Just recently I’ve bought a 5,3 m2 North Sails Hero 2017 and I want to write a review of the sail as soon as possible. As I have not used the sail yet I thought it would be valuable for you guys to have a sneak preview of this sail.
It’s so new in my quiver that I even haven’t had a chance to rig it which I should do as soon as possible because there’s nothing more annoying than arriving on the beach when the wind is blowing and the waves are breaking and you have to find out how to rig your new sail and change the settings on a regular basis.
So, it’s a top priority on my todo list but for now, I have to postpone this.
Anyway, having said that, let’s move over to the actual pre-review as there’s a lot to mention about this new sail I have
Why I Bought The North Sails Hero 2017
I’m not sponsored nor do I have any connections to any windsurfing brand but I have to admit I’m on Fanatic boards and North Sails wave sails for over 20 years already.
The sails I used to have were a North sails Voodoo 4.2 and the North Sails Ice in the sizes 4.7 / 5.3 / 5.7 and on top of that, I also used to own a North Sails Instinct 6.2.
Not to go into detail all that much but for the people that don’t know any of these sails, they are quite old and though I had some great sessions with all of them it was about time to start updating my quiver.
The 6.2 I haven’t used for a few years and so I had no problems selling it without the need for a replacement.
The 5.7 is still mine and I will keep it for a while…probably…
The 5.3 is the biggest sail I normally use, with a bodyweight of 75 / 80 kilo’s combined with a 99 liter Fanatic Skate freestyleboard I don’t need anything bigger actually as I have more than enough windsurfing days where there’s at least 15 to knots here at the North Sea shore.
The 4.7 I still have as well.
The 4.2 is ready for replacement as well. Yes, it will be exchanged for a North Sails Hero as well.
Now that you have a little background on my quiver, you might start to see why I bought a North Sails wavesail again.
The sails suit me well, I like how they react and the on/off suits my kind of sailing just perfectly.
What I wanted to mention as well is that having only constant curve RDM masts makes choosing a sail designed for constant curve RDM masts a no brainer as well.
What’s New On The 2016 Versus 2017 North Sails Hero Sails?
Compared to the 2016 Hero’s, the main difference on the 2017 edition is that sailwindow has less monofilm and got an extra panel of x ply making it stronger.
Combine that with the already exceptional low sail weight, you’ve got a really light yet strong wavesail on your hands.
The 3 batten option of 2016 has been deleted and now the complete sailrange is designed on a 4 batten wavesail concept.
There are some new colors but that’s not of any influence on the sail behavior, it just looks nice.
Having the Fanatic Triwave as my waveboard of choice though, I choose the red color version as it goes wel with the color of the board.
Yes, a fair amount of visits to boardrebel.com are from girls/women who are interested in windsurfing topics and I’m so stoked about that.
Windsurfing is a lifestyle mainly dominated by men but women windsurfing is good for the sport and I wish more women would start investing time to get into windsurfing.
A New Start for BoardRebel.com is coming
In the first few sentences above I’m getting distracted about what I actually wanted to share with you.
And that’s publicly anouncing a new start for BoardRebel.com
I’ve thought long about it but at the end I believe the direction this blog is going to is the right one.
You know, I love writing about the sport in general and helping others with technique issues or giving advice on holiday destinations but the thing is I get most energy when turning this website into a personal blog!
So, what will change here?
Changing BoardRebel into a personal journaling blog
I’m about as sure as I can get about wanting to convert this website into a journaling personal blog.
So, no more introductionary homepage but instead a blogroll.
On this blog you’ll find more about me and thing things I do (and love to do).
I’ll be blogging about:
Paddle Board Sessions
Other things I like reading (and writiing) about
I have not been the most fanatical windsurfer around for the last few years. I must admit that I wanted it as easy as possible so I didn’t botter that much to bringing my own gear to work and have a session afterwards on my own gear.
Instead I rented some gear all of the 2017 sessions and went on the water of an hour (or a little more).
Renting is possible on the nearby local lake, so no wave riding sessions at home for over a few years for me.
I even wanted to sell my wave gear and wanted to get into slalom and speedsurfing completely (I already have a GT-31 device).
