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ENERGY drinks, foods and supplements

 In the 60's and 70's in North America it was "relax man, take it easy".

Now we have reached the era of over-stimulation and look for "energy" to get more stimulus.
Supermarkets and corner stores all carry Red Bull and many other brands of energy drink. 

There are energy bars as well and people are known to eat a granola bar for a snack at work or to replace lunch since they are too busy. You ask anyone and each person seems to have their little trick. I have tried bee pollen, royal jelly, chia and occasionally drink a blue Monster energy drink. None of these are ideal. I feel the effects of the chia the most and drink the energy drink more as a psychological booster and for taste. I hate the taste of the other boosters ... One female athlete at work, Dolores, has prescribed a very natural solution that she uses before she goes down-hill skiing. In the morning she takes a banana for potassium {K}, an egg for protein and a toast for carbohydrate. She says this gives her everything she needs for a day on the slopes. She has tried some of the items I mentioned above and she finds the white chia seeds give her the best sustained energy i.e. her regular visits to the gym no longer end up fatigued.

NOTE: Have STOPPED drinking Monster since i had two(2) cans one day and had heart palpitations. In the same year a young girl DIED from taking too much Monster :-(

I used to add bee pollen to my chia, butt i ran out. Now i just putt a little sugar in the glass and this is what it looks like when i drink it... About 10 to 15 minutes later i feel my nerves waking up and it feels like i can feel the blood running through my body and yet i am NOT too pumped. It feels like pure raw energy and that is why i like it the most ...

I was approached in the parking lot at OKA by a distributor of Herbalife. They distribute weight loss and energy supplements in North America and perhaps the world now in much the same fashion as Fuller Brush, Watkins and other companies did in the past. I have NO comment on any of these companies, but only mention it here because I feel it is a sign of the times... We have reached the point where people buy such products practically from the trunk of a car...It makes me wonder - have we become desperate ?

Also noticed a van and sail recently at OKA advertising or announcing STS nutrition. When you go their webpage they have Martin van Geenhoven on the front page. Martin was a local expert windsurfer who went to Hawaii and came back. Now he is a model and sells some kind of mechanical toys ?

I found the following article on the internet and really like what it says:
Since things seem to disappear on the web these days, I will just put some of their highlights:
"To make things simpler, we’ve divided energy supplement ingredients into three categories: stimulants, which rev up the metabolism; substances that affect metabolism -- specifically how the cells derive energy from nutrients; and calories, which are the basic fuel our bodies use to run. They work in very different ways, though many energy products will combine ingredients from all three categories. "
They run through a discussion on this breakdown and conclude that we just need to sleep better, exercise more and eat better. Some athletes will benefit from B-vitamin enhancements and we all get a little kick from caffeine. But the rest sounds like a waste of time, money and if i may, energy :-)

Items I have not discussed yet are hydration and warm-ups and down. It is important to drink something when doing excessive exercise like hours of windsurfing !! Most windsurfers I know do NO warm-ups nor warm-downs. All of these items are important in terms of muscle fatigue ...

One question I ask myself is whether supplements are better before or after the energy requirement. Like protein and carbohydrates - before or after and at what time interval - 2 hours before ?? For me, these things just make me sleepy :-(

AND rest does not imply only sleep. For how many days in a row can one ideally do excessive windsurfing  {say over 4 hours} ? In terms of muscle training, one athlete has suggested one take a day off in-between. Apparently bodybuilders will work one muscle group one day and another group the next. This way "muscle cells have a chance to repair." Seems we rip muscle cells when we work hard :-(

How about a nice massage or shower afterwards ?? :-)

BIC Techno Formula / BTF

In the past I have written about longboards "versus" formula boards. Some of the issues against formula boards were:

1) too expen$ive
2) too sensitive to damage
3) too technical ??
4) fins are too long
5) may require sails of 12 m2 for my 100 kilos + 100% carbon mast

What I did in the meantime was try a Fanatic Ultra CAT which has a sliding track, many footstraps and a centre board {obviously}. I did not use the track on the fly, did not rail, etc. This means I did NOT use the board to full functionality YET. Since I did enjoy it, I tried to find a CAT in better shape - not much luck here in Montreal. One in Toronto, but NOT great shape.

