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Popular Posts/Articles:
Foiling: hydrofoiling.html
GoPro Hero: GoPro-hero.html
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: http://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
Early Planing: early-planing.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                          windsurf-board-categories.html
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  
AHD SL2 132 liter: http://ahd-sl2-132.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
JP SuperLightWind/SLW92: JP SuperLightWind
Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR: mistral-equipe-i-lcs-xr.html
Mistral Competition SST: Mistral COMP SST
Mistral Equipe II / 2: mistral equipe 2 aka MEQ2

HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5: HSM SPF 8.5.html
MS-2 vs Pursuit: maui-sails-pursuit-vs-ms-2.html 

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

Windsurfing in Montrealwindsurfing-in-montreal.html
Original Journal Entries: original-journal-entries.html 
New journal entries: new-journal-entries.html
Newer journal entries: 2014/2015 journal entries.html
2016 journal entries: 2016-windsurf-journal.html
2017 journal entries: 2017-windsurf-journal.html


BIC Windsurf Boards

Don't know why it took so long for me to realize just how much of an impact BIC had on the windsurf world. Especially since my first board was a BIC Dufour Wing (red trim) with the original giant triangular sail and super long boom. Buddy had a BIC Techno 160 and I had a BIC Techno Formula. Even Franco had a BIC 293 ... BIC, BIC, BIC everywhere ...

So, I did a quick search in the brain and then on the internet and came up with quite a list:

BIC Dufour Wing (early 80's) - they sold tens of thousands in Europe
    it was the BIG BOOM of windsurfing
    wrote about it » my-bic-dufour-wing-and-how-i-started.html
    later a cheaper version called the 250 came out ...
    They were longboards where the dagger or centreboard did NOT fully retract.
    This is me in REALLY light wind learning...

Some people suggest this was a DIV I or division one board.
Here you can see the rounded hull, the protruding dagger-board and tiny fin:

they were a major part in the beginning of windsurfing

and i enjoyed it even with the newer sails 😊
was 378x68 cm - ~200 liters and a heavy 21 kilos

BIC SL200 (1984)  - is supposed to be the demise of the one class race boards.
    Now equipment became more important than skills...
    The board still has the two "holes" in the deck where the same proprietary
    mast base can go.
    Just got one in 2017 and am writing about it » bic-sl200-aka-bic-slalom-200.html

Now the dagger-board is fully retractable and the board has foot straps ...
Also, the bottom is flat and actually has the option for tr-fins:

The original centre fin is still tiny, but at least it seems to be US fin box !!
the beginning of slalom ??  310 x 66 cm - 200 liters and a heavy 17 kilos = 42.5 pounds !!

I imagine that board had an influence on the BIC 210SL which seems to have had something to do with Ken Winner ... It had a dagger, foot straps, flatter bottom AND a mast track ...
and Ken Winner was definitely into racing ... Was made around the same time 1984-1986
350x65 cm with 180 liters, but also still heavy at 18 kilos !!!
was probably also 210 liters and NOT 180 as found on a forum

BIC Rock n Roll (1986-1990) Seems to be the first of many BIC boards coming out in late 80's.

No longer are there "holes" in the deck and instead there is a sliding mast track.
Adjustable on the fly ??
Also, the bottom now has a VEE shape:

Board was getting shorter and less volume too. Previous ones were 200+ liters.
This one was about 135 liters and 305x62 cm weighing only 13 kilos ...
Previous boards were 17+ kilos !!

BIC Hard Rock (1987-1993) Now going down in liters - 110 ??
   Notice the pinched tail like the Mistral Equipe One.
   Ironically this one is 283 cm which is a length BIC used later in a longboard.
   Still have strange plastic straps for the feet/foot-straps...
   Less volume and less weight - down around 11 kilos ??
   Beat some speed records ??

BIC Allegro Speed Board (1987-1988 ?)  270 x 45 cm or 9'x18" as per Jimmy
    apparently shaped by the infamous Jimmy Lewis - windsurf board shaper

BIC Electric Rock (1988-1995) Now these boards look something from a magical
    mystery tour !! No wonder they were called electric !!

seem to have a decent VEE shape and nice fin too

Now approaching 100 litres !! and ONLY 8 kilos !! WOW & 265x58cm

BIC Astro Rock (1990-1996) apparently this one was LEGENDARY !!
    sold more than any other board at the time ??
    still has the track up front and does NOT work with modern sails
    back to 125 liters, 285x61 cm and 11 kilos.

