First off I'm and expert freestyler that weighs between 165-170 lbs. (75 kilos for our friends across the pond) I've sailed all of the boards I'm reviewing From Long Island, to Cape Hatteras and Bonaire, so I've got a real feel for all of them. (with the exception of the JP 98) I've sailed more freestyle boards than anyone else I know. I've also owned more freestyle boards form different brands over the past year than most magazines that do write ups on freestyle boards. So I figured I'd help some of you guys looking for a freestyle board know the strong points and weaknesses of those boards I've owned. So what boards are they, the 2011 Fanatic Skate 90ltr and 100ltr, 2010 JP Freestyle 89ltr and 98ltr, 2010 F2 Rodeo, and 2009 Mistral Joker. I've had plenty of time on each of these in all sorts of conditions so here are my views of each.
First off, the 2009 Mistral Joker. I'm including this one in the reviews even though it's a couple years old. This was the board that changed what freestyle boards are supposed to be. Gone were the slow, totally dedicated freestyle boards of the past. Those boards were great for sliding backwards, but the 2009 joker is simply a great all around board. It is fast, easy to sail, and has very good carving ability. It also feels much smaller than it's 99 ltrs. The tail of the Joker (along with the JP) has a little less volume than other freestyle boards, so it's a little less stable to learn the sliding maneuvers. That said, it will slide though any 360 type trick without ever catching the rail. It's thick rails up by the mast track help to skip sideways over even steep chop. It's also very good at tricks you need to carve into like shakas and ponches. All in all, it's better at the more advanced set of tricks than vulcans. In 2009, this blew everything else off the water. It just did all the tricks I needed to learn better than the other boards in 2009 and it also was great as a large wave board. However that was 2009 and this is 2 years later. The other brands took note and have improved on a great design.
Next on the list is the 2010 F2 Rodeo 98. It's basically the same exact board as the 2011. All they did was move the fin box a tiny bit forward for 2011. This is a great freestyle board. Definitely one of my personal favorites. When you first try the board it will feel a bit weird because at only 225cm and all that volume in such a short board, it's kind of directionally unstable. But once you get it figured out, which took me about 2 sessions, you'll be loving life. The Rodeo is tied with the Skate in the early planing department. It will pop up on a plane much faster than most of the other boards and will blow away ANY freestyle/wave in planing. It's also a very fast board. Faster than freestyle/waves and the 09 Joker. The pop of the Rodeo is incredible, and sliding afterwards is very fast. Also having all that volume packed under your feet makes the board easy to cheat throgh the end of a move that would other wise go under water. The one drawback to the Rodeo is the jibing/wave riding. It's very short and thick rails don't make for a good carving board. It will fly through jibes, but they will always have a wide arc. It also makes the board harder to learn shakas and other moves that require a really hard fast carve to initiate. I really do like the rodeo and would recommend it as a close second to the skate. So the strong points of the Rodeo are planing popping and spinning. The weakness is carving.
Third up is the duo of the JPs. I list them both because the JP 89 and 98 don't really sail like the same board at all. First is the 89 ltr. The 89 is a shaka machine. It's simply incredible at doing shakas. You can screw it up so bad and because of the amount of rocker the board has, there is a huge sweet spot where you can land a shaka. The downside, is the board suffers a bit at all the other tricks. It's thin and narrow tail helps carving, but if you're looking for forgiveness in the sliding tricks, look at the Rodeo or Skate. That said, it can easily spock, flaka and go for switch stance tricks. Another thing I found interesting about the board is it's range on the high end. I'e taken this board out in well over 30 knots many times and really didn't want anything smaller. I was really surprised as to how much wind the 89 ltr could handle for it's size. The oh so obvious strong point of the 89 ltr is its shaka-ability. It's obvious that the 89 was designed specifically with this move in mind. There really aren't any real weaknesses of the JP 89. It doesn't offer as much stability or early planing ability as the 90 ltr skate. It will still do all the tricks just fine, just not quite as easily as the skate 90. I would recommend the JP 89ltr as THE board to learn a shaka on. If you really want to crack that move, the JP is the king. If you're looking for a board that offers a more rounded freestyle ability, look at the skate. But if you're looking for an easier sailing, earlier planing, faster version of the JP freestyle/wave this is for you.
The 98 ltr JP is next on the list. This is the only one I didn't actually own, and for a reason. For advanced freestyle, it's just not cutting it. It planes nice and early and has a great feel while sailing. But after sailing the 89 ltr, I was expecting a lot more out of the 98 ltr JP. A buddy of mine had it out that doesn't do freestyle before I tried it and he mentioned the lack of pop. I figured he just didn't know how, but when I got on it, I was surprised how much effort it took to get this board out of the water. Then once going backwards, it kept hooking up in the slides. It as really hard to pull off a funnel for me unless it was perfect. It's almost like it only wants to vulcan while you're sliding backwards. Getting the 360 out of it was really hard. Strong points of the 98 would be planing and a lively ride. It's really a great freeride board, not a freestyler. Weaknesses: everything freestyle.
Now on to my current boards and hands down favorites. The skate 90ltr and 100ltr. One thing about this pair of boards that I noticed right off the bat. The 100 ltr has more rocker than the 90. I was wondering why you'd change up a boards rocker so much only one size away from each other. The short answer, when switching back and forth from the 90 to the 100, all the moves require the same body weight distribution. Last year was hard for me when I was switching back and forth between my 98 ltr Rodeo and 89 ltr JP. I'd spend 1/2 the day learning the board, before I could start making progress on the tricks. With the pair of skates, I can go back and forth without any kind of change in my posture or weight distribution in the tricks. Fanatic really nailed both designs.
The Skate 90 ltr: It does EVERYTHING very, very well. Every trick you try will be easy and the planing of the 90 ltr is truly remarkable. I was out-planing guys on 5.3s and 100 ltr boards. It planes up much earlier than the JP 89, but I think it will have a more limited top end to it. And although shakas are easy enough on the board, you need to land them right to make them nice. The skate won't self-shaka like the JP does. But for every other trick in the book, the fanatic has the edge. The JP 89 also has a little better carving ability than the 90 ltr skate because the rocker is just so flat. But that flat rocker is just insanely fast. you'll blow any of the freestyle/waves out there away with this thing. And all that speed translates into explosive tricks. It's no wonder Gollito can do 4 or 5 moves in a single sequence. The speed just carries right through. The strong points of the 90 ltr skate are planing, speed and spin-ability. Weaknesses are lacking. It doesn't shaka as well as the JP 89, but certainly isn't any harder than the other boards in the review.
Skate 100 ltr: My favorite board of all time! It planes like no other, it pops like no other and can actually rip through a regular old carve jibe. If there is a weakness to the 100 ltr skate, I certainly haven't found it. It will slide through every transition with ease. If you were to take all the best qualities form the other boards and pack them into one design, this would be it. It even shakas as easily as the 89 JP. The outline and rocker combo of the skate makes for a fast, easy carving freestyle machine. This board is also great for those guys not even doing freestyle. it's just a great back and forth blaster as well. My favorite tricks are air funnels, bobs and shakaflakas, but when I let a buddy of mine use it, he was raving over how well it just jibes, and donkey jibes. I would not only recommend this board to guys for their 100ltr freestyle board, but to anyone looking for a 100ltr freestyle board. Weakness: I've got to keep looking.
If you're still with me, here's a list of some qualities that people are looking for in a freestyle board. I'll rate the boards in the order from #1 to last in the order that they perform.
#1 Skate 100 /Rodeo 98
#2 Skate 90
#3 JP 98
#4 Joker 99/JP 89
#1 Skate 90
#2 JP 89
#3 Skate 100/ Rodeo 98
#4 Joker 99
#5 JP 98
#1 Skate 100/ Rodeo 98
#2 Skate 90
#3 Joker 99
#4 JP 89
#5 JP 98 (not a typo, the 89 ltr has much more pop than the 98ltr)
Sliding Control (ability to control the speed of a slide once you start a 360 like in a spock)
#1 Skate 100
#2 Skate 90
#3 joker 99
#4 JP 89
#5 Rodeo 98 (only goes fast)
#6 JP 98 (only goes slow)
Sliding Stability (how far out of that perfect position can you be before the tail goes under during moves like a spock)
#1 Rodeo 98
#2 Skate 100
#3 Joker 99
#4 Skate 90
#5 JP 89
#6 JP 98
Carving for trick (like a shaka)
#1 Jp 89
#2 Skate 100
#3 Joker 99
#4 Skate 90
#5 JP 98/ Rodeo 98
Carving for a jibe
#1 Skate 100/Joker99
#2 Skate 90/JP 89
#3 JP 98
#4 Rodeo 98
Ability in High winds
#1 JP 89
#2 Skate 90
#3 Joker 99/ Skate 100/JP 98
#4 Rodeo 98
What board will I like if I'm switching from a freestyle wave?
#1 Skate 100
#2 Skate 90/ JP 89/ Joker 99
#3 JP 98
#4 Rodeo 98
#1 Skate 100 / Joker 99/ JP 89
#2 Skate 90/ JP 98
#3 Rodeo 98
If there's anything I'm leaving out, or if you have any questions about any of these boards, just let me know.
So then, you like the Skate 100? :-)ReplyDelete
excellent review Mike ! (great blog in general)ReplyDelete
which is the best for freestyle in chop ? I sail a 2008 Chilli 99 and sail where the chop can sometimes get steep.
Liking the skate 100 would be a horrible understatement. Both guys that tried my skate the other day are buying one. One is coming off a JP Freestyle Wave that's only a year old and will use it for back and forth and B&J. The other guy is coming off his brand new Fanatic freewave and is looking to get into freestyle. Both guys were surprised how early it planes and how easy it is to jibe.ReplyDelete
Can you post your weight? I think that makes a difference.
I've sailed a 2008/2009 chili a few times, but never in really choppy conditions. Only in Bonaire a few times. So it's kinda hard for me to say about it's ability in chop. The chilli is a great board but a little slow compared to the Skate and JP. I also had a really hard time trying to pull off a shaka on the chilli when I was burning through shaka flakas on my 2009 joker and 2011 Skate. The chilli is great at the sliding tricks though.
