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Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR

)-: My CAT is dying :-(

And so, i started looking for a long board replacement.

If you were looking for Mistral Equipe II , I have one of those as well - 2016

I was NOT ready for the KONA ONE nor the new expensive Starboard Phantoms, RS D2's etc ...
Finally found a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR in Sudbury & Dr.Windsurf was going to Toronto/GTA.
LCS means Light Compound System and I am unsure what XR stands for - so far ...
Perhaps Xtreme Racing ?? :-) Actually found out what XR stands for in my '83 '84 '85 Mistral brochure. They call it "extra reinforced". Apparently it has the lightest components/materials with extra layers of laminate. Carbon fiber, lighter, high resistance, etc, etc :-)

Let's see how they compare before I go into a lengthy analysis and / or comparison ...

--------------Fanatic Ultra CAT --------------------------- Mistral Equipe LCS-XR
--------------374 cm long ----------------------------------------372 cm
---------------66 cm wide -----------------------------------------65 cm
--------------210 litres--------------------------------------------210 litres
--------------13.2 - 16.6 kg --------------------------------------13.5 kg
--------------keel 63 cm carbon --------------------------------62 cm fibreglass ??
--------------fin 30 cm --------------------------------------------32.5 cm
--------------1990 ?? ---------------------------------------------1986
this came after the Equipe I apparently

On paper they look VERY similar. However, everyone feels upon first look that the Mistral looks much smaller. It is definitely lighter - and so, the CAT is closer to the 16 kilo figure. The keel or centre board of the CAT is carbon and much wider chord/width - it sticks out of the board when raised whereas the Mistral does NOT. Here is the Mistral one:

In the next pic we see the Mistral centre board lying on the Fanatic's. This shows the slight difference in length, butt major difference in chord or width ...


The fin that i received with the Equipe is a Tinho Dornellas fin and a profile i have never seen. It is a larger fin that is very light and yet has carbon and fibers ...

Both are supposed to be A-box aka US box and yet the Mistral is different $%^&*(
Zose crazee Germans :-)  {i was born in Hamburg :-) }

The way the mast base attaches and slides is very different also. The Mistral simply pops in and turn the plate - et voilà !!

The CAT has a lock pin and the track locks on one side with a finite number of positions - about five , while the Equipe has ten markings, but with the rope setup seems to stop anywhere you want.

The Equipe has four concaves and the literature boasts that only two touch when planing making this a really early planer - around 10 to 12 knots.

The CAT has a double Vee with concaves and planes well also.

The CAT does NOT tack well - will see how the Equipe goes ...

Received the Equipe yesterday and so far ...
have sealed the front of the board and the seam using Sikaflex 291 marine sealant

sanded the keel/centre board
started putting new foot straps on ... RRD - sorry Mistral AND RRD :-)

tried to figure out what to do with mast foot - or make a board with a hole to push against for downhauling
the extension does NOT easily come apart
Windance sells this "sliding bolt" that fits under the sliding track to take a Chinook base
obviously reduces the adjustment on the fly :-)

the board looks and feels good and i cannot wait to try it - in light and mid winds :-)


I started looking for where i could get that nut for the track and costs thereof ... It was about $16 everywhere and about $20 shipping $%^&*( And so, I analysed WHAT could i do myself instead !! Why was the nut 2.5 cm wide when my track is 1.5 cm wide?? Made a steel plate with a hole with dimensions of 1.5 cm by 4 cm and checked for fit. It was OKAY,


butt how to turn it under the mast base AND in the track  ??

My finger would NOT fit under the mast base in the narrow track #$%^&*(  and THEN i realized why and how the nut could be 2.5 cm with a 1.5 cm track #$%^&*()_ Ocean Air Sports warned me that i had to take the track out. Well, that is NOT what i wish to do... I would like to keep the track as is AND have the option of using a "modern" mast base ...