BIC Veloces (1996-2000) is this the beginning of the freeride and fun boards ?
    some were 328x68 cm with 185 litres and others 310x64 cm with 151 litres
    seems they were known as Veloce 328 and Veloce 310
    and now back to the longboards - these ones DID have the dagger aka centre-board

Seems there were different versions where the later ones have mast track adjustable on the fly.
And perhaps even a version with NO centre-board ??
Apparently these boards were and are MUCH better for learning on ....
Remember the short board craze in the 80's almost killed the sport ...

BIC Vivaces 270, 282 and 290 (1994-1997) - 263 & 275 later ... 299 carbon version (277?)
    supposed to be very FAST - freerace ?? some marked "racetech"
    sounds like slalom boards to me
    may have had trimm fins

Vivace 290 - 120 litres 290x58 cm
Vivace 282 - 112 litres 282x55 cm
Vivace 270 -   96 litres 270x56 cm
Vivace 275 -   96 litres 275x54 cm
Vivace 263 -   81 litres 263x?? cm
Vivace 299 - 141 litres 299x56 cm

BIC Saxos (1995-1997) - some called them banana boards and I can see why
    they were all quite low in litres and can only imagine them in wave settings

Saxo 253 - 75 litres
Saxo 265 - 85 litres
Saxo 270 - 94 litres

BIC Techno 283 (2000-2006?) Originally designed for freeride racing. One Design Junior.
    It is 152 liters and 283x69 cm with a dagger/centre-board and 9 kilos.
    Seems there were two versions and the carbon version is closer to 8 kilos.
    Thus it can be used as a starter board too - taking you to planing, straps, etc

BIC Techno E/Evolution - 112/M & 135/L (2001-2006 ??)
    trimm box and no dagger-board
112M - 263x63cm 8 kilos
135L - 263x69cm 10 kilos ??

BIC Techno Formula (2001/2009??) - wide @ 94 cm and using trimm fin at first
    and tuttle later
    Kevin Pritchard seemed to have something to do with this board !!
    wrote about it  » bic-techno-formula.html
    the board can take long fins and large sails - the beginning of Formula
    it is perhaps the foundation for the Novas as well

I managed to have some fun on mine - especially in light winds with a 10 m² sail

BIC Techno 293 OD (2005 ? -2017) World's Largest Windsurfing Class !!
   with more volume at 205 litres, 293 cm length and 79 cm width = stability
   add to that a 60 cm daggerboard and no issues going upwind and back to start
   can take a newbie from learning to racing - sounds like a Kona One that came later ?

BIC Techno 2's  - 118, 133, 148, 160 & 160D - (2006-2017)
    "early planing , fast and good upwind"
    sounds like freeride of today  - "versatile and durable" = even better
    buddy paid less for a BIC Techno 160 and sold for more than me and my AHD FF 160
    the 160 I saw had a layer on the board with a strange edging - also felt odd floaty
    these ones definitely had the power box fins
BIC Techno 118L - 249x67cm - 8 kilos
BIC Techno 133L - 250x70cm - 9 kilos
BIC Techno 148L - 264x75cm - 10 kilos
BIC Techno 160L - 255x82cm - 12.5 kilos
BIC Techno 160D - same as 160, but with the dagger = NICE !! (and 11 kilos ??)
also saw something about a 185 and 205 ??
BIC Techno 185D - 293x79cm with Dagger = 12.5 kilos sounds like the Techno 293D!!
BIC Techno 205D - this one for sure is just another name for the 293 ...
BIC Techno 240D - 297x92cm with Dagger = 15.5 kilos = BIG

BIC Cores - (2010-2015??) are these just "cheaper" versions of the Techno ??
    Local shop has a brand new Core 112 for $600 !!
    112/133/148/160D/293D ...

