Blog dedicated to surfing, windsurfing & everyhing that surrounds them, with special attention to the beach of Pozo Izquierdo.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Interview with Sebastian Wenzel

-Which are the main changes in the 2010 board range?
-During the last 12 months we developed more new boards than we ever did in one year, we did a complete new range of big freeride boards, a complete new range of slalom boards, we did four new twinzer shapes, we have a brand new New Wave shape, we have new Skates with an additional size on the smaller boards, and new Hawks as well, so pretty much the all range is new, there’s very few shapes that I left, a couple of shapes that were very successful are still in the range, but the majority of the shapes are new shapes.

-What can you tell me about all this buzz around all those new fin placements, quads, thrusters, twinzers, all that stuff?
-Ok, with twinzers we’ve been working already, we introduced them last year, and obviously there’s quite a bit hype about fins, thrusters, quads… I can only say we’ve been experimenting on this already like over ten years ago, I made boards for at the time very good German sailor Ralf Bachschuster, a three fin and he got the German championship with that board, so it’s nothing really new, we looked at it at the time, we are looking always at different things, but we are not introducing just to bring something new, when we bring a shape, like for example the twinzer, we make really sure that the board works, and we don’t bring a board in the range just for marketing reasons.
So, just imagine, with the single fin it’s pretty easy to put the fin, you put it in the centre and you can move it forward and back, with two fins you have already front and back and how much you put them to the side, with quad fins, the possibilities are quite tricky to get it right, and the more fins you put the more special the board gets, so we are always looking at everything and developing in all kind of directions to see how far we can go.

-With the fins, it’s just fin placement or involves a completely different shape for a different fin configuration?
-No, as you can see with our twinzers, it’s not just a regular New Wave with two fins, it’s a completely different shape, and if you develop something with three fins or four fins, or two tins or whatever it is, you have to develop a shape that suits that sort of fin placement, it’s not just like, ok we are putting two fins on that board and do it, that’s why I was a little bit surprised to see already some production quad fins and all that stuff, because usually it takes really a lot of development and not just like, ok we take this board and we put four fins and the board works better, definitely is not like that.

-What about side-shore and on-shore, a good wave board works well in all kind of conditions or you really need different boards for different waves?
-First of all, it depends on your sailing style, on your personal style, wave sailing have different parameters than racing or speed sailing, there you have to go fast, but on wave sailing you have personal style, everybody has a different style, some people like to stay really close to the wave, others like to go for deeper bottom turns, others are faster… so here is where starts what kind of board suits you best before we talk about the conditions, then, as we know, certain shapes work better in certain conditions, for example in on-shore places you will always be better with a faster board, because if you have a slow board with a lot of rocker, you go off the wind to do the bottom turn and you loose all the speed, so that’s really important.
The shape has an influence on on-shore or side-shore, but the style as well. Obviously Punta Preta is a completely different scenario than Pozo or Guincho is different than Hookipa, so for sure you should have as a professional different boards for different conditions.

-How do you do to test the freeride boards, because I always though that average sailors should test those, but maybe a good sailor can figure it out how it is for an average one anyway?

-We give all our boards during the test process to different kind of people and get their feedback, but obviously the main testing is done by us, but you have to see, if the board is easy to sail for us, is also easy to sail for the final customer, so you have to determine before you develop the product, what the product should be like and then with our experience we can then develop it to what we feel it should be in the market, and if you look at Fanatic, you will see that the boards are very easy to use throughout the complete range, everybody can jump on them and sail with them, even the slalom boards, we try to make boards that are really accessible even to maybe not professional slalom sailors, so we have a wide range of use.

-For when the super light indestructible board?
-It’s very easy; you can have a super light indestructible board if you want to pay a lot of money. A light board usually contains less material or better material, so if you have a light board for a good price, usually materials are not so good or not so much material inside, so there’s no magic in this, I’ve been making boards now for over 28 years, since 1981, there’s no miracles, it’s always down to the same thing, the higher advanced materials you use, the more time you use to make the board, the more detail you work, the better result you get, the more expensive it gets.

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