And SO, i came up with a new design... I made a steel plate of 3 cm by 17.5 cm / 7 inches with a hole to accept the mast base bolt. So, now how to get the nut under the plate ?? AND ensure it did not turn during tightening ?? Well, i DID it !!!

Put two(2) popsicle sticks together with electric tape. Put that at the bottom of the track using needle nose pliers. Placed the nut on the sticks using the pliers. Then pressed the plate on top of the nut in order that it would NOT move. The mast base bolt was screwed into the nut and the popsicle sticks removed. To be able to tighten it properly, electrical tape was placed on the plate around the hole to keep the nut from turning. Naturally, the board HAD to be level !!!

And now the board is ready to test with a properly downhauled sail !!
All i need now is some wind - 20 kph would be GR8...

Also, the fin was such a strange design i actually wondered which side was front :-) It seemed logical and yet the shape is just so weird for me !!! In any case , it went on the logical way and is really far back on the board !!! Should be great for manoeuvring ... Dr Windsurf had said he used tape to tighten the fin in the box. There was enough crap left in the fin box to keep it tight now !!! Will leave it as is for now ...


Before I forget ... Dr. Windsurf gave me the original pamphlet from Mistral with many of their products including the Equipe... Here are some snappies:

Let's see if zooming and turning lets us read it a bit better !!

SUN 29SEPT2013 - finally took my Mistral Equipe out on her maiden voyage - for me that is ... Weather had potential for winds up to 20 kph, butt was NOT even close. The road to OKA had two(2) major traffic jams and just as many major accidents - it was apple pickin' season after all !! 
As usual, I used my MS-oh 8-oh. Winds were way too light - well under 10 knots ... The board glides well and i needed some time to adjust to a differently cluttered deck - as opposed to the CAT. Also was NOT used to the way the board bobbed when chop and swell came from the side. It did NOT take long and i was used to it and was doing light wind jibes and tacks with NO issues. The mast track slid once - will have to check that out. Bad traffic, light wind, mast track slid - cannot give the session more than a 7 outta 10 - even IF it was a beautiful day !!! I cannot wait to try the board in mid winds - around 10 to 12 knots - compared to today's 3 to 5 @#$%^&*(

As i was finding the board crowded while getting used to it, I have removed the two side foot straps - the ones for upwind tilting. Once i get more comfortable with the board they will be put back ...

SUN 06OCT 2013 - winds were to be from the NE at 20 to 40 kph. Rain was to happen in the afternoon. Where and when to go ?? Decided to go to OKA at the main beach in the morning bringing both the Mistral Equipe longboard and the AHD. Wanted to test the Mistral and so rigged the MS-oh 8-oh to go with the long board. The board goes upwind well with that fin - like Tinho Dornellas alluded.. The board planes very well and going downwind with the waves and current gave a very special feeling. I had difficulties tacking and actually had better luck gibing !! Tacking was somewhat better when i dropped the centre board. The issue was waves, current and wind all from the same direction - like what happens at Pointe-Claire. This board planing does NOT feel like a freight engine planing - like the Fanatic Ultra CAT does and i would say i like the Mistral better in such winds. I stayed closer to shore to stay out of the bigger winds and to test the long board - as Georges said. 
Others were out with 8.x sails too, butt with 130 to 140 liter boards. Pierre was the exception with a 98 litre board and a 6.5 Ezzy wave sail !!
Session was a 7.5 outta 10 -NOT bad for 2nd time out on the board !! in less than ideal conditions ...