BIC Nova 165/180/240D (2006-2017??) - soft EVA deck
    - often with Dagger & deep tuttle
    - excellent beginner boards - choose based on weight
    165L - 255x82cm
    170D/180L - 239x90cm
    240L - 297x92cm

BIC Hybrid 240 OD (2009??-2013??) - sounds like a bigger 293, non ?
    actually seems to be the OD progression board FROM the 293
    as sailors get older and heavier
    at that size and volume, it should be good for all sailors in many conditions
    308cmx82 with dagger board

BIC Beach 175D/225D (2010-2017) - wide, long boards with lotsa volume and NOT expensive
    great for schools and learning ...
    especially with daggers, handles, etc

175L - 285x78 cm they say it is for light weight - should work for all
225L - 297x92cm say it is for heavweights - should work for many more

BIC Jungle WindSUP (2010-2014 ??) - apparently has a saber dagger ...
    10'10" for some reason, the SUPs are measured the old way
    for me that's about 325 cm and a good longboard length
    it's about 175 liters and only 72 cm wide - narrow as a SUP ??


BIC WindSUP Ace-Tec - (2015-2017) back to imperial 10'6" and 11'6" models
    10'6" is 315 cm and width is 31.5" or ~78 cm with 185 liters and 29 pounds/13 kilos
    11'6" is 330 cm and width is 32.5" or ~81 cm with 215 liters and 33 pounds/15 kilos
    which for me means long AND wide ...
    Franco Ittiandro in MTL has one and seems to love it - had issue with skin peeling in heat
BIC Inflatable WindSUP Air - (2015-2017) 10'6" model, but 33" wide
    300 liters and 23.5 pounds

BIC Hydrofoil (2016-2017) - along with Kerfoils developed for the Techno 133 & 148
    on a 70 cm mast, which sounds long, but there are longer ones

definitely used some info from here:

pretty clear they had many boards and were an influence on the windsurf sport
great for beginners and youth races !!

to see what BIC has now :

you see - missed at least one already !!
BIC Bamba

BIC Samba

BIC Calypso

BIC SL200 aka BIC Slalom 200

In July 2017 I purchased this board to become my chalet/lake board.

In the past there were BIC Dufours, Fanatic Ultra CAT, Mistral COMP SST, Mistral Equipes, etc... all tried on the lake.
This board is flatter on the bottom than some and some people are calling it slalom ...

There is an option of thrusters, but I did not receive them when I purchased the board.
Perhaps I will try that option one day ...

That picture was from seabreeze Auzzie forum:

On the web they are saying this is one of the boards that was the demise in the popularity of windsurfing.
Before this there were DIV ones and twos and everyone seemed to be on similar boards.
Now the equipment made all the difference.
In the last few years the KONA One has revisited the idea of one board for all.
In some areas of the world this is helping windsurfing gain popularity again ...

Before we get too sidetracked here ...
What are the specifications of the board:

Year:   1984
Volume: 200 liters
Length: 310 cm
Width:   66 cm
OFO:     39 cm - measured by me
dagger:  54 cm fully retractable - measured by me
fin:        24.5 cm - measured by me
weight:  17 kg/ 37 lbs

Some of the specifications were taken from here:

Clique to enlarge or go to url

Like the BIC Dufour there are two "holes" in the deck where the proprietary mast base can be placed.
There is no mast track and obviously no option to use modern single bolt or other mast base.
This is the mast base that came with the board:

I will use my converted mast base in order to use "modern" sails ...

Previous owner used smaller sails like 4.0 to 6.0 m².
As usual, I plan to use the HotSailsMaui SpeedFreak 8.5.
Previous owner also warned me that one could not really stand on the front of the board - like a modern sailboard.
The rails are quite thick - something like a Mistral Prodigy. Am trying to remember what impact that has on sailing...
All this will be analyzed when I get the board on the water ...

Okay, managed to get the board out a couple of times in the country. mid-July 2017 ...
In very light wind it is NOT as steady as the MEQ2 and some skills are required.
As Gabriel said last week, on his FIRST outing EVER on a windsurfer, windsurfing is MUCH more work when there is NO wind !! He was on the MEQ2 with the GA Flow 3X...

In a little bit more wind, the board went better. As the board is flatter on the bottom than the Dufour, I tended to keep the dagger down. Am curious to see how the board handles a bit more wind or even a bigger sail - was out with the Gaastra Flow 3X cambered sail. Seemed light a good combo.
The board seemed to take on water, but I believe this is the dagger chamber ...

