OTC testing times

I've just returned from a very chilled trip to el medano. This was possibly the easiest windsurfing trip I have ever been on, including going to my local break (or not as recently), the gnarly wave location that be Southbourne. Anyway back to the trip. Liz found a ryanair return to TFS for £70, going from monday and returning on Friday of half term, what an amazing deal. We also made good choice of accomadation, right on the beachfront over the boardwalk in El Medano. The holiday would have been even more of a bargain had any of my so called friends worked for a living and had enough money to come along! As it was, it came to 150 for flight and accom for 4nights. So, 10 mins from home to airport, the new Bournemouth International, then priority boarding and online checking got us past the heard of wild cattle trying to get a seat on the plane, then straight out with hand luggage (I decided to hire from the OTC) and 11 Euro and ten minutes later we are sitting on our balcony overlooking some great swell lines (which slowly dissappeared over the next few hours).

Testing the kit.
I am very fortunate to be sponsored by two of the leading brands, Fanatic and Simmer. Both of which always seem to come out tops on tests! But apart from being involved in a bit of testing with Boardseeker and Boards, I never really sail other kit, well why would I? But what are all these other boards like, quads, tris, bi's and all that. The OTC is brill, its got all this kit in, you just rock up ask Amy Carter or Graham Woods to get you some stuff, order them around a bit ( a bit like the old days when I coached them) and off you go. It's a great deal at the centre. Just 20 euros an hour at the most expensive rate, or 55 Euro's for half a day to try the latest state of the art kit. When you think a new board is £1400, it's well worth doing before departing with your hard earned. Tris, Ben and Adam are all great fun and run a well organised centre.

So what did I sail..
Well I wanted to see if I had the best kit for the job, as I am biased and sponsored you might want to take the rest with a pinch of salt!
First up Starboard Quad 81 and Gaastra Manic 4.7
That is one lovely sail!! a bit soft for me, but was a delight! Not as grunty or rotational as my icons, which I prefer - but for someone a bit lighter or who likes a softer feel!
The Quad was actually really nice, really easy to sail, flies upwind and really comfortable. It carves the wave really well and is great fun to waveride. Not skatey or loose in anyway like a twin. You engage a turn, you keep with it dont change your mind, while it keeps the power on - very dependable, I would say its not as exciting as the JP or Fanatic twin, as a personal opinion.
Next up Severne Blade 5.3 and Witchcraft Chakra. I don't think I am man enough for the Blade! A powerhouse wavesail, definately one for the slalom sailors - it couldnt be more different from the manic! I did not get on at all with the witchcraft! I honestly did not know what it was trying to achieve! After sailing all the way upwind to the wave break, which it does very well with its three fins, I wanted to sail straight back down again. Some people apparently love this board! It took so much effort to backside turn unlike my fanatic tiwn and freewave 95, then the bottom turn it quivered all over the shop and lost power way sooner than a normal freewave board, it's wierd. Super wide, bulbous round nose and rails, then razor sharp rails, plus 3 fins. Too many extreme design characteristics in one board - still some people love them!
Simmer Iron - Great sail, more rigid than the Icon, definately for power people! Nice and light though.
Goya Eclipse (sail) really nice and light, very impressed.
Goya One - very comfortable, early planing and a bit more traditional in feel than the Kode ore Freewave, good allround but more emphasis to waves than Kode.
Kode 94, was very surprised and impressed by this board, again it was really good, and felt almost the same as my Freewave, maybe a touch wider so a bit more drive needed in bottom turn, plus has a US box - whether that is a positive I don't know.
JP twin 81, loose goose, fun! Similar to 86 twin, but a bit wider!
Fanatic 86 twin - yup love the slashy nature of this board!

Also did some freeride kit - the futura is a mans freeride board, I thought I was on a world cup slalom rocket machine!

So after that pretty longwinded blog! I love my kit!! I don't think I would change any of what I sailed for what I currently own (I would say that!), the icons are the goldilocks of sails for me, and have Fanatic ever made a bad wave board -? However all the kit was really nice - apart from one I wasnt so keen. If I had to choose apart from the Simmer and Fanatic and go for a second best option - maybe the jp and the goya eclipse! I really liked the quad, but in quad mode I don't think it is versatile enough for the randomness of southcoast waves.

El medano is cheap (beer is only 1.5 euro's from the bar), food is fantastic. Shame I couldnt sail for longer and experience some of the balistic wind apparently on offer. I seem to miss it everytime I visit! Being so easy to get too from Bournemouth, I hope next time will be completely on the money!

Comments

  1. Clyde - Can you elaborate any further on how Eclipse feels compared to the Icon (trying to put your sponsored bias aside!)?? They are both on my shopping list for 2011!
    cheers!

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  2. Well the icon has more rotation, spring and pull so you feel like you have more feed back. The eclipse feels really light in the hands and looks it rigs without much rotation, yet it gets going and delivers a good bit of grunt. It's not as pumpable, but really pleasant. From what they said it doesn't have the range of the icon, especially at the top end.

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  3. Thanks Clyde - appreciate the feedback!

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  4. Yes the OTC is a super easy set up and it's great fun to try out the kit. I'm off next month again. Did they have the Carbon Art boards in stock and did you try them??

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  5. they had some carbon arts just in, I didn't get the chance to try them though.

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