Friday, October 05, 2007

Testing frenzy

Oh boy... I'm quite beat up!

The staff of Windsurfing magazine is in Maui testing a bunch of wave and freestyle/wave boards between 80 and 90 liters.
They asked me if I wanted to take part to the test and of course I accepted with enthusiasm... I love testing boards!

They have quite a good testing system, according to which each tester has to try each board at least three times and fill in a form after every single test.
When I started yesterday, there were 7 boards to try. Well, a few days will do it... I thought.

Today, every time I came out of the water to switch to another board, they were unwrapping a newly arrived board. When I left the beach around 4pm they had something like 16!!! That's scary many...
Let's see, if I want to ride them 30 minutes per test, that makes 30x16x3=1440 minutes, alias 24 hours. If I test 2.5 hours a day that'll be 9.6 days... man, that's a lot!

In this photo we have Dave (tester), Josh (managing editor), Cat (cute testeress) and Eddy (editor).


Lil forecast. The wind is supposed to get a little lighter next week (god, I hope so!), eventually very light around Thursday, when a north swell will hit and become pretty big during the weekend.
Overall, it looks to me like a turn towards more wintery conditions... I really hope so, I can't wait to surf some glassy ones! It feels like the wind has been blowing forever and my body needs a break from windsurfing...

PS. Don't even try to ask me feedbacks about the boards... they had me swear to keep my thoughts top secret!

27 comments:

Pete said...

In your opinion is there still a big difference between a custom and a production board???

This is just a general question not linked with a brand... ;-)

Anonymous said...

How about some more pictures of the cute testerettes, with close-ups of their butts, and a rating chart. Width, length, curve, bounce, overall impression.

jeff E of the Great White North said...

mand i'd love to guest test everytime i am in maui, i try as many boards as i can within reason the 1st week probaly go thru 8 board ( which isnt too many skiiping pure freestyle and slalom ) then i pick what i like best for the second week. problem is renting from multiple places is expensive and some times you cant get the boards you want..

Anonymous said...

We are glad to have Giampaolo testing - now there's THREE handsome italians on the test!

- Josh

Sharon said...

ah-ha, but who's testing the Italians?

cammar said...

Pete,
it depends on the spot and the person body/skill the custom is shaped for. For example, a custom shaped for a light expert sailor for Hookipa will probably work well only for him and only there...
Wonna have a go on Kauli's custom 7.2s? Good luck with that!
Production boards are designed to work well everywhere and for everybody... so, yes, there CAN BE a big difference.

Now, said this, a couple of weeks ago I had a go for an hour in idillic light wind, glassy, waist to chest high waves on a Starboard Evo 74 at Sprecks and I was suprised by how good of a production board it is...
And the guy that was testing it and let me try it, ended up buying a Goya instead because he liked that one even better!
So, these days there are some good shapes also among the production boards.
How would have the Evo performed at Hookipa? I don't really know... I'm not good enough to tell...
Ok, this was my best try to answer your really good question... how did I do?

Anon, I'm working on that, but I'm afraid I'll have to keep that secret too.

Jeff, that is really smart. Yes, if you can afford to pay a little more, you can pretty much try all brands touring all the shops in Kahului...

Josh, I kind of guessed that Sampiero and Patricelli were not Irish last names...

Sharon, if you like you can submit your application at Kanaha...

Pete said...

Great answer Cammar ;-)

But beside an individual shape for your skills and your conditions are there other remarkable advantages like...?

Weight (have heard the quatros are not super light)?

Durability (important at Hookipa...)?

Stiffniss (a friend told me it's a much more direct feeling. especially when bottom turning.)?

cammar said...

A custom board, by definition, will be built according to the client's specifications.

Normally those SHOULD include very important details like the number of layers of fiberglass on the top and the bottom and the weight of the fiberglass.
This will influence the three things you mention.
So I can't give you a general answer, because there isn't one.

My custom Quatro is extremely light, so I assume that it's conversely fragile. But I don't do crazy jumps and so far so good...

For surfboards you can also choose the kind of PU foam, not sure how it works with styrofoam...

So, the right question could be:
assuming the same number and weight of fiberglass layers and the same kind and thickness of sandwich, what would the difference be between a production and a custom board in terms of the characteristics you mention?

I think they would be just the same... but I don't know enough about it... never been at the cobra factory, I don't know how they build boards over there...

Pascal, if you read this, do you have anything to add?

P.W. Herman said...

Is this some kind of joke? Who in their right mind would ride an 80-liter or 90-liter wave board?

Nelisblog said...

@ PW Herman..
if you weigh more than 85 kg and want to have fun from 17 knots and a 5.8... maybe?
How long has it been that you have visited the local surfshop or the www?
Or do you only posses a 69 liter waveboard and ur largest sail is a 4.7? ;-)
You must be Jonas Cheballos his lost brother from Pozo!! ;-)

cammar said...

Agree with Nelisblog.
Weight of the sailor is surely a factor.
Wind speed is another.
But let's not forget sailor skill.
The better the sailor, the less board and sail he/she will need. But since not everybody is Josh Angulo or Matt Pritchard (two big guys both very good light wind wave sailors), big wave boards make a lot of sense in light wind.

The "insane" thing is that, due to the actual wind conditions, we're testing them with 4.2s and 4.7s... but hopefully later this week the wind is going to be lighter...

Robin said...

Have to agree with Nelis and G.P. there. Unfortunately not everywhere in the world we get perfect conditions thrown at us everyday. At 88 kg you have the choice to stay at the beach or opt for larger kit. Saves a whole lot of frustrating days waiting on the beach and sailing the big kit can be fun. At the moment I'm having a Witchcraft 104 built (look 'em up: witchcraft.nu) wich is massive at 64.5 cm wide (40 cm o.f.o.) and still a proper waveboard in my opinion. No doubt it will be a board that I will (have to) use very often. What would you rather do: sailing or moping on the beach?! (and yes for sup 12 knots I use my SUP which is a blast, or is this not a waveboard either?)

Anonymous said...

Ok everybody, calm down, no need to get defensive at Pee Wee's comment!

You're fat, you can't sail worth s***, but you have money to spend. Of course the industry should be catering to you! Read the reviews, and buy yourself one of these over-priced over-sized rafts, so you can ride around on it like a tub on a tub. While you're at it, buy yourself a SUP board, too. Nothing can make you look better than an extra 100 liters of flotation. And slap an 8.0 or 9.0 wave sail on it, if that does not get you going, nothing else will.

It's all about having fun, right? So, let's all have fun. You can have fun sailing around on your ineffectual toys. Me and Pee Wee, we'll have fun watching and LOFAO. And the gear makers, if only they could sell enough of this stuff, they would laugh all the way to the bank.

Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

custom boards...

hi cammar,

there are many more differences between a custom and a production boards:

- construction choice (weight)
- individual airbrush
- stance + spread (especially useful for people with huge or tiny feet)
- choice of single or double inserts
- outline/shape
- rocker line
- exact volume

etc. etc...

cammar said...

Hi Robin,
I'm sure you'll let us know how that board goes on the HSM forum...
Shortly I should put my hands on a pretty interesting big and supershort wave board... stay tuned.

Anon 1, your comment is written in a way that doesn't deserve a reply.

Anon 2, thanks!

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