For 2018 I decided that my true passion still is waveriding and so I’ll get into wavesailing all over again.
Now I know it will be hard, being a few years older, having gained some extra kilo’s and not to mention the below zero level of endurance I’m in right now.
My medium windsurfing harness even won’t fit anymore so on short term planning I’ll need one size bigger (and I hate it but this is actually a great motivation to make 2018 a great year of learning and improving on all kinds of levels.
Paddle Boarding Sessions
About the same goes for my paddle board.
I have a SUP but haven’t been on it for the last 3 seasons.
So, short term I’m planning on buying a car roof rack to take my board with me as often as possible.
Though it’s a 10’5″ all around board (which I used on flat lake and North Sea conditions until know) I want to learn to wave sup this year and the lack of ocean swell on the NorthSea makes conditions perfect for learning how to wave sup.
So, I’ll be writing a lot about my experiences and learning curve on the stand up paddle board.
Picures and Video for Documenting
Blogging is one thing but visually engaging sports like paddle boarding and windsurfing would benefit greatly from video / photo’s.
So for documenting my sessions I need to grow myself a habbit in bringing camera’s with me as I hit the water for that I need some new gear as well…
I need a backmount harness (for my GoPro) as well and an helmet to take my action cam with me more often.
Most photos I shoot are with my smartphone but windsurfing and paddle boarding will make me need a camera I can take with me on the water. And my GoPro 2 is a great device but is missing some crucial functions the newer models have.
So my GoPro 2 which will be exchanged into a newer GoPro model as they have remote control access which would be perfect for using it on the water and not filming all the time but instead of that only the moments that are worth it.
This will save my battery time as well so a win-win situation and worth the money if you ask me 🙂
Fellow windsurfers / SUP riders are not really enthousiastic when you ask the to stay ashore and shoot pictures / video from you so an actioncam is a logic next step.
A drone would be another option but for now let’s get used to being on the water using a GoPro and not to mention I need to start from zero editing video content as I never did that before.
I wouldn’t even know what software to use for that so don’t expect any awesome footage in the near future.
What About The Rebranding?
Last but not least…
The rebranding as mentioned in the title of this post….
I’m thinking about removing the menu links which you can see up until now for some articles I’ve written.
A logo will be created and I’ll be using my social media accounts for BoardRebel as well. My facebook Page and Instagram account are in use already but my YouTube account needs some serious attention (and I even have a Twitter account what I’ll be using to distribute my upcoming blogposts).
More ideas are floating around in my head but for now this is all.
Let’s make 2018 a great year!
Let’s Round Up
For now this is it, so let’s round this first blog post up.
So, you want to go on a Costa Rica windsurfing holiday? In this beautiful central american country you can choose between going inland for some freeriding or freestyling on a lake or go to the coast for some serious waveriding .On the coast you can chose between the Pacific facing beaches and the ones facing the carribean sea.
The big and powerfull waves are great for waveriding assuming the windforce and direction are good.
When conditions are right these beaches can produce some Hawaiian like conditions.
But the main area for Costa Rica windsurfing is done inland on a big lake called lake Arenal.
Costa Rica translated into english means rich coast and that is exactly what it is but beside the beautiful beaches this country has more to offer, much more. This green and hilly country is covered with lakes, rain forests and vulcanos.
It is this diverse landscape and the variety of animals it has to offer that a lot of people go on vacation to Costa Rica.
Is Lake Arenal The Best Costa Rica Windsurfing Location?
Actually this lake, Lake Arenal, is the biggest lake in Costa Rica.And during the summer season which goes from November to April this is also the most reliable area when it comes down to windstrength. It is so windy that the most used sailsizes are from 3.0 to 5.0 So some wavesails and a waveboard are the best way to fly through the chop and windswells.
What month is best for a Costa Rica windsurfing holiday?
When you’re going on a costa rica windsurfing holiday and like as much wind as possible don’t forget your 3.0 or 4.0 m2 sails when you visit lake arenal around December/January as winds around 30 knots (or more) are the average wind strength.
If you like it more moderate and want to windsurf with a 4.5 or 5.3 than March/April is a better choice with average winds around 20 knots.
