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28 February 2010

Mistral

Mistral International has been changed a lot last year, the company structure and investments are more "speed-focussed". Anders Bringdal leads the windsurf department. With Anders Bringdal, Zara Davis and Hydroptere Mistral has an promising combination of relations. The know-how in Mistral International+ the relations should be high, I expect some interaction between all parts of Mistral International.


Maybe Mistral will bring out a range of speedboards in the future? 2011/2012??? The AB+ speed design wasn't very special according to the speedsurfers. I guess the potential of mistral is unlimited when Anders decides to bring out a full developed speedboard range...

26 February 2010

Top-10 tips for beginning speed windsurfers in 2010

Hereby my best 10 tips I could give windsurfers when they would like to start speedsurfing in 2010.
  1. When entering a gust slowly start to steer downwind, try to find the point with the highest acceleration. This 'sweet' point is rarely at the same place. Also try to notice where you feel unstable, lots of very good speedsurfers use a locked in style. In other words they have a stable setup, find your most stable setup!
  2. Buy your gps directly at www.gps-speedsurfing.com, ask for dylan he is the salesman of the gps'. The number 1 reason to buy your gps-speedsurfing.com is quick service! I broke 2 times my gps, it was just replaced and no questions asked! Also I believe it is good thing to keep some money in the speedcommunity, all events are great fun but need some funds...
  3. Start speedsurfing with some bigger gear at your local spot, if you have a 100-130 liters board it is OK to learn the basics of speedsurfing (going downwind+bodystance). Bigger gear gives more feedback to the rider, to develop a good surfingstyle big surfgear in essential!!!
  4. Visit a flatter speedsurfspot at least once, it would be even better if the water is shallow! At flatter water you learn how to sail in a more efficient way, this is the best way to learn how to get a high basic-speed. Windsurfing superefficient is a great feeling, like riding superfast on a bike. Strand Horst is a great example, but I think Sandy Point, Gruissan would be great to in lighter winds.
  5. Don't 100% believe all forumtalk, the last decade forums did help a lot for the windsurfingcommunity itself. But lots of (semi-)sponsored windsurfers try to get a sponsorship by telling good stories online, this is no problem and I believe in most cases they are telling the truth, BUT sometimes its bullshit. When you believe some bullshit the bad gear/tuning can cause a bad speedsailingstyle, especially in the beginning of speedsurfing good choises are essential!! Ignore unidentified members, still there are some sportive speedsurfers willing to advice under their own names, it is worth reading their advice!!!
  6. Try to find a shop with active speedsurfers or find a speedsurfer that is willing to help you make the right choises. At Kater surfshop I have no problems to help beginning speedsurfers getting the best they can get for their money, it is not only buying but also tuning the gear... sometimes you can get up to +10km/h just by adding one thing to your surfquiver. It is not needed to invest thousands of euro's.
  7. Don't buy a speedboard for start. BUT when you found flat water and have reached 30-35kn it could be interesting  to buy a speedboard. At this moment the fanatic falcon speed its now €599,- in the Netherlands surfshops. The falcon speed is a great speedboard. I don't know about 2011, maybe fanatic will finally release the new speedboard range.... This would mean the low-budget speedboard will disappear from the market... AND I don't think in the (near) future we will find faster boards on the market.
  8. Get some Time On Water with faster speedsurfers (top 100?? www.gps-speedsurfing.com), most topspeeders perform really consistent. This makes it much easier to see what works for you. Spots: Strand Horst, Sandy Point, Gruissan, Amstelmeer, Gouwzee, etc. Try to do at least 2-3 sessions with the same speeders.
  9. Be realistic, when starting speedsurfing don't push to hard. It is best to try to develop your surfstyle and tuning of the gear. Only at competition at higher level I would say you should be pushing it! When there is suddenly a big difference between your speed and the rest it is a sign of serious unbalance in your gear, find that unbalance and move on!
  10. Used gear can be overstretched/bended/damaged in a way you can't see/measure. It can effect performance a lot, the most polished board is definitly not the fastest!!! When buying used gear, try to buy something that has proven itself recently. Buying used gear is one of the best tips to save some money, but to get the right gear a little bit of KNOW-HOW would be helpfull.

