Translator from GOOGLE

Olympics 2016 WindSurfing

Well, I was gonna write about windsurfing in the 2016 RIO summer Olympics, but I was seriously disappointed. First of all, it seemed there were 36 countries competing in the men's and women's RS:X windsurf races and none from Canada. Once I got past that, perhaps I could at least watch it LIVE or even after the fact. Seemed I had to be in  the US of A to watch on NBC and once I tricked the system via DNS server, it needed some user on some service. Then after that, I tried to find stuff on  youtube - once my fingers got sore, I gave up. Through my perusing I discovered that France won both men and women races, Britain's Nick Dempster got silver again and Israel was very disappointed. My wife corrected me saying the Netherlands/Holland won the men's and France was third in the finals ...

And that was what I got out of the 2016 RIO windsurf RS:X competition.
Besides the comments about it being polluted as HELL #$%^&*

Also, about a month ago there was the Canadian Master's in town and there was NO wind.

So much for my interest in windsurf races - PWA and similar is just way out of our league ...

Well, somewhere in the middle of all that hunting I discovered this:

An inflatable WindSUP called an Aqua Marina - the name of the supplier.

So, why is this so extra-ordinary ??
Well, I remember when I first saw either a SUP or similar in Costco and being impressed.
Well now they apparently carry this product.
It may not be an RS:X, but it is in your local Costco store tempting all those people looking for sails - oops Freudian slip - sales...
It is still a bit expensive, but it is my hope it gets the public and other "average joes" thinkin about it!!!

Check your local Costco store or on-line

AHD SL2 132

In 2015 I sold my AHD FF 160 litre/80 cm board and purchased a SB iSonic 117W/wide.
MANY people recommended the iSonic board and suggested I go for it.
The price was right and so I did "go for it".

I took it out ONCE in 2015 with SW on-shore winds at OKA Parc La Crête launch near Montreal. Right away i determined that this was a special board and beyond my skills.
There was NO way I was gonna bust it up.

Early 2016 I purchased a Mistral SLE 303 for $100. This board was supposed to prepare me for the SB iS 117W and I did/do NOT care if i bust(ed) it up. That too is a special board and rips !!

BENF contacted me mid-2016 and asked how the iSonic was working out for me.
When I described the above, he had a suggestion.
What if we traded my 2012 SB iS 117W for his 2013 AHD SL-2 132 board ??

He had sold the iS because he wanted to go back to larger sails on the slalom board. He realised the best sail quiver base is 7.0 and then 8.5 and NOT 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0. For that sail quiver the SB iS would be FINE and he missed it ...

The difference besides the litres is the AHD is 5 cm longer , wider tail/OFO and thicker sharper rails. All this makes the board "easier" to ride and perhaps just not quite so aggressive...
SL-2 stats on the left and iSonic on right:

Weight:                              7.50 kg                             6.41 kg
                   "less than 7 kg naked"
OFO:                                 55.0 cm                             52.8 cm
Sail Range:                       7.0-11.0                            7.0-9.5 m²

Right away one can see the differences from the photographs.
There are cutouts on the SL-2 , but NOT as pronounced as those of the iS.
Apparently the AHD SL-1 did NOT have cut outs ...
It seems SL-2s have been around since 2012.

At one time the SL-2 came out in a black version and although I did not like the purple logo on the board,  I was hoping those were the colours:

I had agreed to the exchange, but BENF does not seem to use the same communication methods as I do and suddenly I saw the AHD SL-2 132 for sale on some websites ūüė≤

Well, I must say that I was VERY disappointed and wrote on all the announcements that I was interested. Long story short, the next day we met at OKA Parc and the exchange was done !! as you can see from the photos above too ūüėä

Difficult to find comparisons between  the two(2) boards. There is a reference here:
"la planche est aussi rapide qu'une Starboard iSonic 127 tout en étant plus facile"
which means:
The AHD SL-2 132 is as fast as a SB iS 127 while being a little "easier" (to sail)
The SB iS 127 is still 228 cm long, like the 117W , but is 85 cm wide.
It is difficult to determine sometimes which version should be compared with which of another board manufacturer ...
In that article they also mention that they use sails 7.8, 8.6 and 10-oh with fins 43, 46 and 49 cm respectively.

