RE: new vs. old slalom shapes
My previous slalom board was an ML as well. Great board also. I think it was built around 2001 and I used it until last year. Fin-wise, I found that my new board needs a larger fin than my old board given the same conditions. On my old board I was mostly using a 28cm falcon or 30cm goldwing. I think the narrower tail of the older board was happier with a smaller fin. I think the newer board with the wider tail can handle the power of the goldwing better than the old narrower tailed board. To slalomguy I would say the newer boards do need larger fins. For the new ML board I have been using 30cm, 32cm and 34cm goldwing with 6.0 & 6.5 sails. I don't use bigger than 32cm with the 6.0 but sometimes use the 32 with the 6.5. I'm beginning to think the 32 will be my most important fin for racing. I have a 5.5 which I haven't used much but unless it was really nuking I would probably be on the 30cm with it. I would like to see how the 28 falcon goes with the 5.5 when it's really windy. I also used a 24cm vector for the speed event this year up to a 6.3 sail and it felt good. Improved my top speed by 3 knots over last year when I was on the older board and regular sized fin but still on the Nitro4. I think this setup can go a lot faster, seeing that the winds at the speed event this year were on the mild side. Hard to say how much was the fin and how much the board. If you are racing let me know if you have figured out what fin size to use. I am sometimes torn between going smaller for the extra speed it gives or going bigger for the starts, holes and gybe marks.