borist wrote:Perhaps the best built light and strong racing boards come from Mike Zajicek of Mike's Lab. I owned his windsurfing formula board (2006), which suffered a lot of abuse, yet it is still happily riding with no leaks. Since he builds them himself, QA is not really an issue. Problem is that he tends to have a pretty long waiting list
gmb13 wrote:Quality control is done in the Factories and not even the Windsurfing industry has it completely under control.
Not even a big brand like North can get around it and they have a huge windsurfing company behind them with all the knowhow.
Although sometimes it is not the quality of the production that is the problem, it is the construction the Brands have chosen. Lets talk boxes. Almost all the Brands I have seen use pretty bad techniques for their fin boxes. They may be light, but they are not reinforced properly.
When I built my own raceboards, I used prefabricated boxes from Germany which where reinforced with a super hard waterproof shell of closed cell foam. Costs more, but will never leak and can take a hit.
The super light boxes that a lot of the production brands use are not reinforced and can only be reinforced up to a certain point when put in the board. It's no wonder that the boards are taking on water. My Aguera did the same last year. It was even so bad that my boxes shrunk on that board after I dried it out after the KTE Italy. I had to heat the boxes and force the fins in to get the right shape again. I hope Alex used a different technique this year.
Another thing I do notice however is that a lot of racers have no idea how to treat their boards. The main thing being the pressure valve.
If your board has spent the night in your garage in the cold and then you leave your board in your car standing at the beach and it heats up the Foam inside will expand. Then you dump it back into cold water and the foam shrinks. Of course the foam rips off from the laminate and you have a huge bubble or soft spot under the board. This is not the fault of the factory or the brand. It's yours.
When you store your board take out the screw. Only put it in when you are sure there is no huge temperature difference between the inside of the board and the surrounding water. It's best to try to keep the board in the shade or Boadbag and out of direct sun in conditions like that.
I'm sorry. Rant over.
1) Most Kitebrands still need to learn what works and not with High Volume Sandwich construction
2) Most Kiter need to learn how handle and maintain their Raceboards
3) Racers need to accept that the boards are really fragile and always will be. just check out the windsurfing boards.
This is what strong boxes look like
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