Sorry Brett, I should have mentioned that the Skate certainly wouldn't be any worse in chop than the Chilli. It handles it just fine, even going switch.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the feedback Mike - I think I need to look into upgrading to a Skate ;)ReplyDelete
You'll love it!ReplyDelete
Love my 2011 Skate 100 TE!ReplyDelete
What Mike didn't mention I can report. The skate 100 did suprisingly well in side onshore waves. It also was hands down the most comfortable freestyle board I had used for jumping on the way out in 5-6 ft side shore waves. This was in comparison to a freewave board of 102 l. It felt slightly narrower than a board of equally reported width. Maybe that's due to the rail shape etc. Very comfortable board to sail.ReplyDelete
What a great report. I can second what Mike has said about the Skate 100. Fun and easy to sail in all conditions, Freestyle, wave, free ride, this board does it all.ReplyDelete
The perfect 1 board to have fun on the water.
The skate 100 rules. Makes a big sail feel small and is great down to 4.1ReplyDelete
Mike, have you had a chance to sail the Tabou 100 Freestyle (single fin) from a couple of years ago? How would it compare with the skate?ReplyDelete
Hi Chris. Sorry I haven't personally sailed the Tabou single or twin. I've heard form other pros about how the new twinzers sail, but won't comment because I haven't tried it for myself.ReplyDelete
2010 rodeo 98 vs 2008 joker 104... any comparative comments? Thanks
I've owned the 2008 Joker 104 too. They are totally different boards. The 2008 Joker has much more rocker and turnier outline than the 2010 Rodeo. So the 2008 Joker will act more like a freestyle/wave than a real freestyle board. For pure freestyle, the Rodeo is better at every trick in the book, but for freesailing and waveriding, the 2008 Joker is a bit better. The Rodeo however planes up MUCH earlier and is also faster. It also is one of the best popping boards I've ever ridden right up there with the 2011 Skate. Actually, the 2008 Joker is most similar to the 2010/11 JP 98. Great board for blasting, earlier planing than freestyle/waves, but not so great for real freestyle.
So if you're looking for an earlier planing freeride board that will work as a large wave board, the Joker will suit you well, if you're looking for one of the best boards on the market for pure freestyle, get the Rodeo. Or you can get them both in one board and buy the 2011 skate.
I have sailed the 107 skate TE for the last two years. I'm thinking about going smaller, to a 90L Skate or 89L JP. what do you recomend? I'm about 160-165lbs.ReplyDelete
The 90 ltr size freestyle boards are A LOT of fun. Both the JP 89 and 90 ltr skate are great boards. Since the rocker on teh Skate is a bit flatter than the JP, the JP is a bit turnier than the 90 ltr skate. But because of the flatter rocker the skate slides better and planes earlier. The skate 90 is also a little less bouncy in tighter chop compared to the JP. So if you want more of a carver the JP, more early planing and spinning, the Skate. They're both really good boards, so it's just preference.
great description mike, what do you know about roberto ricci twinzer or pro?ReplyDelete
I know they changed up the RRDs shape for 2011 and I haven't tried the new ones. I did try a couple sizes of the 2010 and let's just leave it as I didn't like the board very much. Not very much at all. There are sooooo many better boards out there. But again, I know they changed the shape dramatically for 2011. Lets just hope it made a tremendous improvement in the handling of the board.ReplyDelete
great review...sounds like ur pimpin fanatic but doesn't sound like i can go wrong with the skate 100.ReplyDelete
have u tried skate 110?
what usa dealer would you recommend?
I tried the 110 from last year, but not a 2011. It sailed big for it's size. I would recommend the 100 over the 110 for everyone except the extreme heavyweight, or someone that really likes to sail 6.9. The 100 ltr is great with the 5.9 and is just so much more fun and maneuverable then the 110. So for me, it's not worth giving up all the fun ride of the 100 ltr for the marginal 6.9 days.ReplyDelete
My 2 favorite shops that carry Fanatic in the US:
Hampton Watersports www.Hamptonwatersports.com in NY
Ocean Air www.oceanairsports.com is in NC.
If you get one at either of these shops, be sure I said hi!
By the way, the Skate's shape is changing for 2012, so grab a 2011 while you can! Who knows if it will still be such a great all around board next year.
I have a JP Freestyle 91 from 2007 that I'm considering upgrading to go further than the vulcan I have dialed. I've also gone up from just above 70 kg (155 lbs) to 78 kg (170 lbs). Do you have any idea of how my current board is in comparison to the ones you have tried?
If you get any of these boards, the fist thing you'll notice is that they are all so much faster than the 2007 JP you're on now. If you're looking to stay on the same sized board, both the fanatic 90 and JP 89 will be fine for you. The fanatic will spock more readily than the JP, but really both boards are very similar. It's the JP 99 that is kind of a dog. If you want to go a little bigger and go for one of the 100 ltrs, the Fanatic is the clear winner in first time spockability. The Rodeo is little more difficult in the beginning to learn spocks because it spins so fast but after you've got the move dialed, the Rodeo slides really well too.
I'm always somewhere between the 160 lbs to 170 lbs range and I use both sized boards. I wouldn't know which to choose if I had to pick only one size. I like the 90 ltr when it's 4.7 down and the 100 ltr for 4.7 and up. I'll use the 100 with the 4.7 if it's flatter water or if I'm a little underpowered for the 90, then I'm on the 4.7 and the 90 if there are some waves for jumping or when the 100 starts to be a handful. It sure is nice having the extra float of the 100 ltr though, especially when you're learning new moves.
Just an easy question. With how many knots are you using the 90 lt and 100lt skate? I am asking because I can't decide what size to get since I am 72 kg and I sail in various weather conditions mostly with a 4.8 .ReplyDelete
I use the 100 up to low to mid 20s, then use the 90 ltr after that. I'm using my 4.7 in 18 to 25 knots. It's my go-to sail and it really is a toss up as to which board I'll end up using when I'm powered. Try and think what other sails you'll be using. The 5.3 on the 90 is too big to really do freestyle. The board looses pop and sliding with that big of a sail on it, but the 5.3 on the 90 is still great for blasting back and forth. The 100 is really nice with the 5.3, 5.9, but with the 4.2 it starts bouncing around a lot. . The 90 with the 4.2 however is my favorite set up that I've ever used. 3.7 is fun too on the 90.ReplyDelete
I think it also depends on what you're working on. If you're learning the sliding tricks, the 100 will be more forgiving, but the 90 is nice for the air tricks because the landing is softer.
Hi Mike, I got the 100L and love it but not a freestyler yet. Planing much faster than alot of folks on bigger stuff- I weigh 190lbs. I like the 100 so much, thinking about getting the 90L to switch out from my older 86L freewave- do you sail the 90 in over 30's in OBX sound? or do you go to a small freestyle wave board.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comments
I own a jp freestyle 99 (2009). I love it. So I'm looking for a jp freestyle 90 to complete my quiver and to make bump jump in strong wind and choppy condition.
I hesitate because the new jp freestyle have a new deck. So what do you think about the deck of jp freestyle 2010 and 2011 ?
Can you help me. Best regards.
Phil. Sorry for my english.
I love the deck on the JP 2010/2011s on the 89 ltr size. And the 89 ltr only! It's really comfortable and gives you great grip on the board. The 98 ltr though has too much cut out under the foot. The bigger ones were really uncomfortable to sail if you like to ride without your foot being all the way in the strap. I know I do when I'm trying to pinch back upwind. Anyway, you'll be stoked with the 89 ltr's deck. Very, very comfortable.
Thank you for your answer.ReplyDelete
Looking for some insight: im 18 started last year windsurfing self taught myself everything I know :) on a 300cmish board im kind of getting board with it (pun intended)and really want to get into a more reactive board....problem is my budget is pretty much for used older gear ($500)so since you've used it all what do you think I should go for... 165lbs wind conditions generally 10-30mph kind of able to waterstart getting better. Thanks =dReplyDelete
Do you think the 2007 99L skate is worth considering (shape similar to 2011 100L?) or should I look at a more recent version. Unsure of you answered this but how does the 100L handles choppy water. Lake Ontario/Erie are less than perfect set ups.
Thanks a lot. jf
I wasn't a big fan of the pre-2009 skates. They were pretty sticky to get planing in any sort of chop and just felt really big for their size, although they would still plane up earlier than any freestyle/wave type board. The 2009 skate was a major upgrade to the skate and then again in 2010. 2011 the board for all intensive purposes was perfect. The 2012 is as equally perfect as the 2011.
The 2009 and up skates are all pretty good in the chop for their size. It was just the pre-2009 skates that were really lagging behind the boards I was sailing at that time, which were the Mistral Jokers.
The Mistral Joker was great in 2007 along with the f2 Chilli. A lot of guys liked the 2007 JP Freestyle also, but I thought it was kinda slow on the top end.
Thanks Mike. Will try to find a 2010-2011 then.ReplyDelete
great board review by the way :)
out of intrest when you said you tried a 2010 RRD freestyle board is that the year when the lengh of the board was 233 across the range of volume, some say this is the 2010 board others say it is the 2011 ? :S Also having learnt to vulcan on a freewave 85l at 60kg how unforgiving will the jp freesyle 89 feel?/ how much easier will i find freestyle on it? As you say in your review it can feel a litle unforgiving... would go for a skate ... but can only find a jp and rrd secondhand for sale !
Thanks for your help
The JP is LOADS better than the RRD. Actually most boards are better than the RRD. Go for the JP 89. It's less forgiving than the skate, but will blow away your freewave in terms of freestyle use. Definitely go for the Pro Edition (not sure if the 89 ltr even came in a wood version). There's a huge difference in the performance of the different constructions coming out of JP.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your help, will go for jp 89 pro edition! :)ReplyDelete
thanx alot for the really usefull informations
i am one of the few windsurfers in libya and am planing to be the first libyan freestyler and looper and scince i have an extremly low budget and there arent any windsurfing shops in libya i talked to some pros from the uk and they said that the skate would be perfect to do what i want to
i found a skate 100 2010 TE on ebay for about 400€ but the bids are still runing..in which price do u think it becomes expensive ? What do u think about this board?And do u have another openion about which board should i take?
By the way am about 84kilos and using RRD avante move 95lt from 2003 i guess and have a blue bic techno 283 which i really hate
my level is intermediate i plane in the straps and do sm small jumps but still learning to jibe
Yes the 2012 skate is a great board. I'm not sure about the conversion rate on the US dollar, but I would think we could sell a 2010 100 ltr TE skate for between $750 to $1,000 U.S. depending on the condition. The 2009 Mistral Joker was also a really good board for all around use and freestyle.
