Jul 8, 2010
Author: Damien Leroy
The evolution of races has been changing and advancing so fast in the past five years. I can honestly say that I am lucky enough to be a part of this fun changing racing evolution. Around five years ago the boards to be using were twin tips, but not just any twin tip, a light wind with real flat rocker board. That was soon changed as people started to ride surf boards or a directional of some sort. Then the next year racers where on bigger surf boards with different fins. That is where everything started going towards bigger boards and fins. Now I sit here today with a massive Alex Aguera board in my garage with four gigantic daggers that individually are the size of your fore arm.
So now 2010 you would think we would see things slow down on the evolution side. No No No. The big question is tri-fin boards over quad fin boards? Here is the scoop on the tri-fin boards. It is incredibly easy to get the board flat and it actually makes you want to ride the opposite rail going up wind which seams to be the fastest these days. The down side is if it pointing up wind as good as a quad. My opinion is it is only a matter of time before someone wins on it and then we might go into another change where everyone rides tri-fins. The tri-fin gives you more control on the down wind and is much easier to jibe and handle the board. I think the big issue with the tri-fin is no one has had enough time playing with it and testing different set ups. As for the Quad at the moment it is the most used set up and it is what is dominating this year hands down. The quad rides like it is on rails and just wants to tack in one direction. It seams at the moment to be out pointing any board that is out there!!! It has a little more drag considering you are running with an extra fin but usually when you are racing you are really powered.
Top secret tips:
When you are riding in light winds we will just say anything under 12 knots, use longer lines anywhere from 27meter to 40meter lines. Sounds crazy but in light winds you just need a little power to get you up and riding. The longer lines gives you a huge power stroke. It also makes you untouchable on the down wind because you can go down wind so much deeper. I can honestly say this really works. I have been recently riding in 7mph and completely lit ripping around a glassy ocean!!! Makes it so much fun now in light winds!!!
Use a bigger bar in lighter winds, it will make you be able to turn your kite faster and you will then have more control!! Anything over 50cm is great but bigger is better.
Fins: This is truly the big question? While some are trying wider or corder fins and others are using supper high aspect vertical fins. I think we are still at a testing and changing stage here but if you want to be in the ball game you would want fins around the 28cm range!!! A little smaller in the back and the front fins are angled out just a hair. This set up will be very competitive at the moment on the right board. Cabrinha has a sick race board coming out in two sizes that were made by Alex Aguera and they are excellent!! This would make you competitive with the best considering it is the same board we are all using at the moment.
We have talked all about gear here!! One more big tip go learn how to tack and jibe fast and you will make massive jumps on your competitors. That to me is more important than the gear at the moment......
A little insight of good news, I have been playing with the tri-fin recently and well the future looks like it might be changing! One the same note I am in Puerto Rico and there are some new foils that a few guys are on and they are absolutely ripping up wind. It never ends!
See you on the water,
Damien LeRoy is sponsored by Cabrinha Kites, The Black Dog, NPX, Corner Five Surf Co. Lynch Associates, Aguera Boards