|21st August 2008 12:28 PM|
Well unregistered #47, that is the point, for some reason!
My '97 and '99 RRD's were spot on or close to that, actually: a 281 and a 278 slalom boards, both well below 6.0 kg. I don't think it depended from the brand, maybe I was very lucky, or maybe Cobra was working well back then.
The obvious suspect that comes to mind is that boards erring to the "-" side of that tolerance go to team riders, the heavier ones to me and you. All together, they make that nice average weight.
The other possible parameter, which is less obvious and more difficult to check, and that was discreetly and candidly brought in by Svein, is about rocker line (in)consistency. Performance loose from that can probably be far more serious than that resulting from a "+x%" weight. Better not to think about that...
In the end, one could discover things are far worse now than before the "production boards" rule. Nowadays, theorically team riders must ride the same boards we buy in shop. In reality, their boards "could be" selected ones, with good shape consistency and lighter weights. Plus, "it could be" team riders have access to delicate operations such as bottom re-fairing and rail sharpening. Lesser and recreational riders have to settle with what comes from the shops, and those could turn out to have bad shape consistency and heavish weights: the dogs.
This could even be OK, if shapes were always correct and consistent and weight tolerances were tighter! But "it could be" there are some problems here instead. Instead of using the same boards with same performances team riders use, "it could be" we have now the hugest performance gap ever between what top riders have and what we get in shop; and no hope to fill it thanks to a good shaper living near.
For this reason I strongly hope that Starboard, as the market leader and a company guided with inspiration, will make an effort in this direction. We know that even glass, when properly used, can lead to light strong boards. So I'd love to see less sporting of new complex building recipes, which after all aren't complex at all - it's windsurfing boards not space shuttles!, less use of exotic laminates alongside with plenty of filler, and good shape consistency and the assurance of acceptable weights instead. A very simple idea and a first step could be that of stating "maximum accepted weight" instead of "average production weight +/- tolerances".
|21st August 2008 06:12 AM|
It good to hear that i should be able to buy exactly the same board as a dream team rider, since that is what i pay for and expect.
What really worries me and not just with Starboard, out of the dozens of boards that i have purchased over the past few years, i have yet to find a board that is -5 or 6% of the average weight. I think i can say for sure that it is always + of the average weight, usually towards or even higher than the max tolerance.
If the weights stated are average weights from actual production, then by the law of averages i should stand a chance of finding a light board, but i never can.
I trust that the new measures you have put in place can help reduce weight variation.
|21st August 2008 02:37 AM|
Davide, you can see the basics of the wood and woodcarbon layups on the "technology page", http://www.star-board.com/2009/pages...technology.php. You can see that a lot of things are different. The WC board is a "wave" model and the W board a "regular", I think, but the basics are there in both. For example, in the woodcarbon boards, wood is used as reinforcement while in the wood boards it's use all over the board. So we are not trying to fool anybody.
And I'm sorry if I was in some way implying I was discussing glass vs carbon. My understanding was that the discussion was about weight (as a function the particular constructions) relative to riding characteristics, but maybe I was unclear somewhere. If we just talk about how the aforementioned aspects of riding (cutbacks etc) are affacted by a simple fiber change I agree its not a big deal.
|21st August 2008 01:40 AM|
What I am saying is that if you ONLY change from glass to carbon the weight gain would not be 10-15% (or 20% as you claimed just a few threads above) of the board weight: Not even close to that.
Assuming that there are such large differences in weights, other construction factors are into play And all the already extremely vague discussion about the merits/de-merits of carbon vs glass is completely moot.
PS I cannot really imagine what those 'factors', having to do with "optimization" of different materials, are. Can you give specifics? From Ian Fox reply it would appear that the test with the Isonics only involved switching to carbon fiber.
|21st August 2008 01:27 AM|
I don't get it, Davide? Are you suggesting that the "honest" way to do it is to only change glass for carbon? And that if you do other changes to the construction it would be in some way dishonest (=only marketing)?
