Sunday, 26 April 2009

JP Slalom Boys

From the JP Website:
Antoine Albeau, FRA 192, and Micah Buzianis, USA 34, went to South Africa to test the first generation of slalom boards for next year. Werner Gnigler just finished a set of prototypes and tried out a few additional new shape details.

Check out the Boardseeker interview here:

Select Caspar - First Impressions...

Well I had my first session on the Select Caspar 27 & 25 yesterday and I have got to say that I am very impressed. I arrived at the Goolwa channel to see other sailors on mainly 5.5 to 6.2m sails. The forecast was for winds increasing to 30-40 as they swung from WNW to W to SW. It was already quite square(SW) and small squalls had been hitting during the morning. I ventured to the bank with the CA44, RSR6.7 and the Caspar 27 and waited for one to hit. The guys downwind on the bank were waiting also but I was in the upwind "Box Seat". After a few minutes I saw one touch down, some of the guys went too early, I held back until I could see it hitting the start of the course and off I went.

I didn't need to pinch to the start of the run as the gust had a little more west in it - Perfect. I hit the run and the fin felt perfectly balanced, just enough lift but slippery. I was trying to evaluate the fin more than getting a good run and hugged the bank for most of the run, near the end I bore away slightly and hit 42.55. Many runs followed but the wind was more SW and we had to bear away into the channel. Runs were short and rounding up intense as the chop was about 45cm and about 1m apart. You were right on the tail of the board with the foot of the sail hitting the chop. The fin did not spin out once and sailed upwind very well.

On that first run I got the feeling that the fin just wanted a deeper angle and had a limitless top end. It was very predictable and I wished the wind had stayed W for longer runs to really see what I could get the fin to reach.

I look forward to the next session on the Caspar, in deeper conditions.

GPSSS Ranking for the day:
GPSSS Session Details:

See Caspar's interview on Eric's speedsurfing BLOG:

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Sessions - The best of 08

With the Autumn doldrums upon us I thought I would post my favourite sessions from 08.
We got the forecast 20-35 knots but the course was quite square(~100 degrees)
I had some trouble getting comfortable initially but kept on creeping higher. Beat my PB peak many times over and had a 43.82 10 sec. Its days like these that make to no-fires bearable. Chris.D was flying on his *boards and looked in control from the outset & Sam was also flying and got a few PB's also.
The photos below were taken by Kevin Page(thanks again Kevin!) from the opposite bank.

Me on a downwinder, I think this was just after I got lifted and was regaining control hence the board trim;)

Heading back upwind 1

Heading back upwind 2 - note the bommies in the foreground we usually shred our feet and fin tips on.

Heading back upwind 3

Sam downwind

Sam from a distance.

My other favourite session was when I had a go at the 1 hour and got a PB(25.55). I was the only one out and it was after my Grandmothers funeral. I will have to post the track to GPSSS as it hasn't been added to the top 10!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Caspar vs SL7

I received my first pair of Caspar fins yesterday, a 25 and 27. The finish is very impressive in 09, the body has a light sanding in the direction of flow and the leading and trailing edges are finished nicely.

Comparing the 27cm Caspar with the 27cm SL7 the Caspar has a shorter chord length at the base and a little more rake. The Caspar foil shape also has more volume nearer to the trailing edge and almost a lump as it narrows into the last quarter of the foil profile. It is much more subtle than in the other dedicated assymetrical speed fins that I have seen.
The outlines below are the SL7 in orange and the Caspar in grey.

I took some quick measurements of the two foils.


  • Base chord length - 91.5mm
  • Base chord width - 8.3mm
  • Base chord AR - .091
  • Wide Point - 35%


  • Base chord length - 85.3mm
  • Base chord width - 8.3mm
  • Base chord AR - .097
  • Wide Point - 42.5%
The Caspar wide point moves back slightly down the length of the fin to 48% and the chord AR(Aspect Ratio) drops to .089. The SL7 maintains the chord AR and wide point measurement down the length of the fin.

I am looking forward to testing these babies on my CA44. I anticipate the 27 will work well with the 6.7 RSR and the 25 with the 6.2 Slalom MkIII I have on the way, and possibly my 5m RSR on tighter courses. I also hope to get sizes either side of these 2 once I have had a chance to fully test them.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Boards I have made.

Here are some of the boards I have made over the years. I will give more detailed info on the build steps of the more recent boards soon...

Board 1 - "The Dominator" (1993)

Board 2 - "Exile" (1994)

Board 3 - "HMR 290" (1995)

Board 4 - "HMR Speed" (1996)

Board 5 - "Flow 66" (1998)

Board 6 - "Hyper 111" (2004)

Board 7 - "S66" (2005)

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Ape Index

I remember reading an article years ago on Ape Index - calculated by dividing armspan by height. It is usually around 1 but a positive ape index is considered benoficial for sports such as rock climbing, swimming and windsurfing (speed and slalom). Most people know height (and weight) can be an advantage(for holding down more sail area) but it is less of an advantage if you cannot get outboard to take full advantage of your assets. You can use long lines but unless you can get your shoulders outboard you are not maximising your righting moment. My arm span is 198cm and my height is 193cm so my ape index is 198/193 or 1.026. I have heard it desribed as +5 (span 5cm more than height). Measure you arm span and work out yours, it may be of interest when you are tuning equipment and technique.