Old 4th May 2009, 10:55 AM   #1
aa25
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Default Kode 80 or 74

I am 73kg and enjoy mixing up freestyle and wavesailing, together with some freeride blasts.
I bought a Kode 86 wood last year which works great with a 5.3 for freestyle, freeride blasting and some wavesailing in 15-23knots. It's very fast and smooth which allows for lofty jumps and loops but at my weight it feels a tad big and wide in tail for quality waveriding.

I'm looking at what board to get next - Kode 80 or 74!?

The 74 sounds logical to pair with the K86 as it would rip when windy, but the problem is the majority of my wavesailing sessions are up'n'down so 74 will be too small and I'd be left defaulting to the 86.

I'm thinking the 80 might cover all my wavesailing better plus have bit of size for freestyle and freeride. It'd work so well with a 5.0. Only thing is 80 would then feel big when windy.

Any comments? I could possibly sell 86 and have 80 as one only (or eventually get 68 to go with it). I suppose I'm wondering how floaty the 80 is compared to 74.
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Old 4th May 2009, 02:07 PM   #2
Ola_H
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Very difficult. The 80 is really a very controllable board in choppy waters and such things, but when the wind increases it comes a point when shear board size starts to become noticeable. I would say that for your weight, the 80 for sure handles powered up 4.5 well (even better with a smaller fin like the Drake 21), but in powered up 4.0 is will be blow around a bit while the 2cm narrower 74 will still feel in its element. So I guess it depends on how many of your good wave days that are really windy.

At the light wind end, the 74 is actually very good. It handles 5.3 well at out weight and as long as the wind holes are not so big that you'll be standing completely still for extended periods of time, it will schlog along rather well. The benefit of the 80 in light wind is a bit more volume and width for riding slow waves and for some extra comfort to keep you relaxed when schlogging. It will also take something like a 5.6 better than the 74.

Overall the performance zone of the two boards are not that far apart at our weight. I tend to think about it in terms of comfort vs work, the 80 being more comfortable in ligher winds but needing more work in higher winds - conversely with the 74. That and wave riding speed, if your waves are slow and onshore, the 80 starts to make more sense. But if you keep the 86, I think the 80 is actually to close. The 86 still works well in slower waves and the 74 is effective enough to work well long before the 86 starts to get cumbersome (with the only exception being super light float out and ride in type of sailing).

For 5.3 freestyle stuff I do think the 80 is quite a lot better though, although the 86 with it wider tail and bigger overall planing surface will for sure be even better.

The 68 is a rocker of a board and a joy in high winds. But you need good speed on the wave to ride it well. It will certainly complement the 80 well if you decide to go that route.

It depends a little on if you have a freestyle board too and what sail sizes you use. 68+80 will for sure give you the widest possible spectrum of spot on wave performance.

But the 74 is the best all round board at your weight, I would say, and coupled with the 86 you'll have a fantastic quiver god wave riding AND the freestyle/freeride blasting you mention above.
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Old 5th May 2009, 07:13 AM   #3
aa25
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Thanks Ola. Very helpful. The 74 sounds like a good option. It is a good size for 73kg. Your point is good about not actually needing much wind to float out on boards this size.

In the past I tended towards using the smallest board possible to get the most loose and agile performance on the wave. Generally, only need some power in the sail to dog out and this can even be only 10 knots because once on wave face, apparant wind is more like 15 knots+. On the other hand, no point having looseness/agility without speed. Recently I've found that one can sacrifice a bit of agility from a small board in light wind and use a bigger board to get the early planing and speed. The kode 86 (wood) is good in this regard; it can take a bit to accelerate on the wave, but once have speed up, it holds speed and this plus inertia from the wood construction allows for amazing aerials in light winds. The same applies to freestyle where, so long as you have speed, it's easy to get good height in pops/jumps but also stability when sliding.

You mentioned overlap with 80 and where 86 reaches limit. I find 15-22 knots the Kode 86 is great, but a surprising thing I found was the fun it still gives at 22-28knots even still on a 5.3. The adrenalin rises as one is very powered and going flat out, but with a bit more strength, technique and assertiveness it still provides amazing control in loops and freestyle for an 86l board in this wind. I could use 74 and 4.7 in same wind, but there's something great about being near over-powered versus just semi-powered to powered.

So I'll probably settle on the 74 kode. My next issue is wood or wood carbon? I like the look, strength and extra bit of inertia from the wood, but I'm guessing the wood carbon 74 would be super agile and crisper? Have you found many preferring wood 74 over wood carbon?
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Old 6th May 2009, 03:35 AM   #4
Ola_H
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Yeah, as long as you don't have to jam tight turns on a wave fast wave, the Kode 86 handles plenty of wind.

Wood or wood carbon: Tough call. The WC version actually does feel stiffer and crisper and like the board is running higher in the water. But in extreme situations, the flex and damping of the wood is nicer, I think. But he difference is fairly subtel and if you don't have a wood version of the same board to compare with (or at least have lots of experience with wood boards of similar type and size) it will be hard to fault the Kode 74 wood carbon. So overall I would say the woodcarbon offers the nicest feel (but if you don't want to shell out the extra cash, wood is great too).
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