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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK folks, see how easy it is to IGNORE the board tester claims? They won't bother to change fins, yet they use their favorite fins on their OWN boards, fins that no manufacturer can afford to supply for a board test.
And we KNOW fin size changes are just as important as sail size choices and sail tuning.
Case in point, in theory. We're testing the new Formula boards. We got a bunch of good sailors together, and a board from every company. Fins? Well, some companies supply their own spin out fins. Most don't supply fins. We dig up the venerable DebR-13 68 Med. Every board, except the Starboard, holds in really well! Gee, does that mean the Starboard is no good? Of course not, it's just that Thai copy Debs are no good.
And guess what? Since the best sailors are using the Kashy fins, which costs about $1,200 each, none of the boards feel like it's any good!
My apologies to Starboard for using them as an example. I was banned from Starboard forums for saying the Hypersonic, while a good rec board, will never win races and it's slow to boot, just too much drag, and a bottom copy of the FanaticMosquito. The Starboard Formula fin might be great for you, but nobody good uses it. Plenty of great sailors race successfully with the Starboard Formula boards, just NOT with their fins.
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disclaimer... a Starboard Deb copy fin can be very fast, hold in, and win races if it's modified by sanding, refoiling, and TLC by an expert fin shaper.
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mchaco1



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 643

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried out the GEM. It was super twitchy and sensitive. Carves like an animal though. Its a beast to get onto a plane loves to weathervane. Basically feels like its 75 liters until it gets moving.. The footstrap position also has my feet scooping up every wave and filling my wetsuit legs with water like a balloon. Im sure itll fly once I get used to it, but it will certainly take some getting used to.
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see....
MChacco is what? 185 lbs.? Intermediate level.
GEM 8'10's maybe 88 liters, around 21.2 wide, light and sensitive, but a very friendly, easy riding slalom board, as are most Greenes after WPoint forwards years.
More fin is the cure for all the evils, except it might rail UP instead of DOWN, like you're experiencing.
Add more wind, same H-3. 20-26 is perfect with a 6.5 sail.
It's an expert's board, not an intermediate's board. Easy is slow, while easy for an expert is fast.....somewhat difficult for big intermediates, you.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14147

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In their day (i.e., mast track forward), Watsons were among the most user-friendly boards on the Columbia, right up there with the "normal" -- i.e., pre-no-nose) -- Baileys. Anyone able to step on and enjoy 80-something liters felt like they had grown up windsurfing the Gorge when they strapped on a Watson.
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mchaco1



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 643

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeD wrote:
Let's see....
MChacco is what? 185 lbs.? Intermediate level.
GEM 8'10's maybe 88 liters, around 21.2 wide, light and sensitive, but a very friendly, easy riding slalom board, as are most Greenes after WPoint forwards years.
More fin is the cure for all the evils, except it might rail UP instead of DOWN, like you're experiencing.
Add more wind, same H-3. 20-26 is perfect with a 6.5 sail.
It's an expert's board, not an intermediate's board. Easy is slow, while easy for an expert is fast.....somewhat difficult for big intermediates, you.


that about right. Its my first no-nose so its an adjustment. Im not sure Id call it friendly though.. I was on a 4.5 with a few minutes of full power at dougs. Mostly fighting upwind to make up ground from the holes, so not the best test of the board for sure, hopefully its more stable when its fully powered and going fast. It certainly did feel like an experts board.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14147

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeD wrote:
OK folks, see how easy it is to IGNORE the board tester claims? They won't bother to change fins, yet they use their favorite fins on their OWN boards, fins that no manufacturer can afford to supply for a board test.

The fins board mfrs supplied cost ~$60 back then, the same as the state-of-the-art fins we tested by the crate-full. These were all high-wind Gorge boards, mostly sinkers; nobody was charging triple digit prices, let alone 4-digits, for B&J, let alone wave, fins, and few buyers reading magazines to choose their gear were buying aftermarket fins unless they broke their OEM fins.

We tested fins -- and every other piece of WSing-related gear appropriate for high-wind use in the Gorge -- separately. Readers were welcome to choose any fin or harness line or footstrap they wish. The only time we changed fins (or sail tuning extremes, for example) were when the board or sail performed very poorly and a change vastly improved it. One sail could be heard flapping like an insane unmuffled motorboat clear across the river when tuned as specified (the instructions required a huge, deep, S-curve from top to bottom just behind the mast); we sat on shore and laughed until we cried at it. (We tuned it right and it worked OK.)
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta admit, the 1997 version of your board test mag was, to me, the single most important magazine ever made, for listing and reviewing high wind slalom boards generally, and for not being biased, based on the advertisers you guys got.
The fin tests that issue, and a few other's, seemed very limited to what was sold right at the ColumbiaRiver, and few suppliers other than those seemed to send in any entrys, not your fault.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14147

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We solicited all our gear worldwide, with two caveats: it must both perform well and hold up well in Gorge conditions. Some locally made high-wind gear failed one or both criteria, some distant gear passed with high marks, and some got laughed off the water. Some items never even reached the water after failing the initial driveway tests.
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it must be pretty amazing to see the variety of gear that shows up when you try to bring stuff in for testing.
But "Gorge conditions" could still be Dougs on a 3.2 OR, Eventcenter 10 meter Formula sailing in breezes of 10-15 mph.
What exactly is "Gorge conditions"? I've raced for years with a 5.7 or 6.3 on the river, breeze barely 9-16, and I've sailed with a 3.5 so overpowered, I was at the point of crying.
And if I were the manager of a board company, I'd make sure to sent a rep there, have 3 fins for every slalom board, and put them to work.
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