So, having picked up the board from Jon in a Sainsbury’s car park just off the M67 I had to wait a couple of weeks to try out the board on the weekend of the Rhosneigr BWA comp. I travelled to West Wales to find some nice cross-shore waves. The wind was a bit iffy and some waist high waves were coming in. I rigged the 4.8 and put K4 rocket fins in the board (15cm up front and 12cm in the trailer). She planed nicely off the beach and popped confidently over the small waves. Coming back in I set up for a wave and started the bottom turn and… nothing, well practically nothing. I’ve never sailed anything so stiff. I persevered and eventually through huge rail pressure could get the bottom turn and then a nice top turn but I was left very underwhelmed wondering what I had spent all that money on.
On the positive side the board was lovely and smooth blasting along, feeling very normal and tracked upwind well. Getting in the rear strap was quite amusing with my foot often going in just ahead of the strap. However, after some adjustment that was fine and again felt comfortable on the nicely formed pads. For just blasting along the board felt remarkably normal, not that short and the lack of tail had no ill effects. The volume distribution makes the board stable at rest and nice in the small jumps I make.
Not to be defeated I changed the fins to my trusted K4 flexies with either a small stubby or rocket in the trailer slot. This made all the difference and revolutionised the riding. I think this is down to a combination of (lack of) technique and preference. Many others love the K4 rockets but I prefer the flexies. I’ve now had the board out in a good variety of conditions and can only say that she is amazing. My standard set up is for 15cm K4 flexies in the front and a 12cm rocket as the trailer fin. I use this combination whether in 5.3 float and ride or in well powered 4.8 weather. I think the board’s ideal sail range for me is 4.8 and 5.3 but I reckon there would be no problem in going up to 5.7 or even 6.0. 4.8 is fine when nicely powered but the sheer width does overpower in the end.