I got an email from someone asking about a Freestyle board for a 200+ lb. sailor from Florida. There's typically light wind down there, and although I was never a huge fan of the 110 ltr boards in the past I would definitely recommend the 2012 109 ltr. I had a chance to try the 109 Team edition and the board is just amazing. Much smaller feeling and livelier than the previous versions. It planes super early, and should give you that extra float you need at 200 lbs. That said, I have a friend here in New York that's over 200 lbs and uses a 100 ltr for his big board. He still gets planing faster than most people on bigger gear. So really it's a matter of choice, but for the marginal days, the 109 will get you going when the 99 won't.ReplyDelete
I was wondering, if it would be a good choice to buy an 89 jp freestyle pro 2010. I only want to use it for freestyle. I'm about 67 kg and do moves like spock, flaka, switch spock etc. I think the jp 89 would be great and i want to learn shakas, ponches and funnels etc. I'm now riding a 97 skate from 2008. I'm from the Netherlands. Most of the time good freestyle conditions.
The 2010 89 ltr JP is a great board! Go for it if you're planning on using mostly 4.7 or smaller. 5.0 and 5.3 start getting big for the board for freestyle. It starts to loose a lot of pop and sliding ability with the weight of a 5.3 on it. Especially if you're not too well powered. If you're always using 5.3 and 4.7 in flat water, I would go with a 99 ltr. That said, when there's enough wind, the 2012 JP is an incredible board! Especially at learning the set of tricks that your looking at learning.
The only thing that touches the 89 2010 JP for learning shakas is the 2012 89 ltr skate. If you can get a good deal on the 89 ltr JP, and you think it's big enough for you (meaning you'll have enough wind), then grab it!!! Just avoid that 99 ltr JP. It's nothing like the 89 ltr. Not sure how they made such a great 89 lr and such a crappy 99 ltr. For a 99/100 ltr size, the 2010/11/12 Skates are really good at shakas.
Thanks for your advice!! So my quiver is 4.0,4.4 and 5.0 boxer. Pretty light sails, also when rigged it up. 5.0 is a little bit tricky on a 89, you say? So the 2012 jp freestyle 88 is also good, but unfortunately to expensive for me. But I can get a fanatic skate 89 TE 2012 for a little bit more money(a few times used) than the jp freestyle 89 pro 2010. The jp is a new board.
I´m thinking on it!! But the jp looks awesome to me!!
Yes, any 89 ltr for me is a little tricky for the 5.0 until you have full power. But since 5.0 is your biggest sail, the 89 ltr should be the way to go. Both the2012 JP and 2012 Fanatic will be great choices. Both will be great for the moves you're working on. The fanatic is a little better on the slides, since it has a bit more volume in the tail than the JP, but both great boards and I would recommend either one.ReplyDelete
okay, well that makes it al clear! I think I will only use the 89 for all conditions. I will sell the skate 97, in practice I will only use the 89. Thanks for your info!!ReplyDelete
Mike- Have you had a chance to spend much time on the 2012 skates? Do the 99 & 109 stay on pare with the 2011s?ReplyDelete
Somehow this post slipped by. Sorry to take so long to get back to you if I didn't already. Yes the 2012 is easily on par with the 2011s. Get them while they're hot!! Here's a post from when I first go the 2012's. The board is going to be basically the same for 2013 with only a change in construction and the mast track moved back a hair.
hey i lked your review but a weigh abouth 115 pounds and i have been windsurfing for the years i am 15 and a wanted to get a freestyle board do u suggest the skate 99 or smallerReplyDelete
At only 115 lbs, the skate 89 would probably be the best choice. My guess is you spend most of the time on 5.0 and smaller. For just one board, you'll definitely get the most use out of the 89 and at 115 lbs, you'll have no issues getting it to float. The 99 is going to get big in a hurry for you when the wind picks up.ReplyDelete
hey srry about how long it took me to respond but ok that is good advise ^. i want to use it as a freestyle board and some small waves so u think that the 89 is stil good? i am a beginner in freestyle but i sail RS:X and techno 293 but i want a board when it starts blowing really hard. and what year skate do u think i should get. and what about the brand of sail now that the 2013 stuff came out i dont know what to choose.ReplyDelete
The 2012 89 will work much better than the 2011 for waves. It turns much better. The 2013 is supposed to be the same shape, so I would imagine the 2013 will work ok too. Still for waves, there's nothing like a real wave board. But if I had to pick one board to fit both freestyle and wave needs I'd go with the skate. You'll never accomplish any freestyle tricks on a wave board, but you can still wavesail small stuff on a skate.
For sails, I ordered idols all the way around. It takes longer for us to get things here in the US than the Europeans guys get them, but I'll definitely put up a review of the idol. The ID this year was insanely good. I think it was the furthest advancement in Northsails since the Ice came around and about in 2006. From what I've heard, the idol is taking it to the next level even further! I'll have to try one to decide for myself after I try miine. A lot of guys raving over the idol were on the Hero last year, not the ID. So I'm a little skeptical, but like I said guys a raving over the sail. Even some guys that are on the PWA full time, riding for other brands couldn't believe the light handling of the idol. I'm looking forward to them coming. Should be by Sept.
ok so i think i am going to get the 2012 because it is the same shape and i dont have so much money to spend. and about sails i am still not sure because like i said my budget is a bit small so i have to get some thing good but not so expensive. i live in south florida and we dont have a lot of wind here but i would only be using the skate on days that are high wind. so do u think a 4.7? also what do u think about the other brand of sails like neilpryde and hot sails because there are not a lot of stores that sell north but there r a lot that sell neilpryde where i live.ReplyDelete
Try Ocean Air. www.oceanairsports.com They usually have a lot more stuff in stock than they have on the website, so best bet is to call them up and ask them what they have along the lines of used or closeout sails. I think they still may have left over 2011 sails for a good price. Make sure and tell them I said hello! maybe they'll take something extra off for you. And yes, a 4.7 on the 89 ltr is going to be something special. Then you can always go smaller later on if you need.
Hotsails are kinda crappy in general. No power and very twitchy. The prydes are pretty good, but then you'll be opening up a can of worms, because they can only rig on Pryde masts. there are no other sails i the industry with the same bend as the prydes, so you'll have to lay out the big bucks for a pryde mast too. then the pryde mast won't work on any other sails. The Norths bend curve is middle of the road, so you can pretty much use anything but the pryde masts. I use NoLimitz. They' work really well and are much cheaper than other options. Built better too.
Also, I'm not sure how soon you're looking to move on buying the 2012 skate but Hampton Watersports will be selling both my 89 and 99 ltr TE boards for $1,595.00 in about a month, or two. I only got these in Jan, so there's not too much use on the 89 ltr. Maybe 20-25 days.
Thanks for all the advise. But do u think that I can sell me the 89 ltr board any earlier. And if not can u tell the store that I am 99% sure that I will buy it and tell me when u gets in the storeReplyDelete
Sorry, it's my personal board and then I'd be out an 89 ltr until the new one gets here. But yes, I can definitely put it on hold for you. That's usually what people do. They have me hold it for them, and I pass the word along to the shop when I hand the gear in of who it should go to. I usually have a list that starts for my boards and sails as soon as I get them in. It's kinda funny, but I already have my 2014 5.0 with someone's name on it. He's figuring he can get another year out of the one he's got. I had one guy interested in this 89 ltr in May, but after trying it, he couldn't wait until the end of the season and ended up getting a new one.
If you're sure you want it, I'll put your name on it. If you'd like I can give you're phone # to the shop so they can call you when it's ready which is usually end of August/Sept. You can e-mail me directly your phone # email@example.com
I also turn over sails, masts, booms, extensions, bases every year. The masts and booms you can buy from me directly. I ride for NoLimitz and Chinook.
Yes I would me very interested in buying a used rig as well. What sails r u going to turn for this year. And is the board in good condition.Delete
The 89 ltr is in VERY, VERY good condition. At least right now it is :-) Never repaired, dinged or anything like that. Remind me to send you some pictures when we get closer.ReplyDelete
Sails that will be for sale are:
3.7, 40 Ice
4.5, 5.0, 5.4 ID
5.0, 5.9 Duke
150-200cm 2012 Full Carbon Chinook boom
135-185cm 2012 Full Carbon Chinook boom
370, 400, 430 Nolimitz Masts
I'm not in front of my "list" so i'm not sure exactly which gear already has someone's name on it. Also the 5.0 and 5.4 ID I'm selling privately. People have asked about both sails, but no one could give me the 100% definite for me to put their name on it. Please e-mail me if you're interested in any of the gear I'm selling privately. firstname.lastname@example.org
To do some freestyle (beginner level), jumps etc...but also enjoy some small non-perfect waves, have some runs in choppy water...so as a do-it-all super playful and fun board (advanced + level for everything else than freestyle)...Skate TE 2011 ? Skate TE 2012 ? Skate TE 2013 ? Fanatic Freestylewave ? I guess all in about 100 L as my weight is 185 lbs. Goal in terms of sails: up to 6/6.5
Thanks a lot for your help !
I think any of the year Skates will work fine for general use in bump and jump/ small waves and of course freestyle. The 2012 and 2013 TE boards are a little easier for the air maneuvers for freestyle, meaning anything you need to pop and rotate the board. Vulcans, loops, all the way up to burners and Air Funnels. The 2011 skate, is a bit more of an all-around than the 2012/13, but not by all that much. Guys that are used to sailing "old school" lots of fin pressure, back foot sailing adjust to the 2011 style skate a little easier, but if you take the extra day or 2 to adjust to the 2012/2013 TE design, you'll feel right at home on those too.
I got a great session on Saturday with the guy the managed to snag my 2011 Skate. He has absolutely no interest in freestyle, but every time I see him, he raves over how much he loves the board. He said every time he sails it he learns something new about what the board can really do. He used to say "well if you're on a 5.3 then I can't even sail because there's not enough wind for a fat ass like me to plane" On Saturday he said,"mark this day in the calendar, because for the first time in history I was sailing a smaller sail than Mike Burns!" It's not that I was sailing a bigger sail than I normally would, but because he's now got the board dialed in and realizes he can sail at least a sail size smaller than he could with his "I hate planing" JP freestyle wave.