As for a wetsuit, leave your wintersuit and hoody at home, as the watertemperature rises from 64F(18C) in January to 78F(25C) in May, so a shorty will be perfect.
But a shortarm in January or a boardshort in May is possible as well.
As it is inland you might think it is quit gusty, but this is not the case.Actually the winds are very consistent especially on the western part.which means almost no changing sailsize during a session.
Save the sail changing for your home sessions, hey, you are on a holiday why the discomfort of coming in change sails.
And did I mention the laidback attitude of the locals, so you might not even want to change sails how good your session might be.
Costa Rica windsurfing on lake Arenal will change your look on inland windsurfing no matter how good a waverider you are.
To give you some impressions of windsurfing in Costa Rica (on lake Arenal), see the folowing video:
Are There Any Windsurfing Shops Around Lake Arenal?
It is this area that also has the best windsurfing infrastructure of entire Costa Rica.So if you need some spare parts or need to rent windsurfing equipment you find them here in the different windsurfing shops available.
In Costa Rica windsurfing is also possible on custom made boards. There are even brands that build and test those boards on lake Arenal, so if there are boards that are made for these conditions it’s the locally build custom made windsurf boards.
When you’re in need of some spare parts, windsurfing gear or maybe a new board, the following shops are worth a visit:
When you want to go windsurfing on the pacific coast there are more than enough options to do so.
The one we can recommend is in Bahia Salinas.
When going for a windsurfing trip there the best place to get on the water is at Ecoplaya Hotels.
The conditions are mellow and you can rent some windsurfing equipment there as well.
Stand Up Paddling In Costa Rica
On a windless day you can hire a stand up paddling board and try this new and amazing sport which is taking the world in a fast pace.
It is really fun to do and a great total body work out.
Places like Lake Arenal and Bahia Salinas are great for your first meters on a SUP and iff you know your way around on a wave sup, the world famous surfspots of Costa Rica is where you wanna be.
Be warned though, the conditions can be really challenging at some spots, so iff in doubt don’t go out!
Kite Boardingg In Costa Rica
If you want to give kiteboarding a try or are experienced and want to kitesurf as well, the windsurfspots of Costa Rica are perfect for kiteboarders as well. The constant winds and the warm waters are perfect for this sport as well.
As with surfing, paddle boarding and windsurfing you can also kiteboard in the waves of Costa Rica (when you’re up for the waves).
Surfing In Costa Rica
There are also a lot of surfers, you know, the ones without sails or kites who visit this country.The beaches and surfing conditions are on some places worldclass. With “the Hawaii of Latin-American surfing” as a nickname there most be some great places to go surfing.
The majority of surfers “discovered” the surfing conditions that Costa Rica has to offer by watching a travelling movie of 2 surfers who where travelling the world to have an endless summer.
This was also the title of the movie.Actually it was a continuation of the original endless summer movie which is a cult movie among surfers as is this second endless summer movie.
In this movie they were visiting some breaks where the surfing was perfect, at some places the wax melted of their boards as the water was as hot as the summer temperatures on the beach.
As the surf is consistent all year round and the country is not that big but never the less has thousands of breaks both, on the pacific and the carribean side, for all levels of surfers.
So, as you might have noticed by now Costa Rica windsurfing and its relating sports are a good way to spend your holiday time.
But don’t forget the rest of this beautiful country as exploring is not just about searching for a new uncrowded surfspot.
Freestyle Windsurfing on Lake Arenal
Just to get you even more in the mood I just found this great freestyle windsurfing video which is filmed on lake Arenal I didn’t want you to miss.
Maybe you’re not into freestyle but it also shows you the beautiful scenary of Costa Rica and the great conditions this spot offers like shallow warm waters combined with a tropical climate.
Who doesn’t want to go windsurfing in a place like this?
One of the lamest excuses you can come up with is hiding behind a time schedule!
When people see other people windsurfing most of the times they think it is a cool sport and would like to start learning this awesome hobby too.
One of the most heard excuses is not the money it will take to hire a coach for their first lessons, nor is it that they think it is too cold to learn.
No, most of the times people won’t even start because they believe they have no time for this.
