Today I arrived and saw some skiff sailors that wanted to train on my homespot, my surfmate (freestyler) Edo took the camera and we made of a lousy wind day... A windsurfing = faster day. The skiff was probaly going 30kmh, I was doing about 50kmh average, difference would have been even bigger with my slalomboard instead of my speedboard. Windsurfing is just so relaxing compared to that big skiff.
HIGH QUALITY video
Beautyfull sky, temprature was about 7-8 degrees. Video was taken by an amazing cheap waterproof camera.
I went there with Peter de Wit and Marcel Braas, we were a bit early... In the beginning there was swell al over the course, after 30 min the tide was low enough but the swell stayed there the first 60% of the course. So we had a really short course, damn!! I know that my accelerations are way less than other top 10 speedsurfing in the Netherlands, the most are focused at getting to speed, but last year I focussed at keeping speed up. Peter de Wit and Marcel Braas were hitting high 70's peak, and I was just going against 70's... But than I changed my normal raked SL7 with the same fin that was raked just a little bit more, and speed were going up, I could see that my PR came close, but the tide was getting high. In the end I crashed (I just wanted 1 very good run) into an sandbank full acceleration, I was really lucky my harnasslines broke.
The second session this week was with the Carbon Art Slalom 62
I have double feeling about this board. Sometimes I really like it, sometimes I hate it. The Carbon Art Slalom is made for slalom and not for speed, but this is not the only brand with this habbit... So when it gets flat the board is just to sticky, From my experience right now I would say the sweetspot of this board start when the chop/ waves are >0,4m. So with this board you won't get rewarded to go to a flatter place, or when it gets flat... And that bloody Fanatic Falcon is sooo fast when it gets flat. But every board has its strong points and weak points. When there is no flat spot the CA is really competitive, also gybing is sweet. Maybe I will get a 35cm SL7 because the SL7 33cm is really a bit short...
The last time I was surfing on a new place called "the brace" it was an very big walk 1.8km, so I was thinking... What is the weight of my gear??? I was thinking it should be between 15-25kg...
small gear weight
Chinook 38cm RDM extender ALU (incl rope)___720 g
Chinook 38cm RDM extender Carbon (incl rope)_520 g
Select SL7 33cm_______________________ 348 g
Select SL7 29cm_______________________ 310 g
Select SL7 27cm_______________________294 g
Tectonics Falcon F1 28cm_________________324 g
Mastfoot (cheap model)__________________340 g
NAVI gps____________________________100 g
Garmin Fortrex________________________62 g
1 Carbon Art footstrap___________________105 g
1 Sticker (sponsor)______________________20 g
big gear weight
Carbon Art Speed 44___________________5100 g
Carbon Art Speed 50___________________6000 g
Carbon Art Slalom 62___________________6500 g
Gaastra Vapor 6.5_____________________5200 g
Gaastra Vapor 5.5_____________________4800 g
Gaastra RDM mast 100% 4.00m___________1360 g
Gaastra RDM mast 100% 4.30m___________1660 g
AMEX carbon boom 160-220 incl lines_______3400 g
CA Slalom 62_____6500
Gaastra Vapor 6.5_5200
Select SL 33cm____348
Total weight_____18.5 Kg
For everyone that would like to buy gear for better results in speedsurfing. The best tip I can give you for beginners start on a 100ltrs slalomboard with a 6.5-6.7 sail. But for start, try to go as fast as you can on your current equipment. It will give you some extra experience (compare feeling) when you buy 'new' gear.
Yes speedsurfing is expensive, the whole speedsurfgame is costing me about 2500,- euro in 1 year including fuel. I just own 3 Boards/2 Sails/2 Masts/1 Boom/1 Wetsuit/1 Harnass/5 fins. There are a lot of national speedsurfers that do invest a lot more money, but to invest all your money in equipment is not the best way to get faster.
My tips for saving money and perform best in speedsurfing...
Less IS more!
1. For speedsurfing you only need 2 sails
The sails are important, you need 2 sails to cover some conditions. I would suggest for pure speed a sail between 5.5 and 6.0 + a sail between 6.5 and 7.0. Don't try to safe a lot of money on your sail or mast!!! 2 good sails + 1 surfboard is far superior compared to 2 bad sails + 2 surfboards.
2. For speedsurfing you only 1 fast board
In the Netherlands there are not many places to go really fast, so unless your weight is <70kg>2. For speedsurfing you only need 1 board for best 'average' results
I know for sure that an 80-85lt slalom/speedboard is the one you should pick. From the CA range I would recommend almost anyone to take the CA speed 50. I used my CA SP50 80% of all my sessions. To learn and feel how boards behave beginners can better start on from 100-115 ltrs slalomboards.