Then I saw an advert for a used BIC Techno Formula with no fin for a very good price. This is considered a free-formula and NOT a full out formula.

image from

The board has the following specifications:

Length : 267 cm

Width :     94 cm

Volume: 170 liters

Weight:  10.8 kilos = about 24 pounds

Fin Box: Trimm - later ones had deep Tuttle

Sail Range: 8.5 - 12.0

OFO is 67.5 cm as measured by yours truly

So, what do I do ?? I did NOT really want to spend the money and people keep telling me Formula needs to be 100 cm and I will need a 12 m2 sail/rig - especially for my 100 kilos.

However, my goal is NOT to race NOR to be the quickest on the beach. My goal is to have FUN and TOW. My friends at auventfou in Montreal, Yvan and René both had these boards in the past and loved them. They still say these were the earliest planing board they ever had. AND they had for sale a used trim weed fin that would work with a 10-oh on this board.

Here is the youtube of a French Canadian TV show where Yvan shows off a BIC Nova 180 and you see a BIC Techno Formula in the clip. The Nova is supposed to be a wolf in sheep`s clothing i.e. it is almost a clone of the Formula, but with an ABS layer.

As I stood in the store and looked at the board I was NOT convinced about the purchase. I had already spent more this year than I wanted and we were NOT in JULY yet. René told me that he managed to plane in 8 knots with this FREE FORMULA board and there was one limitation. The maximum speed of this board was 41 kph. At a later instance, René was on a narrower board and a buddy on this BIC. The buddy planed earlier and took off, butt René was able to catch him and pass him. The fellow who sold this board broke his fin and purchased a JP SLW which is a little shorter ,  less wide and lighter of course.

I had read that people "lost" their fins on this board. The trim box configuration seemed to ensure NO fin loss.  Auventfou seemed to feel that was ridiculous. Later investigation showed that fins were not "lost", but rather "broken". That was the reason later fin boxes in BIC Techno Formulas were deep tuttle. It is also my understanding that a deeper fin box allows more cross pressure from the fin - who knows ...

Long story short, I have as yet to try the board. YES, I did purchase it. At that price I had to try it and René and others feel I can sell it for double what I paid - perhaps that was just a sales pitch ?? :-)
The board is NOT too sensitive, not too $$$, weed fin is less deep, and I have NO intention of trying it with a 12-oh. Also, no intention of racing either ...

In any case, I am very anxious to try it with my MS-2 8-oh 2 cambered free-race sail and the TR-4 10-oh 4 cambered race sail. I was trying to sell the 10-oh since I was not using it much and it is still worth real money. Got some nibbles and had to apologize that the sail+mast were NO longer available.

Both Yvan and René feel the board will GO with my MS-2 8-oh, butt that I will have a more fun ride on my AHD FF 160 with that sail size.

It seems this category or class of windsurfer has been around since approximately 2002. Starboard had FreeFormula boards too (137, 157 and 167 liters). Around 2004 the FreeFormula boards from SB started to resemble the Formula boards more - in that they started to be closer to 100 cm or 1 meter wide, butt not quite as wide in the tail - more like 70 cm in the tail.

Here is what I found from 2002 BIC Sport website:
Here is my rudimentary translation:
The new Techno Formula takes advantage of developments made at higher levels. Its planing, upwind speed like a shot are exceptional. Techno Formula has all the advantages of an accessible and "performant" board. It keeps a Freeride temperament that allows good access and easy jibing. This is the future Formula Float for youth.

My comment: And was used by young Formula riders in competitions until about 2006. That is about when they stopped making the Tuttle version of the board.

