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liquorice all sorts wave board test

Posted by Hot Ice 
Hot Ice
liquorice all sorts wave board test
15 November '08 | 8:30pm
I enjoyed reading the test report and found it simple to follow.

Disappointed that volume was the key criteria and of course the result of that was a liquorice all sorts of boards.

Would have loved to have seen similar boards from different brands tested against each other. RRD Wave Cult, Fanatic Allwave, Starboard Evo, JP RWW.

A section for some in depth analysis would be interesting. Not everyone?s cup of tea, but if it could be tagged on the end then people would have the option of reading it.

Still don?t understand why the emphasis in testing in the UK. I have sailed in the Canary Islands and there are more conditions and wind strengths there than you can sake a stick at.

It may be a shock to some LOL but a board that works well in the Canary Islands will also work well in the UK.

Overall a good test in a very user friendly format.
A Clone
Re: liquorice all sorts wave board test
16 November '08 | 11:37am
Its a difficult one asking the brands to submit boards for test. You know that you want to do a 75 litre wave board test, but which board from their multiple ranges do you ask for?!

If we specify which board they send, we run the risk of being accused of getting it wrong, so we decided to let them choose which board to submit - after all, they know their ranges best.

As important as width is, it isn't the be-all and end-all when it comes to board size. So what we do instead is send a spec to manufacturers which relates to what an average purchaser might be looking for from a board.

Hence the spec for this test was ?An all-round 75 litre wave board that would work well in European cross-on conditions, but also occasionally down the line and should appeal to the widest range of user ability?. We also let them know our quiver sail sizes - 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0m

In our opinion, this is the most common way that people will choose a board - to suit the sail sizes they want it to work with and the range of conditions they sail in.

So, yes we may have what is perceived a 'liquorice all sort' range of boards in this test, but all manufacturers were given the same spec and for whatever reason decided to supply the board that most suited this spec. The spec is also extremely applicable for buyers who sail in 'European conditions'.

With regard to in-depth analysis, I assume you mean measuring rocker and bottom shape etc?

We are a little bit loathed to go down this route. Another magazine believes that by measuring a board, you can work out how it will perform. We are not entirely convinced. If this was true, board shapers would be designing on spreadsheets using formulas to calculate a boards end performance. There are just too many variables in windsurfing for this to work reliably - hence the trial and error approach adopted by all of the worlds shapers. An example of this is rail shape, which in wave boards is one of THE most important factors - how would you go about measuring this, without extremely complicated mathematical approximations? Its virtually impossible, so any guesstimate of a boards performance is going to ignore this very important factor..

Its strange that in the car industry, when cars are tested, they may find a certain model to understeer, however the conclusion is taken at face value and there follows no attempt to justify this by measuring wheel geometry, suspension settings etc In windsurfing however, there seems to be an urge to justify all findings by spurting out measurements to indicate the findings are true - perhaps this is because of a lack of confidence in some test teams abilities to find accurate conclusions without the help of a tape measure?!

We really are very skeptical about trying to interpret a group of boards performances through a limited set of measurements. But maybe we are wrong.....?!

In answer to your final point about testing in the UK, I agree that a board that works well in the Canaries will probably (but not definitely) work well in the UK also. However the big factor is that when a test team goes to the Canaries to test boards, they book a 2 or 3 week trip (for example) and at the end of that trip all the boards need to be tested. If they had 10 days of no wind - then so be it. If they had no 4.0m weather, then so be it. If they had no down the line conditions then so be it etc etc An example of this is when one magazine only had time to spend one day testing the twin fin boards this year. They then published a report on the boards based upon one days findings (but didnt make this clear to the readers).

By testing in the UK, we have the kit, keep the kit and wont send the kit back until we are happy that it has been put through its paces in a big range of conditions. We don't have the time constraints that we would have if we went abroad and generally, we are able to try the kit in a bigger range of conditions, more applicable to the people who will buy it.

All in all, its very difficult to test. We are still very new to it and will probably change and adapt as time goes on. Its great to hear that you like the way we are delivering tests at the moment and we will try to keep improving what we do as we go along!
Hot Ice
Re: liquorice all sorts wave board test
16 November '08 | 10:29pm
Thank you for replying and clarifying your position.

While I don?t necessarily agree with them all I feel you have made some valid points.

I look forward to your next test.


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