Here is a little history on the Black Box for you. For more about Dany Bruch's design, visit the product page here!
Posing for the camera is none other than Matt Schweitzer (left), son of Hoyle Schweitzer (who is, with Jim Drake, the grand-father of our sport), with a board he built in 1980 and Dany Bruch (right), top 5 PWA Wave sailor with his 2013 shape...
Matt's design was shaped by legendary shaper Bob Ole in Maui. The idea behind the board was to get the enormous Windsurfer to much smaller dimensions so that the board would surf and turn easily, like his surf boards but still be able to keep him afloat him with his sail. All of the boards at that time were quite big and bulky, like the stock Windsurfer, but everyone in Hawaii was starting to experiment with smaller boards of their own design. Matt's board was a huge hit and the beginning of his Matt Schweitzer Pro Design windsurf boards as well as the beginning of the "short board revolution". Another one of Matt Schweitzer's popular designs was the "Asymetrical" which was one of the most popular boards in the mid 80's.
Fast forward 30 years later, in 2013, to Dany Bruch's creation:
"One day in the Canaries, I used a friend's surfboard: it was a 5’8" called the Black Box. I had never tried a surfboard that small and naturally, I wanted to try it as it had a weird shape… Short but super wide in the center and tail and without excess volume. It really caught my attention! I had seen my mate on it in mushy waves and he was flying on it! But he's a really good surfer and I did not think it would do the same for me – but it did! I could race full speed down the line, get some nice turns in and have a lot of fun in waves that normally would not allow me to do anything similar. That session made me think a lot... I thought about how many days of light winds and small waves do we have around the world… and if this concept worked so well in surfing, why would it not also work for windsurfing? I needed to give it a shot!”
“I knew more or less what I wanted. I started to draw the outline, inspiring myself from an old Starboard Fish from 2001, chose the tail I wanted, nose and rails, rocker line, bottom shape... I knew I could get the idea to work but I was not sure about what fin set up to use: single fin, twin, thruster or quad. The quad actually was calling me the most, as I thought that with such a wide tail, to have two fins on the side, near the rails, would allow it to turn easier, and then to have two more fins to hold the drive would be perfect… but it never worked! Actually, after three months of testing different set-ups on the board, re-shaping the tail and modifying the bottom shape, I was ready to abandon the project. I was using it in so many different conditions: strong winds, light winds, no wind, fins here, fins there... Every day, I was going down to the beach with a bag full of fins to test and my mates on the beach would laugh at my board, which they had nicknamed the "Door". But I carried on until I found the magic set-up! I used the widest twin fin option possible, which allowed me to make turn with no effort and avoided losing grip all the time. Then, I put in a trailer fin to keep track and drive. I just could not believe the result, it was amazing!!"