Windsurfing

Before I start, I regularly take pictures at my local windsurfing spot the Noord AA in. The pictures are published on this website and are free to download.

You can access the galley through this link

The Ten Cate days

Windsurfing has changed dramatically over the years. I have been windsurfing since 1982 and I learned on a Ten Cate Spacer. This board was 3.80 Meters long and weighed about 18Kg. At that time I was 14 years old this board was not very ease to handle. It was made from Poly Ethurane and although heavy, it was virtually indestructable.

After a few years I was able to buy a Ten cate Fun Fan. This board was mutch shorter at 3.30 meters and at 12kg a lot lighter. With this board I was able to learn planing, gybing and using the footstraps.

The BIC and Fanatic days

Around 1986 things started to change a lot. Modern materials meant that boards became lighter and faster. Most early brands stopped building boards like Ten Cate and Wayler. New brands stepped in like F2 and Bic. Bic was well known for their sandwich boards at a resonable price. They also had fantastic graphical designs by Mike Eskimo.

My first Bic was a Bic Adagio. At 105 liters and only 7 kg a real fun board. This board was very fast an just kept going. Gybing was not the best feature of this board. It was a bit of a hand full to handle. I sailed it on a flatwater lake, where it was at its best.

Around 1991 I replaced the Ten cate for a Fanatic Ultra Rabbit. It was a 140L board and 3.15 in lenght. Combined with a Neil Pryde V8 7.5 Streetracer I could surf at 14 knots wind. This meant I could surf most of the summer days.

Finally a F2 Xantos

Around 1996 I replaced the Fanatic with a F2 Xantos 3.10. Windsuring was becoming a very specialist sport and interest of the general public in windsurfing was falling. Most brands were having a hard time. The Xantos was a totally new concept. It was designed by Werner Gnigler (now JP-australia) and was all about easy planing and having fun. The Xantos was a huge sucess beacuse it appealed to the normal weekend windsurfer. Also the Xantos was extremely easy to surf and also a quick planing board. Combined with sails with low end power,like the Neil pryde WC Racing or the V8 Streetracer you could always sail.

Major shock, from a Xantos to a wide body board

In 1999 windsurfing was in for another revolution. Until then boards had more or less arrow shapes and outlines. Starboard was a new brand in the market, and came up with a revolutionairy design. Their new board was more egg shaped and was extremely wide and extremely short. At fist everyone was very sceptical, but the new concept proved to be a big hit. Now every board is shaped like that. In 2005 I descided to sell the aging F2 Xantos. I got a 2005 Mistral Explosion 144 and a new 2006 Neil Pryde V8 8.0. This was going te be my lightwind set and also a fresh start to my windsurfing sport. I have taken some nice pictures of the Xantos from 1995 and the Explosion of 2005. it is interesting to see how different these boards are.

The mistral was a fine board, but I have had two mistakes:

  • I took the heavy version, because I thought it would be more durable
  • I forgot that I had been windsurfing for a long time
  • This meant that after only 1 year I was already in for a better board. The board was a bit heavy at 9.8kg and I really wanted a more sporty board. I I have bought the more sporty an lighter LTD version I would have kept it longer.

    From Mistral to JP-australia

    I was looking for a board to replace my Mistral Explosion 144. I was looking for a 75cm wide board at about 130L volume. I would be used from 10-20knots of wind (3-4BF) with my Neil Pryde V8 8.0 and V6 6.5. I was looking at JP's freeracer, but in 2007 they had a new board the Supersport 136. Fortunately someone at my local spot had it very early in the season (Okt 2006) and I was able to try it. I was sold right away. At 75kg I am a light surfer and the early planing capabilities, light weight and sporty ride was just what I was looking for.

    I was trying to keep to the 1 board and 2 sails concept. But my skills and enthusiasm was getting so high that hated the fact that I was not able to sail above 5BF. So I started looking for a second board around 110L and a 5.5 sail. The board was the easiest one to find. Although it took me some time. I descided to buy a second hand board because I would use it only a few times. I was originally looking for a Supercross 105 or a X-cite Ride 110L. But then I found a mint used Supecross 116. It looked brand new and at 650 Euro it was a it above budget. But because it was amost brand new, if figured the extra money would be well spend.

    I already had a Neil pryde V8 8.0 and a Neil pryde V6 6.5. Now I wanted a 5.5 meter to complement the set. Neil Pryde however thinks that everybody is 90kg and has no cambered 5.5 sails. They have a Saber 5.7 as the smallest size, but that is too close to my V6. All other small sails are wave or cross over sails. So for the first time in my life I have bough a different brand a Gaasta Swift sail. Fortunately it was on sale and together with a matching mast it was about the price of a single V8 sail.

    The sail itself is pretty good. On details it is not as good as a Neil pryde sail. But on the water is only a bit softer and a bit less stable than the V6. so for the price this is an excellent deal.

    Neil Pryde V8 8.0m2 Neil Pryde v6 6.5m2

    Gaatsra Swift 5.5m2

    Note: In 2008 Neil Pryde finally has a V6 and the RS:Slalom in small sizes like a 5.5.
      Eelco van Vliet, 2008