At 17 kg/37 lbs the board is quite heavy. Although it does not feel heavy on the water.
With the dagger the board goes upwind quite well !!!
So far , so good ... May make it as my lake board - not so sure about for others - like newbees.
Need to leave the MS 490 mast ?? Ideally need a boom to leave @ the chalet too ...
If I leave the mast, then I cannot use the TR-6 8.4 back home ...
Left the mast and qwertyjjj may have a cheap boom for me ...

Jumping onto a Plane

Yesterday, in early July 2017, the wind was light - was supposed to be 20-40 kph, but ... As it was light, but hopefully better than 20 kph, I did NOT bring my Mistral Equipe 2 XR longboard. Instead I brought the JP SLW92, but with the HSM SpeedFreak 8.5 and not the TR-4 10-oh. There were times that I managed to plane, but only when there were decent gusts. There were three(3) people that stood out. I saw benwindy give three or four short pumps, jump onto a plane and fly towards me waving and with a smile. There was a fellow with a pony tail who seemed to be constantly planing. He planed past me when I felt I had no chance of planing. As Helmut said, " Once you get going, you can keep going!" I followed the pony tail to see what was his trick. He was not planing in the lighter stuff and when he saw the opportunity, he too pumped to try and plane.
On another occasion skiguy blasted past me when I was nowhere near planing - just waiting for that puff.
All this goes to show a few things. These folks were not all on light wind gear and yet doing fine - better than this old tanker. They also had to squeeze that extra flotation out by doing a few pumps. We are not talking about Olympic racing pumps either.
My whole kit did not feel spot on and I was wondering whether I have been spending too much time on the longboard.
Other issues were, the wind was onshore, water deeper than usual, windshadow closer to shore making beach starting difficult and the kiters took over an important section of the beach.
All in all , it still was a great day out and I chatted with many friends (old and new) !!

That day I pushed myself to NOT bring the longboard. Was a little disappointed in the JP, but still feel something was amiss.  I could have put a longer fin and I definitely felt the boom was not set high enough. Had moved the mast track forward at one point, but perhaps it needed to go back a bit ?? This is all part of the fun of windsurfing. Even those lightweights with 6.6 sails and a 71 cm wide RRD had fun :-)

There are videos and other discussions on the web, but i just wanted to start the subject for now.
and NON, no footstraps since the wind was - well - light n gusty - as usual :-)

Just Pump It ...

and this is what benwindy had to say ... vous parlez francais n'est-ce pas ?? :-)

"Ouais il m'arrive de pomper !
Quand c'est limite, cad, quand on planerait avec le vent réel, mais il en faut un peu plus pour nous faire décoller.
Pour un mĂȘme volume, une planche plus courte a plus besoin de ce coup de pompe.
MĂȘme pour une 160 litres!
J'ai 2 façons.
1- Décroché du harnais, les pieds devant les straps, je place la planche au largue, je rapproche les mains et tire légÚrement sur le wish tout en poussant sur la planche, j'augmente progressivement le mouvement.
Si ça part pas aprÚs 5 coups, je réfléchis à la beauté du sport et continue de schlogger!
Si ça part, je place le pied avant dans la strap et continue de larguer. 
Puis le pied arriĂšre, c'est lĂ  que je reprend du travers.

2- je fais aussi je pumping des freestyleux
Accroché au harnais, les pieds devant les straps, je zigone la voile entre main gauche et main droite.
Je fais cela pour espérer passer un trou de vent, quand je suis au planning.

Quand c'est rafaleux et que je ne plane pas, je remonte toujours le vent tout en schloggant,
Pour me mettre de l'argent en banque, argent que je vais dépenser quand une rafale arrive,
C'esr Ă  dire pouvoir pomper en largant !"

and here is an eight page discussion on iwindsurf (am sure there will be MORE pages coming)

On seabreeze forum FrenchToast mentions that he pumps to get going with his Falcon LightWind:

I sail in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. 1h north of Milwaukee; 2:30h north of Chicago. You might be right regarding how little wind there was. Maybe 9-10 knots? I cannot imagine getting this kit on a plane in less than that. I had similar session 2 days ago and it took me at least 8-10 pump to get the board up and going. Once it is on a plane tho, the kit is going through lulls fantastically well. I really tok the wind to die down for the board to come off. 