I mean, really?
Windsurfing is a great sport and once you’ll make it past the stage of being a total beginner you’ll start to appreciate the rush it provides you with.
It’s pure adrenaline!
Once you had the experience of planing you’ll probably want to get better and a soon as possible too.
Yes, windsurfing is addictive. And Yes, it can change your life and make you a better, more fun to be around person. Did I mention you’ll get fit in no time, build muscles without effort and get slimmer by the hour?!
It can give you so much in return when you just start setting some priorities in your life.
Just decide what it is you really want to do…
When you want a more fun, more exciting life you need to get out of your comfort zone.
Quit the excuses, start a windsurfing course, find some time (quite some time-consuming sideline activities). Invest in a more thrilling lifestyle, get some lessons, get out there, get into the water, laugh, make mistakes and get better!
Seriously, find some time and join the windsurfing tribe! I’ll promise you, you won’t regret it!
You can thank me later, for now, have your priorities set.
Want to learn how to windsurf?
Are you struggling with yourself to learn how to windsurf? Are you having doubts about starting at all?
Are you getting stuck at whatever point windsurfing?
Let me help you out!
Contact me and tell me what you’re struggling with and I’ll help you past the point you think you can’t get past.
Create some spare time, learn, get better and be a new member of the windsurfing community!
As 2017 is over in about a month and 2018 is ready to kick off it’s time to take a look back at this year and look forward and plan for the upcoming year.
I’ve found out that I’m experiencing a windsurfing interest shift which might lead to some drastic changes for the upcoming year…
More on that later, let’s first recap this year that is coming to an end in about a month time.
How Was My 2017 (Windsurfing Wise)
This year I’ve finally decided to renew some windsurfing equipement.
New Windsurfing Gear
Windsurfing wise 2017 was a year where I bought myself a North Sails Hero 5.3 and sold my 2008 North Sails Ice 5.3. I even managed to get rid of my North Sails Voodoo 4.2 unfortunately I haven’t found myself a new 4.2 as yet.
It’s not that there are no 4.2 sails that I like, the Hero for one is a sail that’s really good for my style and super light (especially compared to the older and some what heavier Ice sails).
The Year Where I Did Not Have Any Waveriding Sessions
The reason I have not purchased a new 4.2 yet is because I haven’t done any waveriding this year, so I’m doubting about the new sail.
I mean why buy wavesails when I no longer am windsurfing in the surf.
The reason I have no wave sessions under my belt for 2017 is because I windsurf more and more on the lake close to my work. It’s convenient to park my car near the shoreline, rig on a meadow like surface (grass), pick up my gear, walk for a few meters and hit the water.
Where as, the waveriding spot is as close to my work but with a lot of dissapointing conditions and me getting more and more interested in purchasing slalom/speed equipment, the waveriding days were non existing this year and though I like to jump and waveride frontside the speeds on a lake sound more appealing to me these days.
Distance to the water, having a big dune to cross with my gear and my car out of sight when on the water are only small negatives compared to windsurfing at Oostvoornse meer (my local windsurfing spot of choice).
This hasn’t been any different this year compared to the years before, the real reason is that flat water windsurfing just seems more interesting to me.
So, What Are My Plans For 2018?
As you might have guessed by now, I’m thinking about changing some gear for 2018 and windsurf some more on the local lake.
I used to have a slalomset in the past. And the thing is, I’m missing those planted, in control, top speeds when out on the water.
The Fanatic Falcon 122 I used to own was a great board (especially in comination with 2 different fins). I used to power that board with a North Sails Ram F11 7.0 and 7.8.
When I could turn back times I would certainly never have sold that gear.
Right now I have a Fanatic Skate 99 TE and a Triwave 81. As I have only been going as fast as possible on my Skate, I guess this the board that will be exchanged for a slalom board.
A 120 liter one is too big for my weight so a board around 110 liters will be my board of choice I guess. Right now I’m thinking about a freeraceboard to get used to the wide tails and outboard footstraps.
As for sails I guess freerace sails of 6.2 and 7.0 would do the trick.
So, this is what I’m thinking about for next year.
