That’s a start, I guess. The funniest thing happened last month while I was at Mai Tai Kite Camp ’08, the fantastic event put together by Bill Tai and Susi Mai. We were chatting at dinner, when I mentioned to Tom Court that I had a great board built while on a summer kiting trip to Cabarete a few years back.
I was going on and on, about how I loved the board, about its extraordinary ability to ride upwind (it’s a super compact 115cm yet heads upwind better than most 135cm boards I have ridden), about how great it pops during jumps and about its durability (yes, I have come in close proximity with my share of sand and rock). He interrupted me and asked whether the shaper was, by any chance, German. He was. After a few more questions, Tom figured out that I had unknowingly bought a board shaped by Susi’s dad, no less. We quickly produced the board and confirmed its origin with Susi: unmistakable. Here’s what Bill had to say after carefully scrutinizing the board:
I was looking at it, and it is one of the few I’ve seen that have a true concave bottom. Susi’s and yours are sculpted, the entire board has the curve, not just the bottom surface. At speed, the rail of the board itself acts like a fin and gives you a lot of stability and upwindedness. Susi was placing in course racing with that twin tip against others on surfboard directionals. Quite amazing.
The good news: I have been using the board exclusively for three years; it’s absolutely fantastic. The bad news: all this time I thought it was me getting better, and now I have to come to terms with the fact it was mostly in the gear. Oh well, more time on the water is in order. The best part: if you want one of those, drop me a line in the comments or email and I’ll try to put you in touch.