24 February 2010

Windbase.fr

The website http://www.windbase.fr/index.php/en is French from origin, but with an good english translation (not 100% complete) This website gives user information about:

  • Board - Fin match
  • Sail - Mast match
  • Spot information in France
  • Weight+ windstreght= .. m2 information
I am really interested in the Board-Fin and Sail-Mast match reviews... When I test a special combination I will try to write a review on windbase.

23 February 2010

North Sails Warp F2010 [preview]


Here some info on the North Sails Warp F2010, the sail of Cyril Moussilmani& Jimmy Diaz
Technical DATA
Size : 5.2 5.7 6.3 7.0 8.0 8.5 9.0 9.5 10.0 11.0 12.0
Mast: 370 400 430 460 460 490 520 520 520 550 550

DESIGN OBJECTIVES WARP F2010
1. Improve acceleration after start and jibing without
sacrificing stability or speed.

This is essential when you are coming jibe or drag racing to the
next mark where you want to make use of the smallest gust to
move past your opponent.
2. Try to further reduce the weight especially of the bigger
sizes

This is essential to make the sail less physical to sail and easier
to pump.

DESIGN REALIZATION WARP F2010
1. Improve acceleration after start and jibing without
sacrificing stability or speed

Kai has achieved that by adding more depth to the sail most noticeable in
the boom area. In the upper part of the sail (batten #1 to batten #4) Kai has
replace the cross seams with a full luff panel which enables him to control
the added profile.
The result of these modifications is an extra dragster like acceleration.
Kai also reduced the aspect ratio (especially on the larger sizes) which
results in a slightly wider and shorter sail. This longer chord also has a very
positive effect on the acceleration.
2. Try to further reduce the weight especially of the bigger
sizes

After the success from last year where Kai had reduced the number of
battens from 8 to 7 on all sizes up to 8.0, he now went one step further.
Now even the big sizes have 7 battens only.
This makes the sail more dynamic and noticeable lighter in the hands. Kai
was able to maintain the stability through stiffer battens and improvements
in shaping.
In addition Kai has replaced the top 3 batten tensioners with our superlight
Mini.Rocket tensioner, one of the lightest tensioners on the market.
All these weight reductions in the top of the large sail have a very large
impact as it effects the swing weight of the sail.
As a result especially the bigger sizes got remarkably lighter making them
less physical to sail plus easier to pump.

21 February 2010

Sportzeker

Sportzeker.nl is a new speedsurfingblog partner, this came after my own good experience with the windsurfing gear insurance. I am really happy to be insured and it really helped me reach better results.



This is how speedsurfingblog and sportzeker found each other:
In 2009 I decided to insure my windsurfing gear for the first time. I always thought insure wouldn't help me futher  with windsurfing, eventhough I broke a few things and also a complete windsurfing quiver was stolen from me in 2006. My reason to choose not to insure is simple, the insurance company can't live of the wind...
But Sportzeker.nl offered for € 84,50 per year a windsurfing equipment insurance, this was not much money sooo I filled in the form on the website and I was insured.
It took about a few weeks before I changed, a totally different way of thinking. I am thinking a lot before entering the water for a speedsurfing session. After a few sessions I realised with my gear insured I could try some new stuff, without great financial risks which would ruin all my plans etc.
The moment I realised my windsurfing gear to be insured my speed went up in stronger/difficult conditions. Even at one point (when the conditions were really impressive) I felt like to be able to really battle with Dutch Champ Peter de Wit. This was a first!!!
But ofcourse I tried to go even further (faster than the fastest) and this costed me 1 sail and 1 boom. Which thanks to sportzeker.nl are replaced by new ones. I contacted Mark (team sportzeker), told my story and after a good conversation we concluded to help each other further. I was really willing to share this story and Mark was willing to support me for 2010. This will double my chances getting better results for 2010!

19 February 2010

Deboichet Dragon Line, production fins?

At the deboichet website and windsurfing44.com you can read about the new dragon line from deboichet. It is a move I didn't expect, what does this mean? Can productionfins really be improved much, produced in Thailand? Hope to read more about this, select fins seems to get more competition, both Select and Deboichet are based in France. On the pictures it is hard to see what quality we are talking about.

