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  • Wanted: Board with amazing upwind ability in ligthish wind and big waves

    Hi Felix et. al. ,

    I am looking for a board with very good upwind ability in marginal wind conditions. My new home spot has mostly side-onshore wind (force 3-4) and fairly big and powerful (over head high) groundswell. The beach is small and I need to get upwind before I hit the rocks. I am a competent kiter in waves and surf a lot (90kg / 183cm). My old sponsor does not have the right board for the new conditions. What Firewire model would you recommend to test? I am using C-Kites in 10-9-7 on short lines.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Deadcod,

    With your size I would look at either the 511 KP1 or the 506 Hellfire. The Hellfire would go upwind a lot easier being that you throw a quad setup in the board or a tri...traditionally unless your a light weight and the wind is strong, the Tri setup won't go upwind as well. Plus you have the double concave working for you as well on the 506 Hellfire. In my experience, the Hellfire is a more versatile board, but everyone's style differs.

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    • #3
      Hi Deadcod,

      I have the Hellfire 5'06". I manage myself in the surf but my light wind abilities are far better out of the surf. I haven't had the best opportunities to kite in Hatteras this winter but there have been plenty of lightwind days in which I was able to see the low end capabilities of this board. I'm about 145lbs and I mostly use a 13 meter on days when the wind is between 12-18mph. The hellfire gets up on plane really fast. A lot of days, I've thrown the deviant fin on and notice the help when the wind 12mph. I can feel the deviant fin shifting its cant underfoot and being able to pump a little really helps add some power and speed when I need it, almost makes my kite feel bigger. Basically I'm always surprised to be out in the water on days when I can't even see any white caps. Grant is right about versatility as well. On perfect days, the board upwinds like a charm. On days when I'm overpowered, it doesn't not scream upwind but it makes a pretty good tack.

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      • #4
        Hey Paolo,

        Have you setup the KHF506 as a quad in light wind? That configuration seems to be one of the best upwind machines in the lineup for me. Either the 5'10" or 5'6" are great boards for light wind (as quads) but also very versatile when the wind picks up as a tri. Usually the selection for size depends on your weight. At about 185lbs or over the 5'10" is more appropriate.

        -Brian

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        • #5
          Brian,

          Yeah I was thinking the 5'6" might be a little small for Deadcod, but You and Grant would know better than I would. I went with the 5'6" because I'm typically between 135-150lbs. I have been flip flopping between the thruster setup with the deviant fin and quad. Both are great. In lighter wind, I think the quad feels more playful at times, and I've managed to make things happen with the quad in the lightest wind so far. One session, it was blowing about 8-15mph mostly on the low side. I haven't been on the deviant in that light but the other day when I posted above it was in the 12-18 range but the wind was dropping off quick. The thruster setup works pretty well for upwinding in at least marginal conditions. Anything less I don't know but I like being able to work the board to get up to a faster speed or to push through lulls. I've actually tested the board without fins when it first arrived. I teach a lot in light wind and have some techniques I apply for super light conditions, basically working it like a skim board. I'm definitely going to try it again sometime.
          Paolo

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          • #6
            Good to know Paolo. Another factor to consider for all boards and conditions is the fins. Get rid of the stock fins and spend the money for some good fins. Makes a huge difference. The Mulcoy's work great on the Hellfire's. They're very light and are awesome in the quad config for light winds. I run TechFlex's on everything else (KP1 and surf models) as they are light but really strong if your pushing the board.

            -Brian

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            • #7
              I have found that the Future fins AM-1's are sweet and just tried the YU's too. I am running them on the KP1 and the KQF. I tried the AM2 and find that they are little big and stiff and draggy. The Mulcoys are good and you get 5 fins for even more crazy options.

              What are your favorites, preferences etc?

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              • #8
                Can't emphasize enough how huge of a difference fins make. Was reminded of this on the weekend overhead surf on the KP1 when I kept sticking off the top backside as my Clay Marzo fins weren't releasing. I went into the beach and swapped them for some Blackstix 2.0 vectors and it was night and day. Releasing off the top with no problem and able to get in a much more critical part of the wave. If you can afford a couple sets of fin it's worth the investment. Check the Surfboard Warehouse for decent pricing.

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