Anyway, you'll be really happy with any of the newer skates. The 2011s are going to be hard to find cause guys love them and the team riders have gotten rid of them long ago for the new gear. The 2012s you'll see popping up used. Mine is going back this week to the shop to look for anew owner as my 2013 stuff arrives. I haven't sailed the 2013 skate yet, but they haven't changed the TE board. What they did do was also re-launch the 2011 skate as a non TE board for 2013.
Hi Mike, very interesting post.My name is George . Just wanted to ask can I use a large freestyle board (100 or a 107 lt) for freeriding??I'm bored with my 130 and 115 freeride boards.They feel very large and use large sails.I have a 92 fsw which I like.I'm also about 75 kg and will not be using the board for freestyle , only freeriding and maybe b&j. Just now trying first jumps. Everybody tells me to keep away from freestyle boards but they just come planing beside me with 6.0 when I'm with 7.0 twin cam. And they can fit easily inside a car! Can a 107 lt replace my 130 lt do you think??ReplyDelete
Thanks a lot
That's a tough question because it's kind of gear dependent. First I'll get right to the best answer and then give you a couple things to think about. The first thing to realize is that freestyle boards are not the slow, boring boards that they used to be (although there are still some real dogs out there) People that tell you to stay away from freestyle boards for general use obviously never gave a modern design a chance. The good modern freestyle boards are built with the purpose of freestyle in mind, but what most people don't think about is that freestylers want the same thing that most of the general public want. First and foremost we want to actually be planing, so the good freestyle boards will plane up much earlier than anything else. Then once we're planing we want a board that's easy to control to give us confidence for the tricks. Then when we're setting up for tricks we need to keep the speed up so we also need a board that's fast. Now a lot of tricks require carving into the trick, so we need a board that carve well. So if you're like most people and want a board that's fast, easy to sail, easy to jibe and doing it all with a sail size smaller than you used to use, then yes, a Fanatic Skate is right up your ally. Keep in mind that the trend to the faster, more maneuverable freestyle boards is kind of new and there are plenty of manufacturers that still are going with the "slower for control" theory to freestyle. You won't like any of those boards. Even the skate only got really good in 2010/2011 by following the trend from the 2009 mistral joker. Then Fanatic took it to the next level. So the short answer to the first part of the question, "will a freestyle be good for someone not doing freestyle." is if it's a 2011, 2012 or 2013 Skate, it's a resounding YES!!
The second part of the question of, "can it replace my 130 ltr" is a little tougher. This depends on your largest sail size. If you're using a 9.0 with a 130 ltr there's no way any 109 ltr will keep up. because a 9.0 simply can't be used on a 109 ltr board with any sort of efficiency. But if you're big sail is a 7.0, then there's a good chance that you'll be planing as early as your 130 ltr with a 109 ltr Skate. That said, it takes some adjustment time when you first get on a front foot driven board when you've been sailing a rear foot driven board your entire windsurfing career. Guys that have been used to boards like the JP freestyle wave take a few sessions to get used to the freestyle boards and start figuring them out. DOn't get me wrong, you won't be planing later than the boards you were used to, you simply won't be getting the max potential out of them until you figure them out. And the max potential in the planing dept. of a freestyle board is way, way better than any other board of similar size.
I know guys that bought some skates that have no interest whatsoever in freestyle that couldn't be happier with them. I had a great session on Saturday and ran into the guy that bought my 2011 100 ltr skate. See the middle paragraph in the above post for his reaction to the 2011 skate.
Anyway, all in all George, if you want to plane early with a board that is one of the best all around boards on the market, the Skate is the way to go. You'll be sailing smaller sails every time out. Your 7.0 days will turn into 6.0 days, and 6.0 days into 5.0 days. Who wouldn't want that!! As far as replacing your 130 ltr, it might, or might not depending on your largest sail. Let me know what size sails you're planning on using with the board and I'll let you know.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
All the best,
Thanks a lot Mike for the response.Delete
My current gear is a 7.0 twin cam which rigs on 430 rdm , 5.7 freestyle wave , 5.3 and 4.7 wave and 4.3 fsw sail.
130 freeride board, 115 freemove board and 92 fsw board all of the them carbon. Except summer we have light winds here around 8-12 knots where I can plane we my large stuff in the gusts. I don't suppose I can use my 7.0 twin cam on a freestyle board but can a 6.5 plane and keep planning in such light winds do you think with a freestyle board?
When I use my 7.0 on my 115 it won't even come close in early planing compared to my 130 lt board.
The thing about you said about front and back foot you use the front foot on a fs board because you are more upright?Wouldn't the feeling be similar to my 92 fsw board?
Sorry about all the questions but if I would buy a fs board I would sale the other two (115 + 130) boards.It would be nice to have less stuff to carry around.
Thanks a lot Mike you really give good advises!
As for front foot and back foot pressure oriented boards. The Freestyle wave boards are very different from board to board. Boards like the Fanatic freewave are more front foot oriented than the old school JP Freestyle waves. The guys that picked up the freestyle stance quickest were guys coming off of boards like Fanatic Freewaves, and newer mistral syncros. The JP freestyle waves were very back foot pressure oriented compared to other fsw boards. So it really depends on which fsw board you're coming off of. The other factor is the length of the freestyle board compared to a freestyle wave. There's not much nose volume on the freestyle boards so many guys sink the nose for the first try staring out. But EVERYONE adjusts to it and soon enough ends up dropping a sail size to whatever I'm on.
Either way, yes the freestyle board will have you in a more upright stance letting you steer the board with the front foot as opposed to steering with the fin on the back foot. Also just saying fsw sail or board can vary very widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. For instance a North 5.4 ID sail will have the same wind range as a 6.2 Ezzy wave panther. Same goes for boards. There are lots of boards that simply are way more efficient than others. Sails/boards are like cars. You can say you own a sports car, but is it a Miata or a Ferrari? The performance is very different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Anyway, as for your 115 ltr, a 99 ltr skate will plane up faster than most 115 ltr freemove boards. A 109 ltr skate will blow it away.
A 109 ltr skate won't have any problem taking a 7.0 twin cam sail also. 12 knots should be plenty for the 7.0 and 109 skate. I'm 165-170 lbs and am doing fine planing on my 5.4 and 99 ltr in about 14 knots. On a 109 I can get an extra knot or so out of the 5.4, so I would imagine having a 7.0 would be plenty to get moving in 12 knots. A 109 ltr will have no issue holding a 7.0. The 109 is recommended up to a 7.5 as per the fanatic website.
As far as being able to plane as early as the 130 ltr? It depends on which 130 ltr you have. I have a 125 ltr Falcon that will outplane anything! 10 knots a 7.3 and 2 pumps and I'm off to teh races. But I've also tried other 130 boards that I can't get planing until I'm well powered on my 99 ltr skate in 15 knots.
So figure if you pick up a 109 skate, (and I say specifically the Skate, because not all freestyle boards will plane up or be as comfortable to sail as the skate) with the the 7.0 you should be planing just fine in 12 knots. I can plane on my 6.9 Duke and 99 ltr in 12 knots just fine. Keeping in mind I don't like the 6.9 on the 99 ltr as it's a bit big for the board. Then the 109 will take you up to about 20 knots before it starts getting a little big. I know the sail I'll switch off of a 109 down to a 99ltr is the 5.4. So if I'm really powered on the 5.4 I go 99 ltr and if it's a little light, I'd rather go 109 ltr with the 5.4. So your 5.3 will probably be the smallest sail you put on your 109 before switching down to your 92 ltr fsw.
And keep in mind, all freestyle boards will not plane up the same nor will have a nice ride. There are still lots out there that just won't plane up like a Skate.
If you have any other questions, just let me know.,
Thanks again Mike.I found very interesting that a 5.4 id has the same range as a 6.2 panther since they are known for their range.Which sail would you recommend as my biggest sail for earliest planing possible with the 110 skate in low gusty conditions.What about the naish chopper L for medium winds? I have 3 boards and 6 sails now and I would like to reduce them in 2 boards and 3 sails if possible.Tired up carrying them around and having problem deciding which sail to use.Delete
Thanks a lot Mike you've been really helpfull!
The Ezzy's are known for their range via the Ezzy advertisements. They do have great high end control, which is why more beginner/intermediate sailors like them so much. Those are the sailors that aren't very efficient yet and need to be overpowered before they can start planing. On a more powerful sail they would get out of control faster. The low end is lacking in the Ezzys to say the least. At least compared to sails at the high-end of the market like North and Gaastra. I was out one day a week or 2 ago on my North 7.3 x-type and 125 ltr falcon. I was fully powered, and I mean all the way, absolutely screaming on the North 7.3. Then I traded off with someone on their 7.5 Ezzy infinity and was barely moving. Not enough power to even plane through a jibe. When a stronger gust would come, the sail felt like it was ready to flop in half and wasn't holding it's shape. Every Ezzy I've ever tried felt that way. But that's what all that x-ply and soft material will do for ya.Delete
I haven't had a chance to try the Naish Chopper. While we were in Hatteras this spring, both I and my friend Jon were on North ID 5.0s flying along and another friend Chris was on a 4.8 Gaastra Pure doing fine too. But Pete DeKay from Windsport Mag was schlogging along on the same sized Chopper. It's hard to say what size the sail really was, but he said he asked for something similar to a 5.0. I forget if it was the large, or medium sized chopper. Honestly, I always have to laugh when they say "Medium winds" on a "Large" sail. In Bonaire they tell me it's light wind when I need my 5.3. In NY when I'm on a 5.3 it's medium wind. On a lake, that 5.3 would need some very strong wind. Sticking with true measurements is best.
For a 2 board quiver, the 109 skate would be the call. Then your 92 fsw should pick up right where the 109 leaves off. For sails I would recommend staying with 4 sails. if you're going to go all the way up to 6.9, which would be the whole point of what you're doing. So 6.9, 5.9, 5.0, 4.2 would do it. If you had to do 3, then 6.9, 5.4, 4.5. Just make sure you stay with the same manufacturer AND sail line from sail to sail in a 3 sail quiver. If I had a 6.9 North and 5.4 Ezzy there would be a HUGE gap. The 5.4 wouldn't have any low end, and the 6.9 wouldn't have as much high end control. But if they were both Northsails, I've gone form 6.9 to 5.4 plenty of times.
