Translator from GOOGLE

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 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 much other than the marketing video @ this time ...

Fanatic Blast 2017 from Fanatic International on Vimeo.


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


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 !!

DIY selfie stick in a backpack



One of the things I love about windsurfing in  the winter is, it is all about the experimentation. Yes, people have developed the sleds that work on ideal ice, but ice n snow here are ALWAYS far from ideal. The ice is too rough for such sleds, there is too much snow, etc, etc

With the first ice sled that I made, I was NOT careful enough and busted my left shoulder during the first trial run. Since then I have learned to be more careful... The current ice sled I am using works quite well and I typically use a HotSailsMaui Fire 6.3 sail, which happens to be my smallest recent sail and is rarely used in the summer...

My first selfie stick was made with a wooden broom handle and was shaved to fit boom. It broke at that point and I lost a GoPro 4. Luckily there are now cheaper options like the Pictek used in this video. The angle was meant for me to see how the sled works with the hopes that the background shows up. It shows the ride VERY well, but with no background. Just the same, I am calling it a success - cost me about $20 ... and less than one hour to put together...

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Since people DO seem interested  in HOW i made the selfie "pack", let me explain ...
First I started with a smaller backpack and ideally with 2 zippers in order to close the opening from both sides - NOT sure if all packs come like that now ...


Originally I had thought to make the back plate out of wood. Then the consideration  was - what if I want to try this in water ??? Need something out of plastic ... A cutting board that just fits in the bag would be IDEAL ...


In the above photo, the PVC pipe was already installed. The next consideration was - how big of a PVC pipe to put ?? Wanted the GoPro handlebar mount to fit and the PVC NOT to be too flexible ie NOT move around too much ... 3/4 inch pipe fit the bill and so only needed one ten foot length (cut at the store so as to fit in car) , one 45 degree angle, some PVC glue , U clamps to bolt to the board AND nuts n bolts ... Made the long bar four feet for now - can always shorten it - that's about 1.2 meters.

After everything has been carefully glued in a WELL ventilated area and dried in the house where it is warmer ... The entire contraption was put back in the backpack, tied all up nice n neat and the first trial run was done 😏 

Since the video above showed the rider and the area around him\me ... I decided to try and make something where one could see both rider and landscape - or angle the camera up more ...


This added some weight when I tried making a demo tape .. It showed me which angles might work. In order to reduce complexity, weight and do next experiment, I will cut the TEE from the bottom - allowing the possibility of putting it back with a coupling ...

So far this winter - all in 2017 for the 2016/2107 winter season, I have been out on the ice n snow ten (10) times with the following information: 

I presume with the last dump of 1.5 feet of snow (great for kiters) and temps going UP, my winter season is over ... Now I will have approximately one month off - most windsurfers from this area and from Toronto are planning their trips to Hatteras in this period !!! Great start to the 2017 season !!