Saturday, October 13, 2012

Got a new tractor - Wheeeooo doggies!

Actually, it's a new windsurfing sail, but it PULLS like a tractor. It's a 9.5 Ezzy Cheetah (camless freeride sail) and I got it Ace Performer in Fort Myers. Here's what I like about the sail:

1. It's big and powerful.
2. It's light for its size.
3. It's made to rig on a 490 mast, so I didn't have to buy a new mast for it.
4. It's made in 100% grid construction with lots of reinforcements, so it should last a while.
5. It's easy to rig because the luff sleeve is wide and there are no camber inducers.
6. It can be tuned for "grunty" power, pairing well with my Exocet WindSUP 11'8" longboard.
7. It can also be tuned for high wind speed and control.
8. It has a distinctive visual flair.

Friday evening I took it out for a spin at Wiggins Pass. The wind was offshore, blowing about 5 mph at the beach but 15+ mph once you got out a ways. It was a WONDERFUL session. The WindSUP is a smooth and balanced board that handles well for its size, and the Cheetah is a smooth and balanced sail that handles well for ITS size. The two together are a killer combo. Song #1 in the video is "Mariposa" by Al Petteway and Amy White off their album Acoustic Journey. Song #2 in the video is "Shake a Leg"by ACDC off their album Back in Black.

12 Oct 2012 WindSUP 9-5 from James Douglass on Vimeo.

The next test for the WindSUP 11'8" is going to be getting it in some waves or swells. Pshhhh. By the curse of West Florida's unexposed-to-waves geography I could be waiting a long time for that.


I'll have to plan a weekend trip back to my Fort Pierce stomping grounds on the proper side of the state.   (Note how the smallest waves in Fort Pierce this week are bigger than the biggest waves in Naples.)



Sailboarder said...

Hi Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

I'm working on my gybes these days and it is nice to see you gybe with a board similar to my Kona. I'm still far from your level!

I think my next big purchase will be a 9.5 Ezzy. I am leaning more towards a Lion. What made you go for a Cheetah?

Not much water rushing out of the well! Gorilla tape?

I'm also curious of your next board in quiver. Are you going down to 105 Cross? I think this is the step Ingebritsen uses. And what are your approximate weights?

Yan (Sailboarder)

James Douglass said...

Hi Yan,

The Kona will jibe ok, although not quite as easily as the WindSUP. Keep working on it!

I went for the Cheetah because it happened to be cheap at the store and because I like the convenience of rigging a sail with no camber inducers. Because of the way it is shaped, the Cheetah has a lot of power and stability even without camber inducers. The lack of camber inducers also makes it a little easier to flip around in jibes and stuff.

Yes, the Exocet Cross is the next board down in my quiver. When there is enough wind to use a 6.8 sail, I will get on the 106 liter cross. I weigh 75 kg.


Sailboarder said...

Thanks for the info. I think the Lion will be better for me since it will differentiate more with the Kona 9.0 that I plan to keep. The Kona is great in low wind, but is unstable in higher or gusty winds.

With respect to board quiver, I'm heavier at 95 kg. I'm quite happy to use my 9.0 and 7.5 on the Kona. 6.0 still works but I would have more fun with a smaller board for sure when the lake swell starts to build. I am thinking about getting a 105 (or so) Cross to cover 6.0 and 5.0. Unfortunately for me, this board size is a sinker at my weight. And a 95+30=125l board might be too close in use to the Kona to be worth the investment. I am not buying soon anyway, so I'll have time to think about that... Maybe a faster planing board instead like the *board Ultrasonic?

Anyway, enjoy your new sail and board!


JSW225 said...

I just got back from using my 9.5 Ezzy Infinite (cambers) on my Amundson 11'6 SUP. Great day except for one thing. I got hit with a gust of 25+, and accelerated that damn board to speeds its designer never imagined. It was a harrowing experience considering my board had no footstraps, and that it took all my power, energy, balance and skill to keep it from crashing and exploding. If my sphinctor hadn't locked up, I would have pooed myself.

Unknown said...

Looks awesome! The WindSup clearly has some speed with a 9.5 sail! What other sails have you used with the new board? After a lot of research, I'm probably going to pick up a WindSup 11'8" this coming spring, and I'll likely just get one sail to start. Any recommendations for a good all-around sail that will still easily get the board on plane? I'm thinking somewhere around 5.5 to 6.5... think that would be reasonable?

And have you had a chance to SUP it yet? Most reviews and impressions mostly focus on its impressive windsurf ability, but I haven't seen much on its performance as a paddleboard.

Thanks for your help!


Frank said...

So with your windsurf equipment testing experience why did you pick this kit? Formula seems very popular in your area. I have moved away from formula and back to long boarding and I blame it on getting old. Also I sail alone and worry that the wind will drop to the point that I cannot get back to the car especially from downwind. A dagger board is nice in a gentle breeze.
I share your enthusiasm for the sport and love the blog from over hear in Texas.

James Douglass said...

Yan- The UltraSonic is an amazing board if you can afford it.

JSW- Thank goodness for those clenching reflexes.

Brandon- I think you'll be happy with the WindSUP. The sail size you need to plane is strongly dependent on two things: 1) How windy it is, 2) How much you weigh. I have a calculator that can help you figure it out.
Some of it also comes down to how big a sail you are comfortable using. Nice thing about the WindSUP is you can still have fun even if your sail isn't big enough to plane all the time.

Frank- I wanted to be able to use it as a SUP board, and a waveboard, and a very light wind (nonplaning) board, as well as a planing board. So that's what ruled out Formula. Formula is the best at planing, but it can't do the other stuff.

rod.r said...

hi james

how do you rate the windsup as an allround windsurf board compared to the kona one?

i have used a kona since about 2007 and recently went to see about swapping it for the windsup but they had non in the light construction so i ended up buying an exocet curve 11'5, which i believe you have had some experience on.

it is proving to be all that the kona was, [ in planing flat water ] but lighter, no gasket, and thinner rounder rails makeing it a suprising good all round board.

still, i would be interested in your thoughts on the windsup.



wilanz said...

I really like that setup for light wind with the big sail. I've used the windsups 11'8 and 10' on the east coast with 7.5 and 6.0 sails in the waves.

I may just have to take a road trip to the west coast to sail with you sometime and check it out.

I'm currently using a 8.5' RRD WASSUP 135L for waves and a JP XCite Ride-160L for flat water.

James Douglass said...

Rod- For just flatwater windsurfing the WindSUP is only a minor upgrade over the Kona ONE. I think it planes a bit earlier, but the daggerboard system is not as good and the max speed may be a bit slower, so there's a tradeoff. The advantage is that it works a lot better for SUP because it's wider, and it works better for wavesailing / wavepaddling because of the more evolved step-tail design. Both boards are about the same weight, i.e. quite heavy. I think the 11.5 you have is a great board for windsurfing in the waves.

Wilanz- Cool, man. Come on out to Wiggins sometime when we have a North, West, or Northwest wind. :)

Brightway said...
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