View Full Version : What wave board?

7th September 2006, 11:32 AM
Last message didn't post for some reason?

Hi all

Trying to make a decision on what wave board to get.

Great Lakes (Ontario / Erie) and Finger Lakes of NY State (fresh water).

Frontal onshore winds typically 15-25 kts (less and I'll ride my Fanatic Skate 112 or C131). Have a Naish 8'7" for 4.5-3.5 range, so am looking for 6.3-ish to 4.7 or so. Am inclined to stick with SB or Fanatic.

Am a good jumper and decent at freestyle but at 50 y/o and very busy I frankly haven't got time / inclination to learn the new freestyle stuff. But B&F blasting gets dull, frankly, and these lake go off pretty well with .5m to 3m swells and pretty good surf on some beaches due to bottom shape. The shorebreak is often pretty harsh. So I want to get good at frontside waveriding with aerials. When it's really blowing, I LOVE to jump, and I'd really like to ride the waves a lot better.

Seems like the boards to consider are 58?2 cm widths:

SB Kombat
SB Evo
Fanatic Freewave
Fanatic Allwave

2007 Evo's have apparently been biased away from ORBs. Otherwise, I think this board was the call in 2006.
Kombat - how good at hard carving on short tight-pitched waves?

Why SB over the Fanatics?
I have quite a few wave fins in Powerbox base, which would seem to argue for the Fanatic Freewave (which I think is the only in this group that takes PB fins).


PS - Wt ~70 Kg

7th September 2006, 09:19 PM

First, in the question about Stabord versus other brand I prefer to talk about the Staboard offerings since these are the boards I know well. I would say though that the range for range the two brands seems pretty similar in style. The only say I can say definitely is in favour of Starboards is that thera are much more choices on the EVO range than in the Allwave and that Allwaves are yet a bit unproven and that their freewaves seem to have gotten a bit om more freeride orientation in the 07 incarnation.

As for the EVO bias, I have ridden the 07 boards for a while now and I think they have exactly the same bias as before. How the board turns off the top has improved and in some sizes the "feel" is slightly different but again, the range of use is exactly the same.

You're my weight and I would say that you have a few choices if you have to go up to 6.3:

EVO 80
Pure Acid 80 or 86
Kombat 79 or 80.

While both Acids and Kombats turns beautifully on a wave (and otherwise) and are great blasting boards too. The 07 Kombats really have a sick way of tracking through a turn and can take a lot of pressure in shorter turns too but just as the Acids they need a combination of power and technique to do so. They will not keep speed as well in super tight turns and when you don't feed them with wave or sail power thay will slow down in the turn.

So, if you really want to imprve your front side wave riding I would say the EVO is clearly the best choice. You can rip it up in mushy stuff well on Kombats and PAs too, but it definitely takes a better technique to do so. The EVOs makes the hardest parts of radical riding easier. The K and PA are more natural in a straightline but the EVO can be tuned with a slighlty bigger fin to do that very well to and the difference in that and jumping performance is pretty minor once you're used to the boards.

EVO 8o is hence my recomendation. If will handle 4.7, but not ideally. With bigger sails I'm fairly confident it will blow your mind with its wave riding and you may need to prepare to trade that Naish for an EVO 70 if you try the EVO 80...

If you want me to teel you more about what kind of "compromises" on a wave the Kombat or Pure Acid will give you I can go into more detail. Just ask again.

8th September 2006, 06:53 AM
Hey, you might want to check Steen2000's latest video input on a recent thread here. I think you will find a lot of those steep short duration conditions mentioned. I'm here that Ola H. has seen a bit of this stuff across the sea. Looks mighty fun and full a bunch of action.