Before we go too far, maybe it is time for a video ??
Cameraman is on the BIC filming fellow on AHD SL-2 132 with an RRD sail.
RRD sail ? they make slalom boards too :-)
(i don't like the musak, but film  is good)

As already stated ... There WAS an AHD SL-1 version before , but ...

"Instead of SL1, the new slalom boards have benefited from the joint development of Diony Guadagnino abroad but also French as slalomers Gourtay Vincent and Loic Legallois with the aim to propose models both easy and efficient.

Offering a more compact outline than SL1, new SL2 features a hull with a long  VEE  and excavated by a double progressive concave . In order to gain also in performance and control, the mast was lowered on deck while the cut outs are also returning to AHD - to reduce the maximum wetted surface. Also associating lightness and liveliness with a new carbon construction, the SL2 will also have sharp rails in order to gain support and general nervousness."

as far as double concaves and VEE go ...
"Tabou Rocket is an example of a board with deep double concaves throughout the hull with a slight vee in the tail. Tabou Rocket scores incredible well in almost all performance categories such as ease of planing, speed and top-end control."
If it works for the Rocket, why not the SL-2 ??

The 132 litre AHD SL-2 version has a sail-range of 7.0 - 11.0 m² with an OFO of 55 cm.
This means it can take bigger fins AND sails - ANOTHER light wind WEAPON !
Have already started talking about selling my JP SLW92.
With a Mistral Equipe II XR  and an AHD SL-2 132, who needs a JP SLW92 as well ??

Slalom boards  get compared amongst themselves for obvious reasons. Which one is faster, easier, etc and why. Here there is a discussion about AHD SL-2 , Fanatic Falcon and even SB iS:,ahd-sl2-122-vs-fanatic-falcon-125-2012.html
again, the AHD is considered more easily attainable and reaches decent speeds...
in the discussion Anders Bringdals is quoted as saying the ideal board length is 240-250 cm.
The iS 117W was 228 and this SL-2 is 233 (just short).

Did some measurements and took some pictures...
The centre of the mast track seems to be 134 cm from the back of the board.
This seems to be more n more standard for slalom boards
The point of weight balance on the board is about 30 cm or 1 foot back from mast track centre.
This too seems more n more standard with slalom boards.
Pretty sure the SB iS 117W had similar features/measurements ...
Here's a pic with a Lessacher weed fin:

Board shapes have changed a little over time .. The Mistral SLE 303 still has some semblance to a boat shape. The newer boards , especially the freemoves, are starting to look more n  more like potato chip boards ... Noses are getting rounder and stubbier. This AHD tail still seems to have a more traditional freeride shape ...

These photos obviously bring up the question of fin(s). The slalom type boards are typically delivered with NO fin. As they are slalom boards, slalom fins, or more upright fins are the preference:

Meant for speed and perhaps upwind ability. Then again in a PWA race do they really go upwind?? Wrote to auventfou to see costs of these fins now and both 45 and 47 cm offerings of Select S1 XL slam and Elite S-10 are $250 + tax which = ~ $300. The fins seem to have gone up about 50%. Another Sontag SL-R or SL-X costs 250 Euros which is about $400 = wow :-(
That seems to correspond with the boards as well. Unless one is buying a BIC, prices seem to be around $2000 to $3000.

As I have several tuttle and deep tuttle fins under 57 cm, these fins will have to do until i am comfortable with the board !!! And have to prepare to sell something too ...

