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Thread: Flare 98 vs Kode 103
12th March 2015, 10:04 AM #8
12th March 2015, 11:40 AM #9
I have not sailed the Kode 103 but have used the smaller versions. And let's try and give a real world answer to this – for anybody reading this thread.
100 litre boards are the cross-over size for most people – lying between wave boards, and lighter wind slalom kit. The compact 100 litre board is the size which can still be early planing but is also 'chuck-about' in a way that a 120litre+ board cannot be. For many of us, windsurfing becomes fun when we are on sails smaller than 6m because the kit is nippier and more manoeuvrable. But what you do with this board size is still up to you.
When you buy any sort of board, it's important to know what you are buying a board for. In this case, I'd be asking: am I wanting to do full-on freestyle tricks, or am I wanting to buy a board size that will be my light wind, early planing kit, where freestyle tricks are one of the things I might try, alongside blasting and full speed gybing etc. ?
Once you've decided about use, then there's board shape, and then there's the appropriate board size for your weight and for the likely windstrength.
If you are good at freestyle then you might want the dedicated freestyle board, but many freestylers then go relatively small, down to say a 93 litre board. That might still be early planing enough if, like many of them, you are the 65-70kgs stage of your adult life.
In Cape Town I was photographing some of the world's top freestylers and it was interesting to see what boards they were on.
Some of the skinnier guys were on 90litre boards on the lake and only had 4.8 sails as their biggest. Perhaps part of that was about travelling with less gear, but the Cape Town wind also allows for sub-5m rigs to be the norm. I'm told that, on the lake, the smaller freestyle board is spinner and less cumbersome in the air. And no freestyler likes to be on a 'big' sail.
Those smaller FS boards also worked well on the sea for low tide at Big Bay where the freestylers would gather for their jump sessions.
Bigger guys like Van Broeckhoven, had two sizes of freestyle board with them, and Steven would use the 100 litre size on the lake on the iffier days. Bubble also had the JP 101 as his go-to lake freestyle board, but nowadays he has waveboards for when sailing on the sea.
When the wind picks up in Cape Town, most go to the sea. If you keep sailing on the lake when it's 4m weather, you then need a smaller board than 100 litres, because of the chop.
Most people over 30 will not be doing much freestyle. As a typical 75-85 kgs sailor, you want to blast about more and want a board that planes early then you again look at size, and maybe you want something bigger. The Kode 103 is probably the better all round board for that sort of sailing, although for any freestyle tricks you'd need to change to a smaller fin than the one supplied. The bigger fin then comes into its own for backfoot blasting when using bigger rigs – and the 103 would happily take 6m or even 7m sails (sizes that most freestylers won't own).
In Cape Town, I keep an old JP Freestyle board in the 99 litre size, and in the UK I have a 2014 Starboard Flare in the 101litre size. The volume figure is very misleading because the JP planes earlier as it's 64cms wide, whereas the Flare 101 is faster and looser because it's just 62cms wide.
If I were to buy a new board now, to replace either of those two boards, I personally would consider the Kode 103, not least because it's 64.5cms wide. Not only would it fit well in my board line-up as my go-to early planing kit, but it has different footstrap options – with outboard settings for slalom (not that I'm likely to use them!).
The Kodes in the bigger sizes now have the term Freewave attached to them, whereas last year they were called Freestylewaves. But they still have the freestyle tail on them. And I personally wouldn't take the 103 into waves of any size, except perhaps on a low tide bump and jump day.
Hope this long post if helpful for people trying to follow board choice and board size decisions.
Last edited by basher; 12th March 2015 at 11:54 AM.Main boards: Flare 101, NuEvo 86, UltraKode 80, Reactor 82, NuEvo 73. Powered by Severne Blades and S1s.
12th March 2015, 09:40 PM #10
- Join Date
- Jun 2014
- Ringkøbing fjord denmark
I am doing freestyle on my fanatic quad 81 in the waves some times.
But this is only for wave sessions, cause it is way easier on a freestyle board.
My girlfriend rides a kode 103 and i have done a bit of freestyle on it and it feels okay, but it aint as easy as on a freestyle board. The edges on the kode are sharper so they catch the water, which gives less slide. Also it aint as wide ocer the powerjoint which gives less pop for air moves
But sure it can be used, but it is just making learning slower @)