I've had a 2 board quiver of the 99/100 ltr and 89/90 ltr boards for quite a few years with my largest sail of a 5.9 and smallest of 3.7 and it covers me in everything from 14 to 40 knots.
Hope this helps,
Hi Mike thanks for the tips. I've done some searching and I can find only jp's 100 lt used.Maybe I also can find a skate 100. Do you think there is big defference compared with the bigger sizes of 110 in early planning? Also I've been told that Ka kult 6.4 and ka koyote 6.6 have a lot of power and plane sooner than anything else.Also severne gator 6.5.What is your opinion about these combos?Delete
Sorry again for the questions but all my friends have freeride or fsw boards so no one can tip me over.
Definitely the Severne over the KAs. KA's have been falling apart pretty fast up here. Severne has a better build quality. And as for KA's having more power than anything else is a stretch to say the least. I found Gaastras and Norths to have the most power for early planing. The Norths are a little more reactive/ better for pumping, while the gaastras offer a more even pull.
Stay away form the JP100. I absolutely loved the 89 ltr JPfreestyle, but the 100 ltr was a dog!! It planed pretty well, but wouldn't carve, pop or slide for anything. When I tried it, I couldn't believe how different it was than the 89 ltr! I almost went all in with the JPs until I tried the 100 ltr. Glad I did, because then I canceled the order and came across the skate!
The skate 100 planes up really early too. The only problem is that the biggest sail I found to work to get 100% efficiency on a 100 ltr board is a 5.9. Once the rig reaches a certain weight, even though the sail is holding more wind, all that weight from the heavier rig is also driving down the front of the board which just counteracts the extra power you get from going up to a larger sail. Even with the 5.4 ID, being a lighter weight sail than the Duke, that I couldn't plane up any earlier at all with the 5.9 Duke than I could with the 5.4 ID.
I've had the 6.9 on the 100 ltr before, but there's a point when the board looses it's liveliness and pop. With the 100 ltr boards, a 5.9 seems to be that point. You'll get planing a little earlier with that 6.9, but not by much at all. And after you learn to work the freestyle board for all the early planing it really can offer, you'll understand why we always opt for the smaller sail. Anyway, for a 6.5 as the biggest sail, a 100 ltr might do it for you, but if you want the most out of the low end, a 110 ltr will definitely help. Even with only a 5.4 as my biggest freestyle sail, I notice a difference in planing with the skate 99 vs 109. Maybe a 2 knot difference just by adding 10 ltrs, and that's with a sail that the 100 ltr has no problem with. That said, the 100 ltr is a little more lively and fun to sail, so it's a give and take. Only you really know what is more important. Early planing or maneuverability.
With the 6.5 Severne and 100 ltr, I would say you'll plane in about 14-15 knots. Then with the 110 ltr closer to 12-13 knots.
Thanks a lot Mike I appreciate your help!Delete
Any thoughts on the new patrik freestyle boards 90l(i've heard they are similar to the 07 chili)? How would you compare them to the 2012/13 skates 90l? i'm 65kg first tryed freestyle (vulcans) pretty much bang on 14 months ago... now can land flakas (on a good day) grubbies and spocks ... really close to e-sliders (any tips ? haha) and want to learn puentas and then switch chachoo's and then shakas eventually !! what board would you recommend for my level and weight e.t.c. If you haven't tried the patriks have u heard anything about how they perform? I really want to learn shaka Such a cool move!Not good enough yet tho.
This Review Is Awesome! By the way !! better than any magazine test by far!! Thanks For all the top advice and help!
Thanks!! I was able to get to try so many boards over the years! I'm glad I was able to share with everyone. The last Patrik I was able to try was from 2 or 3 years ago. It was Tonky's board from the year he switched to Tabou. The closest board I've ridden to that Patrick is the 2009 Joker. It was almost identical!!! Planing, sliding speed, everything!! I'm not sure if the Patriks have changed in the past year or 2. Like the 2007 Chili it has more rocker than the skate, so it's a bit slower to plane and slower top speed. But it was carving really well. I tried the 100 liter sized Patrik by the way. I know your'e looking at the 90 ltr size, so all this might not even be relevant anyway. Personally I think the Skate and Rodeo are nicer in the 100 ltr size, but I haven't tried a 2012 or 2013 Patrik. If the shape has gotten better, meaning faster and earlier planing, then I'm sure it would be really good. Sorry I can't help more, but I don't have all that much experience on the Patriks. I don't think they can be bought in the U.S unless someone has recently picked them up.ReplyDelete
For e-sliders. 2 things. One -Try and stay close to the wind. The more you go downwind, the less the board slides in a circle. It'll just slide straight back and the tail will go under. And 2- when you pop, throw the rig forward for a split second while you are doing the 180 in the air with the board to start the rotation of the slide. As soon as the board touches down, push the clew through the wind. Oh and it's not a move to learn too powered up. Less wind and more speed is better to learn the e-slider and switch chacho too! Fun move in flat water!!
All the best,
Thanks For the Quick response! I too don't know whether the patriks have changed shape since 2009, but good to know the 2009 shape was pretty decent. And Thanks For the e-slider tips .. the tip of staying close to the wind makes a lot of sense!! For some reason though i like doing them really powered up (probally due to poor technique) thats when i seem to get the full 360 round but i always fail to sheet in quick enough to sail away.Anyway I'll give them a try less powered up and taking off closer to wind .ReplyDelete
Hi Mike. As already said, this is a great review!ReplyDelete
I also have my question for you: I'm a beginner freestyler, 65 kgs, and I occasionally land vulcans. My goals are - in this order: (i) mastering the vulcan, (ii) learning the flaka and (iii) learning the kono (IMO coolest trick ever).
I currently own an old freestyle 100 ltr starboard (something around 2005 or 2006), but also have gained some experience on the 2010 Skate 100 ltr. I found the Skate very easy to pop and fast, but somehow uneasy to control during backwards sliding (it frequently over rotates and felt it sort of unstable on my swith stance landings)
It's certain my lack of skills, but which board do you reccomend for replacing my old starboard and meeting my goals?
I have read all over the web very good reviews of 2012 Rodeo 98 and 2012 Skate 100, but considering my goals (and probably my flaws in technique) do you thing the Rodeo will help me more than the Skate?
The old Starboard you are using was designed to go in a straight line once it lands backwards. In 2005 there wasn't much need for a board to spin a full 360 in a productions setup. Customs were still aloud in competition, so they would highly detune the boards the pros were using to sell to the masses. The only 2005 production board that wanted to go more than 360 was the F2 Chili. ( I had both the 99 ltr and 109 ltr. Ah the memories) Today, the boards in production are the same boards the PWA guys are using, so they are much faster and spin quicker!!
The more time you spend on the newer style board, the easier it will be to control, and believe me, if you're planning on keeping the board for a while, you'll want something that'll spin!! I know it seems like it took you forever to get the vulcan, but once you get used to spinning 360, you'll be banging out new moves left and right if you have a board that can keep up!!
The 2010 100 ltr skate and 2012 100 ltr skate are identical! They kept getting such good reviews of the 2010 100 ltr AND the 2011 99 ltr that they actually made both designs available for 2012. Both of these boards will be better than the rodeo for you, since they will be easier to control in the spin and more comfortable to sail in a straight line. So it's a matter of choosing a board for now, or a board for the moves you want to work on in the future. I'm pretty sure the only reason the 100 ltr came back to life was because so many people liked it for freeride blasting, where the 99 ltr is a bit more biased toward freestyle. That said, I think the only board that the 100 ltr falls short of for dedicated freestyle is the 2011/2012 99 ltr skate. I really don't think there's a wrong choice for you at the level you're at. The 100 ltr will carry you through the flaka, spock, shaka. I think the switch stance moves and rotational air moves are easier on the 99 ltr though. So the kono is a 99 ltr board move. Not to say you won't be able to learn it on the 100 ltr.
To relate choosing between the 2 skates, it would be like saying should I choose a 5.0 or 5.2 for the day. Do I want a hair more power to go bigger, or a hair more control? It's really a personal choice that i'll have to leave up to you. You won't be disappointed with either board.
Let me know what you end up going with and how you like it!! And I love giving pointers, so just let me know how to help!!
I've been searching a lot in my local market which board I can actually buy and read all the web reviews of these boards.
Here are the boards easily available:
- Starboard Flare 101 2012 (new) - Euro 1.455: it seems to be very different from previous models and very radical. Less wider than other boards and specifically shaped for arial new moves (kulo, kono, etc. etc.). Not very friendly in sliding, super good early planning ability, super good popping and fast.
- Starboard Flare 98 2011 (new) - Euro 1.200: less radical than the board above but still very responsive. Good straight line windsurfing and good carving. Reading the 2012 MY, the 2011 seems not to be a very good board and that's why they had to change the shape.
- RRD Twin Tip 100 2012 (mint conditions) - Euro 1.180: faster, a bit more radical, better popping and faster spinning than previous RRD MYs. Anyway a board still defined as "easy" and forgiving.
- RRD Twin Tip 100 2010 (used) - Euro 600: slower and less radical than the 2012 MY. Good popping, not very good early planning ability but fast once it gets its way, still "easy" and forgiving and providing general comfort and good feeling. An entry level board.
- F2 Rodeo 98 2012 (used) - Euro 1.000: we already talked about it.
Unfortunately no skate is available (unless I buy the 2013 MY for Euro 1.800...).
My general impression (still not having tried any of these boards) is that for my skills and my goals (at the end of 2013 I want to be fluent in the vulkan and land at least 10 flakas), the RRDs seem to be the best choice.
I wouldn't say that money is a deal breaker, but of course if I can save some pennies my wallet won't cry (considering also that two new sails are already in my garage)...
So, what's your view?
Thank a lot for your help!!
The problem with the RRDs are that yes, they are good to learn a vulcan, as is the Rodeo and Flare, BUT they are garbage to learn the rest of the moves after that. The riding experience is also the least reactive and dull feeling. Out of all freestyle boards I've ever tried, the RRD was by a long shot the worst!! It doesn't plane early which means you need more power iin the sail to get going, which means when you're tryiing your first moves it's going to be harder becasue you'll be fighting the sail more. The RRD is also very slow and non-reactive. The 90 ltr size was a little more lively, but that 100 ltr is aweful. Felt like an old F2 Compstyle from 2005. The only guys I know that "like" the RRD are the Team riders, and even some of those guys tell me they don't like it privately. Best quote I've heard form an RRD Team rider about the 100 ltr twintip, "It's a board that only it's owner could love."
