For the second installment of the Pro Quiver, Boards catches up with forth placed rider and the 2011 BWA tour winner, Ben Proffitt. Travelling in his van Proffitt has almost every piece of equipment he owns with him for all the UK competitions, does he need it all and what are his most prized possessions?
Name: Ben ProffittCurrent BWA Ranking: 4th 2011 PWA Ranking: 13th
Sail Number: K800
Sponsors: Simmer Boards, Simmer sails, Simmer wetsuits, O’shea clothing and Funsport.
Favourite conditions: True cross shore, port tack, head to logo, 4.2m weather.
When your equipment works best: When I’m sailing well! The equipment is never the problem, it’s more the pilot!
Describe your sailing style: Sporadic! It depends on my mood, it affects my sailing quite a lot.
Full quiver of Icons from 3.4m all the way up to 5.3m. Plus all the Black Tips between 4.5m and 5.6m.
The Black Tip is quite powerful but at the same time light, we have a lot of events on the UK tour which are wobble and ride or down the line and I really like the black tip for that type of sailing. When it’s windy, or if the wind is really up and down I prefer the Icon as its solid as a rock and can handle anything you can throw at it.
I tend to use all of my sails and they get pretty much an even spread throughout the year, I’m really happy with both lines of sails, it just depends on where I am and the conditions as to what gets used more.
The wind range on the Icons and Black Tips are really impressive. The Icons top end is incredible and the Black Tip is probably one of the most stable four batten sails out there!
4.5 to 4.7 does make a difference yes.. but there is a crossover so it makes picking the right sail pretty easy.
I tend not to sell my masts just incase I break one but the problem is I’ve only broke 2 in the 7 years I’ve been with Simmer so as you can imagine I have a fair few knocking around!! So with my van being my garage I can rig pretty much anything! I get new masts every year, the RDM10 from Simmer but tend to keep them so I never have to worry about not being able to rig anything. The masts change a little each year, but they generally keep the same bend curve.
I have the Blackline, the full carbon boom and again yes, I have quite a few!
The main reason, for having as much gear as I do is to take away the worry from competition. Yes, I could get away with a lot less gear if I had to, but I am in a fortunate position and in competition, the last thing I want to think about is what happens if I break something or the conditions change. Being able to go out on my 4.7m, and have my 4.5m and 5.0m rigged ready on the beach means what ever happens I am prepared. Especially in places like Ireland, there I’ve rigged almost everything in one day before!