More impressions:
About a week ago, I went out in 13-14 knots it seemed. The V8 was set to release plenty at the top with medium+ outhaul. Even overpowered in gusts, the sail was balanced; it was tiring but manageable. The board was flying over the chop and swell. I think the Falcon can easily be rigged with a 8 or 8.5 in stronger wind and still provide a controlled ride. The boom length being this short, I even managed to waterstart after a failed jibe (the luff sleeve wasn't yet full of water though). I used a 57cm slalom fin (stock is 50cm). Doesn't seem to make a difference upwind and I haven't had enough TOW to see if it provides more early planing lift compared to the 50cm. I managed to spin out a couple of time upwind with the 57cm though. Maybe putting too much foot pressure... don't know. Fully powered, the Falcon Lightwind is fast but doesn't seem to be as fast as my 124L AtomIQ. I need a gps tracker to verify. Regardless, I've been on the water planing with a smile in conditions I wouldn't have bothered heading out to the beach. The kit is doing exactly what I was hopping for. The 9.4 V8 is delivering substantially more power than my 8.5 Lion3 obviously. 

Next winter, I have to try foiling on rental gear and if conclusive, I might put a foil on the falcon for new lightwind experiments! If anyone has done this on a JP, Fanatic or RRD lightwind, let me know how it went.


NEVER thought I would be writing about this subject - since I am struggling to get in them. However, I have seen some discussion on the subject and realize there are many different aspects to them. As such, for now I will post a video that seems to cover many things one can consider in terms of foot straps ... (Is it footstraps or foot straps ??)

Fanatic Shark 145 HRS

For MANY years I have been a longboarder and still am ...

When I started looking at shortboards around 2006, I was always looking at the Fanatic Sharks. Ended up getting a brand new 2007 AHD FastForward 160liter/79cm wide board instead.  Sold it about seven years later at less than half the price. That board was VERY sensitive and I banged it up good.

In 2016 my windsurf buddy  had a Shark 150 LTD for sale, but my windsurf funds were too low for that ...Later that same year ... I saw a 2006 Fanatic Shark HRS 145 for sale. In early 2017 I put a deposit on the 145 and picked it up in April.

Volume: 145 liters
Width: 75 cm or 30 inches
One Foot Forward/OFO: 51 cm or 20.4 inches
Length: 263 cm or 8.75 feet 
Weight: 9.4 kilos or 20.7 lbs
Sail Range: 6.5-9.5 (ideally 7.0-9.0 ?)
Fin Box: Power ie single screw/bolt
Included: Straps, pads and Shark 50 cm Fin

My wife asked ... "Why do I need this board?" 
Now, no reason for me to get upset about being asked that question ...  I do after all have too many boards. Probably about eight. Five that I use. The issue is - I MUST get in those foot straps. The beauty of this board is - it has an extra row of inserts that is NOT as far up as some StarBoard beginner straps, but up enough to make a difference... easier to get in and out - No Fear and No Loathing ...

Those straps should be EASY to get into !!

Some things to note, the board has NO vent screw and has quite rounded rails... It is long by today's standards, but that is okay with me !! Based on previous analyses ... I used to say the ideal sail for a board was its width divided by ten, which suggests 7.5 m² for this board and would NOT surprise me in the least. Since the board originally came with a 50 cm fin, I would be inclined to believe the board was also slated to handle 9 meter sails. This is confirmed both by board specifications and reviews ... The fin needs some minor repairs ... but started that right away !!

Also purchased a 47 cm slalom fin - thought there was NO fin with the board ^*(&*()
Zokay - will be GREAT with 8.x sails !!

This board used to belong to Dave Cadoret - before Ron. He used to be the president of the APVM/ Association de Planche Ă  Voile de Montreal. It was either his or the association's.

In 2009 the German windsurf magazine did a report on the Shark 145 ...
They marked it as 152 liters and 9.4 kg with same dimensions as the 2006/2007. In their tests they called it the sportiest and yet the longest board of the test. "The board glides very well, is fast and runs freely over the fin..." They say it is less comfortable in chop, which surprises me with the 75 cm narrow width ...