Accessibility 9/10
Early Planing 10/10
Speed in < 12 knots 9.5/10
Speed in 25 knots 7/10
Speed Upwind  9.5/10
Maneuverability 5.5/10
Superfoil Fin of 62 cm
Ideal Sails 8.5 to 12 sq meters
Range of Use  3 to 5 on scale of 8 {whatever this means ?}

BIC's translation in 2004 - when they were Tuttle box:
The new Techno Formula puts the fantastic performance of Formula boards within everyone’s reach. It’s a board that benefits from developments at the highest level. The level that gave Bic Sport the 2001/02 World Championship Title. Its planing ability and speed close to the wind are exceptional, combined with freeride characteristics for easy jibes. The Techno Formula is the official board of the International Formula Experience Class.

Here is some more discussion on the BIC Techno Formula back in 2002 - no wonder these types of boards are making a comeback in the forms of JP SuperLightWind, SB UltraSonic and Exocet RS7 !!!

Its not normally the job of the IWA to promote a new Class which is not International or Recognised by ISAF, but in this case we make an exception because it has been chosen for a major event. This is from the factories publicity.
The new Techno Formula puts the fantastic performance of Formula boards at everyone''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s reach. It benefits from developments at the highest level that got us the title of World Champion 2001. Its planing ability and its speed close to the wind are exceptional. The Techno Formula has it all, be it performance or accessibility. Utilizing the philosophy which made the Techno 283 such a huge success, the Techno Formula incorporates some freeride characteristics for easy jibes. The Techno Formula has been selected for the ISAF World Sailing Games that will take place in Marseille in 2002 and is the official Youth Formula One Design Board.
Shape Extreme width: Powerful for early planing from 8 knots of wind. Able to hold a large fin and therefore large sails (up to 12.5m?), also extremely stable at the tail. Rounded rails in the front: allows for smooth jibes and smooth downwind at full speed. Quite thin rails on the rear improve upwind performance/ jibes. Vee: soft touch on the chop, full control at top speed, easy jibe entry. Raised front rocker: acceleration, soft touch on the chop, easy control (no sudden catching). Two footstrap positions: two possible sailing styles: race or freeride.
Design - Formula/Freeride Race
Length - 266.5 cm Width - 94 cm Volume - 170 l Fin - Superfoil 62 cm Ideal
Sail Size - 8.5 to 12.5 m2.

There are NOT too many decent videos on the web with these boards...
Found this one later and asked poster to make more - shorter and more musak :-)
Clique the [ ] to make it FULL SCREEN

With the next update on this post - I will inform you as to how much fun I had cuz I am sure to have fun one way or another :-)

SAT 08JULY2012 - went to the lake instead of OKA as I wanted to be with the familia. Decided to try the FreeFormula board just the same. Tried it with the MS-2 8-oh - especially on the lake. Only have the True Ames 58 cm weed fin for the trim box and put the mast base in the middle of the track.
Winds were from the north and quite gusty. Was NOT planing and wondering what was the matter. Then a nice blast came and I decided to let it go a bit more downwind than I had been cuz I was playing with the tacking ... The thing planed SO smoothly !! It was the BEST planing I had EVER done on the lake. I can honestly say that I have NOT planed so nicely on the lake with my AHD FF 160. Whoda thunk ? Would give the session an 8 outta 10 where the issue was wind and tacking. This is excellent for a first run on the lake. Have had much worse runs on the lake with the AHD. The neighbour was speaking with the ladies and was asking about the fellow on the water. He noticed I was on a wide board and said that is what he needs to learn. He has a board, butt much narrower ...
So, I would say the board shows potential even with an 8-oh !!! So smoooth ...