8th September 2006, 01:23 PM
I have just started to ride evos after many years riding classic wave boards (fanatic, naish,starboard). Because I no longer have much time to travel I have to ride the local cross onshore mush the evo seemed like a good choice though I was a little reluctant to change from what I was familiar with.
During the first couple of sails I felt a bit all over the place though basically the board seemed fairly easy to ride. To me it feels like the board drives more off the rail and this required a small stance adjustment.
Its hard to describe the frontside riding, definitely more surfboard like, the extra speed this board carries through the turn is a big gain. I am yet to exploit this for airtime, its hard to break the habit of trying to turn just under the lip. The whole rail seems to grip with out much encouragement. Its just a buzz having a new board which is so fun to sail

8th September 2006, 02:33 PM
Yeah Steve, the Steen video certianly showed some nice action, particularly the back loops. Pretty representative of what we get here on a good day, though there are spots with less mushy waves, more sideshore etc. Unfortunately I missed the weekends Nordic action since I was in Portugal (nice sailing too, but unfortunately mostly onshore).

Regarding EVOvs Acid I've for a long time said that it mostly a matter of what kind of feel you want from your boar dand what kind of style you have in the waves. Both boards can do pretty much everything in pretty much 90% of all conditions you can imagine. However, I recently looked at some video from a good day in Sweden and noticed than even some many pretty competent sailors seem to have geting the board to turn up the wave to really hit the lip. The bottom turn looked good and the top turns too when they did get to the top with enough speed. Its just this transitional phase that is problematic. This transitional phase is exactly where EVOs goes like on auto pilot. Therefor I think that many, many sailors that do prefer the more direct feel of a classic (fast rockered) wave board would actually improve a lot in their wave riding of they could sacrifice some of that feel and try and EVO (at least for a while). Like Alan says, the EVOs carry speed easier and does that while at the same time turning (up the wave) pretty much by itself.

9th September 2006, 10:50 AM
Well, my "local" shop (5 hours from here) solved the dilemma with an 06 K-96 demo on sale for an irresistable price. We'll see if the 62 cm width feels too big or not. Nobody spontaneously suggested to go wider than my nominations, which kind of surprised me. The shop also had an Evo 92 in wood available at a very good price.

Another thing that NONE of the respondants keyed-in on is the fresh water difference. Having ridden both kinds of water over the last 12 years, there is a SUBSTANTIAL difference between the bouyancy / planing firmness of fresh and salt water. It is palpable in both schlogging (very apparent) and planing (less apparent) modes.

I suspect that "volume"-wise, the 96 is a good step down from the C131 / Skate 112. Especially in marginal conditions. Likewise the Evo 92.

I was leaning to the Evo 92, but the shop pro recommended the Kombat over the Evo. Mainly because the big lakes have pretty decent surf, but not bona fide surf, and the wave are close coupled and mushy. Closer to freeride than true wave sailing. He also knows I do some freestyle. The price plus the argument of better jumping off a wider tail were the deciding factors.

We'll see....

Thanks all for your input.

PS - As to the Boards reviews (other threads)...I don't read german, I do speak french, in English print, Boards is HANDS DOWN the best windsurfing mag. All the others have succumbed to ADHD-affliicted adolescents who can't follow a train of thought beyond one paragraph. I've also had a pretty strong tendency to come to similar conclusions. Thus, I suspect Boards will be proven correct that the 07 Evos are not as good in onshore conditions as were previous years. That's not saying it's a "bad" board, it's just not the segment it used to serve.

9th September 2006, 07:41 PM
Yeah, Kombat 86 will certainly work well (it should have been Kombat 79 or 87 in my above post - so the 86 was one of my options, sort of). It is a nice turner too, for sure, and what it loosed relativ an EVO in wave riding performance in mush it regains in a crisper feel in a straghline. Its a great size for 6.3 at your weight too and will handle 4.7 OK too.

