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Mistral Competition SST

Okay, so I purchased a Mistral Competition SST in March of 2015. The BIG question is WHY ?? I already have a BIC Dufour Wing , Fanatic Ultra CAT and a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR. How can there be a need or desire for this additional 1980's longboard ?? 

Perhaps it is as Georges of the OKA jungle says, " Joe is a collector of old windsurf equipment and should start a museum!" Actually there is a little more logic than that :-) 

I am looking for the best performing longboard for my heavyweight carcass. All that I read suggests I go for the biggest and most volume longboard I can get my hands on. Ideally that would be a modern SB Phantom 380 or Exocet 380. However, those boards cost about $3000 new and NEVER show up on the used market...And so, I buy used - bought a used JP SLW92 in 2014 and now a used Mistral Comp SST in 2015.

The BIC Dufour is well, OLD, but historique. The CAT has seen better days and so the real comparison is Mistral Equipe I versus the COMP SST. 

Fortunately I have the 82 83 84 Mistral brochure with both boards listed / discussed 
inside. Here I present the COMP SST from the brochure: 

The main differences between the two(2) boards are:

different fins - race fin on Equipe ?
tri-concave bottom on COMP vs four on the Equipe
both are 372 cm long, but COMP is 70 cm wide and Equipe 65
Equipe has rubber gasket and centre board protrudes through deck slightly
COMP has NO gasket and does NOT protrude through deck - thicker board
COMP is 230 liters and Equipe I is 210

These differences seem almost insignificant, but the width and volume are supposed to help both newbies and heavyweights ...

As the brochure suggests: the COMP SST is the successor to the legendary SuperLight. I read an article where someone felt that this board was one of the reasons for the demise in popularity of windsurfing !! Everyone was out having fun on the One Design SuperLight and then this board showed up and just blew everyone away !!! Let me see if i can find it ...
Ah, took me a while, but here it is:
and here is the quote:
"I remember that board well. At the spot where I was sailing (inland, so no wave or custom boards), the Comp was the very start to the downward trend this wonderful sport has been in the last 20 years."
In summary what he is saying is this is when it became an "equipment race". Who had the latest n greatest as opposed to who could sail the OD/OneDesign the most efficiently. Now what KONA is doing is allowing sail size based on sailor weight to even out the playing field.

Back to the board... This one has a badly done nose repair that needs some touch-up, a crack in the centerboard housing and the fin seems difficult to remove.

So, I will leave the fin, touch up the casing and nose, remove the foot straps and give it a whirl. Once comfortable with the board, I will compare it to first the Equipe and then the CAT and Dufour. Since I like to use shortforms for the board names, what should I call this board ?? Either COMP or SST... Since SST is just the construction , like LCS and XR on the Equipe, I will call it the COMP ...

And so.. I left the fin , lubricated the centreboard, patched up the nose more and removed the footstraps. Just need to fix the crack in the centreboard casing. Will use MarineTex for that - believe i am out :-(

Am looking forward to trying the board  out...

OK, got some MarineTex and did the quick fix:

With last repairs done, ice going -- Now I am REALLY looking forward to trying the board  out...

Put some ReDek on, but needed some paint on slippery parts where final layer peeled off ?? Also put on the mast base that I made for my Mistral Equipe I ...

These guys may have centre board gasket IF needed:

25APR 2015 

NO gasket required ...
First outing on the water of the year and the first outing with the Mistral COMP SST. Used the SW Retro 8-oh in NW winds around 20kph. The board was fine, but at times felt fin alone allowed board to go upwind - when there was not enough wind. This seemed less of an issue when there was more wind. NO-ONE was on the water. NICE. Give session a 7.5 outta 10 and board the same. Excellent for first outing in light, light winds. Compared to MEQ, it felt more floaty. Almost like the CAT !!. Will be very difficult to say which one i like better - MEQ or COMP  !! Made a video that I am keeping private - just for me, since it is not too thrilling for others. Will wait until better speeds and more fun ...

Managed a 2nd outing on the local river with just a little more wind:
Before going to Cape Hatteras NEXT WEEK !!

The third outing was the best so far. Still on the local river with winds SW about 20-30 kph

In August 2015 I sold the board to Franco Ittiandro of iwindsurf forum fame for what I paid for the board. Franco was getting frustrated with his BIC 293 OD in the light winds. He was trying sail modifications to catch more wind ... I suggested he try and buy this board. Ideally it should have been more money after all the mods/corrections I did, but perhaps I just paid too much in the first place ??

I touched up the nose repair
superglued the crack in the centreboard casing + added a bolt
applied reDek and painted the deck to ensure it was NOT slippery
put the metal plate to allow standard mast bases
put in the Mistral Equipe centreboard - original kept jamming and is better on the MEQ

So far Franco seems very happy with the board and is ecstatic about the glide in light winds :-)

Then again, perhaps that is his COMP for sale on kijiji ...
Says he bought a WindSUP - correction - on forum he is thinking of buying a WindSUP
Says the issue with the board is the width - causes issues in jybes n tacks ...
Just get used to it !! as suggested on iwindsurf - one cannot have it all !!
Should NOT have given the centreboard in this case ...
Actually bought the dagger BACK in 2016 to sell a GREAT FULLY equipped MEQ One

just checked and the WindSUP 11'6" is 82 cm while this Mistral is 70
now Franco is also complaining about fin on the new WindSUP and will not take suggestion to try centreboard - wants to go with thrusters instead

Franco has gone from Tabou Rocket 145 to BIC 293 core to my Mistral Competition SST and now to BIC WindSUP 11'6". Seems he is not happy with ANY of these so far  and he may have had a Starboard RIO before all this ?? Feels like he has come full circle ??