To me that would be very foolish of the constructors and I think the sound way to do it is to consider the construction as a whole. Glass or carbon needs to be optimized in different ways, and as you know even different types of carbon will work very differently in the board and require the rest of the construction to be different to. In fact, the smaller "wave type" woodcarbon boards use a different carbon and hence a different construction overall than the bigger boards.
And at least from my side, the discussion have been about the different constructions and how they are to sail relative each other. Or maybe about how a given weight decrease affects the feel on the water. But not about if changing a given layer in a given board from glass to carbon will mean anything.
And again, the customer can choose if he wishes to pay more for the lighter construction. And at least from my point of view, Starboard has not pushed the woodcarbon in marketing in an kind of outrageous way either. It's an option that is now offered for those who want it.
|21st August 2008 01:24 AM|
|steveC||Thanks Svein for weighing in with your thoughts here. Outside of the performance merits of different technologies, it's refreshing to see that Starboard is bringing in added quality control functions to better ensure that physical shape specification and tolerances are being maintained. In you master development and design studies, I'm presuming that the boards are being built custom in your in-house manufacturing facility. Once a design has been defined and frozen for production, I was wondering whether your team continues with actual testing contrasting the master with the production models over the year to verify that performance targets are being met by the folks at Cobra.|
|21st August 2008 12:48 AM|
Just for reference: If a board of the size of my Acid 74 2007 switched 4 layers (sandwich total) of 6.0z S-glass to 4.5oz Carbon the weight gain would be about 150-180 grams. However you probably would not want to go for such a light carbon to laminate the bottom of the board ... so there is goes 1/4 to 1/2 of your weight gain ...
|20th August 2008 04:07 PM|
To complete my above post.
I admit that the feel of riding a wood racer is a very nice one. I also trust that adding "geometrical" stability by means of the thick wood veneer adds to the boards' shape stability, and that is a very good thing in my view. And, above all, I would have to be crazy to deny that iSonics are probably the most successfully competitive racers ever (which does not imply their build standard is the best around).
|20th August 2008 04:00 PM|
No less than the big boss...
Svein, thank you very much for your direct intervention and clarification. After reading your post, here is what I think.
1) My reserves about "corporate" outings still hold, even more so in your case, of course.
2) I can believe that a wood carbon iSonic would be just 150 - 300 gms. lighter than a standard wood one. Still I am curious to know how much your test protos do really weight. IF they are spot on the "average production" stated weight, or close to, as I already said (i. e.: iS101 6.3 kg) in my view they have a nice weight. Unfortunately I happened to order a Sonic95 in '06. When it arrived I was able to compare its weight with a Falcon90 that was in the shop. Finally I carefully weighted it at 6.6 kg, which is not that much more than the stated 6.3 after all and well within tolerances, but... (I used to purchase RRD's in older times, probably when Cobra was not the undisputed market leader yet, and those were spot on, so I assumed the Sonic would have been spot on too). Be assured nothing the like will happen to me once again.
3) If I was in your shoes I would introduce lighter manufacturing, be it wood carbon or else, at no extra cost for iSonics; eventually, not even claiming it; since now iSonics are about the heaviest slalom boards available AND the most expensive ones.
4) Whatever you say or swear, I will NEVER believe that dream team riders are on boards similar to those I can buy in shop. I am sure that, at very least, they are handed a few selected samples to choose from by direct testing. As for BD, I remember pictures of the Canaries '07 leg with him jumping and showing the bottom of his board; not the usual white painted bottom, but one showing very clearly traces of substantial reshaping/fairing. He didn't even bother to put some fresh white on it. Should I believe he rode Alacati on boards bought blind out of the shop? Not even if he himself tells me.
5) "However, we as the customer pay the bills...": +1. Bad idea to state that intention of yours.
|20th August 2008 03:56 PM|
So far the chances for you and Antoine to get the board that is closest to the master board have been equal, so over the last 14 years we have indeed met your request.
In the future, we want as explained include a few extra QC stations , and that will help our standard improve even further, and that for everyone.
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