, and maybe you're lucky to find the answer.The speedsurfingblog archives covers lots and lots of speedsurfing topics.