Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A day with a new addiction

The forecast was for yet another strong NE day. The Training Grounds would again be the call. This place is getting to be not only my favorite place on LI, but maybe my favorite place to sail anywhere. What made it better today was that I had a sweet, sweet new 2010, 98 ltr. F2 Rodeo Air with me, and it wasn't even mine. You have to ask yourself how many of the guys you sail with would not only let you borrow their brand spanking new board for a few runs, but how many of them would let you take it for a 2 week trip to Hatteras with you. Well my buddy Kurt is that generous. Some might say that I'm even more greedy than he is generous to take the offer. But you haven't sailed the Rodeo. I tried it a couple weeks ago only for a short time, and this thing is like crack and I was definitely a junkie looking to get another score. If you're reading this, KURT, YOU"RE THE MAN!!!! The board is just a gift from god. I was sailing with 2 other guys on 4.2s most of the day. Towards the end the wind started dying off, and that's where this board really began to shine above the others. Not only was I the only one planing, I still had plenty of speed and power to do some shakas, ponches and funnels. The F2 Rodeo only needs the slightest puff to get up and going and when it does, it's instantly up to speed for anything you want to throw. I was hitting moves bigger and faster than I ever have before and it's due to this amazing board. I would recommend this to any freestyle pro as much as I would recommend it to anyone just making their first vulcan attempts. Now who's got some wind so I can get another hit of Rodeo?!


  1. I can't wait to get mine! PS, congrats on all your board sponsors, haha.

  2. Let's see how that ends up working out. I've got quite a mixed bag in the trailer.

  3. hi mike
    quiverism: considering either the joker, rodeo or skate. what are the fifferences? thanx. 73 kilo 4.7-6.2 sails

  4. Well, the 2010 joker is still a myth as I've only seen one picture of the actual board and the US delivery date has still yet to be confirmed.

    The 2010 Skate is an all around good board. It does everything well, but nothing exceptional. It planes up , carves well enough, and is stable and controlled enough through the slides. However it is my personal last choice in the boards you've mentioned. The skate has always had a sticky feeling getting up to speed that they still haven't gotten rid of.

    My favorite I've sailed is the Rodeo for dedicated freestyle use. That board planes up incredibly early, eats up the chop and is very fast. It's also more stable in the tricks than anything else of of the same size. All the volume in the Rodeo is right under your feet so it makes moves so much easier. Again, my #1 choice for a freestyle board. By the way Ocean Air Sports should be getting one in the next week or to for sale, so it's best to call and reserve it before it's gone. It will be the only one in the country that hasn't been claimed already.

    The 2009 Joker, if you can find one used would be my second choice. It's an all around great board that carves incredibly well for a freestyle board. It's fast, and planes early as well. It is a little less forgiving than the Rodeo, but then again so is everything else. The only problem is finding a Joker.

    You left the JP off the list. I like the JP better than the skate as well. The boards changed dramatically this year much for the better. They are probably the best carving freestyle board on the market, but you loose a bit of early planing in the process. They are still forgiving in the tricks and easy to control. The JP 89 that I just picked up is easily the best board to do/learn a shaka/shuvit on that I've ever sailed.

    I've had my pick from just about any manufacturer this year and My quiver of the 98 ltr rodeo and 89 Ltr JP is the sickest board quiver I've ever had. Each board excels in the conditions I'll be using them. I use the Jp 89 for 4.2 and 3.7 and the Rodeo 98 from 4.2 to 6.4.

    So here's the rundown:

    Earliest planing, most forgiving to learn new tricks on, and the best for newschool and oldschool freestyle board goes to the Rodeo.

    Best all around use (blasting back and forth with some small waves in the mix) goes to the 2009 Joker (Skate and JP would finish second to the joker here.

    Best carving goes to the JP.

    Really, you'll love any of these boards. The shapers have really stepped up the range of use of the freestyle boards. On a side note, I would recommend a freestyle board not only to guys looking to get into freestyle, but to anyone looking for a 100 ltr board in general. They plane earlier, are at least as fast, more stable and offer a livelier ride than the "Freestyle/wave boards from the same company. They should really stop calling the freestyle boards "freestyle" because people are simply afraid to sail a freestyle board even though it would be better for them. Sail Manufacturers stopped labeling their freestyle sails "freestyle" and all of a sudden everyone loves them. I think the same would be true with the new generation of freestyle boards.