Ok, so now that the RRD is hopefully off your list, it's really a toss up between the Rodeo and Flare. The newer design of the flare is much nicer than the older model, so definitely go with the new one if you decide on the flare. Both the Rodeo and Flare are, really, really good boards. If the skate wasn't around, I wouldn't mind switching to either one. I might lean toward the flare simple because the deck on the rodeo is a little flat for my taste, but that might be personal choice. Since the rodeo is a used board, it also might be beat up pretty good. Push on the deck around the mast track, and also under the front footstraps. That's where the board will start failing first. A brand new 2012 Flare for 1,450.00 is a great deal. I would go with that if you have the money. If not, like I said, the Rodeo is a really good board just push on it to see if it's soft anywhere. If it's ok, that might be the one! Really it might come down to which one you think has a better looking paint job!
at the end of the day I got the Flare 101 (with an extra 50 euro discount!). I can't wait to test it myself!!
Maybe you already know, but your review is very well appreciated in the UK as well! see http://forums.boards.mpora.com/showthread.php/57787-Freestyle-board-reviews
Keep up the work, we're all interested!
Great Alberto!! THat would have been my first pick out of those boards for sure! We're in Bonaire now and my buddy here is picking one of the flares up also. I'm going to go for another board review this year. If I can get my hands on everything, I'll probably end up doing the skate, flare, taboo, JP, and anything else I can get together.ReplyDelete
Good luck with the new toy!!!
All the best,
I've been reading many of your posts and decided to send a question to have your advice too.
I have an Exocet Wave 251 75 L for high wind conditions (Force 6 and +) and an old JP FSW 86 L for medium conditions (Force 3+ to 5+). I often use this board with 2012' 5.2 and 6.2 Lip Wave Loftsails sails and sometimes a 4.4.
I am looking for a new board for lighter winds (Force 2 to 4) to complete my quiver. I weigh 75 kg.
Most people around would buy slalom boards or bigger freemove or freeride boards, but each time I ride some of them I'm more or less satisfied by the fact that boards go fast but I'm kind of disappointed because of their lack of manoeuvrability and fun.
My idea is to buy a Fanatic Skate (2011 or 2012) in 109-110 L. I am not sure I will use it to do some freestyle : the program at the moment would be to do some bump and jump, make some speed runs if possible and surf some summer waves. What I want is a board to have fun early, have control, jump and even go fast.
My first question is : Do you think that the Skate is the good choice according to my search for a "fun and allround light wind" board?
Second question : I have found a 2012 99 L model. Do you think I should take that one or keep going for a 109-110 L? I want a board that will not sink if the wind goes very light during the session.
Third question : if I use the board for B&J conditions or waves, wouldn't it be a good idea to mount a wave or freeride fin? Any idea of the model and size?
Thanks in advance for your answer.
Keep having fun!
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Hi Mike, hello from Melbourne Australia, been riding a 2011 90 skate for a year and loved it especially with a 4.7 idol. That sail is so much easier for the ducking moves than a hero! I'm at the stage where I can get switch and duck the sail and turn up into the wind for a kono but loose speed very quickly. My question is would a skate 99 be easier than the 89 (2013) for learning the kono, funnel etc? I'm thinking the 100 would plane a little further once in the switch back winded position. I'm a similar weight to you 79kg and I'm contemplating an 89 and 99 set up like you but my only issue is when I'll be using the 89 (25 knots plus) there are front side rideable bay waves suitable for back loops also! This summer I had some really nasty flat landings on that 89 skate from back loops as its such a flat board. I loved it otherwise but would you think a 99 skate paired with the 85 te freewave tri would work well? The conditions I'd use the 85 in are just like a small day at pozo with 24-29 knots! You're thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Are you ever using your 89 skate in these cross onshore pozo like consitions? Have you tried the fanatic freewave 85 te in trimode? Regards AndrewReplyDelete
I couldn't agree more about the idol an the hero as far as ducking. I was so close to going with the ID again this year because of my 4 batten experience with the hero. I'm so glad I went with the idol. The sail is just incredible!!!
As for freestyle boards, yes the 99 ltr is much more forgiving than the 89 for switch tricks on the larger sails. We do have a place that is very much like Pozo (minus that many days with that much wind) We do get a bunch of 3.7 ays there every year though. I really like the 89 ltr skate in those condittions! The 4.0 idol and 89 ltr skate is my favorite set-up ever!! And also, the 89 ltr skate has a little more rocker than the 90 ltr had, so it turns a bit better and suites these conditions better. It was a good improvement over the 90 ltr.
The sail size I usually switch from the 99 ltr to 89 ltr is the 4.5, maybe 5.0 if it's more of a jump/wave session. Or if it's super flat, I'll still use the 99 ltr with the 4.5. When I was on 4.7, I'd change over at the 4.7 size. The 89 ltr is a bit small for 5.3 freestyle.
As for the new tri fin freewave, I still have yet to even see one in person. Boards come into the U.S. so late! My 2013 89 ltr only just arrived last week!! I ordered it in July! With that shipment was the first batch of freewaves, so in april I'll have a chance to try them when we head down to Cape Hatteras. From my experience from freewaves in the past, is that they are ok to learn some vulcans and the air tricks like shakas, ponches, etc (although you're still way better off for freestyle on a skate) ., but when it comes to switch stance tricks in high wind, the freewaves fall off a plane too fast to get switch, duck the sail and then do a trick.
So the best solution, and one that I'm considering, is to do the 89 and 99 ltr skates, then also a mid 80 ltr dedicated wave board like the tri-wave or quad. I want to try these boards first though and figure out if it's worth it. I'm in love with the 89 ltr and there's no way I'd replace that with a wave board altogether since I'm finding the new moves like konos/burners etc. are way easier to learn in 4.0/4.5 conditions and I want the 89 ltr there to learn those moves. If I had a freewave instead of the 89 ltr skate, it would definitely hinder my learning curve for the advanced moves. So since the freewave wouldn't help my freestyle, I would just go straight away to a dedicated wave board to have an even better time in the waves.
Thanks Mike, you make an extremely good point in that the freewave wouldn't help your high wind freestyle so it's therefore not with having! I think maybe your plan to have the 89 and 99 plus a dedicated waveboard is the way to go! I get the impression the tri wave is faster and more versatile than the quad which I currently own(87 ltr) and is really only good for down the line smooth waves, it really doesn't like chop! One more question on technique, what's the secret to keep planing once switch and back winded? Also having trouble getting the board to rotate when trying a ponch?? Thanks AndrewReplyDelete
With the wave boards, I really want to try both the triwave and quad. I know a couple guys that swear by the quad, but it sounds like the tri-wave might be better for jumping. I gotta try both and decide for myself. But I'm for sure that I don't want to give up my 89 ltr skate!!
As for loosing speed when ducking the sail, try to stay closer to the wind during the duck. Make sure you stay with your weight on your front foot and on your toes when you go for the duck and before takeoff. Usually for the kono, if you're getting stuck in the water you're not keeping your front arm stiff when you push on the back hand. If you let your front arm bend, the lift will go out of the sail when you push on the back hand. Then play with how far you go upwind. Too far upwind will be super easy to go in the new direction, but you'll stay really low. Not far enough upwind and you'll get blown up and land on your head. There's a certain point of turning back upwind where the board will release easy and also be able to rotate.
For the ponch, everyone learning it pops too early. usually because they already know how to flaka and try to relate that that to the ponch. So for the ponch, you need to go further downwind than the flaka and also pop later relative to the sail throw. Then when you're throwing the sail in the ponch, as it rotates back behind you, you need to pull tit up into your armpit to clear the tip of the mast. The ponch was the hardest move for me to learn... A good setup to learn would really help. When I was asking Tonky for advise on the ponch years ago, he said that he couldn't learn the ponch until he went to fuerte where he could bear off and hit a wave coming at him. Luckily our super choppy water we sail in here in NY lends itself well to all the air moves :-)
Thanks for all that info, will start working on that especially what you said with the ponch I think having that set up with a small wave coming towards you as you bear downwind is the key. My best attempts have been with this scenario! Think I've been throwing the rig down onto the water too flat with both arms straight too soon compared with bending your back elbow pulling your back hand in so the rig is up under your armpit as you said! If you do it off a small wave like at fuerte the rig throw is just as the mid board is about to leave the wave yes? My ultimate goal is to learn the burner but the funnel would be first I guess, I can flaka and Spock 540 so i guess with the Funnel the same principles will apply as with the kono to keep planing switch but more downwind then just hop the tail around Vulcan style?ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your help there are a group of us here in Melbourne all around the same level that are reading your forum so this info should help move the level up a notch! Good to see someone so passionate about freestyle as I think it's the future of the sport! It's the discipline most likely to attract a younger audience which is needed to keep windsurfing going and growing! Heading to the gorge in July so looking forward to that! Thanks Andrew
Hey Andrew, We might be heading to the Gorge at the end of July also!! Dates aren't set yet, so it might end up being mid-august also.ReplyDelete
For the ponch, pretty much the sail needs to get thrown early enough for it to almost wrap back into you just as the board pops. I don't get too much ponch practice so I know I even have a bad habit of throwing the sail too early and then kinda muscle it through at the end. The closer you are to hitting yourself with the sail on takeoff, the faster the rotation will be and the easier it is to clear the sail totally from the water. Like I said, EVERYONE throws the sail way too early to even try and make the rotation in the beginning. And to help clear the sail, you'll pull keep your front hand really close and at the same time push on the back hand as the sail rotate flat against the water as you're over it. It's a really fun move to land dry!!! With a setup like Fuerte, the sail throw can still be really bad, and you'll still make it. Somewhere like Bonaire and you've gotta have it wired!!!
Yes, you'll definitely need to learn the funnel before a burner. The funnel is fun because even if you don't do the 540 you usually still make at least a 180 and stay dry to save some energy for the next one :-) Just remember to keep your weight on the front foot for the duck and everything else will fall into place.
Maybe we'll see you in the Gorge!! Make sure you say hello! I'll have all Norths (mostly idols) and my 89 ltr skate.