This is what Tinho Dornellas of calema sports said about the Shark 145 in 2005

Fanatic Shark 145

This board surprised me the most for how easily it planed. I put a 9.8 sail in light winds when no one was out sailing , everyone waiting for winds to build. With the conditions I had, I was expecting a fair amount of schlogging to the windline, but the minute I was on the off the shore, the board surged, wanting to plane. A smooth pump and the board was off on a plane. Frankly I did not expect this from a board that is fairly short, and having compared to boards of similar size in the Exocet, Starboard  and Tabou line.
Once on the plane, the ride is quick and the board is very maneuverable. The Jibe is OK , predictable and very accommodating to different techniques and rider input, always reliable.
The mast track is quite far back, so be careful to place it well forward of halfway.

The footstraps are placed perfectly for different rider stance and weight, as well as skill level and type of sailing to be done on this board. One thing I really like on these new fanatics is the multiple footstrap positions you are offered. Most European boards feature a footstrap width that is so extremely wide (for booties) that sailing barefoot feels like your feet are dancing around constantly. Not with these boards. You can close or widen the attachment position so your foot is either super snug or comfortably loose.

The overall looks of the board are very appealing with a polished and very harmonious outline. I don't usually pay attention to this (other than wincing at some butt ugly noses on some boards out there..) But the fact that the board behaves so well in rough conditions has me looking closer at what the nice outline is doing.
This is the same I found on the Eagle boards.

The Fin supplied is of very good quality and performance, and very light for its size.

I highly recommend this board for those looking for a board in this category, especially if you deal with choppy or wavy conditions. This board deals with rough conditions with total ease.

Heavier weight guys in the 100 kg category should love this board for its high wind abilities. It has the volume for underpowered sailing and it does not become too big when it blows.
This is also the board for light weights and women that seek that first high performance board to advance their skills such as using footstraps carve jibing, and planing.

Sails 9.8 ? 6.0

For 9.8-8.5 sails:
T= 145 cm
FO4, RO2

Intermediate sailing
T = 145 cm
FI 3
RI 2
Stronger winds, sails 8.0 -7.0
T= 142-140 cm
3/6/06 Lately I have tested the LTD with a Meanline B 46 cm and the board became an excellent jibing board. Nice surprise!!!

I even found a website that says the 2007 Shark 145 was good for 5-10 m² sails :

that is a bit much
with a 50 cm fin coming with the board, 10 m² is for sure the max sail size
would guess it is like my AHD FF 160/79 - best for 6-8 meter sails
Ron used 6.5 @ 135 cm mark in 16-20 winds, but is much lighter
Tinho warned to put bigger sails at 145 cm mark

Here is the sticker from a later year: 6.5 - 9.5 !!

In 2005/6/7 there were the Sharks 135, 145 and 160 with LTD versions of the 135 and 145. These boards already had the rounded noses...

In 2008 the sizes were changed to 130/145/160 still with the two smaller sizes available in LTD.

In 2010 they must have realised the Shark was a popular free-ride board and put some Eagle influence on their shapes and came out with 100/115/125/135/150/165 sizes. It was still the 135 and 150 that were available in LTD.

From 2011 until 2014 Fanatic dropped the number of Sharks down to 105/115/125/135/150/165.

Tinho Dornellas says he loved the Shark 145 most and I hope to do so as well !!!

Here is the most decent video I found with this board so far and it is Hatteras !!
In light wind with an Ezzy Cheetah 9.5 !!

The kid says he is using a 4.3 on a Shark 145 cuz wind is howling @ 30 knots !!!

So, my plan is as follows: In  the next year or two up my skills to the point where I can make a decent decision on quiver choices... Do I go with JP SLW92, Shark HRS 145 and BEE LTD 124 OR JP SLW92 , AHD SL2 132 and a FreeWave 115 ?? 😊
Of those boards, the only one i don't have yet is the FSW 115 !!

So far managed to try the board a couple of times ... Both at OKA and neither a true success. Once at the main beach and once at La CrĂȘte. As Tinho says, I seemed to like the mast at the 140 mark. However, this seemed to make tacking impossible. The board floats less than I thought - for my big carcass. The AHD  FF 160 was much floatier. The balance point on the board seems to be around the 120 cm mark from the back. Perhaps I should keep mast base back just in order to practice the straps ? For now will wait for water levels to drop before making next attempts. In 2017 Montreal  had floods like many had not seen before. Last one like this was in the early seventies !! Access to many sites was not available. Boats were not put on the water yet ... Time to be more cautious. Will go back to MEQ2 longboard until everything settles down ...

