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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

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FreeMove ?? as opposed to all the other "free" boards - especially freeride

As I was still collecting data for this post, I felt it was NOT ready for "submission". However, recent "news" has made me decide to put this out there AZAP.

Fanatic will abandon the freeride Shark board in 2015 !!!,22169,22173#msg-22173
The Gecko has replaced the long-standing Shark and there is NO board in the 2015 Fanatic freeride category on their webpage!! And that after just two(2) years !!! This speaks highly of the success factor of this class of board !!

In 2010 Starboard had the Atom, which it abandoned and then came back with the AtomIQ, which i presume is supposed to be pronounced Atomic ? Yet people still claim the RRD Fire Move was the original freemove and still the benchmark board.

Here Tiesda You of Starboard discusses the AtomIQ and the thinking behind it. One reason this model is fast - rocker is based on the iSonic 110 !!

Others? There is the JP MagicRide and the Simmer FreeMove. I have had a Simmer WCR/World Cup Race sail, but have never seen nor heard of their boards ...

Back in about 2008 it seems there were some "freestyle" board that some called "freemove". Mistral Syncro, Fanatic FreeWave, Naish All-Terrain, Tabou 3S and RRD FreeStyleWave. These boards were NOT like the freemove boards of today in 2014.

Why called free-move? Move for maneuverability ?

These boards are supposed to be
1) FAST - AtomIQ fastest and Fanatic Gecko slower than defunct Shark
2) LIGHT - especially LTD
3) THIN - SB boasts 9.9 mm
4) SHORT - will be more difficult to tack
5) MANEUVERABLE - jibe/gybe well
6) SAIL like 10-15 liters less
7) PLANE like 10-15 liters more

Fanatic Gecko - 98, 105, 112, 120 and 135 liter versions
JP MagicRide - 104, 118 and 132
RRD FireMove - 102, 112, 122, 130 and 140
Simmer FreeMove - 100, 110, 120
SB AtomIQ - 100, 110 and 120

RRD 140 is 90 cm wide !! This is practically a FreeFormula !!
Even the Gecko 135 is 83 cm wide.
The Shark 165 was this wide - so, a heavyweight newbie should start with a Gecko 135 ??
Find this difficult to believe!!

Both of the above referenced freemove boards are supposed to be able to handle a 10-oh sail. I have tried my TR-4 10-oh on my AHD FastForward 160 and prefer the sail on my BIC Techno Formula which is wider at 94 cm and can handle 58 to 66 cm fins.

These dudes were lucky enough to test JP, Fanatic and RRD on the same day

They say (in Swedish)  All are fantastic boards, but in different ways. Suitable for different people depending on sailing style. 

Did a quick tour of the local shops to see how free these boards really are ?? Forget the Simmer - I have NO idea where they are sold in North America. The Starboard also seemed hard to find --> seemed to be one of the few !! As usual anything that even sounds like kevlar or LTD is around $2000. The good news is the Gecko HRS is around $1400.

As I was considering a Shark 135 to replace my AHD FF 160, what would I now choose in the Gecko model ? The 135 Gecko is about the same length, but as wide as the Shark 165 was !! And so, I would go to a 120 liter version ? Is this uphaulable for a 220-230 pound/ 100- 105 kilo heavyweight like myself ?

My hope is this will put more freeride boards like the Shark on the used market :-)
Feels like it already started ..
Met a local who now has a Gecko 120 LTD and is selling his Shark 150 LTD...

And , do the freemoves do what is promised ? This fellow says he is on a Gecko 120 with a North Natural 7.3 and flying in 11 to 13 knots. He must be  a lightweight cuz there is NO way i would fly like that in 12 knots. Perhaps there is more wind than suggested ?? People definitely say they plane early, jibe well and are FUN. Just need to choose a board with less volume than usual ...

On the other hand.. people think a FreeMove can be a "one board quiver". The ONLY one board quiver I know about is the longboard !! Here a fellow tried a 5.5 in chop on a RRD FireMove 122/120 only to realize a 79-80 cm board is NOT made for that !!!

This clip "feels more real" and has interesting view from the back:

Post References: obviously the company websites, youtube, local shop photo,

Hot Sails Maui SpeedFreak 8.5 = HSM SPF 8.5

Let’s start with WHY I purchased this sail (and matching NP SDM mast). Up until last year, 2013, I had been using a MauiSails MS-2 8-oh which I liked very much, but I started breaking battens by rigging too loosely and then broke the monofilm in winter sailboarding. I found a reasonably priced MauiSails TR-6 8.4 which I purchased to hopefully replace the MS-2. It does replace that sail and does it well. However, there are times when there are 20-40 kph winds in which I would use a sail in the 8.x range, but waters are choppy. When this happens, I am loathe to drop the fully cambered race sail since I cannot water start it AND it is quite heavy to uphaul – especially if the luff sleeve gets full of water. So… I was looking for a sail NOT to replace the TR-6 8.4, but instead to compliment it in choppier light wind conditions.

