BS: So they are better for early planning, they go faster around a race track than boards from 10 years ago and they are easier to use. What’s next in terms of board development?
ML: When we break the board down we now see much more volume in the tail, again this further aids early planning of the board, and it’s easier to gybe because you are more stable on your feet as you pass through the manoeuvre! For sure the weight is also a really important point, a slalom board weighs approximately 6.3kg these days, which has perhaps been one of the biggest steps in the development. It’s not easy to make the boards light and yet still stable as it effectively bounces over the top of chop rather then sink and plough through it like something from the past. I guess boards from 10 years ago were perhaps 10kg or more.
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Talking of chop, a really good board has to work well in hard chop in much the same way as it does in flat water. We with Fanatic try to test our boards in all kind of conditions, to make the board perfect for all spots around the world! So I guess this is where we are looking at the next step, lighter boards that are still as strong but also making them ever more controllable in real world conditions. As an example we are using, in our slalom boards, cut outs, the cut outs really help us keep the board glued to the water surface when the going gets tough. Further to this we are pushing boundaries of how short and wide we can go. The wider we can make it but still maintain the same top end speed, or perhaps even better it, then the more attractive it becomes (as a board) at taking off after a gybe or keeping us firmly stuck to the deck during the gybe.