SUN 13OCT2013 - had decided the next outing would be with the sliding mast track ie original mast base and i was hoping for wind today...I cannot believe i was gonna figure out how to rig the base at the site !!! I tried rigging the MS-oh 8-oh in the back yard and i had misery - translated from french :-) I could not haul it down further than this:

which left the leech tight, but worse than that, the battens stuck out past the mast :-(

and the nice straight lines in the downhaul belie the issues i had getting the cleat to hold the line. Also, the wood piece with the hole was used against the base in order to have something to push against without breaking the universal joint or base "/$%?&*() And so, i decided to try and move the slider up the extension and see what we come up with. The downhaul was much better for the battens and i even managed to pull too much in terms of the leech and next time will add the blue collar that i had removed in order to be closer to the bottom for 6 cm extension.

and here is the loose leech

this may be okay for gusty winds and control, but with the long board one prefers a little less leech. With less downhaul, that is how i busted my battens that ride with the cambers :-( I think I now like better sails with no cambers when i ride a long board. So far my favourite size is 8-oh cuz that is what i have. However, in KONA class the size is 9-oh for heavy weights and so, i imagine one day i will be riding my long boards with a 9-oh ... However, besides the SW Retro , i would be surprised if there are many windsurf sails with 9.0 square meters and NO cambers !!! Maybe go back to the MS Pursuit 8.5 one day... 

I also just discovered that the KONA class allows 9.8 sails for riders over 98 kilos. 
My weight is usually 95 to 100 kilos !!!
I have used the TR-4 10-oh with the CAT and enjoyed it, but NOT in bigger winds !!!

With the Equipe I received an old booklet on windsurfing and my middle son recently found one for free in French too. In one of these books or on the web, I saw a pic of someone downhauling with the mast base attached to the board. Perhaps i will try that one day ... 
The season is pretty much over for the warm days and who wants to longboard in the cold ??

Oddly enough, I could find NO videos with the Equipe I LCS-XR. There are some with the Equipe II and the Equipe RACE LCS One Design. Will post some here and eventually make my own. What i am pondering now is: how to get the mast attachment working !!!

Mistral Equipe Windsurfing 7-29-11 from James Douglass on Vimeo.

This one looks like the MOD - Mistral One Design RACE. On this one you can see how much the board could ride OUT of the water. Both show decent speed in light winds...

Since there are NOT very many videos about this Mistral Equipe board, I will make some.. Here is my first attempt at describing the board. I will redo it in daylight. The GoPro seems to prefer bright daylight ...When i tried one in the evening under artificial light, it did NOT come out at all !!!

And now in morning light - attempt number 3 - also changed saturation using youtube.

In May 2014 I finally ran my first clip of the board in action. Here it is light wind - around 10 to 12 knots with an 8-oh. In just a little more wind, like 12 to 15 knots, this board is supposed to be in its element. I will try document what works best with the MEQ...

Took the MEQ out at OKA Parc north of Montreal. The water was really HIGH and so there was NO beach and DEEP. This means less room for error. Especially when the water was "wavy". Should not have tried the race sail with the MEQ on such a day. Here is a clip of the best 8 minutes. Sucky session with bad tacks - gotta get out there more. These videos help me see where to stress improvement. Move back, etc..

Update SEPT 2014:
I have always avoided rigging the original mast extension because i thought the base would not come off. Some images on iwindsurf gave me some courage and so I made some attempts at taking the bottom apart. The screws seems to do nothing because the pulley held it together. What about the cauter pin? Well, that DOES separate the mast base from the extension and NOW i can rig it with my foot applying downhaul in the standard fashion. This gives me more courage to try the sliding track ... Here is the pic:

An anonymous commenter gave this GREAT link with photos of the different Equipes:

Think this is the better windsurfing clip with this board - need to push the skills !!
Move mast track back and get in straps !!!
Use videos for self analysis:

In 2016 I also purchased a Mistral Equipe II/2
Here is the discussion / link:

and am trying to sell the MEQ One for a mere $300 after getting the original centreboard back from Franco... This board is too good to sell 

Sold BOTH the Mistral Equipe One and the Fanatic Ultra CAT in early 2016. These were my two favourite longboards to date. Let's see how the MEQ II does ... on the water that is !!

In the same year, there is a fellow out of Ottawa selling a MEQ One with 372 length and 235 liters. He calls it the XR version ONLY - no LCS and from 1993. What surprises me is the bottom shape:

Not four concaves like my MEQ One nor vee like my MEQ 2. How many different Mistral Equipe's are there then ??