As for the salt vs fresh water issue, I know some people feel this is an issue. Strangely enough, I don't really think its much of an issue myself, despite regularly sailing the same boards in both fresh and very salt water. Maybe its becuase the spots I sail are so different from each other wrt other aspects like wind quality, types of wave/chop etc. The actual differen between salt and fresh water is typically somthing like 3%. So viewiing it from a static point of view, an 80 liter board would behave roughly like a 82.5l equivalent.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I have not read Boards review yet. If they are argumenting that the 07 EVOs should be less good onshore wave _riding_ boards, I would be surprised. I have only used the 80 and 70 so far, but especially the 80 I would say has improved in onshore stuff due to some more looseness which makes aggressive backside riding a tad better. For onshore frontside riding I guess you can find situations when the faster rockerd concave style E83 would be better than the slightly higher riding and more rockered 07 E80 and that would be a drawn out turn at slower speed. However, I think most riders tend to rig a bit big for onshore stuff, and then the top turn handling get more and more critical and in this area the new E80 is much easier. So, basically because of these reasons I find the new E80 a better compromise also for onshore stuff. The 80 is btw the most changed board from 06 to 07. The 70 for example, on paper looks like it changed as much, but is closer to the 06 70 than the 80 and the E83 are.

Well, I got a bit off the subject here (I do like to discuss these things...). I think you'll like the K86. Keep us posted.

9th September 2006, 11:50 PM

Thanks for your input. The demo was a K96, not 86. Might be a bit wide, but if so I?ll sell it and trade down after a season of testing it out at a demo price. Seemed a prudent compromise.

As to the salt vs fresh water differences, I think it is most important at marginal floater sizes and has little effect on pure sinkers or big boards. Fresh water sailors in this size of board will be rewarded with an extra 5 L of volume, but I also think it?s a little extra width and fin size.

More than just buoyancy, I think the performance differences are an issue of fin lift, tail lift, and viscosity. Especially in regard to wave shape, I?m convinced that ocean waves and lake waves aren?t similar. Lake waves are at higher altitude, with slightly less dense air pushing on less dense less viscous water (sailors who sail in the mountains know that you get relatively tiny waves and need big sails because the air is thin). For a given amount of moderate wind and fetch, I find fresh water chop to be much rougher than salt water chop, though this can be hard to compare because of bottom effects on waves. For a long time, I thought I was imagining it, but I never fail to have the same reaction, so I think it?s real.

On the great lakes, below wind of 20 kts, we?re really comparing a mix of waves and swell that are comparable to local wind-driven waves on the ocean (and not the breaking swell that is commonly called ?wave sailing?). Above 20 kts, and the great lakes often form swell that gets smooth glossy faces and runs in sets, but the pitch is WAY tighter than breakers on the ocean. The chop component is rougher than on the ocean, and thus choice of a slightly wider / larger board can limit the useful range as the ride can get a bit rough. This is all true, even in very deep water on the great lakes, so it simply cannot be a matter of shallow water affecting wave formation (as is commonly stated). I think a lot of it is purely wind-water interaction.

Boat sailors I know who have experience in the ocean and the great lakes all attest that, when the great lakes are in full gale, it?s far more treacherous than on the ocean in a comparable storm. For instance, in a full gale, the waves on Ontario are commonly 4-5 meters with a period of -9 seconds. I?ve only been out in that stuff in a 6 ton sailboat, which was plenty sobering and I don?t want to do it again. The biggest I?ve windsurfed in on Lake Erie is about 30 kts (survival sailing for me that day). More commonly I have been able to get out when it?s 15-25.

All of this makes it so that great lake ?wave sailing? is far different that ocean wave sailing, and I?m not sure it?s even comparable to the onshore ?mush? I read about. Bottom line is that I never know how to interpret wave board reviews, since they?re not designed nor test sailed in the kinds of conditions I sail in. I?ve stayed away from wave boards, because I?ve never been sure they are big enough for my purpose.

This is my first foray in to wave boards, and after a few fronts go through, I?ll let you know what I conclude.

Sorry for the long post...

Ray Timm
10th September 2006, 01:55 AM

Most of my sailing is in the Arabian Gulf except for summers when I sail Lake Huron and Lake Michigan from Petosky to Alpena in the Lower Peninsula. I feel much the same as you do about the differences between lake and ocean water and here in the Gulf with the salt content of 5% and higher, it is even more noticable. My Arabian Gulf experiences are not likely relevant to your situation, but the boards I use in the summer when I'm home when the wind gets to 16-17 knots are an Evo 74 and a Pure Acid 80. Before I had those two boards I was on the Acid 77. I routinely start sailing either one of them with a 5.7, the PA 80 carries that size a little better than the Evo. Even though I weigh 185 I never have any problems getting the boards to plane when it starts wind hits 17 knots. By the time it is blowing a solid 20-22 knots I usually switch to my 5.3. In general prefer the Evo for working on my wave sailing and use the PA 80 more for B/J. The Evo just works better on the short period waves.