I had looked at a used HSM SpeedDemon at a local shop called 30noeuds (30 knots), but I was not liking the huge amount of monofilm, lack of pocket and unsure about using RDM in such a large sail. I have a Powerex/PX 460/100% mast that I use with my HSM Fire 6.3 and that combination works VERY well. Thus, I have been exposed to HSM and I like the durability of the Fire VERY much. I use that sail in summer higher winds and in the winter on the ice. Geoff E Moore is an active participant on the HSM forum and obviously a big fan of the sails… He has been suggesting I try the HSM SpeedFreak for some time. My issue was PX compatibility AND use of RDM in larger sails for a heavyweight like me… We chatted about this for quite some time – something like six (6) months.

Geoff decided he no longer “needed” his HSM SPF 8.5 and was willing to part with his Niel Pryde /NP 490/100% SDM mast that matched the sail well. Not only that, but the price was right and we could meet at a spot somewhere between Ithica, NY and Montreal, Canada.

So… now I am the proud owner of just such a sail. This one is supposed to be the first production sail in this size. As such, I am surprised it was missing the markings like luff, boom and mast heights as seen on current production sails… (NO biggie) … Geoff suggested what worked for him and that is what I have been using as a starting point …. (Believe Geoff received it late 2011 and did not use it until early 2012)

Why did the two(2) drivers of HSM continue with this sail ? Apparently they were NOT convinced the sail should go into production !! A speedster took a 10-oh in varying conditions and managed to man handle it all the way to 30 knots !! They knew they had a winner. Off to production !!!

What does HSM say about the sail ? -->

SpeedFreak Description
The SpeedFreak is a sail which was developed by Jeffrey Henderson in conjunction with our forum participants. The idea was to make a SuperFreak for light wind flat-water sailing in the same style as our Dacron® SuperFreak and we are thrilled with the result.

The SpeedFreak is an amazingly smooth riding sail. It is much easier to sail than a comparable monofilm freeride sail as the Dacron® absorbs the gusts, and the sail can be pumped onto a plane in very little wind. The ride is completely quiet and jibing is so smooth you would never guess you on a speed type sail. The sail is not critical of your sailing style either. If your harness lines are a little out of balance, or your outhaul is slightly to tight or too loose, this sail can work with you. It turns lighter wind sailing into a completely low stress pleasure. It is no slouch for top end speed either, having its outline and shaping based on our universally loved Speed Demon sail.

SpeedFreak Sail Features
The main body of the sail is made of 3 different weight Dacrons with the high-tension downhaul supported with 125 micron Polyant/Dimension X-Ply®. The sail is available with or without a PVC window.
•    7 battens total (no cambers)
•    4 Epoxy tube race sail battens
•    Ox-Webbing luff sleeve
•    Durable Dacron®, X-Ply® & PVC construction
•    Easy rigging and de-rigging
•    Extremely crease and wrinkle resistant
•    Smooth, and quiet power delivery
•    Colorful
•    Lightweight 

The SpeedFreak is available in custom colors, please let us know how you would like your new sail to look, alternatively you can choose one of the production colors.

As you can see here, the recommendation for the 8.5 m² sail is 512 cm luff and 212 cm boom. Based on this, Geoff’s recommendations and our trial setup at exchange time, I have mostly been sailing with 505-507.5 cm luff and 212.5 boom. Since I am using it on a longboard – a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR, I like to have a tighter leech… In terms of rigging Geoff pointed out the importance of checking batten number 2 from the top – the wrinkle in the luff as an indicator of leech – since Dacron is “hard to read”. He also pointed out the batten in the luff cut out. How close is it to the mast ?? Another important indicator …

Since the HSM forum was so vital in the actual production of the sail, what are they saying about the sail on the forum?

Geoff calls the sail "slippery" and I would tend to call that "smooth". Says the sail is so light that a clew first sail can be held for quite some time !! Actually found what Geoff means by "slippery":
"For me, “slippery” means that the sail doesn’t seem to pull that hard in the schlogging mode, but if a gust or pumping gets it to a plane then it seems light but just pulls harder and harder when the gust fills in. Such sails pull impressively just on apparent wind." - from HSM forum - link is shown above
I still would like to call that "smooth" :-)

Please remember most of these people were already HSM fans :-)

What are others saying about the sail??
He is definitely interested, but has not tried one ...
nodak says: I sold all my older cambered sails because they were too cumbersome for flat water free sailing. So now my biggest sail is a Hot Sails Speedfreak 8.5, a forgiving dacron sail.