Also just read (in SURF 3-2010) France and Germany buy more than 50% of Neilprydes productioncapacity... Is windsurfing really mostly an european sport???? 80% of the speedsurfingblog visitors came from europe in 2009. Now I start to understand why many windsurfing brands are based in France or Germany.

18 February 2010

Google Trends: windsurf

http://www.google.nl/trends?q=windsurf&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

Chris from www.wind-surfing.nl emailed me this morning about google trends website. Each summer windsurf(ing) is searched most, soo the northern part of the world windsurfs the most. The bad news, each year less people search for windsurf...

I think we (windsurfing community) have to use social media. Social bookmarking is for free, we only need a commited group... Yesterday I had a nice conversation with Rolf Aalders, he told me about Rabobank invests in social media (blogs, facebook, digg, twitter, delicious, etc.). It is a fact social bookmarking will grow a lot....

just enter facebook in google trends and you will understand.

17 February 2010

First new sail arrived: NP H2

My brother Wouter wanted something new, to replace his Gaastra Plasma technora 8.3. This gaastra plasma was his favorite sail for a long time, the behaviour fitted perfectly to a weekendsurfer.

Soo it was hard to make a choise, my positive experience with the RS:Slalom MK3 made us doubt between H2 and RS:Slalom MK3... The gaastra plasma is a very strong build sail, my brother likes some extra strenght, soo we chose the Neilpryde H2.

Now I have seen the sails profile and it seems each year the performance difference between RS:Racing- RS:Slalom-H2/V8 gets smaller. The H2 should be very good when just looking at the sail rigged.

We used a arrows 460 mast, this one we still had. I think the bendcurve should work good.

12 February 2010

Interview - Jimmy Lewis

Jimmy I would like to introduce your name to the new speedsurfing generation of the 21th century. I started speedsurfing in 2007 and heard your names a lot of times, so far I know you build some damn fast boards in the past.

When did you started to build (windsurfing) boards?
The first few windsurfers that I made were made in 1978.  One of them was for Mike Waltze and the other was for Mark Robinson.  I shaped one or two in the next few years but it was in 1981 that shaping windsurfers because my main focus.

What made you start building your first speedboard?
 I was shaping windsurfboards for Sailboards Maui starting in 1981.  It was in 1982 that Pascal Maka came to Maui and bought an 8’6” X 21” wide wave board from Sailboards Maui that I had shaped.  He took that board to the Weymouth Speed Week and broke the windsurfing speed record on that board.  Back on Maui we were ELATED with that news and we (me and Fred Haywood) because very intrested in speed boards.  I began to make some special boards for Fred to take to Weymouth the following year (1983) and at that event he broke the windsurfing speed record again by doing 30.82, I believe.
record haywood


If I am right did some big brand produced  “Jimmy Lewis” speedboards, could you tell more?
I was working for Bic from 1987-1988.  I made a speed board for their production line.  It was 9’ X 18” wide and it was called the Allegro.
bic allegro top + bottom

bic allegro sideview rails

What is the greatest achievement in speedsurfing for you?
My greates achievement happened in 1986 when Pascal Maka, Erik Beale, Fred Haywood and myself broke the absolute world speed sailing record in Fuerteventura.  Pascal did 38.86 knots.   The previous absolute world speed sailing record was held by a 60’ catamaran and that time was 36.00 knots.  All 4 of the sailers who broke the record (Pascal, Erik, Fred and myself) were riding my boards as well as the next 3 in the competition.  The top 7 sailers were all using my boards.  After that event I was number 3 in the world ranking which to me was “icing on the cake.”  I normally wasn’t the strongest competitor at the speed events.  If there were 60 riders in the event, my ranking was usually somewhere in the middle....... about 30th place.  So having all of my boards do so well at this world record breaking even AND me getting third place was the greatest achievement in my speedsailing AND my windsurfing career.   The next year Eric Beale broke the record again using my board and at the same time became the fastest sailing craft over 40 knots.  This was a great achievement too but it didn’t compare to the thrill of what happened in 1986 in Fuerteventura.

What are you doing nowadays?
 I make surfboards, a few kitesurfboards and a few stand up surfboards and I run my production board business which is kiteboards, surfboards and stand up boards.
jimmy lewis

Any tips when starting design a (speed)board shape by myself?
Try to find one of my old speed boards and copy it!!!