The all new Fanatic Grip took me by surprise! I don’t know what about you but I didn’t expect Fanatic to get rid of their supper famous quad and triwave waveboards all at the same time.
Actually I was some what dissapointed when I found out these perfect waveboard had dissapeared from their waveboard line up.
Fanatic Grip: Replacing The Quad And Triwave…Say What?!
As a Fanatic fanboy I found it a pity that I haven’t been able to give the grip a spin, but who knows maybe I’ll be able to test (and review) the replacement of the quad and triwave boards somewhere along the Dutch coastal waters later this year or some where in 2018.
Since Fanatic decided to let their hugely popular triwave and quad boards go on an early retirement, there had to come some awesome new waveboard in return.
Along with their testwinning Stubby the new board had some high standards to live up to as Fanatic is known to be a brand with great, easy to use waveboards.
One of the strengths of Fanatic is that, though they might not always be the first to come out with a new trend, (the Stubby is obviously an exeption to that rule) you can be sure that when they do release something new it’s thoroughly tested by their pro teamriders as well as advanced amateurs.
When Will I Review The Fanatic Grip?
As mentioned above I haven’t been able to test and review the new Fanatic Grip. When I do get the oppurtunity I will not only review it but also compare it to it’s predecessor: the Triwave!
I have a Fanatic Triwave 81 team edition of 2011 which is my goto waveboard for some years now. And I’m really curious how the new Grip will behave compared to my triwave.
I’m so eager to find out how both boards behave to each other while going upwind, jump, waveride (backside as well as frontdside) and handle some highwind chop.
Fanatic Grip And Stubby 2018 Product Video
This article will be extended with some opinions from my side as soon as I have investigated the board some more. Some local windsurfing shops that have the board on the shelves should let me take some measurements and pictures, I’m sure of that.
But while I have nothing more to share with you than the article above, I guess by now it’s time to leave you with the product video of the Grip and the Stubby.
The video is a must watch as Sebastian Wenzel (the shaper) and Klaas Voget and Victor Fernandez as well as some other riders show you what the new boards are capable of and give you some detailed info on the new boards.
Windsurfing shoes safe your feet from cuts, give you more grip on a slippery board and on top of that extend your windsurfing season. Time to find out all about them and get adviced to make your choice easier.
Looking for windsurfing holidays destinations that will blow your mind?
Windsurfers need so much more than regular sunseekers when planning a location to spend their hard earned money on. Where to go to can sometimes be a wild guess.
Well, not anymore, we searched for the best locations worldwide.
There are destinations for beginners who want to learn how to windsurf, advanced riders and even the pros won’t feel bored on the windsurfing holiday destinations we have chosen.
Check Out Our Top 5 Windsurfing Holidays Destinations
When thinking about planning a windsurfing vacation you probably think about some world class windsurfing destinations like:
Cape Town (South Africa)
Just to name a few, but a windsurfing trip doesn’t have to be about spending all you saved over a year to get to some exotic location, you can have as much fun on a location just a little drive away from where you live.
But if you like to travel to places where you just don’t go to a few times a year (or more); it’s wise to think about some things before you just pick the location of your dreams.
Some Additional Windsurfing Travel Tips
1) First of all you need to know what your windsurfing level is and where you can go depending on your level.
2) Another important issue is the amount of money you like to spend on your coming windsurfing vacation.
Not only think about the costs to get there and stay there, but think about car rental, groceries and taking your equipment with you or hiring windsurfing gear on the location of your choice.
3) What time of year do you think about going there, what conditions can you aspect in that time? How is the wind forecast in that time, how to check that in advance?
4) Are there windsurfing shops available near your surfspot? Can you get some spare windsurfing parts in those shops?
5) Is it possible for you (and maybe non windsurfers who are on vacation with you) to do something else besides windsurfing like a jeep safari, other sports, places to visit?
6) Not unimportant as well, how is the nightlife there? Besides the clubs and bars, are there restaurants to go to?
7) Windsurfing is a watersport and your skin might not be used to the intensity of the sunrays attacking your skin, so be prepared to have the right skin protection with you. A wetsuit or lycra is one way to protect your skin while on the water, besides that, don’t forget suncream and maybe a hat to protect you as good as possible.