Local windsurf buddy Evan has purchased a carbon Starboard US/UltraSonic  147 liter and 93 cm wide FreeRace board which is only 240 cm long and comes with a 58 cm deep tuttle fin. This is like a lighter, shorter idea of the BIC Techno Formula. The JP SLW/SuperLightWind also seems to be gaining popularity.The first one was 154 liters and 90 cm wide. They added another model which is 165 liters and 92 cm wide. The JP SLW 90 is 237 cm long and thus very similiar to the SB US. The bigger, younger sibling at 165 liters is wider plus longer and thus a little more user-friendly ... AND approaches even more the numbers of the BTF/BIC Techno Formula. This leads me to believe the BTF was ahead of its time and went almost unnoticed. I am happy to see that locally people are admitting that we have lighter winds and sometimes bigger kits are required. George of Laval runs a Severne 9.x sail on a SB Carve 122. He is able to do this as he is a little lighter. The bigger boards are great for the heavyweights like me !!!! George changed up to a SB Futura 133 and likes that better than the Carve 122 and it is faster ..

I almost went and tried the BTF with the TR-4 10-oh yesterday at OKA, but George looked like he was schlogging and I felt winds were in the 8 to 10 knot range. I wish to try the BTF with winds in the 12 to 15 knot range :-) It looks like Friday has some potential - tomorrow too, butt I have no wheels :-( too much family :-) it's worth it :-)

Even Ronnie at work, who was a speedster about five(5) years ago, and has sailed Lake Garda in Italy and Les Roches on Lake Champlain, is considering Formula since winds are typically UNDER 15 knots. Thus with a FreeFormula or Formula one gains TOW/time on water. I suggested he wait until he tries my BTF. Perhaps he will consider a SB US or JP SLW instead of Formula !! Too bad these GREAT boards are not just a little less expensive $%^&*()

In the past I discussed the JP SLW with Tinho Dornellas of Calema Sports in Florida. He is NOT a fan and here is the discussion: Instead he offers a custom board that he calls the Z2 - 196 liters with 84 cm width and 296 cm long. Tinho feels the new boards lack length and volume. Tinho states,"The new modern super wide and short boards only know two speeds: totally sucking or balls to the wall fast and nothing between." For me this is sad because I had high hopes for these boards and getting people on the water as much as possible i.e. early and pleasant planing. The BTF has more length and some more volume, but NOT to the degree of the Z2...

In 2011 Windsuring Magazine still existed and did windsurf board tests. Both the JP SLW and SB US were in these tests and were chosen as favourites by some riders. However, the SB US was chosen over the JP SLW 5 to 1 !!!

"One good way at looking what board was really well liked is to check how often a board was picked as a favorite. Here's a list of how often the different large board were picked as favorites by the testers:

  1. 7x : Fanatic Ray 145, F2 Xantos 140, Tabou Rocket 145
  2. 5x: Starboard Ultrasonic 147
  3. 4x: Goya FXRS 144
  4. 3x: Angulo Kihei 155
  5. 1x: JP Super Lightwind 154
The following boards were not picked as a favorite board by any testers:
  • Exocet Twist 145, Naish Nitrix 155, RRD Fire Ride 155."
FRI the 13th, JULY 2012 - superstitious anyone ? :-) Apparently there are some countries where 13 is a lucky number. Today was a day OFF and so , it was a lucky day for me. The sun was shining and I was at OKA with a light SW breeze. Could not fit the 10-oh in the car {20 year old son has the van :-( } and this was with the BTF and the MS-2 8-oh. Kinda glad it was NOT the 10-oh. The winds were often OFF and sometimes there was "dirty water" with all the boats, seadoos , etc going by. I practically planed a number of times, but felt there was always just a little bit missing. Was also playing with the adjustable outhaul. All in all, I give the day a resounding 9 outta 10 !! The winds were NOT great, but the weather was SO nice AND I really enjoyed myself !!!
Here is the million dollar question. Would I have had as much fun with the Fanatic CAT longboard?? One thing for sure, it would have been easier to get back upwind and back to starting point :-) Blame some of this on the weed fin - lose some pointability {can we say that ? :-) }
Will bring the CAT and BTF to the country / chalet and do a head to head with the 8-oh in 12 to 15 knot winds :-) I cannot wait :-) Yes, I am on holiday now ...

