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Mistral Competition SST

Okay, so I purchased a Mistral Competition SST in March of 2015. The BIG question is WHY ?? I already have a BIC Dufour Wing , Fanatic Ultra CAT and a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR. How can there be a need or desire for this additional 1980's longboard ?? 

Perhaps it is as Georges of the OKA jungle says, " Joe is a collector of old windsurf equipment and should start a museum!" Actually there is a little more logic than that :-) 

I am looking for the best performing longboard for my heavyweight carcass. All that I read suggests I go for the biggest and most volume longboard I can get my hands on. Ideally that would be a modern SB Phantom 380 or Exocet 380. However, those boards cost about $3000 new and NEVER show up on the used market...And so, I bought a used JP SLW92 in 2014 and now a used Mistral Comp SST in 2015.

The BIC Dufour is well, OLD, but historique. The CAT has seen better days and so the real comparison is Mistral Equipe I versus the COMP SST. 

Fortunately I have the 82 83 84 Mistral brochure with both boards listed / discussed 
inside. Here I present the COMP SST from the brochure: 



The main differences between the two(2) boards are:

different fins - race fin on Equipe ?
tr-concave bottom on COMP vs four on the Equipe
both are 372 cm long, but COMP is 70 cm wide and Equipe 65
Equipe has rubber gasket and centre board protrudes through deck slightly
COMP has NO gasket and does NOT protrude through deck - thicker board
COMP is 230 liters and Equipe I is 210

These differences seem almost insignificant, but the width and volume are supposed to help both newbies and heavyweights ...

As the brochure suggests: the COMP SST is the successor to the legendary SuperLight. I read an article where someone felt that this board was one of the reasons for the demise in popularity of windsurfing !! Everyone was out having fun on the One Design SuperLight and then this board showed up and just blew everyone away !!! Let me see if i can find it ...
Ah, took me a while, but here it is:
http://www.lbwindsurfing.com/forum/default-topic/257-original-mistral-competition
and here is the quote:
"I remember that board well. At the spot where I was sailing (inland, so no wave or custom boards), the Comp was the very start to the downward trend this wonderful sport has been in the last 20 years."
In summary what he is saying is this is when it became an "equipment race". Who had the latest n greatest as opposed to who could sail the OD/OneDesign the most efficiently. Now what KONA is doing is allowing sail size based on sailor weight to even out the playing field.

Back to the board... This one has a badly done nose repair that needs some touch-up, a crack in the centerboard housing and the fin seems difficult to remove. So, I will leave the fin, touch up the casing and nose, remove the foot straps and give it a whirl. Once comfortable with the board, I will compare it to first the Equipe and then the CAT and Dufour. Since I like to use shortforms for the board names, what should I call this board ?? Either COMP or SST... Since SST is just the construction , like LCS and XR on the Equipe, I will call it the COMP ...

Am looking forward to trying it out...
But this weekend I hope to get out on the ice one last time !!!

INDEX 

Popular Posts/Articles:
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
BIC Dufour Wing & Starting Windsurfing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html 
Tabou Rocket 125: tabou-rocket.html 
History of Windsurfing: history-of-windsurfing.html
Heavyweights: heavyweights-and-windsurfing.html
Physics of Windsurfing: jim-drakes-windsurf-physics.html  
Fanatic Shark: fanatic-shark.html
Formula and Long Boards: formula-boards-and-longboards.html
Light Wind Section: light wind section.html

Getting Started: 
How I started Winter Sailboarding: how-i-started-winter-windsurfing.html
How I Started Shortboarding how-i-started-shortboarding.html
How YOU can start windsurfing: how-you-can-start-windsurfing.html
 
Parts of a Sail/Windsurf board discussed:
Sailboards sailboards.htm
Fins: fins.html and how to repair them ...
Sails: sails.html                                         
Sail Materials: sail-materials.html                                 
Masts: masts.html
Mast Bases: mast-bases.html
BOOM: boom.html                                
Accessories: accessories.html

My Boards and Reviews:
AHD FF 160 liter: how-i-started-shortboarding.html  
BIC Dufour Wing: my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html
BIC Techno Formula: bic-techno-formula.html 
Fanatic BEE 124 LTD: fanatic-bee-124-ltd.html
Fanatic Ultra CAT: fanatic-ultra-cat.html
MS-2 vs Pursuit: maui-sails-pursuit-vs-ms-2.html 
Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR: mistral-equipe-i-lcs-xr.html
HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5: HSM SPF 8.5.html
JP SuperLightWind/SLW: JP SuperLightWind

Health & Safety:
Safety First: safety-first.html
BEE stuff: bees.html

Other:
Windsurfing in Montrealwindsurfing-in-montreal.html
Original Journal Entries: original-journal-entries.html 
New journal entries: new-journal-entries.html
Newer journal entries: newer journal entries.html

Bloggingblogging.html




The Ideal Winter Windsurf Quiver

As I live in the land of ice and snow, this is NOT your traditional windsurf quiver. Nor are the boards your traditional windsurf boards. Luckily windsurf bases, extensions, masts, booms and sails are the same windsurf sails.

