My philosophy in building a quiver is that there's only room for the best.
Im open to try anything and if it fits on my program, Ill use it.
Thats why you'll see me using kashy fnis, z fins, neil pryde sails, north sails, avanti sails and anything else that potentially makes me go faster. I often go back and forth between mikes lab formula boards and starboards. only because 1 will have more advantages over the other in certain conditions. Part of the game is also getting equipment that others might not have access to and using that to your advantage.
The beauty of an open development one design class like the formula windsurfer is that you are free to choose what ever works best for you. The world of windsurfing is constantly evolving and expanding. Why limit yourself to something that was cutting edge in 1993 or one brand for that particular matter?
The formula class allows you to use 3 rigs and 3 fins (currently 2 for 2012 but it will probably change back in 2013) & 1 board.
My goal is to find the best equipment that works in a particular range of conditions.
For the last 3 years I used a Neil Pryde 9.5 and a10.7 to make my choices easy- 9.5 in the medium to high wind and 10.7 when it was lighter.
In 2012 I added a 10.0 back into the mix- trying out the avanti as it presented a huge opportunity to save almost 1/2 of the weight of a traditional formula sail.
However, now that means more choices.
Even if you have the right equipment, you need to be using it to to take advantage of it.
In 2014 Ive added the avanti sails again to my program- both the 10.0 for formula and 7.7 for slalom.
I took a risk this year by choosing the starboard 167 as no one else here has it.
98% of all the Bay area racers use a Mikes Lab formula board. Its a sure bet it's going to be comfortable in the wild conditions we see here racing in the summer. But when you're not sailing well, you begin to winder is it me or the board?
I really couldn't ignore all the r&d that starboard puts into their line up.
They've got a ton of pro testers and build several prototypes for each model testing different ideas.
The result is a really well behaved board in the medium to wound conditions.
The 167w may be the better board of the 2 for lighter conditions but everything has a balancing point. Whats good in light conditions may not work well in the steep chop and breeze on the SF Bay. So far so good, the 167 all carbon construction is a step up from the wood laminates they used before.
2014 update- most of the fleet has either got the jp or starboards now so any advantage I had, is more or less equalized. Ive decided to go back to the ML 89 board that went so successfully last season in the breeze. Ill continue to use the 167 as well in conditions under 20k and the ml89 in over 20k.
For fins- Im using a mix of Z fins in the lighter stuff and kashy fnis when it gets windier. Ive found this years Z F 71 has more than enough power to keep the foils flowing even in the lightest conditions. When it gets windier, I switch down to either a Z F 68 or whren its really windy and the ebb tide is steep & full of voodoo chop- Ill use a kashy 64.
My booms are the Neil Pyrde X9 as they've been the best Ive tested after trying 3-4 different brands over the past few years.
For bases- I use both Neil Pyrde and streamlined.
Over the years, I ve sailed many slalom boards form jp to starboard, f2, mistral and mikes lab.
At the moment, Ive found one board that covers most conditions- a 70cm ml slalom at around 100l. It pretty much gybes itself and with the avanti 7.7- its the most comfortable set up Ive ever had.
For slalom fins. Im using a z42 and f4 45 as it gets windier
I wont tolerate a bad designed product in my quiver