SAT 14JUL 2012 - arrive at the chalet in the "country". Brought the BTF , the CAT and three(3) sails :-) Winds were quite light out of the West. Too bad, they seemed better at home. Do I dare try the 10-oh on the BTF on the lake today in those light winds. Oh YEAH..  Winds were definitely under 12 knots and I did manage to plane a couple of times - taking the full wind, pumping and heading downwind ...  What was interesting was the weight pushed the nose into the water at times and this did NOT create any issues. Light wind tacking and jibing/gybing were NO issues ...I have to say , it probably was some of the best fun on the lake in such light winds yet. Just to prove the point, later went with the CAT and the MS-2 8-oh. It was NOT as much fun as the other setup. However, based on the nose going down thing - not sure how the JP SLW and SB US do it with such short lengths ....

IN SUMMARY:  As I do NOT want this to turn into a bunch of journal entrees, I will summarize my current findings and post some pics of my board - pics will be later since it is 2:00 am :-)
So far, this has turned out to be a true FUN board. It is NOT too technical and NOT too racy. If you want something like that in this category, then you can go towards something like the JP SLW or the SB US boards. Personally feel these boards are little short compared with the BTF/BIC Techno Formula. The board is not so wide as to be impossible to carry inside a car or on the roof of a car with a sail bag as well. Will it replace my Fanatic Ultra Cat longboard ? On the bigger lakes and rivers like the St-Lawrence (Lac St-Louis & Lac de Deux Montagnes) I would have to say YES. On the small lake up at the chalet/country, I am NOT so sure. I have not yet determined what the wind minimums are for planing and I will write back when I have determined that.
Too sad that they donut make boards like this any more ... Fun factor boards now seem to be in the SUP arena and the light wind boards seem to be specialized like the SB Serenity.

For the BIC Techno Formula -- As the sticker says "Approved Series Production FUNBOARD"

 Just saw a 2004 StarBoard GO 165 for sale and the measurements interested me. The board is 90 cm wide and 262 cm long. That is just a little smaller than the BTF in volume, width and length ie practically a FreeFormula. Why was this not more popular? The GO now is 171 liters , 271 cm long and 85.5 cm wide. This is close to FreeFormula, but not quite. What made them change the numbers ??

The fin being used now is a True Ames SB/Santa Barbara weed fin of 58 cm. True Ames also makes a racier fin called the Series 2000 that also comes in a TM or trim box. These fins CANNOT be ordered directly from True Ames, but there are few places in the US that carry them and seem to have free shipping within the US. Since I am NOT going for performance , butt rather fun, the SB weed will do. If i lose it on the other hand, I may go for the Series 2000 :-)

 Discovered that I can plane in 10 to 12 knot winds and practice pivot jibes as well with this board. When everyone is getting off the water - including kites, I am going out and having a BLAST. Feels like even MORE FUN than the Fanatic Ultra CAT longboard. The CAT got me on the water earlier as well. However, it was not as large race sail friendly as this board. Now I am glad i did NOT sell my TR-4 10-oh. Next step - GET in the STRAPS...

Since the weed fin looks longer than the marked 58 cm, I decided to measure it. The perpendicular length is 58 cm or almost 2 feet and the leading edge is about 77 cm !! Now I understand why this fin works fine with the 10-oh on the board.  AND as such requires NO replacement in terms of a more slalom or speed type fin UNLESS it is closer to 70 cm - like a full Formula board.
As written in my journal entries, a local fellow is selling a BTF with a tuttle fin box and comes with a 70 cm fin. I am trying to stay away from really long fins like this due to the lower water levels in the area experienced in the last few years. Even with the 58 cm fin, I found a few rocks !! So, this means, as already said ... this SB 58 IS the BEST fin for this board with lower water levels, weeds AND my 8-oh & 10-oh sails .

