Pro Quiver: Ben Proffitt

Boards:

Flywave 69 75 84

Quantum 75 85

The Flywave is more of a ground swell board, used more for down the line. The Quantum is more aimed at wind swell conditions, so when there’s less power in the wave. The Quantum will get you going a bit quicker and help you keep your speed on the wave. There is a massive cross over between the two though, I tend to make a call on the day as to which board I think would be more suited to the conditions. In Ireland, and at the first day in Wales, I used the Flywave 85. On the windier day in Wales I used the Flywave 75, but if the wind had of dropped of on this day and I was a little bit underpowered on say a 5.0m I would have switched to the Quantum.

Set Up:

69 Flywave is probably my least used board! Only with 4.0m and below.

75 with 3.7 up to 5.0

85 with 4.7 to 5.6

I like to get on my 75s as soon as possible, quite a few people nowadays have been using the 85s a lot longer, personally I still prefer to be on a smaller board as it does turn better. Plus, I think being on a smaller board in smaller waves it’s easier to stay more in the critical section of the wave and turn tighter.

Competition sailing though is so different to free sailing. You cannot chance not planing or not getting onto the waves in a heat, so I would always tend to go a little bigger then. In freesailing it really doesn’t matter if I’m wobbling around a bit, so I would tend to go a bit smaller.

Ben Proffitt BWA Wales. Image courtesy BWA/Dave White
Ben Proffitt BWA Wales. Image courtesy BWA/Dave White

Fins:

There are three different styles of fin from Simmer; the Mission, the Icon and the Blacktip. I’ve been playing around with all of them, as well as a load of K4 fins too, I am still just trying everything to see what works best.  For the competitions I used my Blacktip fins in the Flywaves, I would have had the Mission fin if I could have though. The Mission fin is a lot more raked back and has a thinner profile, the Blacktip is the middle of the road fin and then the Icon is more the upright, stubby fin.

Fins really come down to the style of the rider I think, it comes down to your height, weight, where you put the pressure, how you like to ride, etc and is really personal. I think maybe a lot of people underestimate the importance of fins, and how a fin set up can change the whole feel of a board.

With the K4s as well, I have been trying every size, every style and in every position! Fin testing is so hard, there are so many factors to take into account it makes it really hard to figure out exactly what works as you need consistent conditions. In the Flywaves I have found the front fins work well right at the front of the boxes, and then the back fin I’m going bang in the middle at the moment. There is a general rule, people say between two and a half, and three fingers width between fins works well, this is a good starting point to then move your fins small increments either side of to figure out how you like it. The closer the fins are together the more manouevrable the board will be, the further apart they are, the less manouevrable.

Accessories:

All the simmer wetsuits, before the competition I used the full 5/6 hooded suit it’s super warm, great for freesailing but a bit too warm for contest sailing. I use the thinner suits usually in competition. I also have a pair of size 12 Simmer boots that I use as wellies, as well as actual wellies! Always important to jump off the water and into some boots to keep your feet warm.

Always useful to have a surfboard in Ireland, for when the wind doesn’t play ball. Plus, a million Oshea puffa jackets, a wooly hat or two and my wellies, then I’m sorted for Ireland!

The next Pro Quiver with Jamie Hancock, will be up on Boards next week.

Check out more from Ben Proffitt on Boards, and the latest Boardseeker podcast hosted by Ben.

 

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Adam Lewis

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