Happy sailing until then,
Yesss, I just found out your review and thanks again for all that info.ReplyDelete
I'm a beginner-intermediate windsurfer and I'm planing to buy a 100 L board. I've got a major concern about 100 L freestyle boards, DO THEY JUMP WELL? My spots are a little choppy but sometimes you come across a nice ramp and I would hate to hate a 100 L freestyle board for exploiting those jumping ramps. But I'm really attracted to the freestyle program for early planing, pop and trying moves... but it has to jump as well!!!
Glad you like the review. I'm actually getting together another board review right now and if it comes together it might go into Windsport Magazine.
Your question is a tough one because it depends on the type of jumping you mean. In chop, maybe 1 to 2 feet high I know my 99 ltr skate I can get higher then a freestyle wave board. For bigger waves and chop though, I can jump smaller and narrower boards higher. My 89 ltr skate is an incredible jumping board off anything! The thing about the wider freestyle boards is even though they go up really well, when you're landing it can be a little more jarring because of the wide tail compared to a similar sized wave board. So I would say, if your constantly jumping higher than 10 feet, maybe a freestyle/wave is in order to soften up the landings. But on a 100 ltr you'll probably be in wind of about 14 to 23 knots. If all you're really in is some chop, which I use the skate in, a freestyle board should definitely do the trick. The thing is if you're even considering freestyle just a little bit, a freestyle board will be more beneficial to you than anything else. The main beach I sail at typically has 1 to 2 foot chop when it's blowing around 20. The guys that don't even do freestyle and have traded their JP FSWs for Skates have been very, very happy. I just spoke to a guy that bought his first freestyle board in France. He bought a 2012 99 ltr skate and posted on our local forum how he couldn't believe how small of a sail he was able to use compared to his old board. He was really stoked with it, and he was a hard core wave sailor!
Let me know if you have any other questions.
First of all, outstanding blog – really wish I’d found it earlier. For example, I’ve found it hard to find discussion on North Sails and for whatever reason started out with them. My main used sale for freestyle is a 5.3 Ice (2007) and 5.9 Duke (2008) – I also have used the sails for general sailing. The Duke is showing wear & tear. Your comments on the Idol are huge to me as I wondered about a relatively new concept with North of a 4 batten freestyle sail in a 5.9 size.
For freestyle board review, I again wish I found this blog earlier. The only comprehensive review I found was a 2009 review (not sure by who, but I did copy it.) I ended up with a 2010 JP 98L wood construction – my first choice was RRD twintip as it seemed the most dedicated but they were out. I thought the JP might replace a 96L Kombat (’06) but found these board were so dramatically different that I keep both and use the one that suits the day’s conditions.
So, my freestyle question. I’m almost there on the vulcan & hope to progress from there soon with a focus on sliding moves. I noted your comments on the JP freestyle for the size I have. I also note your comment on board weight (the wood construction is a bit heavier than others – I thought a pound or two wouldn’t matter much & the wood may be stronger and was less expensive).
Do think at my relatively low level of sliding freestyle that a board change so say the 99L Fanatic Skate TE would help my progress?
Recently, learning sliding freestyle is my #1 interest (I still like all types of sailing). If a gear update would help this along then I’d do it.
Sorry for the long story – I don’t typically get opportunity to demo gear and know how the right choices can make a different. Thanks!
I'm about to have a 99L skate but from 2007 ! I have understood the skate have been changing a lot in 2009 ?
I'm coming from slalom and all i know is jibing, jumping, waterstarting. I want to go into Freestyle but with not so much wind during the year (my spot is like 12-18knots most of the time), I weight 65kg (BTW sorry from my english I'm french...). I have a 6.1 expression and a 5.2 lip wave.
My question is :
For planing ability and maniability/jumping : Is there a big difference between a 99ltrs skate from 2007 and a 100ltrs or 99ltrs skate from 2009-2012 ?
Thansk a lot !!
The newer skates are much, much better than the older ones. MUCH better!!! The 2009 was a good improvement but still pretty slow to plane and doesn't spin so well compared to the 2010 and newer. My buddy has a 2009 and we swapped off the other day so he could try my 2013. When I was on his board it was kind of slow and unresponsive compared to the new ones. It would also hook up pretty bad trying to spin it in any kind of sliding 360. 2010/2011 board was a big improvement in handling and planing, then a smaller improvement with better spinning for 2012/2013. If you can, stick with a 2010 or newer board with the skate. Guys are loving those here that don't even do freestyle. And then for those that do freestyle on them, they're a freestyle machine!!! Of course I'm sure money might be a factor, so you have to weigh out the $$$ vs performance.. But in this case, the more you spend the better the board will be....
Hope this helps,
Thanks for the great Blog.
I just got back into windsurfing again after about 20 years away from the sport. I was in bonaire this spring and i was amazed by the 2012 JP 99 Freestyle board and how quickly it would plane. I am 185lbs and I was planing with a 5.7 when others were have a hard time on 6.4's. Have you tried out the newer JP99 freestyle boards. Are they getting better. Or would you still rate the skate 100 as a better all around board. I want to get one of these boards since i think i can actually sail it a lot more in the lighter winds area that I live in (Lake Huron, Canada).
I am trying to find a used one of these boards, but the seem to be very scarce. Do you know of any place selling used skates or JP Freestyles?
We actually did another big Freestyle Board test in April on most of the 2013 freestyle boards. Windsport Mag helped get all the boards together, so I wanted to give them a chance at doing a formal review before I put something together. The Fanatic and JP came in as my 2 favorites. The 2013 JP was a little better at the double and triple moves like shaka/flakas and triple flakas while the skate is a bit more comfortable to sail and might have a hair of early planing on the JP, but it would be just a hair. Both of those boards are extremely capable!! I think you might like the skate better just for the comfort factor, but for sure you'll like either of those boards. And beware, all freestyle boards are NOT as user friendly or early to plane as the new JP's and Fanatics....
By the way, Ocean Air Sports usually has some Skates in the Demo fleet, so maybe give them a buzz at the end of the season for some 2013 skates. Or maybe even check now to see if they have some 2012 laying around. The 2012 and 2013 Skates are pretty much identical except for the color.
After almost a couple of years I still enjoy reading your blog more than any windsurfing magazine test!!ReplyDelete
thanks alot for the time that you give to the windsurfing world in general and to me in special
when will u visit me in libya???
best regards from your friend
Hi Mahmoud!!! Thanks so much. Get ready for the big 2013 freestyle board review!! I'll have it out soon!! Just got the ok from Windsport to do it. Windsport Magazine will also have their review in the next issue of the same boards. We had a bunch of testers at all different levels, from pro freestylers to bump and sailors not even interested in freestyle and everything in between.ReplyDelete
All the best,
Thanks a lot for your review, this helps me a lot. I'm also entering windsurfing again after a 20 year absence. Everything has changed so much since the last time I've did something on a windsurf board. I've already bought a 5.3 North Idol set, but still have to buy a board. I can't wait to read your 2013 review!
I am not a freestyler but interested in the skate 100 after reading your really cool blog. Can u tell me something about the difference in gybing/general riding technic( front foot riding) on a freestyle board?
It kind of depends on the board you are coming off of as far as adjusting your technique. Many guys just jump right onto the skate and instantly are very comfortable and notice an increase in performance from every aspect of riding. Others (usually coming of a more old school design like and JP freestyle wave) take a few sessions to get used to the different design. In general freestyle boards are much more compact than their freestyle/wave counterparts. So when gybing and sailing along you can actually be further back than you normally would be on a FSW. You'll find the mast track closer to the front footstrap, so most of the time the first thing I do is place my front foot in the strap and use the strap as leverage to push off of with my front foot. having your front foot in the strap is the best place to get planing the earliest.
Freestyle boards are also designed to have the rig a bit more upright. This helps tremendously with early planing and is also what lets freestylers use such tiny fins. Having the sail pulling up and forward transfers the pressure of the sail through the front foot as opposed to having really short harness lines (20-22" line ARE super short!!!) that keep all the pressure from the pull of the sail on the fin and chokes off the power you would have in the sail if it was more upright. I'm 5'8" and I use 28 " lines. Others my size use 30" lines. I wouldn't use below a 26" harness line on a freestyle board....Or any board for that matter....
Gybing is a little different. All in all, it's way more forgiving and many people plane make their first fully planing gybe the first run on the skate. The key is to enter the turn easy instead of just digging in the rail. The rocker is very flat, but the outline and tail are nice and curved. So in the past you most likely have been relying more on the rocker to gybe, where now you'll be using the outline. It's usually only an issue if you've got your gybes wired on a wave board and that's what you're used to. You'll find you won't need to lean as far forward on the skate to maintain speed through the jibe. So enter the gybe with a wider radius turn and gradually add pressure as you get through the turn.
Really, it's just more intuitive and forgiving than other boards. If I dropped someone on an old freestyle wave and the other person on a Skate, the person on the skate would advance through everything much quicker simply because the board is more balanced and planes up with less wind. So every gybe, every attempt to get into the footstrap or harness can be done with less wind in the sail. Less wind in the sail equals less to fight when your trying new things. This is the most important thing in the freestyle world and it transfers straight over to everyday sailing. Whether it's the first gybe or tack, or even just first time getting planing. Everything is easier with less pressure in the sail. The skate lets that happen. So just get on the board, and go sailing!! Chances are if you sail the skate for a week you'll absolutely hate the board you're coming off of even though the skate may have felt a little different when you first stepped onto it.
Have fun on the new ride!!
first thank you for this very helpful answer!
I am coming from an older jp freestyle wave. Iam
not a very good sailor fail to the most jibes (at least not planing after the jibe)and get the board only going in strong winds. I am 85 kg and the board has only 93l. Its my only board and on sails i have a 4.5 allround wave a 5.3 powerwave and a 6.3 freemove. The 6.3 is a bit big for the jp. Do u think my sail quiver is ok for the skate?
My pleasure. Your sail range is perfect. I used to use 4.7, 5.3 and 5.9 on my 100 ltr. The 6.3 wouldn't be a stretch either, it will work nicely. I've used up to 6.9 on the 100 ltr skate and it was fine. You're going to love the skate!! Soooooo much better than the JP FSW.