In early August 2017 I finally got a chance to give the board a run for the money. Winds were SW @ La CrĂȘte which mean on-shore and can try stuff without worrying too much. Tried it with the 47 cm slalom fin and HSM SpeedFreak 8.5. Went faster than i ever have on water - even than the AHD SL2 132. Had the mast base at 140. Because the wind picked up, went with the 38 cm slalom fin and NS Duke 6.9 and again flew like the dickens.  Need to investigate why board often tended to go into the wind... That day was a 9 outta 10 session = a rare feat !!

Fanatic Blast

Just when I was getting used to the idea of "free move" windsurf boards\sailboards ...
The following things happened ...

  1. The freemoves gained such popularity that ...
  2. The Gecko replaced the Fanatic Shark completely - NO MORE Sharks !!
  3. The Fanatic Hawk 135 disappeared
  4. The BLAST as a "free carve" showed up and then
  5. The Hawks disappeared completely - NO MORE Hawks !!
Somewhere I read the disappearing model(s) had been around for about ten(10) years ...
For me certain models like the Sharks and the Rockets feel like they are timeless ...
Excellent boards that are difficult to improve on  even more ...
The Tabou Rocket has managed to stay around - for now ....

Before we go too far, the Blast is apparently based on the Stubby concept and looks like this:

That image makes it look like a typical freeride and does NOT show how it has a parallel outline with the stubby nose .. Let's try again ...

Ah, much better. One can see the narrow diamond tail (like the AHDs) and the wide middle to front that is almost parallel plus the wide, short stubby nose ...

Personally I am NOT a big fan of the narrow tail nor the short boards. Thought this was due to my lack of windsurf skills, but was reassured when reading some comments from John Ingebritsen on the iwindsurf forums where he does NOT like the short boards nor narrow tails on wide boards and he IS a blaster !!

Here is an extract from the 2017 Fanatic brochure:

clique to enlarge
Local windsurfer, Force10 has had the Gecko 120 LTD and now a Blast 115 LTD.
Was surprised that he would change out so quickly ... and asked him about it ...

"The Gecko is a very easy board to sail, supremely polyvalent (multi-purpose), quite fast but it lacks 2 things:

Power in the tail for larger sails in lighter winds, so with my 8.3 it was only good with the 8.3 fully loaded" and "The board was getting pretty big and bouncy around the 6.4 mark"...

These comments don't surprise me due to the narrow tail of the Gecko, but I do NOT see how the Blast would be any better in that regard. However, sailor in question also has a Fanatic Falcon LightWind 152 which should be fine with an 8.x sail and the appropriate fin. Since I have a JP SLW92 which is similar to that Falcon, those boards are fine in 8.x weather if and when there is NOT much chop. With 90+ cm width they tend to slap the water if one is not skimming over it !!

The Gecko 120 is 76 cm wide and slated for sails 6.5-8.5. When I used an 80 cm freeride with a 7 meter sail in the appropriate conditions, it was rough and so, it is not surprising that the Gecko would have issues in 6.4 weather ...

So, how does the Blast 115 address these issues or concerns ?? I do NOT think the power in the tail will be improved... However, the board with 66 cm width should be ideal in 6.4 conditions. My personal concern, once again, is the board is only 232 cm long. 

Force10 does a good description  of the Blast 115 here and he does mention the Blast seems to be for more advanced sailors while the Gecko 120 is a little more forgiving and user friendly...
I will attempt to translate the key factors into English here ...
Actually, let's try google translate :

with some key points about the Blast 115...

"Fast as a slalom board, but "easy" as a Freeride. "

"If you compare with the Gecko 120, the Gecko has more stability, gybes more easily in moderate wind but for the rest, Blast is superior in planing and in high speed gybes."

Force10 mentions "nose dives" in his reviews as do even some reviews on  the shorter Free Moves.

What about the Hawk ??

"The Blast replaces the Hawk with a different approach; It's not the same feeling, it's more "connected", direct, significantly more aggressive in the gybes without asking for better technique, I feel more attack with the Blast. The Hawk cut the chop, whereas the Blast flies over it (absorbs it), you must be in the straps and not be afraid to press the gas ... 

the short nose sinks a little only if you are semi-planing (schlogging)..."

