Last summer I asked Jeff Henderson to design me a custom 5.0.
If you guys don't remember the discussion, here's a link that leads to the three posts that talk about it.
The sail was ready in 2010, but the factory forgot to include it in a major shipment. That meant I had to wait a few more months, but it has now finally arrived and I immediately put it in the water at Hookipa yesterday.
Here's how it looks.
As agreed, everything that is on the sail is 100% dictated by functionality, not by the look. In fact, the look is all but sexy, honestly.
But I really don't care about it, since what counts is how it feels/performs. And I'm really happy about that.
First let me state that, at this stage of my evolution as a windsurfer, 80% of my opinion about a sail is about its weight. A light sail makes everything easier for me, especially in those super light wind conditions that I really dig.
So, the sail is very light and I'm very happy.
But I'm happy also about the rest of it. The dacron panels by the mast give it that touch of softness that I like so much in the Superfreak.
But the combination of the full battens (the SF has two battens that don't go all the way to the mast) and the stiffer more responsive material (light weight xply leech panels and thin monofilm window) give it that low end power grunt and increase in responsiveness I was looking for.
The price you pay for that is the overall comfort level. I didn't actually notice much of that while sailing, but I did notice that I was more tired than usual at the end of my two sessions.
I always say that the SF is the cadillac of the sails. Well, this one is not anymore. But it's still more comfortable than a full monofilm sail. So, it's the perfect compromise I was looking for.
It can only be beaten (in my very personal criteria) by an even lighter sail. And Jeff already claims that he can make it even lighter now... that's good news!
As usual Jimmie Hepp was at work on the rocks and he took these action shots. Here's his FB gallery of the day.
Thank you Jeff, I'm stoked!
PS. For the Maui windsurfers. The new swell is 2.4 feet @15 sec from 328 at 6am at the NW buoy. Direction is good, but I'm afraid it won't show up in Maui until late today... but tomorrow should be a cracker!
PPS. Kelly Slater won the first contest of the 2011 ASP season. He's 10 times world champion, 39 years old, and still surfs WAY better than anyone else. I honestly don't think anyone else dominated a sport the way he's doing.
PPPS. Keith Taboul promo of the American Windsurfing Tour.