Monthly Archive: October 2013

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JP Australia Freestyle Wave 2014 vs Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 2014

13.10.2013 Posted in Boards No Comments
JP Australia Freestyle Wave VS Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave

Since my old JP Australia Freestyle Wave Pro board (2010 model) received structural damages a month back, I have been doing research on which out of the newly launched 2014 boards I should buy as a replacement. Tests of 2014 boards are rather sparse at the moment, since they were launched to the market just a few weeks ago. The magazines that have had a look so far tend to reproduce the exact words from the manufacturers’ catalogues or websites, so they can’t really be trusted as neutral third parties. No head-to-head tests for relevant 2014 models exist yet either.

JP Australia Freestyle Wave 2014 vs Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 2014

Based on a rather thin basis, and without the possibility to test a boards’ performance before purchasing, taking a decision will have to be based on other factors than reviews. Therefore I quickly narrowed my alternatives down to JP Australia Freestyle Wave 2014 vs Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 2014.

These are the two most profiled brands and their lead shapers, Werner Gnigler and Svein Rasmussen, seldom design boards that perform poorly. This does not mean I am claiming there are not other very good boards out there, but buying one of these is the same as being on the safe side.

Looking at their 2014 catalogues, I found that the specs are fairly similar. I originally wanted 82-84 liters, but it seems like I have to settle with a board with a few litres more volume. To be more precise JP’s 85 litres versus Starboard’s 86 litres. A couple of extra litres is not necessarily a bad thing when winter season is coming up and the extra buoyancy is great to offset wet suits full of water, and make the board a bit less of a sinker!

The head to head specifications and details of the boards are as follows:

Board
JP Australia Freestyle Wave Pro
Volume
85 litres
Weight
6.1 kg
Length
234  cm
Width
58.5 cm
Default fin setup
3 fins
Shaper
Gnigler
Price
~1750 €
Board
JP Australia Freestyle Wave FWS
Volume
85 litres
Weight
6.4 kg
Length
234 cm
Width
58.5 cm
Default fin setup
1 fin
Shaper
Gnigler
Price
~1450 €
Board
Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave Carbon
Volume
86 litres
Weight
?
Length
232  cm
Width
59  cm
Default fin setup
1 fin
Shaper
Rasmussen
Price
~1650 €
Board
Starboard Code Freestyle Wave Wood
Volume
86 litres
Weight
?
Length
232  cm
Width
59  cm
Default fin setup
1 fin
Shaper
Rasmussen
Price
?

Due to the conditions of my local spot I want a single-fin setup board, for earlier planing. Three fin setup boards are great in challenging conditions with greater waves, but with such waves being seldom at my local spot I prefer the earlier planing options. Besides if I wanted a board for waves I would have bought a pure wave board, not an all-round board like the freestyle wave boards are.

I must admit that the JP Pro was my original first preference due to being very satisfied with my previous board. But buying a separate fin and customizing it to a 1 fin setup makes it a rather pricy option.

Besides the fin setup, my second criteria was how the different materials actually perform. I love ultra light boards and the wood versions tend to be slightly heavier. As for Starboard’s Technora edition (not listed here) I really do not know what to expect.

So based on the above considerations, and the fact that my predetermined favourite the JP also comes in a FWS edition with a 1 fin setup, I have taken my final choice:

Conclusion: The Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave Carbon 86 litres is the winner!

Hopefully I can test my new Starboard in a couple of weeks time. Needs to be ordered though, as my local retailer didn’t have it in stock.

Catch you on the water!
/Alex

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The Red Bull Storm Chase missions – organised #insanity

4.10.2013 Posted in Windsurfing clips No Comments

The Red Bull Storm Chase - mission #1 Ireland

I follow the Red Bull Storm Chase missions with fascination. I can’t imagine myself going windsurfing in force 10 and beyond, but these guys do. The heights of their jumps are unbelievable. Everything about it is #insane

3 fat storms above 10 Beaufort, 10 sailors, and the entire planet as a stage. These are the breathtaking ingredients for the most challenging windsurfing contest of all time. To guarantee raging conditions, Red Bull Storm Chase is mobile to the max, with two waiting periods and just 48 hours to mobilize competitors and global contest crew on-site before the storm strikes.

If you haven’t seen the videos yet yet, here are the clips from the two first rounds. They are a must to see:

Red Bull Storm Chase: Mission 1, Ireland

Watch the clip here, or take a look beneath the embedded video to find the YouTube link.

Here is the YouTube link for the Red Bull Storm Chase mission 1 to Ireland.

Red Bull Storm Chase: Mission 2, Tasmanina

Watch the clip here, or take a look beneath the embedded video to find the YouTube link.

Here is the YouTube link for the Red Bull Storm Chase mission 2 to Tasmania.

Red Bull Storm Chase: Mission 3, destination yet to be decided

The Red Bull Storm Chase is currently on a break until October the 6th, due to PWA wave events. Possible destinations for the 3rd mission are: Japan, Iceland, USA, Spain and France.

I must say I am looking forward to the continuation! #insanity

/Alex

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Is windsurfing with a sprained ankle a good idea?

1.10.2013 Posted in Windsurfing blog No Comments
Is windsufing with a sprained ankle a good idea?

My hypothesis:

If I patch and support my sprained ankle enough, it will be okay to go go windsurfing!

To spend 2 weeks injured with a sprained ankle is rather boring. When in addition you are missing good wind and super wave conditions it becomes unbearable. So finally being able to walk almost normally without pains, it was time to test how the ankle would perform on the water.

I started by putting a supporting bandage forming a “number eight” around my ankle. Afraid that it would fall off after a while on the water I added a few lengths of the windsurfers number one utility tool, the duct tape, to secure it. Ready to go!

The conditions were more than good. A nice on shore wind of force 5 combined with some pretty decent waves, bore the promise of a fun day on the water. After a couple of tacks, passing the breakers and the unstable wind near the beach without problems I was in the zone. My ankle seemed to have taken no damage so far, and frankly it seemed to work like before the injury.

Unfortunately, and not so surprising, windsurfing with a sprained ankle did not feel too good. Although I got my injured foot in the straps with little effort, it turned out that doing the small movements and fine adjustments you do all the time as normal was rather difficult. It might have been 80% mentally caused, but I felt I needed to place my foot in another angle in the strap to be sure it would be alright. To compensate my other foot automatically took a non-natural stance, with the effect that my whole body position was wrong.

Going high speed was scary, and being airborne was just out of the question. So the whole session turned out to be a session of what I like to call “chicken sailing” – where you do more to avoid waves and gathering speed, rather than going for it. Typically this happens when you are scared, and I guess it was down to that. I was scared that my ankle would not be able to stand the impact of landing a jump or nose-into-the-water catapult. I returned to the shore after 30-40 minutes, not feeling very excited.

My conclusion:

It was okay to go windsurfing with a sprained ankle, but unfortunately it took most of the fun out of the experience.

/Alex