3. For speedsurfing you only need 1-2 fins
I sound crazy but it is really an fact that 1 fin works the best in the end. The main problem is how to find that fin. Most people buy an range for their boards and test all, in the end you only use 1 fin. To save money I would recommend to ask sponsored people with the same board, it would save you $$$. You can always ask me, I have a few connection with some teamriders.
4. Small gear
Aluminium extender, carbon boom and a good harnas. When you don't have the Neilpryde MXT, buy a rigwinch. (when you get a serious speedsurfer, your aluminium boom will probaly not survive)
5. Spend your time on the water
When the winds picks up above 15kn, be there! Experience is very important to go fast.
6. Up to date
Don't forget to keep your gear up-to-date, development is still going strong, I really do think it is better to have less new equipment than a lot of old equipment. However take in mind that old boards & fins can be very competitive!!! Old sails are often not performing very well, it is like a old engine, it runs but not smoothly.
7. You win some, you loose some
You cannot win every day, I really always do post, and it happens that way less experienced speedsurfers beat me 1 day. But it is always good to see how you compare to the other speedsurfers, on your good days, and your bad days.
8. Buy your gear from (national) pro's
Most good gear is owned by the fastest pro's, so if you want to best buy the old gear of them. Sails are often tuned in every way, battentuning/masttuning/campressure/etc. Boards are as smooth as possible, often sanded to get them fast. Fins are polished/smooth. And most pro's do sell their gear really cheap.
9. Check speedsurfing sessions
One of the best things you can do on the internet is checking sessions on www.gps-speedsurfing.com . When I didn't was sponsored and didn't know that much I really liked to see what other windsurfers with the same lenght & weight were doing in comparable conditions. This way I prevented to buy gear that doesn't work for me.
The Carbon Art speed boards are one of the fastest boards I have ever ridden. But why are these boards so easy and fast... They are made for gps-speedsurfing or 500m outright, but also comftable to go racing in ocean swell.
Fact: I know just before I bought the CA speed 44 and 50 they promised me to be overall 10kmh faster in one year... and to honest it was true!
1 Computer generated shape
Yes all current boardshapes are generated by computer, this one too. The Carbon Art Speed computer generated shapes for optimum smoothness of all lines. Rocker, outline and vee designed together to optimise the working trim angles, and minimise rail wetting up front in chop. This board is designed the scientific way, not because worldcupper named X likes it...
This board has unlimited topspeed, the only thing that will stop you is the drag from your fin.
Tapered Parallel outline maintains a smooth and free ride through chop when combined with flatter overall rocker, providing a stable platform that doesn't bounce around when the conditions get tough. Thinned back foot area keeps you closer to the fin, which gives you more direct control and reduces back leg movement in chop.
3 Lots of volume
Volume centred further forward for maximum sub-planing stability and easy waterstarting. Thicker rails help to produce more buoyancy for the volume of the board than conventional shapes. Gybing is tight and fast due to the pin tail and V distribution. Flatter rocker gets the board planing fast, and makes it easy to sail upwind. All of these features save energy so you spend more time going fast and less time taking a breath on the beach! The CA speed 50 is in the same range as the bigger brands speedboards, only the CA does have 20 liters extra!
4 Carbon Art Quality
I know for sure that carbon art is one of the best manufactors of windsurfboards. They have very tight tolerances, if you order one you actually get the same board as I am using, same as the very fast Chris Lockwood! Just to honest big brand boards from cobra factory have big tolerances... Don't think that Antoine Albeau just picks one SB Isonic out of the bunch.
Also the CA speedboards are quite crashproof, to be honest I don't crash often, but when it goes wrong... They are still in 1 piece and still the same shape after 1 year of abuse.
Carbon Art Boards do have an comftable stance, the masttrack and footstraps are very well placed for normal surfers. It is very comfy to go fast. The CA Speedboards are one of the very less boards that I use all day without getting tired. Taking this board to the limit is not physical at all.
Wind is influenced by a few factors, these factors will be giving the local spot 'real' winds.
1) Pressure difference (general low- and high pressure area's)
2) Warmth radiation of the Sun
3) Local termical differences
4) Obstacles, houses/bushes/etc
The height is intresting, the wind speed at waterlevel is 0 kn. from there the wind increases and at 30m it is 100%. There are a lot of factors that make an difference in height vs windspeed, chop height/strenght gusts/average windspeed. This is quite intresting and makes clear why a spot like Strand Horst is so bloody fast.