10 February 2010

[preview] Starboard iSonic speed special W58

starboard isonic speed special w58
Almost the widest speedboards ever made. At this moment I only could think of one wider speedboard made in the past, the carbon art speed 60, however this small brand didn't caused a new trend. Will this new starboard set a new higher standard for lightwinds/ heavyweights, a new era for speedsurfing?? I had to find more information!!!

What about these big wide speedboards? I always questioned myself why these boards get produced. There are 3 things I imagened the wider speedboards could work out better than normal speedboards:

  1. Low wind, below 18kn of wind regular speedboards are not handy even for me with 80kg bodyweight.
  2. For heavyweight windsurfers, there are always some places without any wind. Small speedboards with 65liters volume are not the easiest to handle when your weight is 100kg+
  3. Beginning speedsurfers, the small speedboards give to less rider feedback for beginning speedsurfers. A bigger board gives more rider feedback.
I contacted the dutch importer of starboard www.fox-sports.nl, really fast Martijn Vos replied, he happens to be a fast speedsurfer and was willing to answer my questions.  This short interview is about if starboard succeeded to build a speedboard suitable for lowwind or heavyweights or beginners or maybe all??

Is this starboard isonic speed special 58 made for a specific goal/group? heavyweights or lightwinds/ beginners?
The new 58cm wide model works out really for heavyweights, lightwinds and beginners. I have tested together with Jurjen van den Noord this board twice last year and we were both very impressed about the speed. You can sail this board with very big sails without any problems, plus the volume in the front does make it much easier to float in windgaps. Rough conditions work out great with the isonic speedspecial 58, it start to really fly over chop.

An allround sportive stationwagen can't beat a pure F1 racing car, does this also apply on the new speed special?
This was really a surprise, by changing fins the board is good for all users without compromise in speed. Lightweight windsurfers should use a smaller size fin compared to heavier windsurfers

Which starboard dreamteam member did mainly developed this speed special 58?
Tiesda You and Remi Villa made several proto's, in the end we chose for Remi Villa his design. The shapes of Tiesda were a bit to much near a slalomboard. But Remi his design was 100% speed with a superb acceleration. Furthermore many international testers tried the board before production.

Do you have some numbers?? How many knots did the speed special already, I suppose it has been tested before production?
I don't have any numbers yet, but I think next season the board will show its potential. It will be the ideal board for most USM competition (ultimate speed meeting).

Did you found some differences between the smaller speed special boards and this new 58cm wide one?
The shape is based on the Isonic speed special W53, the rails are changed to a more straight design. To give that extra lowwind performance boost.

I would like to thank Martijn for answering these questions. I am very curious what this board will bring in the future, it could be that the slalomboards will be not able to compete against a 100% speeddesign. Definitly a board to watch out for! This will be the ultimate test for slalomboard vs speedboard design, can't wait to see some results.

08 February 2010

[review] Select Caspar Speed

select caspar elite proserie review
The select caspar speed was introduced in 2009 and after many hours on the water I think its time to write a online review. The fin is based on Caspar Verhaagen his custom (still the favorite fin of many pro's in the Netherlands).

The fin feels very safe, when I tested first before production fin together with Peter de Wit it was hard to feel the difference between the original caspar speed and the production select. We had 2 falcon 79 and 2 NP RSR 6.2, this was good news!!! I did my fastest topspeed ever on the Amstelmeer with the select caspar speed 29 it was an amazing 40kn+

Stats:

  • Supersafe, it will not fail on you strong gusts, windgaps, breaking at high speed. The fin does never spin-out.
  • Efficiency is super, the fin takes a lot of pressure before getting unefficient. Simple translation? The fin will accelerate till 2x  the windspeed if waterstate allows
  • Difference is very small with original, still I saw some worse finish production fins. However in 2010 all new select models will be hand finished, maybe all bad finish problems will be over from now on. With the 2009 model you have to pass the fin if:  little holes in leading edge or thick trailing edge. 
  • The leading edge is sharp and this help efficiency maintain even at high (wind)speed
The select caspar speed is the most allround speedfin I know. This fin was competitive in any condition we had in 2009. My conclusion was there should be better fins for specific conditions... This is my current quest! Find fins that are very good in a small range, peak performance is needed for a world speedrecord game... Maybe I am wrong, in 3 years we hope to know the ins and outs of peak performance.