Some Canadians used to get SuperFreaks with the Maple Leaf and it seems the SpeedFreak was an option too:
from Gord Jones on Lake Ontario - HSM forum & Windsurf Canada

Not much discussion on the web besides HSM fans... Here are some videos..

SpeedFreak blasting from Hot Sails Maui on Vimeo.

Going to Freakin' Hyper Speed from Surfingsen on Vimeo.

And my analysis so far ??

Please keep in mind that I am Average Joe Windsurfer who has been longboarding for 20 years and shortboarding for about five (5) in a light wind area (plus winter sailboarding for about 5 years as well). I am NO windsurf expert, but do LOVE getting on the water for FUN and TOW (do about 60 sessions on the water each summer). I try to be objective and yet give a perspective from my angle , experience and location ...

The sail is LIGHT and PVC window bulges where my head carried the sail, but bulge seems to go back quickly (i actually suggest AGAINST carrying the sail on your head :-( ). There were NO markings on the sail for luff and boom. Later production sails also have boom height markings. I have tried making the sail have a deep pocket, but feel the sail lacked some “grunt” in the light wind power tractor range. I am used to a two or four camber race sail in these winds. It definitely has a great deal of range and can be downhauled a lot more than I have so far. I have been using it in light winds so far… In all the first outings that I have used the sail – all rated at about 8 outta 10 which is excellent for a first set of rounds…NOT so sure I like the sail in VERY light winds (20 kph / 12 knots and less) due to lack of grunt...

Will continue the analysis when I have hit some bigger winds and have tried the sail on some of my other boards…

For de-rigging (is that an actual word?) Geoff suggests attaching the mast head to something with a rope and then pulling the mast out. I can see why because the mast cap DOES get stuck on the mast ...On the forum another fellow (believe it was rod_r) suggested ensuring battens were under the mast before loosening downhaul. This helps with the folds in the x-ply.

This analysis on my part is still a WHIP = work in progress.. and as such I will ramble on and summarize afterwards...

The sail has two (2) grommets at the luff which is for tightening or loosening the luff - some say top for taller and lower for less tall :-) I always use the top grommet - tall, heavyweight dude = me.

The section where one puts the extra downhaul rope is a flimsy mesh that is already busted up.

I am finding the carrying of the sail ANNOYING since I like to carry sails on my head or back :-( I asked Jeffrey Henderson directly and he responded that the PVC WILL go back to it's original shape !!! Not sure what he means about it having memory back to 300% , but I am sure this has to do with material specifications.

In 16 knots the sail planed and handled well in choppy conditions. Further testing in 16+ knots required. I am still getting used to the sail on the shortboard. Seem to have a handle on it on the longboard now....Like the sail with NO outhaul when using 490+17.5 = 507.5 downhaul - cuz I would like a deeper pocket ...When using 505 cm downhaul , outhaul IS required - to pull battens away from the mast.

Feature not discussed yet is the tack strap. For me this is unusual (and welcome) detail for a sail with no cambers.. Perhaps I can try tightening it more for more pocket...

The sail bag is tapered and sail is inserted clew first - as is my HSM Fire sail bag - seems to be an HSM standard.  The bag handle is 6 inches off balance and makes carrying the sail awkward. I find the sail bag material  a bit flimsy - i like strong sail bags and the mesh at the top of the sail bag at the clew is the same flimsy mesh used for excess downhaul string on the sail.

Still liking 507.5/212.5 settings the most. Not sure the sail is my go-to longboard sail. Was unable to pump it enough to get back to shore when wind died.

In the final analysis , i will use boardseeker tests as a template:
Performance - power , sail pull, responsiveness, blasting , maneuvers, top end, bottom end, speed and tuning
Sail Size - how does it compare
Materials - important subject due to dacron
Overall Impression + on the water

Since wind has been light lately, I have been concentrating on using the FreeFormula and 10-oh race sail. However, just the other day I saw a glimpse of the range that this SpeedFreak sail has. Winds were about 12 knots gusting to 20 knots sporadically. As we were at the chalet , the only board I had was the Fanatic Ultra CAT and minimal sails. I rigged this sail as I have been liking it - 507.5/212.5 and the sail handled it fine. For this I would give this sail a 9+/10 !! Excellent range on the higher end of the scale.... I am still NOT convinced it is a light wind sail, but as said before... this is NOT what the sail was purchased for and probably not designed for either !!! Note that I rigged this 8.5 rather than using my patched up MS-2 8-oh , which i knew would be over-powered in the gusts !!