Confirmed - Franco's board  history
started with an "old longboard"
2008 BIC Techno 160
2009 SB RIO 190 - "heavy and unresponsive" - wants to progress and goes for Rocket
2011 Rocket 145 - does not feel comfortable with it - "poor in sub-planing - curse to go upwind"
2012 BIC 293D - "does not glide well"
2015 COMP SST - finds it too narrow - it's 70 cm - issues tacking n gybing
2016 BIC WindSUP 11'6" - issues with fins ?? AAO Paul helps him with sail rigging

still feel the Mistral COMP SST was THE board for him ...
the WindSUP is 80 cm wide and will not glide as well as Mistral COMP SST or Kona ONE, etc ...
Kona ONE is also 70 cm wide

In 2016 he is still trying to sell the COMP SST - lotsa colours ... SOLD to ONT

The Ideal Winter Windsurf Quiver

As I live in the land of ice and snow, this is NOT your traditional windsurf quiver. Nor are the boards your traditional windsurf boards. Luckily windsurf bases, extensions, masts, booms and sails are the same windsurf sails.

It took me some time to realize it was practically impossible to have one sled do it all. Let's start with the ice... There are MANY levels of ice compatibility. Here in Montreal we rarely get smooth or black ice. The iceratz of the New England states have a rating system for ice conditions. Let me see if I can find it ....

It is from Jeff Brown, who is a speed maniac of the iceratz fame and i will post some of his videos here too...

Grade 1 = 2 to 4 inch drifts - sailable, but ...
Grade 2 = Corn Snow Surface requires big winds
Grade 3 = Mixed Bag of rough ice, deep snow, etc
Grade 4 = Hard Ice with snow patches which can be sailed through or around
Grade 5 = Hard Snow Ice with random lumps
Higher than this ... it is quick smooth !!!
Grade 6 =Smooth White Ice - snow slushed n froze
Grade 7 = Hard Grey of Black Ice with random roughness
Grade 8 = smooth White Ice - has many air bubbles and degrades quickly with melting
Grade 9 = downgraded Black Ice - may have hit melting and gone back down
Grade 10 = Black Ice and perfect conditions

here is a PDF with these details ...

So, for the ideal ice conditions, one do people use ??

There are many variations of what is called the Hiberna sled.

image from
It is basically a board on blades. People make many variations of this. Underneath is a mechanism or setup like the skateboard trucks. This allows the board to be tilted and the kit will turn. People practice laydown jibes, duck jibes, etc , etc...

The snowfer with the ice blades is supposed to be good on ice too, but since I will discuss it later on, I will just give it a mention here...

Also, how often does one have ice with NO snow ??
Or even smooth ice for that matter...

Here is it VERY rare...

Thus the next set of conditions seems to be the less than ideal. One has  the lake or river surface, but the ice is not perfect or there is packed snow no good for blades... Sounds like we never get better than a grade 3 here !!!

Long angled skis seem to work best for these kind of conditions.
These are the types of boards used.
Maneuverability seems to start to suffer, but I have seen and heard of people jibing their sleds...
George says he has NO issues duck jibing his WindSki which comes from around the 80's. His skis are also angled the other way ....
My homemade sled

George of Rhode Island has a WindSki

For a while I was trying this sled which is based on Claude Belanger's and Langis Caron's, but I took off the front snowboard - felt i did not need it and Claude was shortening his models too ...

Feodor of Scandinavia says there is a Russian influence for wider sleds:

So far we have seen ice can have many conditions and snow starts to complicate issue. Obviously there are many types of snow depending on temperature and depths depending on the winter.

George has recently purchased a Snowfer and feels it works great in deep snow !! I was somewhat surprised because I had heard this model was good on the ice and not so much on the deep snow ...
He has one board for each of the conditions mentioned... deep snow, ideal ice conditions and less than ideal ice with perhaps a little snow ...

Unfortunately there are NOT any videos on the NET with people windsurfing in DEEP snow. For me that means 6 inches and more snow...

Don't know what this photo op was all about ??
or this one ?? using the idea that it is a male market and sex sells ??
oops - another one bites the dust

Wanted to post a snowfer video just the same ... butt found none #$%^&* that were acceptable !!!

No matter what people are doing - how successful, how fast/slow, it is FUN to be out and testing the conditions :-)

There is actually an organization that holds races annually. 
It is called WISSA and stands for Winter Ice and Snow Sailing. 
Okay, it is actually World Ice n Snow Sailing :-) 

Since the subject of racing has come up - speed is of the essence. Check out Jeff Brown doing some record breaking speed runs in 2015 !!!

Did not discuss the other windski which was one ski with a platform above - NOT seen nor heard about much here ...

I keep forgetting my buddy from out west in the USA : fostersailfaster in Oregon ...
He has a modified wide water ski with a platform that he uses on snow ...

and here he is in action ...

and he has made it into the local newspaper ...