06 February 2010

"Find the big S quest"

Dear speedsurfingblog visitor, I have a quest for you. We are looking for the big S, yes I am talking about the S of Speed.

The picture you could call the S of speed, sandypoint, smart, slowboat, superfast etc. Sandy Point can't be the only place in the world!! If you look at sandy point rider stats they don't get every month good conditions, maybe 3-4 good sessions per year??

We need more places with a big S, sandy point S is 1 x 4.5km big. Clean air at the begin of course, but on topspeed end of the course the wind decreases. Maybe we can find even something better than Sandy Point.

Start up google earth, look into books/atlas, search the internet! We can find it. Every good spot will be publised on speedsurfingblog underneath speedspots.




Send this information to my email:

  • Height of the S
  • Width of the S
  • number of days per year +20kn 
  • location description
  • obstacles in windzone (like the end of sandy point: begin super constant windflow, end is gusty due green bushes/ trees???)
  • small picture
You might be the one that found the spot for speedsurfing to reach 50kn+.

Cheers,

Erik

05 February 2010

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04 February 2010

[review] KA Lockwood McDougall 20 +21,5 asymmetrical fins

KA mcdougal
The G-10 Lockwood Mcdougall fins are something special. One half year ago I bought these 2 fins just to experience how it works. Somehow down-under the findesign is apart from the rest of the world...

First experience: I bought the fins from Jacques vd Hout, he never used them. When I got the fins the quality of the foil is good, leading edge nice sharp, trailling edge has a interesting design. It was quite hard to find the difference between both sides, the asymmetrical profile has minimal differences between Port and Starboard tack. (especially when compared to C3 Strike)

On the water: I used the fin first in La Franqui, France. In difficult gusty conditions I found the fin working excellent!! Great control during the downwind part, upwind wasn't really good. The difference between starboard and port tack is bigger than I would have expected. The starboard tack has great performance + control in a small range of conditions. I used the fins under the falcon speed and the monoconcave didn't seem to be a problem

Efficiency test: The second session I tried the fin in lower winds, it became clear that the fin doesn't allow easily twice the windspeed. But it is possible to go twice the windspeed, but any small windgap will make it hard to keep nice balanced on your board. Here the swept back + low COE doesn't work out.

I think the fin gets better and better the stronger wind you will get, you could say a small range, or you could call it an outright world speedrecord design. For lowwind efficiency there are easier findesigns on the market. Conclusion when the wind is blowing 30kn+ and you're aiming 1.5x the windspeed, upwind course is quite flat than the KA lockwood Mcdougal Asy series will be a good choise. I really believe Spotty+Lockwood their 50kn can't be improved with most other findesigns in strong winds. This is a good strong concept, and it works underneath any speedboard! I definitly would look for the same principles as this fin for hardcore speed, but than in carbon design to give a nicer respond speed.

I would NOT recommend these fins if:

  • there is no sandbar or other flat water around
  • you always windsurf in 25kn winds or lower
  • your topspeed is below 35kn
  • the sandbar is on Port tack
  • the upwind part is very choppy >0,5m waves (or choose to walk...)
  • your board has a wide taildesign >30cm one foot off

03 February 2010

262 articles on speedsurfingblog

Total 262 articles on speedsurfingblog, never thought it would possible to write this much about speedsurfing... I just used the Search function and for a lot of questions I can find some related speedsurfingblog article. Thanks to a lot of readers I don't have to look hard for a new article inspiration, new questions to be answered or investigated.

archive
Since today I added Blog Archive to the right sidebar, you can simply navigate thru all articles written each month.

01 February 2010

Speedsurfingblog on Waterhound.com

Since a few days www.speedsurfingblog.com is added on the website www.waterhound.com , I am really stoked to be on this great website with a broad audience, lots of not-windsurfers. Definitly good for sharing our sport speedsurfing with the world!

Again one step closer to the www.speedsurfingblog.com goal, thank you David!

The message I received:

Hi Erik I have enjoyed your blog for some time and have added you to my directory of my new site www.waterhound.com. As a multi sport site I look to route traffic out towards guys like you from the other sports. I have added you to my directory
http://www.waterhound.com/water-sports-directory/media-and-personalities/windsurfing-website/speedsurfingblog.html