Poison Ivy/ Herbe à la Puce

Yes, there are signs like the one below at OKA Parc in the area called La Crête where we rig our sails.
And everyone knows that poison ivy has three (3) leaves in a particular pattern as shown both in the sign AND in the illustration just underneath.

from the
Then, how is it that I ALWAYS manage to get the stuff on my skin %?&*() Last time it was almost nothing and it does not look too bad in the enclosed photo. However, when i do show people , they do seem to get `grossed out`.

As usual, I am doing an experiment and applying propolis - a bee extract. This one is in the format of an ointment and is meant for external application. This DOES seem to control the itch and the rash is receding - albeit a little too slow for me %?&*() People are suggesting calamine lotion, oatmeal salve, cortisone and steroids... I`ll stick to my natural solution , and then just grin n bear it out ...

I guess the only solution for me to avoid this issue is to wear longer pants and make sure to wash them and perhaps even store them in a bag after use... The issue is the oil on the leaves. Obviously i am allergic and sensitive to this oil. Lucky me. My buddy, Rami, attracts the mosquitos and it is herbe à la puce for me /$%?&*()

If you know of something natural , readily available and even better than propolis for this ailment - please let us know :-)

My daughter-in-law suggested Nasonex. She tried it once on a skin rash and felt it was VERY successful AND quick. Non, it is NOT natural and contains corticosteroid. I will try ONLY one application of this:

pic from

In 2014 I got poison ivy early in the season - June. I stopped myself from scratching as soon as I realized what i had, re-read these notes and started the applications. I used the Nasonex for the corticosteroid and the propolis as well. It only took about 4 or 5 applications of each intermittently to reduce itching and inflammation before it all just looked like dots on my skin. This means within one week it practically disappeared WITHOUT spreading !! This proves to me that this is my method of controlling my poison ivy. Hope you all find a solution that works for you. Or even better - have NO issues with it - like my buddy Jalal.

Catapault or Catapult ?

Who cares how you spell it?

No matter who it happens to or when, IT HURTS. Mostly psychologically {I HOPE}...
Non, sailboarder, did NOT hurt myself - perhaps my pride :-) kidding ....
Thanks for asking though ...

Too many people write about or tell me about their new board and "breaking it in" --  literally.
There has to be a way to avoid this. 
Many are saying the T-boom/combi boom bra or the nose guard are the solution.

Well, I kept wondering, how are people managing to do this - until yesterday !!!
Here is my first busted nose #$%^&*()

This is my old CAT that I call my FUC board = Fanatic Ultra CAT. Yes, it is a longboard from the 80's and so, who cares? I DO !! This is my GOTO board for winds under 12 knots and often up to 16 knots.
I was flying and hit a rock at full blast and hooked in. You see the result... Too many people were speaking about their experience that day regarding this problem and SO - serendipity, whatever u call it - i crashed !! I have premonitions and warnings in life , butt do not listen to them often enough ^&*(

This is a special board and i want to keep it going. It allows me to try different things and really completes my quiver. Just in case, I am shopping for a similiar or higher volume board now. Working on a deal with a Mistral Equipe XR.

Here is a pic of the mast base that i had "fixed" with crazee glue. 
The fix only shifted with the catapault, butt did NOT come apart.
I have already applied more crazeee glue ...

Spoke to Dr. Ed or Mr. Ed :-) about the busted nose ...and he suggested that we lift the crushed top up, grind the cracks in order to allow some things to go in and seal. We talked about styrofoam filler, marine plywood, etc, but both feel it is NOT necessary. The primary goal on this OLD board is water leak support and semi-solid. Since Ed asked .. the affected area is about 6.25 inches by 3.5 inches i.e. NOT too big ...

In order to avoid damage one is to hang on to the sail, which i did. Others say footstraps help too. How does all this help when you hit something ?? It doesn't :-(

Volume vs Width vs Length

People measure boards on each of these factors - volume, width and length.