So far, have been "testing"/trying the board with a Wolfgang Lessacher 42 cm weedie. Works fine on this board and JP SLW with various sail sizes. The board is a semi-sinker and I practiced uphauling. I can do it, but it is NOT easy. Will try to perfect the different water starts. Had it planing across Lac Deux Montagnes with a NS Duke 6.9 on my first trial on that lake !! Tried a fast tack - nyet. Managed a messy uphaul. Practice, practice, but work all day and no play makes Jack a dull boy :-)

Some people are saying this is NOT the ideal board for me to progress - especially progress quickly. And they may be correct. However, what are my options ?? A Fanatic Gecko 120 ?? 242 x 76. Feel the 120 is just NOT enough for my 105 kilos. 130 is 246 x 78. Maybe, but not that different. Took a quick look at the BLAST 130 - 233 x 70. Feel these boards are all NOT that different. Intend to keep playing in the shallows with this board until I am ready to RIP !!
SL2 132 et 7.8 evo2 : S12 slamxl ou Vmax 45
SL2 132 et 8.6 evo2: S12 slamxl 45 si medium,
47 si assez light voir 49 dans le marginal.
Le 47 Vmax et son allonge permet de passer direct en 47 au lieu de 45 au depart.

+1. Pour le vmax 43 et 7,8 sur la 122
Par ailleurs, j ai opt√© pour un vmax 49 et ramf11 9.0 sur cette m√™me 122 et j ai h√Ęte d essayer ce combo , la sensation de glisse va √™tre terrible

Heavyweights are using large sails on these boards !! and in light winds. Seems the board is quite popular in France...

Aujourd’hui, test en rade de Brest de ma nouvelle SL2 132 flambante neuve ! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Conditions de l’essai : Plan d’eau facile √† l√©g√®rement clapoteux, SW de 13 √† 15 nds pour commencer et ensuite 15 nds √©tablis, claques √† 17-18 nds maximum. Air 17°, tonnerres de Brest en r√©gate en grande rade (bon ca en s’en fout :oops: !)…

Matériel utilisé : SL2 132 Р79,6 de large РRSR Evo 3 - 8,6 + Aileron Sonntag SLP 45.

Rideur : 1m83 – 92 kgs :oops:

Premi√®res impressions : la board est tr√®s l√©g√®re une fois l’ensemble en main, elle se r√©v√®le tout de suite tr√®s joueuse et invite tr√®s rapidement √† sautiller les clapots qui se pr√©sentent, pourtant il y a 132 lt sous les pieds…

A l’image de la 112, la board monte de suite √† plat sur l’aileron qui me semble √™tre la bonne taille. De primes abords, quelques petites envol√©es contr√īl√©es qui m’invitent √† caler la plaquette un peu plus en avant (r√©gl√©e initialement au milieu). Quelques r√©glages de voile plus tard, l’ensemble se r√©v√®le tr√®s coh√©rent (un peu trop ?), tr√®s joueur dans les quelques rafales, mais ca manque un peu d’air, je serais mieux en 9,5. Premier travers abattu (100° du vent), un timide 26,5 s’affiche sur le GPS, mais outre cela, les sensations d’une planche joueuse se r√©v√®lent petit √† petit, mais le vent manque !

Tous les jibes passent bien, mais, √† part la prise de care, elle est assez sp√©ciale pour finir bien le jibe, pas trouv√© encore le truc, semble-t-il que la board demande √† changer les pieds plus vite ??? (avida dollars, une id√©e la dessus ?). Ce qui est sur, c’est que la planche aime les grandes courbes rapides par rapport √† des jibes plut√īt serr√©s que j’ai pour habitude de faire avec mes Kranz… Deux ou trois sont bien pass√©s avec la 112, toujours avec une vitesse peu habituelle pour moi (cad rapide)…

Ensuite c’est parti pour une petite ballade rapide en rade. Le gros point positif c’est le rapport cap/vitesse. Comme sur la 112, la planche, une fois une certaine vitesse prise au travers, se cale sur l’aileron sans aucun spinout, et remonte √† environ 60° du vent, sachant que je suis un tr√®s mauvais remonteur ! Ce qui me surprends le plus, c’est la vitesse moyenne √† cette allure, due sans doute au fait que la planche passe bien au dessus du clapot,√† plat et sans broncher √† la reprise des petits sauts du au clapot. C’est tr√®s agr√©able et je pense que ca doit √™tre redoutable en compet !