8) Do you have easy access to a doctor, dentist, hospital or medicine corner?
You see, windsurfing holidays are not only about just booking a ticket to your dreamspot. The good news is that all other things can be arranged well in advance.
I hope you found this article useful and have a trip with lots of windsurfing!
Are you new to using windsurfing harness lines? Do you want to know what the best position is, what the best length is or how far apart they should be placed?
Than this article is exactly what you were waiting for!
Choosing the right harness lines makes your time on water more enjoyable and your session will last longer because of the lower amount of strength you need (when using the the right way).
So just run into a surf shop grab the first set of lines you can find and you’re fine, right? Well, not exactly.
The variety among the lines available is huge. So it’s easy to get lost when you don’t know whare to start. Of course it’s best to try them out before buying but when buying online this often is not possible.
What Length Windsurfing Harness Lines Are Best For You
Windsurfing harness lines are available in different sizes. Measured in inches, so which length should you buy?
A good tip would be to place your wrist in between the two Velcro straps on one of your boom arm and have the loop of the line touch and go around your elbow.
Most common windsurfing harness lines are available in the 20 to 30” range. Smaller and longer lines are available as well, so don’t worry if you like to experiment outside the 20-30” range.
The perfect harness line length for you depends on some important factors like:
Your Windsurfing Stance
When standing more on top of your board with a boom positioned at chest height you can do with shorter harness lines as when you have your boom at chin height and are pushing with your feet on the rail of your board.
Your body, Or More Specific, Your Arm Length
It should be obvious that shorter people have less arm length compared to taller people. This means that you can do with shorter harness lines as well.
The Type Of Windsurfing Gear You Use
Depending on what type of sail and/or board you should adjust the length of your harness lines. Although on wave equipment you could do with shorter lines as on a slalomboard, longer lines on wave equipment are more advisable as shorter ones are.
With longer lines it’s easier to unhook fast if you need to. This can be of benefit when a wave starts to break sooner as you thought.
On boards from freeriding to slalom or formula windsurfing longer lines have the advantage to keep the rig more upward on your board.
Do You Prefer Being Underpowered Or Overpowered
When sailing underpowered you might want short lines for standing more upright on your board when being hooked in to your harness lines. When overpowered you could choose shorter lines as well to have more control over your equipment.
What Windsurfing Harness Model Do You Have
First of all we need to know what kind of windsurfing harness you have or like to buy. There are two main options to choose from. A waist harness which you wear higher and brings you more flexibility when swimming or a seat harness which is the standard for flat water.
Depending on the model the hook is placed higher (waist harness) or lower (seat harness). With all other things equal, the lower hook height makes you need longer harness lines on your boom to keep the sail in an more upwards stance instead of being raked back.
What About Adjustable Windsurfing Harness Lines
Adjustable harness lines are the way to go if you’re not sure yet which harness line length you like best. This way you only need one set and can try 22 to 30” all at once.
The great thing about these lines is that they even can be adjusted when sailing hooked in and most have line length indications, this way you can easily remember what line length you like best.
Adjustable lines are a great option as well when you’re serious about racing. This way you can have different line lengths on different courses.
Because of the changing stance and body positioning when doing a cross the wind or upwind course, you benefit from different line lengths.
With an adjustable harness line set you can stay hooked in perfect on all courses.
Or Maybe Rather Go For Fixed harness Lines
The opposite for adjustable harness lines is having a set of fixed windsurfing harness lines. Most people use this option.
They can be a good option; it’s for a reason that people use this type of harness lines the most, right?
Well, they are a good option if you know exactly what length you need and if you could do without the option of changing positions of your harness lines.
However, if you plan on using the boom where your harness lines are mounted on for different size and types of sails, than you‘re better of with adjustable harness lines.
Because of the different CE (center of effort) of different sail types and sizes you need to relocate your lines, which you have to do with adjustable lines as well.
But as you also have to have different line lengths for efficient windsurfing with different sails, there’s no better way than to have adjustable harness lines.
At the end you decide on what you like. Windsurfing harness lines, no matter what system, together with a harness are the best and only way into high wind windsurfing and longer session.