This FreeFormula type of board intrigues me and as such i am still looking around - as to why this type of board is not more popular. In 2002 RRD had a board called the BEAST. It was ONLY 136 liters since it was a FULL carbon version with 271 cm length and 92 cm width. It had a drawn tail and not the square shape of today's Formulas. It is said to handle sails from 8-oh to 12-oh. It looks like a VERY interesting board and again i donut understand why this type of board disappears. It seems the ideal setup for light wind - without having to go all the way to 100 cm $$$ Formula setup. Here are little videos from youtube showing the board:

In 2014 this BEAST was being sold out of Florida:

ok , ok , just one more comment on my part :-)
as this article / discussion confirms -
NOTHING planes earlier than a BIC Techno Formula :-)

and here:

on the BIC website,35.html it shows the BIC Techno Formula had a deep tuttle in 2005 and 2006.
In 2007 there was a BIC Formula One Design that was the same dimensions as the BTF.
After that it just kind of disappeared...
So, i will still state mine has a timestamp of about 2002... :-)

In 2002 Starboard aka SB had a number of FreeFormula boards: /freeformula.asp which were 138, 168 and 198 liters. The 138 and 168 were both around 80 cm and are more like current freeride boards - in terms of width. The 198 was 90 cm wide and came with a Curtis Race fin of 68 cm. THIS for me is what i call a FreeFormula !! By 2003 the boards were 137, 157 and 167 liters. Again, only the larger model is closer to 90 cm wide, butt this time with a 60 cm fin. By 2004 there were only two(2) models - 138 and a 158 liter model. This time the 138 was 96 cm wide and the 158 was 100 cm wide - can you say FORMULA ?? And so, by 2005 there were no more FreeFormulas at Starboard. They now had an F-type that was getting closer and closer to Formula. I am curious as to why these FreeFormula boards disappeared ?? It also shows that within three(3) years a type of windsurf board came and went. Even today Starboard receives criticism about the Phantoms. How can one come up with a OneDesign / OD or standard if the model changes every year ?? Could this have affected the decision to can windsurfing in the 2016 Olympics ??

I asked about my BTF on the iwindsurf forums:
The reason i asked was about other faster options and whether i should go for a straighter longer fin. It turned out that auventfou had a 63 and 66 cm trim box Select Race fins. The answer from the forum seemed to be a resounding YES. The fin looks amazing and i was sad that it was $200. I was even more disappointed when it did NOT fit the box well. After some adjustments, it is better, butt still not ideal. I have asked auventfou for help on this matter. In any case I hope to try it before this season is truly over.

SAT 03NOV2012 - It was supposed to be cold - 8 degrees C - and mid-winds 20 to 40 kph WNW. Time to test the new fin on the BIC Techno Formula? why not :) Just in case, i put the MS-2 8-oh on tight and was glad i did !! Since this board is rated 8.5 to 12-oh, i put the mast track all the way at the back. Forgot to adjust the harness lines forward @#$%^& This made the first trip back to shore difficult. Boots, gloves, hoodie and helmet were all in use. Winds were over 13 knots to start and am sure they gusted to 20. The board was a bit wide for the one foot waves, butt was still okay. The fin was GREAT and the board could be driven hard or plane easy in the lulls. Since i had moved things back, the footstraps were in the way !! I practically had to step on them. If the weather would have been a little better and winds more on-shore, i coulda tried them :(
There were 3 windsurfers , including myself, and about 4 kites on water and 2 waiting?? One kiter had a very interesting board. It looked like a race kiteboard or a mini windsurfer. He also arrived already in his wetsuit. This is a trick i forgot ^&*( When i got off i was a little cold, butt all in all this session was a 7 outta 10. For now I give the fin an 8 outta 10 when in use. In terms of original receipt, i give the fin a 5 outta 10 - the screw hole is not deep enough to take the standard length screw and the fin did  NOT fit into the box $%^&*()_