It took me some time to realize it was practically impossible to have one sled do it all. Let's start with the ice... There are MANY levels of ice compatibility. Here in Montreal we rarely get smooth or black ice. The iceratz of the New England states have a rating system for ice conditions. Let me see if I can find it ....

It is from Jeff Brown, who is a speed maniac of the iceratz fame and i will post some of his videos here too...

Grade 1 = 2 to 4 inch drifts - sailable, but ...
Grade 2 = Corn Snow Surface requires big winds
Grade 3 = Mixed Bag of rough ice, deep snow, etc
Grade 4 = Hard Ice with snow patches which can be sailed through or around
Grade 5 = Hard Snow Ice with random lumps
Higher than this ... it is quick smooth !!!
Grade 6 =Smooth White Ice - snow slushed n froze
Grade 7 = Hard Grey of Black Ice with random roughness
Grade 8 = smooth White Ice - has many air bubbles and degrades quickly with melting
Grade 9 = downgraded Black Ice - may have hit melting and gone back down
Grade 10 = Black Ice and perfect conditions

here is a PDF with these details ...
https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=24A66D5FF157BE39&resid=24A66D5FF157BE39%21342&app=WordPdf

So, for the ideal ice conditions, one do people use ??

There are many variations of what is called the Hiberna sled.

image from chillstylestore.com
It is basically a board on blades. People make many variations of this. Underneath is a mechanism or setup like the skateboard trucks. This allows the board to be tilted and the kit will turn. People practice laydown jibes, duck jibes, etc , etc...



The snowfer with the ice blades is supposed to be good on ice too, but since I will discuss it later on, I will just give it a mention here...

Also, how often does one have ice with NO snow ??
Or even smooth ice for that matter...

Here is it VERY rare...

Thus the next set of conditions seems to be the less than ideal. One has  the lake or river surface, but the ice is not perfect or there is packed snow no good for blades... Sounds like we never get better than a grade 3 here !!!

Long angled skis seem to work best for these kind of conditions.
These are the types of boards used.
Maneuverability seems to start to suffer, but I have seen and heard of people jibing their sleds...
George says he has NO issues duck jibing his WindSki which comes from around the 80's. His skis are also angled the other way ....
My homemade sled

George of Rhode Island has a WindSki

























For a while I was trying this sled which is based on Claude Belanger's and Langis Caron's, but I took off the front snowboard - felt i did not need it and Claude was shortening his models too ...


Feodor of Scandinavia says there is a Russian influence for wider sleds:



So far we have seen ice can have many conditions and snow starts to complicate issue. Obviously there are many types of snow depending on temperature and depths depending on the winter.


George has recently purchased a Snowfer and feels it works great in deep snow !! I was somewhat surprised because I had heard this model was good on the ice and not so much on the deep snow ...
He has one board for each of the conditions mentioned... deep snow, ideal ice conditions and less than ideal ice with perhaps a little snow ...



Unfortunately there are NOT any videos on the NET with people windsurfing in DEEP snow. For me that means 6 inches and more snow...

Don't know what this photo op was all about ??

Natashamagazine.com
Wanted to post a snowfer video just the same ... butt found none #$%^&* that were acceptable !!!

No matter what people are doing - how successful, how fast/slow, it is FUN to be out and testing the conditions :-)


There is actually an organization that holds races annually. 
It is called WISSA and stands for Winter Ice and Snow Sailing. 
Okay, it is actually World Ice n Snow Sailing :-) 

Since the subject of racing has come up - speed is of the essence. Check out Jeff Brown doing some record breaking speed runs in 2015 !!!



Did not discuss the other windski which was one ski with a platform above - NOT seen nor heard about much here ...

My First Visit to Hatteras

About three(3) years ago I suggested to my colleague, Helmut, that we go to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. He has been about twice and this year will be my first !!! He always went with Bruno of 2-rad and so, I will try that also ...


