|small boo boo right of mast track|
So, what are the specs of this baby ?
Weight: 9.9 kilos or 21.75 lbs
The board thus has ample flotation and does plane early from what I can tell. It does not float like a BIC Techno II and seems a little more stable than that board as well in terms of easy planing control. One can almost walk around the deck like on a large longboard. The fin that came with the AHD is great for the bigger sails and smaller fins were required for the 8.5 and the 7.0. In terms of quality, the board is VERY sensitive. It dings quite easily and I managed to punch a hole on the deck with my harness hook. The BIC Techno II on the other hand looks like it handles these issues much better. My concern with the BIC is: the top looks fine due to the extra plastic coat on the outside, but how is the actual styrofoam underneath ? The sensitivity of the AHD makes me hesitant to purchase the FF in 117 litres, which is what the local shop is recommending as the next board down i.e. mid-winds. If I had to do it again, as a first board, I probably would purchase the AHD ZEN 170 with the extra cover for protection and has a centreboard. One fellow who has the AHD 117 likes it as much as i do and felt also that it was too sensitive AND the footstraps do not go out far enough for blasting. I cannot make that judgment call since I still have a footstrap phobia. I have noticed that when blasting, my feet are further down the rail than a footstrap would allow...
As marked here: AHD FF Review from Solent Sailboards
"Character and Performance: With quite a thin deck, parallel sides, classic lines and the diamond shaped tail, the AHD looks very distinctive on the beach. The underwater shape is relatively flat with double concave merging into a single concave, giving a low grip, low drag feel.
It is a very quick board to plane and gets going easily with its powerful and solid fin. Once planing it is reliable and tracks well, and has an alive and lively feel; exciting and very comfortable to sail. The ride is very distinctive, being both balanced and cutting sweetly through chop. When blasting your feet find a very secure position on the pads despite the quite flat deck, and the board drives well off the fin, feeling light and stiff. In stronger winds it remains controllable even in quite heavy chop.
It s fairly easy to initiate gybes on, and - while it requires commitment to really drive the rail through the turn - if you give it the welly it s smooth and will bite and carve hard, making it a good board for both intermediate and advanced gybers."
Since the board was expensive (for me), I had to start with the sails that I had. My best sail at that time was my Niel Pryde/NP Warp Speed 7.0 sq meter sail with 3 cams. This picture is NOT of my sail and is badly rigged - cannot find my pics ^&*
With the longboard I learned most skills through reading and discussion. With the shortboard technique, it seems a little more complex and more to learn. Things happen at higher speeds and thus one needs to be ready. Not much time to reflect. For myself and my windsurf buddy we have started resorting to windsurf videos. There are many and I find them a bit expensive. However, I feel they give me ideas and courage. There are DVDs that are from "beginner to winner" and others aimed at specific skills like jibing/gybing. Names one often sees and are well known are: Guy Cribb, Jem Hall, Lars Peterson, Dasher, and Alan Cadiz... Even Micah Buzianis is on the Speed IQ DVD...And people are always raving about The Windsurf Movie and the 2nd one as well...Promo DVDs come with websites and magazines too....
One thing I have NOT mentioned very much is the cost of things. My BIC Dufour was free. My F2 Comet 330 with two(2) sails was only $200. My AHD FF 160 with board bag, mast base and mast extension was close to $1500. Yeah I know, sudden jump in price. Formula boards and LTD boards (lighter models and limited edition) can easily go for around $2000. If one is ready to purchase used equipment and older models, the price goes down drastically. Yes, they do not retain their value because people want the new stuff. My Fanatic Bee discussed below is 10 years old, but a great board. With a very specialized board bag , it was $300. This board was also $2000 in the day. This will be my "playboard" and I had a good idea what I want to try. Will get back to the blog with my experiences/experiments this summer of 2011.
Well, it seems people are interested in the Fanatic Bee 124 LTD. Thus I will attempt some further discussion on this board which seems to be another classic. These are some pictures of the board from e-bay. This board is GREAT shape and selling for only $400. The W on the board is a Sebastian Wenzel signature.
Actually ... moved this discussion to: http://joewindsurfer.blogspot.ca/2012/08/famatic-bee-124-ltd.html
Thanx for understanding ... shortboard discussion is continued