In Diagram 1 you can see that when the wind get stronger you need to go higher from surface to get the actual higher windspeed.
In Diagram 2 you can see 3 situations, all are at surface 0% windspeed and at 30m 100% of the windspeed.
-Situation A, Very low windspeed / no waves / with clouds
-Situation B, Average conditions / most days it will look like this
-Situation C, Gusty conditions / no clouds / like Strand Horst
Situation C look very good, this the main reason why it is possible to go fast at Strand Horst, there is less wind but the wind sticks more to the surface. But if the wind increases this effect will disappear, this simply explains why there is no 80kmh average sailed.
Kitesurfers are surfing records on very shallow places, so far I know depth is very important for high speeds. On the same place windsurfers are still faster, it is making me think... Because kitesurfers are surfing with such limited depths, it would solve any cavitation problems, because the air/surface is very close... I dont know if the fins ever release from bottom, from my experience : touching the bottom is not really slowing me down... The kite will provide vertical lift, but is it enought to get the board out? Or are they using the bottom to keep to board on the surface.
Windsurfers are now focussed at the efficiency game. It is really remarkeble to see how fast windsurfers can go. When you look at graphs of hydrofoils:
1) An hydrofoil connected to the surface has an higher Lift/Drag
2) Assymitrical fins do have an higher Lift/Drag.
For taking the record maybe we should try to make fin that are very powerfull at the base?? That is the reason why I do like the Tectonics Falcon, they are quite powerfull at the base.
3 Sailors stats
Outright 500m:________46.5 knots
Sailors have a few problems... It is very expensive... They do have very big leverage, so materials have to take very strong forces. But there is still a lot off potential for the sailors, in the future when better materials are developed this will be the strongest contenders.
On the same course is are the windsurfers or sailingboats mostly ruling the game. A windsurfer you cannot catch Hydorpthere on the NM on open water... A kitesurfer cannot catch an windsurfer on the 'regular' speedstrip.
This event is really one of my favorites, I hope that I can try my speeds out some day over there. To have a go I just have to manage 1200,- pounds, so maybe (if the event will be continued) next year or even later. It is good to see that the lucky bastards are going very fast, but I can name a few dutch sailors that would have been fast(er)... I am not talking about beating Finian, but there are sailors that will end close. I hope some day not almost all factory sponsorship money is not going to the PWA (sailors). However there is one brand that is trying to make the difference: http://www.mauisails.com/, I really hope that the other brands will follow, because that will give 'other' very fast sailors an chance to take it to the next level.
What is important for an speedsail or just for going fast?
Those 3 things are giving the sail a feeling. There are several feelings, an sail with backhand, an very soft sail, a hard to start sail, an heavy on the hands sail, etc. Full-race sails
Neilpryde RS Racing
Maui Sails TR-4
These sails are the best 'balanced' sails on the market. However the last 25% of the balanced part has to be tuned by yourself. The Gaastra Vapor is the easiest one to get balanced, the NP RS Racing is a it harder to get balanced. But the reward with NP is a bit better when everything is in place.
In general most fullrace sails got the most profile, some brands give their racesails an very low center of effort. Most speedsurfers are faster with a bit higher center of effort. But don't forget to downhaul your sails enough. For the Gaastra Vapor '07 I would say in overpowered conditions +1cm. The Fast Sails for everyone
NP RS Slalom
North RAM F8
Most speedsurfers will benefit from these sails. These sails are very easy to get balanced, combined with an higher center of effort... When I heard of these sails I thought... poor marketing. But at my homespot, an local speedsurfer was instantly 5 km/h faster. I studied the sail, and it is very good. Both the North as Neilpryde are really good, and easy to rig.
Why don't the pro's use this sails, these sails have less profile, less speed on tight courses. So when you are going for the last 1-2 km/h or knots... an full-race sail will have advantage. Freerace sails
North Daytona (s-type)
The center of effort is about the same as 'The fast sails for everyone', these sails are no widesleefs, and they definatly got less profile overall.
This sails are close to 'The Fast sails for everyone', the gaastra GTX is really the best in this class. It would be better to compare it with NP RS Slalom or North 8 RAM, but Gaastra put this sail in the market for freeracing. The GTX has a light feelling on the hands, combined with a lot of power to get you started, the GTX has one of the best gust handling. The Neilpryde V8 has allways been very good, sometimes they had a bit durability problems, but now at the moment it just looks all very fine. North Daytona... I just can't be very excited about this sail, allmost every time someone asked for my help with rigging last year it was an North Daytona ('07). The sail is not that bad when rigged right, but this sail is harder to rig right compared to my Gaastra Vapors, or even the NP RS Racing...