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Friday, November 13 2015
New 2016 Simmer Free Move 110 Review

We got a 2016 Simmer FreeMove 110 in the other day to test out and we have had some pretty good conditions lately to give it a go.  The first day I sailed it was with the 2016 Ezzy 6.5 Cheetah.  I couldn't have picked a better combo as the sail was perfectly balanced with the board.  It was a nice 18-22mph NE day.  There was more wind in the morning so quit a bit of left over chop which was good to see how it would affect such a wide board.  The first thing I noticed when I jumped on the board was just how wide it really was.  It is probably the widest board I have ever sailed.  I immediately thought it was going to bounce like hell in the chop.  I was very surprised to see it cut right through the chop like a much narrower board.  I believe the short length helps as it can fit better inbetween the chop and not bounce from once piece to the next.  It also has a pretty good amount of Vee forward to help cut through it rather than absorbing it with the full width of the bottom.  The Vee tapers out to just a slight touch running off the tail with helps to keep that smooth ride under your feet as well.  The vee also allows to board to get over on a rail easily and it turns on a dime.  The continuous outline curve and short length give it a very tight radius turn and there is just enough tuck in the rails to make it prtty smooth throughout the turn.  The thinner rail profile also allows sucha big volume board to sink the rail in the turn so it holds in even in those over powered gusty transitions.  Usually when adding all these features to a board it become dog slow but it has a very flat fast rocker line that allows it to get up and plane almost effortlessly.  It is very fast off the wind but with the continuous outline curve you lose the ability to drive the board up wind with top end speed.  It goes up wind well just not with that extra gear that you would find in a straighter outlined slalom or race board.  That said 90% of windsurfers arent looking to race to an up wind mark so for the average sailor this is going to be a GREAT all around light to moderate wind board.  For me being 225-230lbs the sail range for this board would be from 7.5 down to about a 6.0 or maybe even an under powered 5.5.  Obviously a light weight sailor would use bigger sail sizes.  The couple things that stood out on the board was first the grip of the textured deck.  It is far and away grippier than any other production board I have ever sailed.  It reminds me of our custom boards which you never ever slipped on.  The other thing was that stood out was the construction.  It's not the lightest board on the market but it feels very solid and substantial like it's going to last more than a couple seasons.  We have noticed alot of the production companies lately have been chasing the lightweight boards to the point where the boards feel almost fragile while sailing them.  You feel every chatter and the boards almost start flexing under your feet as you sail.  This is definitely not the case with the Simmer.  It is rock solid and smooth under your feet.  I had it set with the furthest out and back footstrap setting trying to get the most speed possible out of the board.  There are a variety of hole settings thattcan move you much further forward and closer to the center line which would make the board even easier to turn.  Overall for the class of board I would rate this one a 95 out of 100.  A good solid A.  This class of boards is meant for the intermediate to semi advanced sailor that wants an EASY board to sail that has some top end speed but more so turns and sails like their smaller volume boards.  The 2016 Simmer Free Move nails this category and there isn't much I can see after the first few times sailing it that they could do better for this type of windsurfer.  I would strongly reccomend trying one if you are interested in a "Free Move" board range in the 100-120 Liters.  

Click Here to see more about the Simmer Free Move

Posted by: Freddy AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 04 2015
New Weed Fin

Now that the season is starting to wind down here we have some free time to start working on some projects for 2016.  With all the hype the "weed wave" fins have gotten the last few years we decided to build one that will actually help you turn better while still being able to shed the grass.  Back in the 80's we designed the first real weed fin.  The grass has always been in Pamlico sound and as soon as we started windsurfing there we knew regular designed fins just weren't going to work.  We spent many of night hand foiling prototypes from True Ames that were over nighted to us to test.  We were constantly trying to find the steepest angle possible that would still shed the grass.  We finally found that a progressive angle is the only way to get a fin to shed the grass and not be terrible to go up wind, jybe or even just straight line sail.  We start with a shallow angle at the base of the board where the worst flow of water is.  It is also where you encounter the most grass.  Once you get the grass moving you can go to a steeper angle as you have much better water flow to the fin.  The steeper the fin the more effecient it is.  If you ran the same angle at the tip of the fin all the way to the bottome of the board it would bee too steep and the eel grass we have here would not shed.  One blade of grass catching on your fin and it is almost impossible to plane through your jybes.  These abgle we came up with years ago are the steepest you can go and still shed the grass.  Most of the "Weed Waves" you see either have too steep of angles and dont' shed the grass when its bad so they arent really a weed fin just a bad wave fin.   Or some of them have shallow enough angles with a bunch of tip sweep at the tip which puts a big portion of the fin behind the tail of the board.  All this does is create drag and move your pivot point further back which makes it harder to turn than a regular weed fin.  In either case they don't work.  We decided to try and make one that actually sheds grass and will turn better than a regular weed fin.  Regular weed fins are going to be faster and more efficient upwind but these should turn a little better and be a bit more forgiving for the "average"  sailor in flat water.  They will be a great option where you actually have weed in the surf as well.  We are still in the process of testing some protypes but we should have something finished and available for spring 2016.  Here are pics of the first prototypes.  As you can see the tip sweep isn't any further back than our regular cut of weed which has worked for years.  The tip of the fin shouldn't be any more that about 4 1/2" inches fromt eh end of a power or tuttle box.  Any further than this the tip will be behind the tail of the board doing nothing for you.

Posted by: Freddy AT 08:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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