Longboards tend to be long (> 290 cm) , narrow (around 70 cm) and high volume (more than 200 litres). Some of the earlier ones were displacement hulls and as such - did not plane.

These criteria of length, volume and width are particularly of interest when it comes to short boards.
As noted further down ... at first, length was the deciding factor in board measurement , then it was volume and now width. Length has become the least deciding factor ... These are planing hulls - all out of the water ...

Length seems to be related primarily with manoeuvrability. For jibing in particular, a tighter arc can be cut with a narrower, shorter board. From what i have seen, length can actually impact earlier planing as well. A longer, wider board seems to go onto a plane naturally with less pumping. A longer board is easier to tack and will not sink the nose. Short boards, as the name implies have become shorter than the earlier boards. The tendency seems to be wider and shorter boards as we go forward.

Volume is typically linked to flotation. How many pounds/kilos can a board comfortably float?  A rule of thumb for flotation is take your weight in kilos and add 30 for minimal flotation. In my case 100 kilos + 30 = 130 litre board will float me fine and the sail can still be uphauled without too much difficulty.{For beginners some people suggest MANY more litres and a centre board to ensure you get back home i.e. long board}
The more volume also suggests more weight in the board itself. They are finding ways of keeping weight down just the same. The more volume means more area and thus either length and/or width is increased... Without enough volume schlogging becomes sinking :-)
For volume reduction on the freemoves, they have made them thinner and some have cutouts which reduces volume and is supposed to increase speed.

Width is typically related to earlier planing - for short boards. The prime example are the 100 cm wide formula boards. My 94 cm free formula is 170 litres and planes earlier than my 80 cm 160 litre free ride board. If a board is really wide it will plane in light winds, butt will become a handful in chop and probably cannot function well with smaller sails than 8-oh {other than perhaps for learning purposes}.
Another pay-off is the jibe/gybe. A wider board may be more difficult to jibe or require quite a large arc. Thus width is a factor in manoeuvrability.
A wider board will typically be wider OFO/one foot off the tail and thus handle bigger fins. Bigger fins mean bigger sails and early planing.
For the speed freaks - the boards tend to be narrower. The speed needles of the day looked like water skis !!! However, this depends on the wind strength. In the light to mid winds, the formulas are unbeatable. Some wider slalom boards like the SB Isonic and UltraSonic have wider versions that can compete with the Formulas.
A narrower board seems to handle chop better...

In around 2011 RRD came out with a board called FireMove which became known as a "freemove" board. As well as additional width, these boards have less "thickness" which also results in less volume. They are saying that such wide, thin boards actually behave like freeride boards that are 10 to 15 liters more in volume. What is also surprising is: they are saying that these wider, thinner boards can handle chop better than one would expect from such wide boards !!

When I began shortboarding, my first criteria was volume for flotation and then width to ensure the board could handle an 8.5 and the associated fin. When I started looking at early planing, I tried larger fins and sails, butt that did NOT cut it for me. The wider 94 cm Free Formula board put back the FUN in light winds with a shortboard. As my FreeFormula is early 2000's, it is quite long and not that fast. Now the board to beat is was the SB UltraSonic of 93 cm width  / now Exocet RS-7 which is 90 cm, butt are  much shorter than my BIC Techno Formula. The BTF is 267 cm and the SB US is only 240 cm long/ Exocet is 232 cm long. Tinho Dornellas of Calema in Florida feels that such a length is a "JOKE" - especially for heavyweights. John Ingebritsen, also of Florida suggests that 260 cm is the magic length for certain types of boards- for "typical wave sailing".

There are many other important factors in board selection {obviously}. Rigidity or stiffness {for the pros :) }, rocker/bottom shape, rails/thickness, tail width and now even cutouts all affect board function and performance.

For me up until now the key factors have been volume and width. I sail in light to mid winds and do NOT perform high speed gybes. Nor am I a speedster, wave sailor and bump n jumper.

