Saturday, November 18 2017
We received a demo version of the new 2018 Simmer 3XS 106L just in time for a little session yesterday. First off let me tell you this is the fastest easiest sailing board I have ever had the privledge of riding. The conditions weren't the greatest yesterday with a dieing Northerly wind but this thing made it feel like the best day of the year. From the very first moment stepping on it it immediately took off and always felt like I had an extra gear waiting on me if I ever wanted to use it. The biggest surprise to me though was how overall easy it was to sail. Most slalom boards this fast are tricking to sail and take a minute to dial in. This was never the case from the very first run it felt like I'd been sailing this thing for years. The footstrap position is really far back and way out on the rail which makes it just a little tricking getting in and out of but once you're in them the rail curve fits perfectly into the shape of your foot giving you total control of the board. Usually when you are that far out on the rail you feel like you are on the edge of disaster at any moment but never once did I feel uncomfortable. It was smooth and from the very first jibe was easy to turn almost effortlessly. I can't say enough about this board. After sailing yesterday I wanted to look a little closer at the shape to see what exactly was going on with it and why it was so fast and easy to sail. Looking at the bottom I immediately saw the amount vee under the mast box. For a board this fast I was really surprised to see so much vee but this part of the board really is only on the water in transitions so it doesn't slow the planning or top end speed down at all. It does make it very easy to get the board over on a rail going into a jibe. 99% of the slalom boards I have ever ridden you had to commit 150% to enter any kind of turn. You almost have to plan out your jibe 2 or 3 steps ahead to make sure you could get most slalom boards to turn. This is most definitely not the case with the 2018 Simmer 3XS. The vee forward immeditely gets the board over on the leeward rail as soon as you take your back foot out of the strap and move your weight forward. The rocker line doesn't suggest that the board will be easy to turn but the outline curve makes up for the flat rocker in the last foot of the board. There is basically little if any tail rocker which is probably why it has such a great top end speed. Usually with this little rocker a board you would need an act of god to be able to turn it. The outline curve and the 3XS step rail almost acts like rail rocker so when you intiate your turn the board goes over on the steps riding the curve of the outline allowing it to turn on a dime. I am not a fan of gimmicks and when I first saw the severe steps in the rail I felt like this could be a marketing gimmick trying to sell "FAST" but after riding this board I'm a firm believer. Once again I have to say this is by far the fastest EASIEST board to sail I have ever ridden. If you are looking for fast board don't even hesitate to get one of these it will blow your mind just how easy it to sail while at the same time always giving you that extra gear to chase down your buddies. I usually get preety bored sailing in the sound and always are waiting on the next ocean session but after yesterday I find I'm wanting another day in the sound on this board. We have this one here available for demo so if you aren't looking for a new board definitely don't try this because I'm 110% certain anyone who likes to go fast and sails this thing will defintely HAVE to have one.
Friday, October 27 2017
New FOX Surfboards have finally arrived. We have something for everyone 9'2'' longboards; 5'6'' summer grovelers to 5'10'' performance shortboards and everything in between. New models brought in for 2018 include the "Kingfish" a performance shortboard with a swallow tail; the "Whatever" an everyday board with a pulled in nose and full diamond tail; The "Tiburon" the ulitmate summer groveler with a full nose and pulled in rounded pin for versatility (a shop favorite for those summer days); and the "Kick Starter" a great board for learning easy to paddle with plenty of volume to get you into waves easily; yet still maneuverable even for the best of surfers ranging from 6'8'' to 7'6''. Keep an eye out for full decriptions and specs coming soon to our site or better yet come stop by the shop and check the full line out in person. Nothing campares to holding one under your arm and finding the perfect board that suites your style.
Thursday, March 30 2017
Looks like its going to be a windy start to the month of April. All the long range forecasts are showing a pretty windy spring too. Hopefully that holds and we have a great season. We will be opening the shop for the this full time starting this Saturday April. We will be open 9:00-5:00pm daily. We have some great deals on some 2016 Ezzy Sails so stop by or give us a call cause these wont last long once people arrive.
Thursday, March 16 2017
For 2017 we will be doing a deal of the day everyday on the website offering the best deals on top quality gear. Keep checking back with our site daily to see each day will offer. You never know when what you've always wanted shows up on the Fox Deal of the Day. We will be mixing in closeout older gear as well as brand new 2017 stuff just to keep things interesting. So remember to check in daily so you don't miss out on the Deal of the Day.
