Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

It's that time of year when all the shops, and team Riders make their wish list for the next years gear. The closest thing that I can compare this time of year to is when I was much younger than I am now, and I was making out my Christmas list and sending it off to Santa. Every year I would hope that I was a good enough little boy to get all those things I had asked for on my list. It's almost the same exact feeling now while I'm placing my 2012 gear order. I know Santa's little elves have been watching me all year long and I just hope they haven't seen me causing all sorts of trouble this year.

Now the second part of the wish list is trying to go through that giant toy catalog and only choose the very few toys that you want the most. Well, the newest toy catalog offered by North Sails has simply made it very difficult to figure out which toys to choose. I want them all!!!! I was all set to order up the usual Ices and Dukes, but wait, there's a Hero and ID. So now I have to ask myself, what kind of a boy will I be this year. A hardcore wave sailor or a freestyle wizard. The reality always sets in that I live in NY where there are no good waves, at least not often enough to justify a true wave quiver, like the full x-ply Ice. So I always wind up choosing the sails that suit freestyle the best. So it's usually 5.3 and down Ices and a 5.9 Duke, but it's North's newest creation, the ID that I truly have my eyes set on. The ID stands for Ice/Duke which is an incredibly light version of those sails. It's an Ice from 5.0 down and a Duke from the 5.4 up. Ready for the bombshell.......the 2012 5.0 ID is the same exact weight of the 2012 3.4 Ice!! And the Ice already lost some weight from 2011! North is using a new material for them in the ID sails. On the website they openly offer up that it's true that due to the new material that the norths aren't covered under the typical 5 year warranty. But, considering the new material that isn't making par on Norths 5 year warranty is the same material that all those Ezzy riders rave about in quality, there's no doubt in my mind that these sails will have a nice long life to them as well.

So my wish list for 2012 is 6.4, 5.4, 5.0, 4.5 ID and 4.0 and 3.7 Ice (dear santa, maybe have your elves make a 4.0 and 3.7 ID next year)

Well, the sails were difficult enough, but now I have to chose boards! This was actually a no-brainer. The pair of 2011 skates I have right now are the best boards I've ever used in my life! Please sir may I have another. The 2012 Fanatic Skate Team edition in the 89 and 99 versions better be in Santa's sleigh.


  1. Awww Mike..to have a wish list for 2012 in July..love it..I just ordered a new Starboard SUP.... :)

  2. Hi Mike,

    I recently caught a youtube video of Kiri Thode and Davey Scheffers in Bonaire and both were using a 4 batten Gaastra vs Golitto using a 5 batten North.

    Any experience or thoughts on the difference between a 4 batten vs a 5 batten sail as it applies to freestyle?

    4 batten supposed benefits.
    shorter luff length......lower swing weight
    lighter weight
    more low end power......which good or bad, means more backhand

    Looks like North for 2012 came out with their own 4 batten Hero.

  3. Hey Anony,

    Honestly, I don't have much experience with recent 4 batten sails. I know swing weight is a definite benefit as taking out a batten results in a lighter sail. They should also have a bit more power than a similar sail with a 5 batten. The major issue with 4 batten sails is the stability on the high end compared to the same sail with 5 battens. Also, since they are a less rigid than a 5 batten, they are sure to be a little slower as well. From my perspective, really the only time it makes sense to have a 4 batten over 5 batten is mid-burner when you're really throwing the sail around. Personally I haven't been a fan of long boom, short luff sails like the Ego or Boxer and I've tried to like them. In the long run It's really all preference and until I actually try a Hero and compare it to the Ice or Duke I can't really say how much or how little the 4 battens justifies the loss of weight compared to the performance loss. Now what is looking nice is the lower weight combined with the performance of a 5 Batten. The New North ID Ultralight! A 4 batten, 5.4 meter Gaaastra Pure is 3.6 KG and the 5 batten North ID 5.4 is only 3.3 KG. A lighter sail with 5 batten stability = one sick freestyle machine! I can't wait until I can get my hands on one of those.

    As far as what sails/boards the pros are using, keep in mind that they are making a living off of the companies of the gear they use so take what they are using with a grain of salt. Some guys are in it for the best gear and some are in it for the biggest paycheck they can get. I know this for a fact. One of the guys I know HATES the board he rides, but they pay him the most so he uses it. It's kinda nice not to have to choose between gear and a paycheck :-)

  4. Hey Ann, I can't wait all the way until December to get new toys! I know they're already in Santa's workshop ready to go!

  5. The major issue with 4 batten sails is the stability on the high end compared to the same sail with 5 battens. Also, since they are a less rigid than a 5 batten, they are sure to be a little slower as well.
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