The excitement of a new board or sail arriving never gets old. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been windsurfing for 1 or 25 years, unwrapping a new piece of equipment will usually have you jumping for joy and checking the forecast to see when you can take it for that maiden voyage.
Lucky for Andy King as soon as his 104 litre quad arrived the wind blew, allowing him to get straight out and get to grips with his largest ever quad.
King joins Boards to talk about the new board, why he decided to go big and how the board (and the rest of his quiver) is working so far…
Autumn is a season that bring happiness to many UK windsurfers. Whilst the majority of the population morn the official ending of what has been a pretty long, hot, settled summer the windsurfers among them cast a wry smile at the thought of deep low pressures sweeping in off the Atlantic.
It’s only you and your kit that ultimately experience your exploits and antics first hand, so it is hardly surprising when you bond with this 7ft piece of foam, carbon and fibre glass…
The last few years have seen the Autumn winds stuttering to start, a bit like an old motorbike that has been sat garaged over the summer. September typically gives a brief taster here and there like that motor bike weakly firing for a few strokes before dying away until October sees the bike roar to life for days on end but usually just as those days get too short for the nine to fivers to sail after work.
For some though the Autumn anticipation is not only for the arrival of wind and waves but for another treasure that has travelled even further than those deep atlantic low pressures. Created through tireless research and development in the mid pacific ocean before being brought to life in the midst of magical Thailand. Having been painstakingly crafted they are then carefully packaged for a 10 week ocean voyage which sees them pass some of Europe’s finest windsurfing locations. Finally they arrive in the UK where their journey continues this time by road. On reaching a location in the stunning Yorkshire Dales the pre ordered are separated from the batch and this year those Cornwall bound found their way onto a empty potato lorry heading to Liskeard!
Having been a sponsored rider for over fifteen years now you may think the excitement of new boards arriving each Autumn may have worn off, but it hasn’t. It can be a time of mixed emotions which always comes with change. I, perhaps strangely, see my boards as friends and team mates. After all windsurfing is a individual and sometimes lonely sport which can see you in some pretty sticky situations. It’s only you and your kit that ultimately experience your exploits and antics first hand, so it is hardly surprising when you bond with this 7ft piece of foam, carbon and fibre glass on which you have had great times and more notably some lucky escapes from danger.
Having seen me through a season and not folding in half in revolt at what I put them through I am some what reluctant to part with them. They are close to perfect and I have learnt to live with their flaws, however small. They have served me well and have done nothing but compliment my sailing and hide my own weaknesses. However, I like to think they will go on to do the same for another sailor. Moved onto semi retirement and a more gentle life perhaps.
Ultimately you have to put your trust in the board designer that he hasn’t let you down with the latest release. Thankfully for me I’ve been sponsored by Goya since 2006 so I have ultimate trust that Francisco will produce a board that will do nothing but improve my sailing and make my time on the water more enjoyable. It has been great to have been with the brand since year one and to have seen it grow from strength to strength.
So I get a call to tell me that five new Goya quads have arrived In Cornwall and despite it being my wedding anniversary I get the Ok to nip off and collect them as darkness falls with a promising forecast for the following day. In an attempt to reduce the amount of kit I have to carry in my van I have once again opted for a two board quiver and after much deliberation I opted for an 84L and 104L Quad. Hot shot local sailor Alan Mitchell however had ordered three quads to add to his existing 2013 104L. On arriving at his house all pleasantries were put aside and we got straight down to the task at hand as I enviously examined the glorious curves of his 78L and 94L which he had already strapped and finned up. Two hours later having examined and compared nearly every inch of Goya Quad line up I returned home to a dark house with my 104L strapped and eagerly waiting for it’s first outing come daylight.
The following day I had booked two deliveries of building materials so I was confident it would be windy as I spent the entire day waiting for lorries to arrive. As it turned out luck was in my favour as both lorries like buses arrived at the same time first thing and having lugged 200 concrete blocks across the garden I was free to set off to the beach.
Easterly winds are very deceptive in mid Cornwall and can deliver great conditions on certain areas of coast, whilst elsewhere there is barely a breeze. I headed to Pendower beach, a local favourite of mine, with mixed expectation. I had heard that conditions were improving elsewhere but with no mobile signal or web cams at Pendower you literally never know what is happening until you arrive.
Having dragged my wife’s father away to try to get some photographs on the last day of his holiday I was really hoping that conditions were going to be good enough to at least get out on the 104 quad.
As I crept down the 1 in 5 narrow lane leading to the beach I was relieved to get my first glance of the conditions and to see that it was windy. Better still there were waves and sunshine.
Having already strapped the 104L quad I was already decided that it was going to be my choice for the day. I had never had a 100 L plus wave board and was intrigued to find out how it would compare to the 100L freestyle boards I had always used previously.
I started the session on the 104L quad and 5.3m Banzai four batten which was good if a little too powered up at times so mid way through I quickly rigged a 4.7m for a little more control. Both sails worked really well with the 104L, the volume of which allowed me to make the most out of the smallish weak wind swell. Despite it’s volume the 104L quad turned superbly and kept its speed down the line even in weak wind swell.
Within minutes I knew I could happily box up my 2013 Goya freestyle and would be mailing Francisco direct to congratulate him on his latest creation. The board kept a ear to ear smile on my face for the whole session and made everything so easy it was like sailing on auto pilot.
Now I can’t wait for Autumn to fire up to full rev’s at which point the 84L is going to do some serious damage to some Atlantic waves whether here in Cornwall or perhaps Tiree!