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Slalom Secrets from Point7

10:49 26th March 2013 by Amy Carter
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Point7 sails have some of the top international riders using their sails to take them to race and event wins. It’s sometimes tricky to know what equipment to use and when, so Point7 have questions their riders to get to the bottom of their choices…

TDF_7307-01In the PWA you have to choose 3 boards and 6 sails which you will use for the season. Which boards and sail sizes have you picked for this PWA season:

Alberto: for 2013 I have picked Starboard Isonic 127, 107, 87 | AC-1 9.3 8.6 7.9 7.2 6.3 5.6

Rosati: I could go easily with 5 sails as the sails have so wide range but as I will have to register 6 I’ll start from 9,3 down to 5,6. For the boards I will use the RRD X-Fire V5 122-114-90

Pascal: I will register for the 2013 season AC-1 5.6m/6.3m/7.2m/7.9m/8.6m/9.3m AC1 and 61/71/85 Tabou Manta as my boards.

Maciek: Still undecided but I think it will be Patrik Slalom 128, 115, 92 | Point-1 AC-1 9.3 (5.0), 8.6, 7.9, 7.2, 6.3, 5.6

We all know why you have P7 sails, but which characteristics do you particular like about the board series you have, and how does the AC-1 perform on this?

Alberto: I feel that my Sail/board combo this year is having a boost. The board sails a bit free than in 2012 and that gives you more speed. Combined with the drive forward pulling that Point7 has just makes it the perfect match.
Both Sails and boards are planning extremely early allowing me to get much earlier on the small kit as soon as the wind get stronger, without any fear of the holes…
IMG_6067-01Rosati: My boards this year are perfect for my body size and very easy to handle. They fly on the fin, on the edge, and need it a sail that gives maximum speed and control. I found that the AC-1 does this. Jibing is AS important as going fast, so I have given particular attention to the rotation. My boards jibe extremely tight and the sails help a lot on this. When you entering on the jibe all the power is on the front hand giving me the possibility to really crank at the jibe with all the power and deciding which way to go….and after the jibe the rotation is soft and the acceleration it is amazing.
Pascal: I love my new boards this year because they are very comfortable, stable and easy to go fast without too much effort and so easy to jibe!
They go very well with the AC1 sails that are powerful and easy. Especially the power given by the AC-1 when coming out of a jibe is a great boost with these the boards! The Tabou are new boards for me this season as I changed sponsor but I find they work really well with the Point-7. I think AC1 is compatible with hugely board, easy, powerful, fast..

Maciek: I definitely like the acceleration and jibing ability of my Patrik’s, which in the end make you go fast around the race course. The AC-1 is a good fit.

Once you have registered your gear with the PWA, only your fins stay are still optional. How big a factor does the fin play, in the overall set-up?

Alberto: The fin is actually the part of the equipment that touches the water the most and this is why having the best fin is crucial if you really want to be in the top! I test and tune my equipment and keep working on the development of the fins pushing to have always better fins!

Rosati: Fins play a big role. I would say if I have the same gear as a normal rider, and I give him my best fin and I take bad fin….He will spritz me big time!!! So the advantage in term of percentages it is very high. We all have the same equipment and more or less sails and boards are “almost all” fast. Different masts play a role of course, but never as much as the fins. Let’s say a 60% to the fin.

Pascal: the fin is actually a very important piece of equipment, because it can help improve or change the behavior of the sail/board combination. The fin is actually the only thing that we can change in the PWA.

TDF_6064-01Maciek: HUGE!! Not many factors have as much impact on your board-speed, your acceleration, your control, your comfort etc etc as your fin. Having good fins is a must on the road to performance.

Do you choose your fins also depending on the seas, whether it’s flat water, choppy or rough North-sea conditions?

Alberto: Depending on the conditions, I do actually try to have 2 sets of fins, one that performs in the flat water, being faster and normally a bit harder to ride. And a second set of fins that gives more control when the sea gets rough

Rosati: Of course!!! A fin that give you lift and power; that could be perfect in Alacati for example….. You try to use the same fin in Sylt and you’ll score the highest point on a wave heat :) I have a lot of fins and they all perform different in any place I go….

Pascal: For my part, when I found the fin that works with the board and sailing combination, then it works normally in all conditions! Except in the exceptional case or rather exceptional conditions!

Maciek: Yep. Usually you pre-choose a couple of your best fins in a given size before the season and take them to all the venues. You’ll probably at least have a more top-speed orientated one and a more control-orientated, easier one in every size.

How much time do you spend on finding the best fin, board and sail combination?

Alberto: In the past this was all my focus, now I try to split up my training in 2 parts; 1 with the overall settings and tuning and one with proper race training like we do in Tenerife. If you don’t have both, you can’t be at the top!

Rosati: Most of the time I only test masts and fins. I could test them for one entire day. Changing as many times as possible to understand the behaviour of one single fin with the combination of board and sail, specifically for one condition. Like this, I know when I’ll find X kind of conditions that X fin will be the right choice to use….

Pascal: : is enormously time consuming because today there are many brand fins and for my part I want to try as much as possible to be sure to have the best combination .. it is also difficult to find a fin works in all conditions and it requires a lot of testing, I really never stop testing fins and every chance I get I try new ones! Its difficult to say how much time I spend on this but it’s lot.

