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  1. #1
    Junior Member Wing 11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Board brand quality

    What are your experiences with diferent board brands, when we talk about quality?
    Jp,Starboard,Fanatic,RRD etc...

    I know that there is huge difernece betwee for example slalom and wave board,slalom is softer and will not last long as wave...
    But in my subjective oppinion I have the best experiences with Fanatic boards.

    Also isonic is more performance but not so quality/stiff,in few years soft between foot straps...In past some JP boards are snapped in half..

  2. #2
    Well, in the end most (all) of the brands that you mentioned are produced in the same factory, Cobra in Thailand.

    However, build specifications, chosen construction and quality control can of course differ and be of various importance to different brands. But, overall, I'd say that most established brands are fairly equal. Some years, a couple of brands are hit by inferior construction choice or execution, but it seems as if most of them have had some experience from this. My impression is that it has improved in recent years, though.

    If you want something that really lasts for more demanding conditions, I'd say you need to look elsewhere... but for most users out there, even sailors that are fairly hard on gear, well built production boards go a long way in meeting most demands.
    Rig - Simmer vMax 7.2, Enduro 5.9, Black Tips 5.3 - 3.7, Tricera 5.0, HSM FL 5.7
    Boards - Simmer Hoogal 84 (custom), Simmer Freegal 100, Flikka 95 (proto), and 83 (tweaked Core line), Fanatic Blast 115

    Moderates, wind and wave community in Sweden

  3. #3
    Senior Member tooold2dance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    nice house with horses, cats dogs, and bride. USA
    The kind Dr above has put it nicely.

    at any given time you can find a brand of board that has problems, people seem to gravitate towards disclosing, some do, some people don't.

    a new point is the companies that make the most boards, will have the most problems that come into view.

    i don't share your opinion on Fanatic being best among the Cobra built boards, in any case that distinction is nothing to brag about.

    K4 Fins 4Boards TRI-sails Sailrepair

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    most brands have 2 or 3 or even more different types of construction to suit different priorities for the whatever type of board in the range you look at, so comparing brand to brand is a little more complex. Some constructions favour prioritise impact resistance over weight saving whilst others sacrifice absolute longevity for stiffness and light weight. If you are doing jumps or freestyle it is probably not a good idea to pick a high carbon content board if you are prone to landing flat or dropping the mast on the board............. lighter construction boards are for those who have mastered their jumps etc. Intermediates still prone to getting catapulted would be better off with a stronger/heavier construction. Some brands from time to time experiment with new development of materials.....and often have to modify their approach the following year in the light of warranty claims! So rather than try comparing brands, it is easier to compare actual boards, of similar specification, preferably ones that have been largely unchanged for a couple of seasons.

  5. #5
    Firstly, not all boards are now made in the Cobra factory. Secondly, those that are, are made to the brand's specifications.

    What did happen a couple of years ago was that the Cobra factory allegedly changed hands, and the new owners were more reluctant to take warranty claims when they had made a board to a brand's specification.

    So, what you find in practice is that some brands did well one year, but weren't so good the next. The cost of carbon also went up for a while, and the shortage of it meant that other constructions were tried.

    You also have a very different construction for a wave and freestyle board than you get for a lightweight slalom board. So their longevity varies.

    The longevity of any board also varies according to how much you sail it, how much you jump it, and how else you 'abuse' it.

    The fact is that some pro sailors go through one of more boards a season whereas the careful weekend sailor might make the same board last forever.
    I have some kit for sale, to make space. Nuevo 86 2014, 490, Nuevo 73 2013 550, Severne Blade 2015 5.0 and 3.7. All VGC or little used. Don't use private message system as I don't get messages via here contact via the weather thread!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    As a careful weekend sailor i have only ever had one board fail due to a construction issue (an early 00's era F2), all the others have been bashed to bits or retired in a sailable condition.

    I mostly sail off a sandy beech so i guess a lot depends on that as well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    As Mikerb mentioned I think quality can vary from year to year as brands experiment with different constructions.

    Over the years I've had only a few problems. A JP Freecarve from 200? went soft between the straps, that was a known issue probably sorted soon after. Fanatic Falcon 125 went a bit soft on the deck in front of both front straps, probably as a result of pumping. It took 4 years regular use (out of 6 years) though, so for a lightweight board I cant complain. Its still sailable.
    Exocet SCross (cobra) went soft after 3 months and replaced hassle free. Definitely a one-off I think as it did seem very light.

    I dont do big jumps or hardcore wave sailing so my boards get an easy life. Its quite noticeable that my wave board and Cross 106 haven't got any damage to the nose as I sail those just on the sea. On the boards I use in the harbour they all have some nose damage. The reason is in the harbour there is more catapults from hitting rubbish, mooring lines, gusty winds catching me out when not concentrating, going for faster speed gybes and crashing out. Wipeouts tend to be more violent.

    My oldest board, Cross 90 has just 1 minor crease in the nose. As the board size goes up and gets wider at the front there is more damage. I've catapulted on my wave board a few times but as its got a narrow nose (its only 56cm wide) the mast has never hit it. Someone mentioned to me that when he was talking to the local board repairer, stubbies were getting more damage to the nose than traditional boards. I wonder how boards like the Fanatic Blast will fare?
    Last edited by phil_in_poole; 16th February 2017 at 11:16 AM.

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