Thursday, March 16 2017
This winter here on Hatteras has been down right hot by most standards. The ocean water hasn't been below 50 degrees for more than a day or two and most of the time has been closer to 60. We have had consistent SW winds keeping the air temps even warmer for the most part. Its been one of the best winters I can ever remember. It has allowed me to spend alot more time on the water tweaking and testing new gear. I had a GREAT session on the Simmer Helix 105 the other day and after sailing this board 12 or 15 times now I feel like I can give it a complete review for all conditions that you would sail it in.
The first thing that jumped out at me when I first got on the board and every time I sail it is the floatation for a 105 liter. Being 225-230lbs I need all the float I can get and typically a 105 liter with a 6.1 in the ocean canbe a bit sinking for me. The helix volume distribution is very even and it stays on top of the water even in the biggest lulls which makes it much easier to get the board moving once a gust comes. Typical wave or free wave boards have a tendacy for the tail to sink and when a gust of wind comes the first thing you have to do is get the board back on top of the water before you can get it moving forward. Once moving it planes pretty easy. Its not going to plane as quick as a more flat water oriented board but its quick enough you dont have to really work to get it on a plane. You can just sheet in and it will pop out on top. Once on a plane, the Helix offers a smooth easy ride. The soft rails and generous amount of double concave vee allow the Helix to cut through the heaviest of chop. The rocker line still allows for so top end speed for a board this smooth though. Your not going to win a races on this thing but you aren't going to get past by anyone thats not on slalom or race gear either.
On the wave I found the Helix to be much more responsive as a thruster. The 3 fin set up really freed the board up to allow much more radical off the top turns. It greatly reduced the over all speed but the added control on the wave was well worth it. As a single fin it felt a bit sticky on more vertical bottom and top turns but that is expected with the flatter rocker line. The thruster set up allowed the tail to drift more in and out of turns eliminating that sticky feeling half way through your turn. For as early as it planed and how well it float I was very very impressed at how well it preformed on the wave. Being use to custom built pure wave boards with more attention put on wave riding than anything else, most production boards either are too small for me (230lbs) or they are very limited in what you can do on a wave face. To date this is the best overall production board I've sailed for light to moderate conditions in the ocean.
In the sound the 105 Helix offers a super easy sheet in and go feel as a single fin. I do not recommend it as a thruster in flat water unless you are way way over powered and are looking to reduce speed and add more control and don't have a smaller board as an option. The soft rails and Vee allow it to knife through chop and turn on a dime making jibes effortless. Any weight on the leeward rail and the board goes right on around never missing a beat no matter what kind of chop there is. I sailed the 105 down to a 4.7 and it never really felt too big for me. The 95 or 85 probably would have worked better on those days but I never felt like I needed to change boards which was surprising based on the amount of float it had in the ocean on the light days. The top end speed was adequate enough. I hate being passed and typically if Im in the sound I'm on race gear so it felt slugglish compared to the race gear I'm used to but I was still passing everyone who wasn't on race gear. The footstrap placement is closer to the centerline which great reduces the speed potential you have with this board. Being over the center line mgives you much more control and makes it much easier to jibe though.
For anyone looking for an all around light to moderate board I would highly reccommend the 105 Helix. While it doesn't do anyone thing "GREAT" it will preform very well in a variety of conditions especially if you play around with the fin set ups. If you don't believe me come demo one for yourself and see just how versatile it is.
Sunday, March 05 2017
We have had an unseasonably warm winter here with some great SW wind. I think we have sailed more here this winter than the past 3 combined. More warm SW wind in the forecast for next week as well. This time of year is absolutely beautiful when we have these types of weather patterns. If you can get here its well worth it as the off-off season rates are great and there are absolutely no crowds. The water temps in the sound always stay close to the air temp but even the ocean temp this winter is way way warmer than normal. There have been quite a few days lately with ocean water temps near 70 degrees. We don't have regular hours in the store yet as there isn't enough people here to justify being open but we are around the store most days. If you do get here for this weathe rand need anything give us a call or email and we can open the store no problem. All the 2017 gear is set to arrive in the next 2-3 weeks so come on down and get a jump on the 2017 season.
Monday, October 24 2016
Its that time of year again when we sell off all our demo gear. We still have a decent selection of Ezzy Sails & Masts, Simmer Boards & Booms. Click Here or give us a call or email before they are all sold. You can't find deals like this on barely used gear.