Quelques travers abattus plus tard (toujours 100° du vent, dixit Gpsar), ca donne 28, puis 28,5knots en vmax, bien content vu le peu de vent. J’imagine, sans pouvoir le v√©rifier de suite, que la vitesse moyenne est tr√®s bonne… :lol:

Petit arr√™t √† Poss’Du (cale du p√īle France pour les non initi√©s), ou je rends compte de mes premi√®res impressions √† mon shop Notik. « (…) bon, ben c’est prometteur, maintenant faut essayer avec le Vmax 47 pour la rendre encore plus joueuse (…) la board est franchement r√©guli√®re, je pense qu’elle supporte bien 9,5 mais aussi 7,8 √† mon avis… (…) A + dans l’bus, la bises √† ta femme (…) »

C’est reparti au tire veille car la cale est d√©vent√©e par cette orientation (WSW sur le moment), j’en profite pour me dire que la planche est tr√®s stable en statique.

Je choisis l’option abatt√©e pour rentrer au MB en 4 bords, et je fais un premier run √† 120 ° du vent. Je pr√©cise √©galement que le vent venait de s’√©tablir aux alentours des 15 nds (claques √† 18 max). Ca y est, je sens la board avec 8,6 dans son programme avec le Sonntag, ca ne bouge pas, c’est cal√©, les rafales permettront √† la board de se lib√©rer avec un contr√īle que je n’avait pas sur la Kranz 85 pass√© 28 nds, c’est vraiment tr√®s agr√©able, pas d'envol√©e, l'ensemble accepte sans sourciller les propositions ind√©centes des rafales qui se pr√©sentent 8)

Ce bord et les suivants laisseront plusieurs Vmax √† 30 nds. Le plan d’eau s’est pourtant bien transform√©, mais qu’a cela ne tienne, √† l’image de la 112, on s’en fout, on est au dessus, et en prime on a du contr√īle, donc on acc√©l√®re en grand confort !
Ce qui est grisant, c’est qu’avec un tout petite poil de vent en plus (20 nds) - (c’est plus vraiment son programme, ni celui de la 8,6 !), je sens que la board peut aller dans les 31 – 32 nds avec 8,6, ce qui me para√ģt surprenant en Slalom Xl…

Les trois autres bords d’abbat√©e me laisseront bien m’amuser avant de plier les gaules , vivement la prochaine nav avec cette board que j’adore d√©j√† !

Au final, apr√®s analyse des traces avec GpsAR, on sort en vrac plusieurs fois vers 30 nds en vmax (29,89, 29,78...), 29 nds sur 250m, 28,2 nds sur 500m et 27 nds sur 1km. La r√©gularit√© dans cette l√©g√®re brise me satisfait pleinement 8)

Vivement la prochaine, l’essai de la 92, et la livraison de la 112 !!!!!

:arrow: :arrow: :arrow:
Sailing is life... the rests are details !

Laurent Hué of France has written such a GREAT review of the board (in French) that I have translated the review and am making it public (after the okay from Laurent):

and my translation:!Ajm-V_FfbaYkgnQlIluC0UHOxXNj

and people are doing windfoil experiments with the board as well !! :

Apparently this was the fellow's 2nd ride on this setup - ONLY...
He is 96 kg and started with a Severne Convert 6.7 in 10 - 15 knots and then switched down to a NP Combat 4.7 !! = WOW - with a Windfoil Manta 2 (in case I ever want to get one :-))

and here is a closer pic of the AHD SL2 132 with the foil:

It seems in 2017 the colours have changed once again and they are saying the fin box is foil ready...
Here is an article about the AHD SL2 122 and windfoils:

Here is a cool video with some SLa1om gear including AHD SL1 125. 
We do NOT see many of these AHD boards here. popular in Europe ...
auventfou sells mostly the FF freerides ...
even the SeaLion is NOT seen much - if at all - would LOVE to see an AHD Tactik
in any case ... here is the video ...

Can Pastilla Slalom Session from Totalwind on Vimeo.

This board was sold in 2018 since I felt it was too much for me and in terms of balance the nose dove down too much ... Replaced it with an AHD SL1 140 which is just a few more liters and just a little bit longer ....Supposed to be a bit more freerace than the slalom boards I have tried ...