Not sure why, but when I read all this, I get a feeling that it sounds like the new Severne FOX.

When are we satisfied with the boards we have ? It feels like we are always looking for the board that planes earlier. Reminds me of the commercials\adverts back in the day when we watched TV\television. They were always advertising "cleaning even more than white" and the "closer shave". Read somewhere that we now have seven blade razors ??

In any case... it does sound like a FUN board that can kick ass ... If you want to go with bigger sails or are a little less "technical" than Force10 or heavier like me , I guess either a Gecko 120 , 133 or Blast 130 would be the ticket.

Cannot find many videos other than the marketing video @ this time ...

Fanatic Blast 2017 from Fanatic International on Vimeo.

Now get out there and ride !!! sorry - BLAST !!

Now some videos are starting to show up ...

fanatic blast 130 ltd from Rave Creative Ltd on Vimeo.

In the comments section Clyde, who is a lightweight sailor, felt the Blast 115 did NOT meet up to his expectations. He feels it does NOT schlogg well and in terms of early planing has to send it downwind to get it going. Ironically when I posted these concerns on windsurf forums, people suggested freemoves and freewaves. No-one addressed it on the Blast other than one suggestion to move back in the mast track bit.

Preparing for the 2017 Summer Windsurf Season ...

My 2017 winter ice sailboard season is now most probably OVER.
I did manage to get out about ten(10) times with a satisfaction factor close to 80 %.
The biggest issue is still, as always, the deeper snow...

So, what worked in the summer of 2016, what did not and what are the plans for 2017 ??

Sails are covered and will stay as such , unless ... skills improve and smaller required ...
Have HSM  Fire 6.3, NS Duke 6.9, MS TR-6 8.4, HSM SPF 8.5 and MS TR-4 10.0 m² sails

The Mistral Equipe 2 XR carbon was asked about, but these boards are difficult to find and was my most used board in 2016. Replacement would have to be an Exocet RSD2 or a Starboard Phantom. Those boards are VERY expensive (even used often over $2000) and I would be lucky to get $800 for my MEQ2. Just bought a Makani 32 cm fin to replace the Fanatic Hawk 34 cm fin lost last year too ... Great board with sails 7 to 10 meters !!

The JP SLW92 was almost sold last year for $1200, but again, everyone warned me that I was selling it before I got to use it to full benefit. Took their advise and still have it. Good in 12-15 knots with 8.x and 10 meter sails ...

The category that is of the most interest, as always , is the mid-wind section. These for me are winds from 20-40 kph and perhaps even  30-50 kph ... My first shortboard in these winds was an AHD FF 160 litre\79 cm wide board. After I sold it, I tried a Starboard iSonic 117W. That board was WAY too much for me and I swapped it out for an AHD SL2 132. That board I can sail, but it is VERY challenging - with my lack of skills. You see, I have a foot strap phobia and never practised water starts cuz I could always uphaul. The board does NOT tack easily due to its short length of 232 cm. In terms of gybes, I typically did light wind gybes, while this board flies !! So, I put that board on the market for a fair price. If I sell it for that price, ok , otherwise I will practise with it when the spirit moves me.

To go back a step, people were suggesting the Fanatic Geckos, either 120 or 133 litres. None used and reasonable price since they are still fairly new ... So, found a 2006 Fanatic Shark 145 HRS. Paid a little more than I wanted to, but it is the board that will get me in the straps !! There are MANY strap positions, the board is longer and with 75 cm width will go in somewhat higher winds with chop. Unfortunately it did NOT come with the fin and I have 40 cm fins and a Makani weed fin that is supposed to be good for 7-8 meter sails ... Missed out on a decent 46 cm fin @ 2-rad. Was hoping to sell another fin first ... Bruno knew I was interested and did not let me have first dibbs.  Next time, just buy it !!

I also still have my Mistral SLE 303 which is also good for practise in the mid-winds and it is a board I can bash & not worry about since I got it for under $100... Just realised, looks like it had a sunken mast track way back then !!

Ah yes, and I do still have my Fanatic BEE 124 LTD to practise in the BIGGER winds...

I guess six(6) boards is a bit much !! Only two(2) are really worth anything in terms of $$$ and am trying to sell one of 'em ... Know people who have a two(2) board quiver and even some who have a one board quiver !!

Now just waitin' for wind and water !!