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Friday, November 13 2015
We got a 2016 Simmer FreeMove 110 in the other day to test out and we have had some pretty good conditions lately to give it a go. The first day I sailed it was with the 2016 Ezzy 6.5 Cheetah. I couldn't have picked a better combo as the sail was perfectly balanced with the board. It was a nice 18-22mph NE day. There was more wind in the morning so quit a bit of left over chop which was good to see how it would affect such a wide board. The first thing I noticed when I jumped on the board was just how wide it really was. It is probably the widest board I have ever sailed. I immediately thought it was going to bounce like hell in the chop. I was very surprised to see it cut right through the chop like a much narrower board. I believe the short length helps as it can fit better inbetween the chop and not bounce from once piece to the next. It also has a pretty good amount of Vee forward to help cut through it rather than absorbing it with the full width of the bottom. The Vee tapers out to just a slight touch running off the tail with helps to keep that smooth ride under your feet as well. The vee also allows to board to get over on a rail easily and it turns on a dime. The continuous outline curve and short length give it a very tight radius turn and there is just enough tuck in the rails to make it prtty smooth throughout the turn. The thinner rail profile also allows sucha big volume board to sink the rail in the turn so it holds in even in those over powered gusty transitions. Usually when adding all these features to a board it become dog slow but it has a very flat fast rocker line that allows it to get up and plane almost effortlessly. It is very fast off the wind but with the continuous outline curve you lose the ability to drive the board up wind with top end speed. It goes up wind well just not with that extra gear that you would find in a straighter outlined slalom or race board. That said 90% of windsurfers arent looking to race to an up wind mark so for the average sailor this is going to be a GREAT all around light to moderate wind board. For me being 225-230lbs the sail range for this board would be from 7.5 down to about a 6.0 or maybe even an under powered 5.5. Obviously a light weight sailor would use bigger sail sizes. The couple things that stood out on the board was first the grip of the textured deck. It is far and away grippier than any other production board I have ever sailed. It reminds me of our custom boards which you never ever slipped on. The other thing was that stood out was the construction. It's not the lightest board on the market but it feels very solid and substantial like it's going to last more than a couple seasons. We have noticed alot of the production companies lately have been chasing the lightweight boards to the point where the boards feel almost fragile while sailing them. You feel every chatter and the boards almost start flexing under your feet as you sail. This is definitely not the case with the Simmer. It is rock solid and smooth under your feet. I had it set with the furthest out and back footstrap setting trying to get the most speed possible out of the board. There are a variety of hole settings thattcan move you much further forward and closer to the center line which would make the board even easier to turn. Overall for the class of board I would rate this one a 95 out of 100. A good solid A. This class of boards is meant for the intermediate to semi advanced sailor that wants an EASY board to sail that has some top end speed but more so turns and sails like their smaller volume boards. The 2016 Simmer Free Move nails this category and there isn't much I can see after the first few times sailing it that they could do better for this type of windsurfer. I would strongly reccomend trying one if you are interested in a "Free Move" board range in the 100-120 Liters.
Wednesday, November 04 2015
Now that the season is starting to wind down here we have some free time to start working on some projects for 2016. With all the hype the "weed wave" fins have gotten the last few years we decided to build one that will actually help you turn better while still being able to shed the grass. Back in the 80's we designed the first real weed fin. The grass has always been in Pamlico sound and as soon as we started windsurfing there we knew regular designed fins just weren't going to work. We spent many of night hand foiling prototypes from True Ames that were over nighted to us to test. We were constantly trying to find the steepest angle possible that would still shed the grass. We finally found that a progressive angle is the only way to get a fin to shed the grass and not be terrible to go up wind, jybe or even just straight line sail. We start with a shallow angle at the base of the board where the worst flow of water is. It is also where you encounter the most grass. Once you get the grass moving you can go to a steeper angle as you have much better water flow to the fin. The steeper the fin the more effecient it is. If you ran the same angle at the tip of the fin all the way to the bottome of the board it would bee too steep and the eel grass we have here would not shed. One blade of grass catching on your fin and it is almost impossible to plane through your jybes. These abgle we came up with years ago are the steepest you can go and still shed the grass. Most of the "Weed Waves" you see either have too steep of angles and dont' shed the grass when its bad so they arent really a weed fin just a bad wave fin. Or some of them have shallow enough angles with a bunch of tip sweep at the tip which puts a big portion of the fin behind the tail of the board. All this does is create drag and move your pivot point further back which makes it harder to turn than a regular weed fin. In either case they don't work. We decided to try and make one that actually sheds grass and will turn better than a regular weed fin. Regular weed fins are going to be faster and more efficient upwind but these should turn a little better and be a bit more forgiving for the "average" sailor in flat water. They will be a great option where you actually have weed in the surf as well. We are still in the process of testing some protypes but we should have something finished and available for spring 2016. Here are pics of the first prototypes. As you can see the tip sweep isn't any further back than our regular cut of weed which has worked for years. The tip of the fin shouldn't be any more that about 4 1/2" inches fromt eh end of a power or tuttle box. Any further than this the tip will be behind the tail of the board doing nothing for you.