Experts can sail anything in almost any conditions. I am a heavy weight average joe in light wind conditions trying to have as much fun on the water as possible.  My next aim is at speed in the footstraps. Then i will see what the major criteria are there in that category ...

When it comes to learning how to windsurf there is no doubt that "bigger is better" when it comes to your first day on the water. You will always find three measurements associated with windsurfing boards: LENGTH, WIDTH and VOLUME.
A windsurfing board's LENGTH is the least important stat of the three in today's shapes. However, one important aspect of length is that longer boards tend to go "straighter" more easily making them easier to head (or point) towards and desired destination point. If you are a beginner with OK balance or are somewhat athletic you may want to choose a beginner board that sacrifices a few centimetres of WIDTH for a slightly longer length.

The WIDER a beginner board the easier it is to balance on. The only down-side to width is an overly wide and super-short beginner board will tend to "drift" downwind as you sail. This makes it harder to steer back to you starting location. However, if you know your balance is bad than choose a super-wide board and you will have way more fun during your first few sessions... even if you have to walk back up the beach home!

Volume is important as it will tell you how easily a board floats on the water. When choosing a beginner board by volume make sure that the measurement is high enough to support your weight.

It used to be simple. A board was chosen based upon its length. Then the importance of volume was recognized and the emphasis changed. Over the past few years, there is a movement towards scaling boards based upon their maximum width. It’s fair to say that it has all got rather confusing!

So here is a bit of theory and we promise to stop after this! The 'useful' size of a board changes depending upon whether it is planing or not. 

When not planing, the size of the board is determined by its volume. This is the weight which can be floated on a board. A 120 litre board will support roughly 120 kilos of weight (including the weight of the board itself and the rig it is carrying). So if you weigh 80kg and the weight of your board and rig is 20kg, you will need 100 litres to float.  A 120 litre board will give you 20 litres of positive volume.  If you plan spending time off the plane, we would reccomend a positive volume of at least 20-30 litres.

When planing, the size of the board is a product of:

         1. The planing area (the bit in contact with the water)
         2. The speed the board is travelling at (the faster it goes, the bigger it feels)
         3. The angle the board is travelling across the water (the more the nose is trimmed up, the 
             more ‘lift’ the board will generate and the bigger it will feel).

So in short, any measure of size such as length, volume, width or otherwise is only ever going to be an indicator, because its impossible to calculate the 3 factors above at any given time. Our advice is to pay attention to the volume, particularly if you are planning to spend some time off the plane (eg uphauling etc) and then look closely at the sail size recommendations of the board. This will give you the best idea of how the board will fit into your quiver. 

JAN/FEB 2003 WindSurfing Magazine had an article on "What can you learn from board specs?

Length - fit in your hatchback ??
Volume - alone is not indicative of anything ...
Width - depends where width is ...
Kind of ironic cuz then they went in detail about OFO, Vee, Tuck, Rocker, Rise , Release, etc ...

I came up with this chart ... with factors versus performance - still a WHIP {work in progress}!462&app=Excel#!/view.aspx?cid=C6DB8ADE6B0C768C&resid=C6DB8ADE6B0C768C!462&app=Excel


For quite some time I felt that each board had a sweet spot for sail size. At first I thought is was volume based and I created this sheet:!132&ithint=file%2c.xlsx&app=Excel&authkey=!AN2YM0c940x9IU0

After some time, I realized that width was becoming a factor and added that column...

A certain board width then also seemed to have a sweet spot for sail size.
The sheet is "old" and thus I decided that 70 cm would be ideal for 7-oh, my 63 cm wide 124 liter Fanatic BEE LTD seemed ideal with a 6.3 sail. The pattern seems evident especially when confirmed with my 79 cm wide AHD FF 160 large shortboard that i preferred with an 8.x sail.

Take the boards width and divide by 10. (ball park and take with a grain - 100 cm = 10 ??)

This idea / relationship is confirmed in the following article.