Did some more "adjusting" and am now down to 1 - 1.5 mm protrusion - mostly near the back. This is acceptable. Am a little disappointed that i received NO feedback from local shop auventfou :(

Found another video where a fellow is going a little faster - also with an 8-oh :)

On iwindsurf forum kileen_john wrote me:

Yes, I'm still happily riding my Bic Techno Formula. I have the 2006 version with the Deep Tuttle fin box rather than trim box setup. This board has been excellent for the typical light wind Long Island Sound conditions we get here along the Connecticut shore. This was my only board for a while and I found the wind range to be fantastic. For light winds (<15 MPH), I employ a Maui Sails Titan 11.0 and Select R05 Wide 70 cm race fin. In medium winds (<20 MPH), I was using a Sailworks Retro 9.0 (recently replaced with a Titan 9.0) with the stock Select Ultra 70 cm fin (same length as the R05W, but much less surface area). As I get overpowered on the 9.0, I swap to a smaller 65 cm Select Ultra fin before rigging a smaller sail. I've used smaller rigs like a 7.5 Retro in 20+ MPH winds and was amazed at how this wide board gobbled up chop. I never felt a need to get a smaller fin than the 65. I now have a Tabou Rocket 145 for those 6.0 and 7.5 days, which unfortunately are few and far between.

I'm 190 lbs/86 kg as a point of reference.


Exocet now has a board in this category as well. It is the RS7 with 149 liters, 232 cm long and 90 cm wide. It has a width of 67.8 cm OFO and might be able to take a 70 cm fin in the deep tuttle box. This board is even shorter than the SB US and i feel it may be more slalom oriented than Free Formula...

Another board out there is the Lorch Bird. It seems to come out of Germany and is rated as planing earlier than the JP SLW. In this report from the German Surf Magazin they recommend the Lorch 149 - even over the 179. 

Someone translated it and put it on starboard forum. Here is a copy:

The Surf Magazin also did a report on the BEST Early Planers - written in Sept 2002

It is cited as definitely being an early planer , but lacking in top speed. This is what René of auventfou warned me about ...

Since I now have a GoPro camera, I made a clip about the board - I will make a better one when we have real summer weather and i will put some clips with the board in action ..

Made a 2nd clip about the board which i will post first here - sound is a little better even though i have a cold. Left the GoPro casing open - to try for better sound 

On the mpora forum they rated boards using some interesting categories. I will list them and address them in terms of this board - since they apply especially to an early planing board:

Getting going - This board is floaty and gets going and planing early. The thing of beauty with this board is   that it planes early without any effort. NO need for aggressive pumping. Passive planing is the name of the game. Point downwind a little and off you go. For a 100 kilo heavyweight this means planing in 10 knots with a 10-oh race sail. This of course is with quite a large 66 race fin.

Staying planing - Once on a plane it seems to want to stay on a plane. It goes through lulls no problem with a race sail. It does not drop off suddenly.

Comfort and control - It is passive in take off and does not drop off suddenly and as such is VERY comfortable. Smooth and gentle in the light winds. I have had it out with an 8.x sail, but have not ventured in winds over 20 knots. People are telling me that i should and that it can handle chop fairly reasonably.

Top end - This is probably where it lacks... Have been told that it cannot go over 41 kph. It does not have cut-outs like the newer SB US and JP SLWs. Sometimes comfort means loss in the speed and maneuverability categories ...

Turning - It is the first board where i have tried more jibes. For tacking it is fine since it is a longer board. For jibes it requires one put pressure far on the other side and no high speed tight turns. Comfort, remember.

Overall - It is a FUN board and ensures TOW and planing. It is not a high speed slalom blaster. For that it seems the SB US is the call.  Since the construction is also not so delicate, it ensures that not so much time  and money is spent in repairs. The trimm fin is not very liked in the windsurf world, but has worked out so far.