If you get a chance definitely try either the PA 80 or an E74. I think you'll be pleasantly suprised at how well they handle the Great Lakes conditions.

10th September 2006, 09:02 AM
For Eastern Lake Ontario in 15 to 25 knots and sails up to 6.3 I would go with a Kombat 87 or the Fanatic Freewave 88. For the light winds you are talking about the big waves are not really happening yet. You want a board that really gets up and goes. Something that is fast and good for jumping. Too early to be getting a full on wave board for a guy your size. Besides you can switch down to something like an Evo 75 for sails from 5.4 and down.

I used an Acid 94 for sailing Lake Ontario for a few years. It was one of the most versatile boards I have ever owned. I think the Kombat is a good replacement for that board.


10th September 2006, 03:02 PM
OK, the K96, sorry for my mix-up. That is indeed a bigger board and it will shift the range of use upwards in the sail size spectrum. In my experience, when you move away from a sort of "ideal all round size" of a board, the sail size spectrum not only shifts bat also decreases a bit, ie with a bigger board you loose more at the high wind end than you gain at the light wind end. Anyway, the 96 is still a valid choice and using a good deal to experiment a bit is definitely good since at the very least it will make you learn more about your own preferences.

Your despription of the fresh/salt water issue in the post above is more close to how I see it. I don't really think about the water quality, but is very observant of the wave/chop quality. Interestingly saom of the best wave spts in Sweden is in the Baltic ocean which is pretty much 100% fresh water. They still clearly get the best waves in Sweden, some fairly big monsters which can also continue to pump long after the wind dies. The Swedish west coast with its more salty water can get nice waves too, but they are more wind driven and pretty much go down the minute the wind dies. My conclusion is that these things have more to do with the coast line and water depth and such things than the actual water quality, but maybe the water quality has some influence too. I don't know how big the viscosity difference really is.

The 4-5m sweel in 9s periods actually reminds me of Guincho in Portugal (very salt water) which has a local wind phenomenon which can drive a medium swell up to these sizes sometimes. No easy sailing... Fortunately Guincho gets some real long period swell sometimes too (from distant storms).

Ray and Evan has some good points too and I agree that when you get big (great lake) waves (in high wind) an EVO will be the best board if you want to ride waves. Particularly that kind of low period "super big chop" is where the turning qualities of the EVO can shine. I would especially recomend the EVO 70 for such conditions (very good control) but the 75 is a nice choice too.

Evan: The A94 was a nice board, wasn't it? Both the new Kombats and Pure Acids have some of that heritage. Probably the K87 will sail the closest to the A94 (albeit with a bit less volume).

11th September 2006, 11:49 AM
Hi Ola

Thanks again for your thoughts.

I realize the K96 is at the upper limit of size, but it's an entry-level move and I won't mind at all if it is more suited to the 6.5 range. If the board gets too big, I'll go to the Naish, which I think has a sweet spot in the 4.0-5.0 range. It handles pretty nice in big stuff as long as there is wind.

I'm thinking that if I like the K96, I'll probably complement it with a K79 or a similar Evo, as everyone has been suggesting.

FWIW, the viscosity thing was something I picked up in a listserv discussion about fins...maybe even here...and someone pointed out that the viscosity of water is highly temperature dependent. Very cold water is much more viscous, relatively moreso than the change in density. If so, then wind / water interaction would be markedly affected by temp, and so would the viscosity differences between fresh and salt water alter viscosity. Certainly, temperature has a big effect on air density and sail power at a given wind speed (a fact well known to sailboat sailors and airplane pilots). So I won't be surprised if someone shows that the wind/wave interaction is more affected by viscosity and density than is commonly appreciated.