Maciek: All year long! The quest never stops and there’s always something to test. Not mentioning that as your kit is changing a bit during every session. The sail is stretching, the mast is getting a bit slower in reaction, the board is getting softer etc etc. PWA saw many many guys realizing in August that their number one mast from April is slower than his number two three and four! That’s why if you think you’ve finished testing, RE-TEST.

Which brand or brands of fins do you use and is it all carbon or also G10?

Alberto: I always use ZFINS, which are only made in Carbon. Carbon is having a much better performance in the bigger sizes, and in smaller sizes allows you to still have an advantage being able to play with the flex of the fin. G10 doesn’t allow you this flexibility.

Rosati: For medium light wind I only use carbon fin. Mostly Carpenter, Zed, Boss, Kashy. Then for medium to high wind, let’s say from 7.2 down I may use some Tectonics as well. Especially on 5.6 I use a fin when the conditions are rough that has 17 years!!!! And still works good, by now is the one which I made my best result on PWA in a round of slalom, 4th in a final in Costa Brava.

Pascal: Most my fins are Carbon, as they work the best for me

Maciek: I use a bit of everything and definitely try as many brands and models as possible before the season. If you open my quiver you’ll find everything from full-carbon Carpenters, Z’s, Aquarius, Bosses, and Hurricanes to G10 Tectonics, C3’s, MB’s, Maui Ultra and more.

I guess many normal windsurfers don’t want to spend as much money as you do, on tuning their gear. But are there some tricks or and easy options which you can give, which you believe gives and easy performance boost and more speed to the board?

Alberto: For sure, try to learn as much about your kit as possible. Even the smaller changes in trim can make a difference, and being precise is the key for actual good performance. Make everything count!!

Rosati: Imagine that there are people that they think that the more time you spend in the water going up and down and the more you’ll go faster…. wrong! Just try to put another fin or insert another random mast and yours performances will improve, or may go backward, depends on what are you trying….. Not only pro can feel the difference, actually it is the opposite!!!

Pascal: At the moment I have not found a cheaper solution.. But if anyone find solution I am interested! ;) Maybe this kind of questionnaire that P7 is doing now, can help other riders easier select what gear to choose to go fast and find a good combination sail, board + fin

Maciek: Play with it! Try as many different set-ups as you can think of, even the most ridicule! If you don’t have a testing partner to line up with, you can see a bit yourself, how the board is riding, how much control you have or how comfortable you are feeling. Fins and masts wise, if you can’t afford to buy, try to borrow and test as many different fins and masts you might possibly find – you never know what’s going work and a lot of the times the specs given by the brands on those masts are far from correct. On top of that a company X 490 will probably be different to the same company X 490 just with a different serial number, so if your mate has one, convince him to switch one day – same story with the fins! Watch out, the boom changes your speed to! And don’t just copy others too much – you have your own unique style and you need to find your unique setup that goes fast.

Argh! That was a lot of information, but there is definitely some material to be taken into consideration. A lot of varied opinion and thoughts on the matter of setting up your equipment, so should you have any questions to the article or any of the riders, please place these on our Facebook page where we have also posted the link to this article.

 

Wind kts Alberto Rosati Pascal Maciek
7 to 10 kts sail size 9.3 9.3 9.3m 9.3
board size 127 Isonic 122 85cm large 128
fin model size Zfin 48 45 boss 6.0 s carpenter 44.5, Zfin 44 47 Zfins 46 or 74cut
Wind kts Alberto Rosati Pascal Maciek
10 to 16 kts sail size 9.3 switching to 8.6 close to 16 8.6 8.6m 8.6/7.9
board size 127 Isonic 122 85cm 128/115
fin model size Zfin 47-45 43.5 boss, carpenter 42, Zfin 43 46 Zfins 44/38
Wind kts Alberto Rosati Pascal Maciek
16 to 21 kts sail size 8.6 8.6-7.9 7.9m 7.9/7.2
board size 107 122-114 71cm 115
fin model size Zfin 40 114& 8.6: 43 Kashy, 42 zfin with 122/8.6 | 39 Zfin, 38 Carpenter, 40.5 boss with 38 Zfins 38/36
Wind kts Alberto Rosati Pascal Maciek
21 to 25 kts sail size 7.9 7.2 7.2m 7.2
board size 107 90 61cm 115/92
fin model size Zfin 38 33 Carpenter, 33 Zfin, 34 Tectonics 34 Zfins 36/34
Wind kts Alberto Rosati Pascal Maciek
25 to 31 kts sail size 7.1 or 6.3 6.3 6.3m 6.3
board size Isonic 87 90 61cm 92
fin model size Zfin 34 or 32 31 Carpenter, 31 Zfin, 32 Tectonics 32erd 34
Wind kts Alberto Rosati Pascal Maciek
35kts + sail size 5.6 5.6 5.6m 5.6
board size 87 Isonic 90 61cm 92
fin model size 32 31 tectonics t43, 31 Zfin, 30 tectonics spitfire 31erd 32

 Check out the full Point7 range and more from the team here. 

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