When i asked about the deposit, the Canadian dollar was on par with the U.S. , but now we are down to $0.80US :-( If the trip costs about $1000 US, it will now be $1200 !!! That means NO equipment changes this year for me :-( Luckily I have more equipment than necessary.

Speaking about equipment ... Since I will be going down with Helmut and his Mazda 3, I will be limited to two(2) boards. For me there are four(4) boards I would consider, but I want to cover as much range as possible. I have a Mistral Equipe longboard, JP SLW92, AHD FF 160/79 and Fanatic BEE LTD 124/63. The JP SLW92 is quite large, meant more for light winds and also requires quite long fins. People have told me that they have used these FreeFormulas there, but for me that one is out of the question...



The Fanatic BEE LTD 124 is a no-brainer. It is long compared to "modern" 124 liter boards, but that impacts jibes/gybes more than anything. It also means quick tacks are a possibility - especially since I longboarded much more than short-boarded. The board will handle my 6.3 and 6.9 no problem and I would like to try it with my 8.x sails while there ...



So, the big question is: Mistral Equipe/MEQ longboard or AHD FF 160 short board ? So far, the vote is split. Two people suggested the longboard and then rent short boards as required. Ca ce n'est pas mauvais/ not bad since this board can go in light wind with an 8.x and also bigger winds with 6.9. Two other people suggested the AHD FF 160. This board can also go with 8.x and 6.9, but will NOT go in lighter winds - like 12 knots - unless I bring the 10-oh sail.



One of the main reasons for me to go to Hatteras - finally - is I MUST get in the foot straps !! Would this be better with my own AHD FF 160 or a rented short board. I would like to try a Tabou Rocket in any case - especially the 125. I have written about it and drooled about it for years...

So, perhaps I should look at this entirely differently ... Bring the Mistral Equipe and the AHD FF 160. Then I would rent whatever equipment was needed for the bigger winds.



People say bring everything, but logistically I cannot ...
If I can bring the 10-oh sail, 520 mast and long boom, I will probably go for the AHD and BEE option.
With sails from 6.3 to 10-oh I would be covered from 12 knots to about 24 knots.
If I cannot bring the 10-oh, I may bring the MEQ longboard and BEE short board.
With sails from 6.3 to 8.x, I would also be covered from 10 knots to about 24 knots.
This would carry a higher probability of renting short boards - around 110 liters for really big winds and around 135-145 for 8.x sails. Then again , I want to try the BEE with 8.x sails. So, the BEE and longboard are actually a viable option - with less BIG equipment to carry n setup...

The sails I will probably bring are HotSailsMaui Fire 6.3, NorthSails Duke 6.9, HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5 and Sailworks Retro 8-oh. Obvious questions are: NO MauiSails and why two 8.x sails ??
My MauiSails are TR race sails and I am unsure of whether that is needed in a place like Cape Hatteras where the wind is slated to be more steady than here in Montreal.
I am bringing two 8.x sails because that is my most used sail size and the HSM SPF has the range, while the Retro has the grunt.
Also, with those four(4) sails I only need bring two(2) masts - Powerex RDM 460 and NP SDM 490.


Addendum: Took a look at recent wind at Avon, North Carolina. and winds were either BIG (over 20 knots) or LITE (around 12 knots). That would mean BEE 124 and MEQ longboard. Will check for more history ... Wunderground was much more interesting - average wind around 20 kph and highest around 60 kph. ( a lot of 20-40 kph, 30-50 and 40-60 kph) This would mean BEE 124 and AHD 160 with current sails !!! Investigation continues - should I ask on iWindsurf ? Perhaps wait until a little closer to the voyage :-)

Here's the wind blob from wind alert:


and windfinder:


and wunderground: (this week)




On Friday the 3rd of March winds were well over 30 knots !!

Your suggestions on what to bring and past experiences are welcome here :-)
I posted the question on iwindsurf as well..
http://www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=29569
and so far the option of Mistral Equipe and Fanatic BEE is winning !! and WON !!
the winds generally seem to be under 60 kph peak, but do hit 70 on occassion
i thought this okay until i translated this to knots
60 kph = 32 knots and 70 kph = 38 knots !!!
40 to 60 is 6.3 for me which i have
50 to 70 kph is definitely 5-oh weather
for this i am lacking the sail and board
if i am lucky this will only happen on one day during my week there !!!
cuz that is more than what i usually sail in !!!