Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Home back in the Netherlands

Well I finally made it back to Holland again after the last few months of traveling; competing; and working (...yes I still do some of that- in fact 3 houses Ive been the project designer for are under construction- check out the construction photos here)
For the first time in nearly 6 months Ive got all my windsurfing gear in it's new home at the Almere Central windsurfing club just outside Amsterdam- ready for the Dutch and European race season to begin. Believe me- it was no east feat getting 4 boards, 5 booms, 8 sails, 8 mast, 5 bases, 4 unis, 2 harnesses. 3 wesuits and 20 years of windsurfing equipment packed up and sent here- not to mention needing at least 1/2 of it to compete and train with over the past few months around the world!
(Now if I could only find that goldwind 32cm slalom fin and extra set of harness line- I know its here somewhere!)The windsurfing clubs here are pretty cool with the AlmereCentral club having several shipping containers at the beach side to store your equipment and a small clubhouse next door. It makes it easy to live in a densely populated city like Amsterdam without the luxury of extra storage space or even a parking spot!
I'm still waiting to find the perfect windsurfing van so if you've got any ideas, let me know!

Too bad its still raining sideways here and hovering in the low 40's. With a massive low moving across northern Europe, the last few days have been insanely windy with gust 30-50k.
I got out monday for a wild ride on the ml 90l slalom board and 6.3 north warp- although I only lasted about 30 minutes as my hands turned numb from the near freezing weather!

2008 brings some changes for me. The first is a new board sponsor. Ill be riding the F2 formula and slalom board this year (with the exception of a wicked fast ml slalom on reserve for windy days!) Eduardo Owen for Next Sport in Miami has always been great support to me- letting me ride the F2 boards at events when I didnt have a board but this year I took the plunge and went with the formula F2 board to complete my quiver. I pretty confident after the midwinters that the F2 board will be a great choice for early planning and moderate formula conditions. Ive yet to sail it in over 18k but time will tell. I switched over from the mikes lab board as I will be competing more and more in lighter wind venues in Europe this season. Whiles Mikes board are probably the most comfortable board to ride out of any of boards Ive tested and works great in the Bay area for wound up racing in steep chop, it was becoming obvious that these strengths also carried some drawbacks. When ever you are designing a board (or anything for that matter) it is always a delicate balance and series of trade offs. Increasing the tail width for better light air performance requires a bigger and more powerful fin- while at the same time makes powered up sailing a bit more uncomfortable. I took into account alot of factors when choosing a new board and decided to take one less variable out of my my racing this season by going with a board I know I can be confident with in the light air.

For 2008 again I will be sailing with North sails. I feel really confident with their r&d program and can rest assured when recommending the mast and sails to the others. Other equipment supports include streamlined and meanline fins.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor check out my main windsurfing page or contact me directlyat

We've got out first slalom race of the year this Saturday at Almere so Ive been slowly getting my slalom quiver back together after having sat dormant for the last few months. The new north warp look amazing and with the 3rd year of input from Bjorn- it should be top notch!


bry said...

cool update Steve! Looks like a great set up to keep your gear. So what will the temps be in the next few months? Do people sail all year in nl?

Anonymous said...

Great blog.

Have you tried or tested the Warp 2008 9.9?

What are the downhaul settings for the 11.8 2008 warp that gives best overall performance?

USA-4 Steve Bodner said...

Hey anonymous-
Glad you're enjoying the blog!
There's a paypal donation link on the front page if you feel my updates are really worthwhile!
I havnt had the chance to try out the north warp 9.9 yet.
In fact I didn't add the 9.9 to my quiver this year instead put the spacing at 11.8, 11,0 and a 9.0 from last season.
Regarding the 11.9- Ive been using the base at 30 cm down-hauling just past the max mark on the sail and using the lower grommet at the clew. More tack strap pressure gives the bottom of the sail more power in lighter conditions.

USA-4 Steve Bodner said...

Hey Bry-
the transition from winter to spring here in Holland is coming slow with temps in the low 40's up to the mid 50's and rain and sleet coming through as the spring frontal systems push across the north seas into Holland.
Like most windsurfers around the world, the dutch sail when there's wind- regardless of the season! Racing starts soon.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

I contact you about a North Sails Warps issue.

I've purchased a second hand 2006 North 9.0 slalom WARP and I have rigged it with a compatible 520 / IMCS 32 mast.

I've noticed this sails is very physical and from recent races I came out really exhausted !

I regularly use North formula and free-race sails with their recommended masts and I valued NS sails for their soft feeling but I feel this sail (9.0) is really hard to drive & control when wind rises.

I wonder if this depends on using a compatible (maybe stiffer) mast than original 520 North (anyway, always IMCS 32).

What do you think if instead of using recommended 520 / IMCS 32 mast I will use a softer 490 mast (or a mix of 520 bottom and 490 top) ??

Thank you in advance for any help.


USA-4 Steve Bodner said...

After reading your comments it doesn't sound like you're applying the correct amount of downhaul to the sail. You want to rig just past the max downhaul mark on the sail. To achieve this, I needed to use a downhaul crank. The sail really comes alive when rigged right on the 520 mast.
I had slot of success with this sail in 20k and over. I would think using a 490 mast might help with the low end and give you some additional power. Let me know if this helps and if you have any additional questions.
Good luck