Summer Options

Boardseeker
Summer Options

For those of us who don’t live in the Canaries, the light wind months are upon us! But don’t despair; just because you can’t get going on your 6m shouldn’t mean you give up on windsurfing completely over the summer. There are loads of kit options to get you out onto the water.

Yes, you won’t be planing but who cares – you’re still windsurfing. So this summer, think outside the box and get into light wind sailing. Cruising around the bay, long distance sailing, and mini-fishing expeditions or sharing the joy of learning to windsurf with your nearest & dearest. It sure beats sitting on the beach or worse still, shopping.

Note: These are all 2007 boards but there is a vast array of second hand light wind kit out there so don’t think you have to spend a small fortune to have some fun this summer!

 
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Some ill informed folk might just call these beginner boards but that’s not true, as we found out last year when we took two of them cruising around the west coast of Ireland, caught mackerel supper off the North Wales coast, learnt to heli tack with our eyes shut and, of course, taught a whole family to sail in one day! Multi use, well priced and almost indestructible…it’s the funboard!

 
 
Fanatic Viper £649. This is one of the best funboards on the market. Why oh why don’t they make it 3kgs lighter and improve the fittings to also compete in the freeride market
     
 
Mistral N-Trance £649. Mistral are one of the oldest companies in windsurfing. Back then, they produced boards that were nearly four meters long and about one foot wide.  Now they are nearly four meters wide and a foot long!
 
     
 
 
F2 Discovery £649. What is there to discover about this board? Well, it’s very stable and the girl in the photo is Laird Hamilton’s daughter.
 
Package Deals: The above three boards can come as a package for £999. This includes North sail, boom, mast and other accessories.
 
     
 
Naish Kailua £659. Robbie Naish’s board of choice. Go to www.naishsails.com for more info.
 
     
 
 
RRD Easy ride L/M £569. Italian styling at it’s best – we love the tangerine colour! Go to www.robertoriccidesigns.com
 
 

You buy a race board if you want to race – right? Technically yes, but that doesn’t stop you using it outside the race course. Messing around on these machines well definitely improve your stance and upwind sailing. You’ll be tuning the leeward rail of your board with fine big toe pressure before you know it. You can use nearby swimmers for mark rounding practice, as well as spearing a flounder or two with the extra long daggerboard and fin.

 
 
Bic Techno £630. A board for young whipper snappers who fancy standing on that Olympic podium in 2012. Go to: equipment for the horses’ mouth verdict.
 
Mistral One Design £999. Tremendous amounts of pain & suffering has gone into making these beasts go just that extra half a knot quicker. Just ask any of the old Olympic squads about there 4 hour long pumping sessions and they will probably run to the nearest wave beach screaming, no more IMCO!! Now it is no longer the Olympic board, the IMCO is searching for a new role in life. Go on, give it a home.
 
     
 
Starboard Phantom Hybrid £749. Those busy bees at Starboard are never happy with their board range. Must add more boards, must cover every possible wind strength and they have gone and done it again.  This time with a long board. So here we have one of the first ‘new’ longboards on the market. The hybrid is just the ticket for some summer cruising.
 
     
 
 
RS:X £1200 Get your wee laddy to learn on one of these and he could be bringing you home some medals and plenty of local paper coverage. However, the pleasure of sailing the RS:X board has made some Olympic contenders wish for the good ole IMCO days. Yes, it has had a poor start with bits falling off just before crucial races and costs that could cripple Sir Alan Sugar, but these are surely teething problems. Note: you will need to invite your extended family to the beach to help you lift it into the water.
 
 
F2 Lighting £1199. One of the many Hybrid boards to appear on the market. What is a hybrid? Basically all the boards that lost out to the RS:X board in the Olympic Trials, but they are pretty cool for big sail, high speed blasting, as well as non-planing days. Go to:
www.f2-surf.com

Oh yes, forget freestyle, forget speed, forget super X, the next big thing to happen to windsurfing is the return of long boarding and unlike super x which was so appealing that not even the pros could be bothered at the last event in 2006, the long board could just be the ticket to get people sailing in ALL wind strengths. It was huge, in fact, long boarding was windsurfing. Total beginners to Olympic racers to rail riding freestylers could all improve & enjoy on the same board on the same day. The vision is that every garage will have one, ready to be dusted off come the light wind months. Be the first to catch on…

     
 
 
Exocet Kona £TBC. Unique concept, unique board. View the interview with designer Patrice Belbeoch.
     
 
Starboard Serenity £899. This is what happens when you give designers a free rein. Looks like a kayak, sails like a dinghy but what other board can be so much fun in 2 knots of breeze?!
 

 
     
 

Starboard Stand Up paddle board £TBC & Mistral Stand Up board + paddle £849. This is what happens when you spend too long on the Island of Maui. The swaying palm trees eventually drive you mad and you come up with a vision that what a windsurfer needs is a paddle board. Ideal for commuting to work once the English Channel rises by 6 inches but in the mean time enjoy looking like a total plonker at your local cross onshore, knee high wave shingle beach. You can attach a sail on it, but then why not buy a totally radical product built especially for that purpose – a windsurfing board!

 
     
 
 
Starboard Tandem Gemini £999. On the other hand, purchasing a tandem this summer will be the best fun that money can buy without visiting Soho. You’ll laugh until your lungs ache, you’ll knock yourself about a lot and you’ll wonder why everyone thinks they are easy to sail. In planing winds, they are anything but. Light winds however and the Gemini will be the perfect summer love match.

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