All the best,
Very interesting blog, i know my question is kinda answered a few times but i want to ask to be sure tho, im about 73 kg (160lbs) and im going to buy my first freestyle board after lots of surfing at freeride freemove and fsw boards. I have currently a 4.2 powerwave sail and a 5.0 freestyle/freemove sail. So i went looking for a 2nd hand freestyle board and now i got 2 options, a 2007 jp freestyle 91 and a 2010 skate 100, the jp is obviously cheaper. I would like to surf with the boards from 5 till 7 (maybe 8) bft with, flatwatter, chop and little waves. Can you tell me which should be the best for me and why you think that should be?
Thanks in advance
The 100 ltr Skate is a much better board, but the 100 ltr will be too big for most of the wind range you're talking about and a 4.2 will work much better on a smaller board than a 100 ltr. Go with the 91 ltr JP unless you can dig up a skate in the 90 ltr size :-)
All the best,
Hi Mike. First at all very very interesting post.ReplyDelete
I'm Gabriel and I'm writing from Spain. Freestyle touch me 2 year ago, and I has pass from 10m2 formula windsurfing to 5.8 freestyle boards. We don't have to much force wind in my village (15-16 Knots in a windly day. In my spot, I don't know why, it's very difficult to navigate with 14 knots and less tahn 6.0 sails) I'm riding a 2007 Joker (cheap and hard board for learn maneuvers) but I'm not able to plan with less than 16/17 Knots (5.8 ezzy panther 2013 sail). Three weeks ago I tested 99 skate in Pozo with 4.5 and It was amazing, but I don't think that board would be a good option in my spot. I'm learning freestyle alone (tricktionary and youtube videos) and I don't have any other board to test in my spot. I don't believe I'll be able to do any air movement, but I'm interested in old school maneuvers (I'm 39 years old, 71 kg). Do you thing 109l 2013 skate board would be a good option to early planing in marginal conditions and learning new tricks.
Thank you very much
That's great that you're starting to try some freestyle. In 16 or 17 knots, you should be able to get going pretty easy on a 109 ltr Skate and 5.4/5.9. So that would be a great choice for you!! The bigger thing is the Ezzy sail. They are probably the hardest sail on the market to learn freestyle on because of the pre-shaping in the sail. When doing any freestyle trick, it doesn't matter what it is, you need the sail to go neutral. Any ezzy on the market has pre-shaping, so the drive of the sail always wants to go forward even after you sheet out. Then for any ducking move..... forget it. They also lack tremendous amounts of low end power compared to a good freestyle sail since to try and get an Ezzy flat, you need to crank the outhaul and kill the marginal amounts of power that they have. My North Idol 5.0 can plane up fine in 16 knots on my 93 ltr and will be enough for me to loop, shaka, air funnel, etc. I'm 170 lbs. If you got a Northsails Idol 5.9 and a 109 ltr Skate, you should be moving in pretty good 14 knots certainly able to try the oldschoool stuff and it should also be enough to be able to try vulcans, etc. The weight of the mast also helps.... If you're using a cheaper mast, switching to a 100% carbon mast will be like adding a sail size bigger. Really though, the first step would be to ditch those Ezzy sails for some North Sails Idols, or Gaastra Pure...... Changing both the sails and the board, would be like magic for you!! Not only will you learn the tricks faster, but you'll also be able to get more time on the water to learn.
All the best,
Thanks Mike. I tried switch the ezzy sails and I was not able (I was able downwind, but upwind imposible), I didn't understand why and I didn't realized how that pre-shaped would not help me. Thanks again.Delete
Hi Mike, I am Gabriel, from Spain. I followed your advice and effectively, with a manic gaastra 5.4 out maneuver, with very little wind, better than the 5.8 ezzy phanter. On the other hand, I'm looking like crazy one skate 2013 109 liter get nothing. However, I followed your post and see you have also experience with F2 Rodeo, I find some of both new and used, for the year 2012 of 107 liters. F2 could be a reasonable alternative if you can not find the fanatic?ReplyDelete
Thank you very much, really appreciate your advice
I owned the 2010 98? liter Rodeo. The F2 wasn't quite as user friendly as the sake is, but it's a good board!! Lots of pop and really early planing also. BUT be very careful!! I haven't tried the 107. In my experience, the largest freestyle boards in the ranges are typically not as nice as the smaller ones. I've sailed great 100 liter boards only to have the larger 110 liter size be slow and sticky. Even the older, larger skates were awful when the smaller sizes were great. I think it's just that the pro guys use the 90 and 100 liter sizes and never touch the larger boards so the R&D doesn't go into those. The first board that I rode that I told myself that I might actually get in the 110 liter size was the 2012/13 skate TE 109. Even the skate from 2010/11 110 felt too much like a barge and not very maneuverable. The F2 107 might be good, but try before you buy if you can..... If you were getting one of the smaller F2s I could say for sure that they are good boards....
Also, in Europe the 2015 boards are being released very shortly. Maybe a good bet would be to find a left over 2014 Skate, or maybe one from a local team rider that they are selling to replace it with the 2015. Usually the used skates are from team riders, and they get sold pretty fast, which is probably why you can't find a used 2012 skate. I don't know anyone at all that has sold their used skate besides the riders. Everyone loves them....... But in the next month or so, you'll see some used skates popping up around Europe....But then again, the team riders won't be using the 111 liter size..... So maybe that F2 is your best bet... But if you can try it, that would be great.....
Also, the 2013 is pretty much the same exact shape as the 2012 skate, so you can look for both years.......
Hope all this helps......
Glad you like that manic!!!
Let me know what you end up with and how you like it.
Hi Mike. I´m Gabriel from Spain. I've finally gotten a Skate 101 of 2014 as new. (I do not recommended the 109 or the 110, too large to draw any maneuver). I've only had a chance to try it one day, with 13/14 knots and a 5.4 Gaastra, needed more wind, but they saw him eager to plan.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much for the tips.
Hi Gabriel, Congratulations on the new skate!!! When you get a good day planing on the 101, play with the mast track a little bit to get it dialed in. I know my 93 and 85 liter skates are very sensitive to where the mast is in the track. Too far forward and it gets really sticky in the chop and too far back and the back of the board wants to sink. There's a sweet spot and once you find it, that's when you really can see what these boards can do!!ReplyDelete
All the best,
I have a 2013 Fanatic Freewave 96 and am thinking of trading it for a Freestyle board.
I sail this in bayside bump and jump conditions in Australia with 4.7m, 5.3m and 5.9m Volts (no waves).
I like the board but want to get into freestyle.
It seems the Skate is the way to go but I have a few questions if you do not mind:
- Will this board handle the conditions as nicely as the 96L freewave?
- What size freestyle board should I go for (I weigh 82kg)?
- TE or BGS?
- Can you recommend fin sizes for the sails mentioned above?
If you're thinking about learning freestyle, a freestyle board is definitely the way to go. With the sails you're planning on using and your weight I would go with the 101 size boards. Since this review, the boards have gone through the next generation of advancements. The Starboard Flare was one of the boards at the top of this test, with only a couple of complaints. Now for 2015, Starboard has taken care of the Flare's issues with catching in chop and is now the best freestyle board for all around use. My issue with the 2014/2015 larger sized skates are that they catch the nose a little when in bigger chop that the Flare can just fly right over. I sail 90% of the time in very choppy water, so keeping speed and easy handling are at the top of my list. And the Flare is the clear winner. But the 2014/15 skates are still incredible boards! The skate has really advanced too and the performance between the BGS version and the TE board is pretty large. The TE board out performs the BGS board in every aspect. Planing, sliding, pop, and directional stability. The BGS version will give you more of that classic old school stance if you happen to be one of the "change is bad" the people :-) If you're up for giving the Skate or Flare a couple sessions to adjust to a more upright stance, the payoff for learning new tricks will be huge!! Check out a little video review I did of the Flare (my new personal boards) here: http://purewindsurfing.blogspot.com/2014/11/2015-starboard-flare-review.html
As for fin sizes.... I use 18 cm Makani fins for all sail sizes. They spin like a 16 cm but have the straight line grip of an 18. With a 5.9, maybe bump it up to the 21 cm. Both the Flare and Skate come with pretty usable fins now. They're both a little slow and draggy compared to the Makani fins, but you can actually use them for freestyle compared to the MFC fins that used to come with the boards that were just way to big to spin.
All the best,
Hi Mike. I'm from Spain. I'm going to buy just right now the skate 100 from 2005. Are there any different between this and the more recently models ?. I appreciate very much your commentsReplyDelete
There is a very big difference between any of the early freestyle boards and the new ones. The 2005 skate is no different. The early boards were purely built to be wide, stable and slide backwards. Compared to the new ones where it's more of a focus on early planing, pop and speed. I think the majority of windsurfers today would be very happy on a freestyle board as their bigger, early planing board even if they don't do freestyle. For the early freestyle boards, like the 2005 skate, if you're not doing freestyle, you won't be very happy. The 2009 Mistral Joker and 2010-2011 Fanatic Skates were really the first boards that the average guy could get on and be really happy with. Fanatic still carries that same shape as the 2011 Skate as the non-team edition board today! All that said, the 2005 skate 100 could be a good starting point and then if you manage to see a 2011 or newer one pop up, you can always upgrade. The most important thing is to get time on the water!!
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Hi again Mike. Yerterday night after I read your comments I saw in a second hand web site one Mistral Joker 113 ltrs. from 2007 in very good conditions and in a very good price. I'm confused about these two boards: Skate 100 2005 and Mistral Joker 113 ltrs. 2007. ( perhaps too much volumen for chop conditions ). Yes, I know they have differents volumens and perhaps it wouldn't be a right comparation. My weight Is about 85 kgrs. I'm thinking skate Is the best choice for me but you speak very well about the Joker 2009.ReplyDelete
Excuse If I seem some lost. It's my first freestyle board. I'm usually sailing on slalom boards between 100 and 126 ltrs and this is new for me. I'm looking for something between wave and slalom and there are hundred of boards on second hand market for this target. Slalom boards in chop conditions are tired to handle and waves are the opposite extreme.
Again thanks for your coments.
I had the mistral joker for 2007, but it was a 102 (I think) I remember that board being very forgiving and lots of guys that had that board liked it. I would say stick with 100 liter size. I found the larger 110 liter sizes wouldn't plane up any quicker but at the same time would get over powered faster. Like I said, with a board that old, you can always buy it and if you don't like it, you can sell it for the same price you bought it for.