Sails -  I prefer fully cambered race sails with such a board. We are talking about early planing and maintaining that plane through lulls. I have used it with 8.x and 10-oh with good results. Have a 58 cm weed fin as well, but prefer the race fin.

Here is another video i just found in NOV 2013. It is a light weight sailor in 10 knots with a 7.8 sail going very nicely ...

In 2013 my MauiSails TR-4 10-oh sail needed a repair and as such I did not use this board. HOWEVER, i had four (4) newbies on the water with this board this year. My smallest fin is a True Ames Santa Barbara 58 cm weed fin that sticks out the back of the board. Coupled with that, the smallest sail I keep at home is a HotSailsMaui Fire 6.3. ALL newbies had issues with the fin - too long and stuck out too far at the back. And some had issues with the sail - too heavy . I brought my NorthSails Zeta 4.x sail down from the chalet and the newbies had less issues with that. Unfortunately the epoxy mast that i have for that sail is a one piece. Since then I have acquired a Wind Wing 5.x sail with a 2 piece epoxy mast. Also, I have told the newbies that if they do not like my equipment - they will have to either buy equipment themselves OR purchase it for me !! I have NO interest in purchasing a smaller trim fin for the BIC Techno Formula !! Auventfou has some for under $30. If they want one - they can either get one or arrange mailing :-) The reason I say this is: i have too much equipment already that i do not use...
IF i am spending money on windsurf stuff - it is for something i need !!!
I have seven(7) boards and use four(4) of them !!!
This year three(3) were used ...One of which was replaced...
Another example: That North Sails Zeta 4.x is NOT for me - it is for the kids and the newbies ...

2014 -- I have always wondered about the history/origin of this board. There always seemed to be a similarity to the StarBoard line as well. Around 2002 SB had the FreeFormula and the toned down version was the BIG GO. Around that time BIC had the Techno Formula and the BIG NOVA was the version with the EVA deck. Finally I found what looks like the link: it is the Formula Experience, which was youth based. Here is an excerpt from this link:

Formula Experience was created to be a stepping stone for Formula type racing and will act as a popular feeder class to high level Formula Windsurfing racing. For clubs and national authorities, the advantage is that from entry level racing onwards to Olympic Racing in 2008, all training and racing can be done on boards quite similar in feel, appearance and performance. Formula Junior & Formula Youth provide a solid and fun way to enter Formula racing and to experience the fun of sailing highly competitive Formula boards at a more affordable price level.

The BIC Techno is their version of the SB Formula Experience !!! By 2004 it may already have the tuttle fin.

Here is a table from that link - comparing  the two(2) boards and showing their similarities  :

So, since I find this "youth" board acceptable (actually quite GOOD) , could I say the same about the SB Phantom 295 ??

In 2014 I also was going through some 2002 WindSurfing magazines looking for evaluations of the BTF. I found ratings of other BICs,, but none on the BTF.

What i did find was adverts from BIC:

Well, in July 2014 I finally made a video with the BTF and MauiSails TR-4 10-oh using the 58 cm weedie fin at OKA Parc. Winds were 12 to 16 knots, which is about 20 kph to 30 kph. This is still considered a light wind and some people prefer to NOT start windsurfing until there are 16 knot winds average...

Made another one where the music goes across the video :-)

August 2014 - discovered this video with a "BIC Formula 140". Never knew such a beast existed or I forgot ... The ISAF table for formula confirms this and the other BIC Formulas ...

Here is the video that made me realize this ... I imagine the initials KP are Kevin Pritchard ... Around 2001-2002 he WAS with BIC and Gaastra sails ...

Another clip of mine with a little more speed - board was sold in 2014 and purchased a 2012 JP SLW92...

Robert sells windsurf stuff as "hobby" out of Western Ontario. In 2015 he was trying to sell a BTF with a deep tuttle box and fin for $800. I suggested he try some of the windsurf forums, but ended up selling it out of kijiji just the same :-)

As I "said" went from this board to a JP SLW92 ...