Some items i do NOT want to forget to discuss are the excellent mast base pad, the line that runs along the perimeter of the sail on the outside - believe it is kevlar - read something about this on SuperFreaks and also the shaping of the sail is pleasing to the eye - almost like a wing - not sure what this does to performance or efficiency, but definitely nice.

GaleForce8 is loving his HSM SPF 8.5

Geoff had suggested I purchase some material to repair the dacron - in case it is ever cut. He has cut the dacron sail by hitting a fence post. HSM sells the repair material, but shipping to Canada is too much versus cost on the repair tape itself ... HSM informed me that the marine shops may have it as TEAR-AID type A and the A is VERY important. I found some at and ordered it. It was inexpensive, but also more costly to ship than the box itself and gave me about one foot of repair tape. For now, I will stick with this and hope i never need it !!

2014 Longboards - for Windsurfing

For me windsurf longboards are: well, long, narrow, high volume with a centre board. Long is typically around 300 cm and narrow is around 66 cm. Let’s analyse what I think / thought are 2014 longboards:

1) SB Phantom Race – 295 (no more 320 ??)
2) SB Phantom Race - 377(L)
3) Kona One - Exocet
4) RRD Longrider
5) BIC Techno 293OD – marked as 2006 in ISAF ??
6) Exocet 380 Elite – same as RS Exiocet Elite III ??
7) Exocet RSD2
8) Fanatic Viper
9) Olympic RS:X

The early windsurf boards were all longboards, but most now are race boards. Let’s discuss these boards one by one and see what we come up with …

1) The Starboard/SB Phantom 295 is aimed at a lighter/younger crowd and has a race class to my understanding. It does have 217 liters and 72 cm width and so, has a lot of potential for the adolescents and lighter longboarders. The 320 was considered a hybrid and seems to have disappeared… It had 260 liters of volume and 71 cm width.

2) The Starboard Phantom Race 377 is a true race longboard.

3) The Kona One may be considered a hybrid, but we all know about the Kona races – internationally. Sometimes the Kona One aka K1 is considered as a potential entry board.

4) The RRD Longrider is marked as an entry board and is "only" 180 liters.

5) BIC has the BIC Techno 293 One Design class , which is for lighter/younger riders. It ha 205 liters and is wide at 80 cm.

can a longboard do that ? :-)

6) The Exocet 380 Elite is a true race longboard.

7) The RSD2 is a very specialized longboard with a flat board at the back and DIV II boat like nose.As such it is NOT a typical longboard and has NO race class - as indicated by a commentator.

8) Even though the Fanatic Viper has a 220 liter version, it is very wide at 85 cm and is almost a Free Formula with a centre board.

9) The RS:X CANNOT really be considered a longboard at 93 cm wide. That is Free Formula in my book.

Mistral Equipe III was registered at ISAF in 2009 – believe there were only one or 2 proto-types !!! There was talk of a new Fanatic Mega CAT, butt NON …

The two main companies still supporting this longboard class of windsurf board are Excocet and Starboard. Other companies are saying it is too small a niche for them to invest in R&D, production ,etc …

As far as I am concerned, in terms of "real" , tradtional longboards, we are left with ONLY two. That's the SB Phantom 377(L) and the Exocet 380 Elite.
WHY only these ??
Both of these boards are race longboards with good, large centre boards and mast track adjustment on the fly.
The 377L and the Exocet 380 are both about 300 liters !!
The two race longboards are BIG - as is the RSD2...which is apparently over 400 liters !!
Is BIG better ?? Why not more around 240 - 250 liters like the earlier Fanatic Mega CAT, Mistral Equipe II and others??
Boards now have BIG price tags and some of these go as high as $4000.
That is the power of the KONA ONE.
It is under $2000 , there are used ones showing up on the market and you can race it.
Maybe NOT a traditional longboard, butt ...
Personally, i can only drool...
NO way i can afford that price tag - not even the KONA new ....
Unfortunately I see this as a dying breed of windsurfing – traditional longboards that is …
The good news is: there are DIV II enthusiasts, Original Windsurfer enthusiasts, people with old boards and some still purchasing !!
That reminds me - apparently one can buy a original Windsurfer replica.
Can you write/say original and replica in the same phrase ??

So, there are two(2) race longboards, specialized boards, some hybrids, some aimed at younger/lighter riders and some entry boards…
WindSUP seems to be having an easier time of getting people back on the water than this class of board.

Personally started on longboards and feel I live in a light wind region. Thought my first board, BIC Dufour Wing, was a DIV II class, but was informed it does NOT adhere to the strict class rules … My current OLD longboards, Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR and Fanatic Ultra CAT, are both about 210 liters. As such , I almost consider them as hybrids… They get me on the water and as such I should stop looking for something even better …
This summer I hope to try an RSD2 and am VERY excited about this !!!!