Other feedback on the windsurfing slalom fin KAUILA V2

Posted on May 06 2015

Dear Jean-Robert and Louis,

First I want you to remember that we've met in Dusseldorf at BOOT (see attached pictures)
We talked about your new wave fin. We talked about you sending me one for testing.
Though since BOOT my working schedule has been outrageous full and windsurfing conditions not so good. Therefore also I was not able to contact you.

But time change.

Due to his bad luck I met Robert again. We know each other quite some years and when windsurinfing together we race/slalom together and exchange windsurf technique (both sailing as hardware wise). Robert is more into competition as me, I am a competitive freeracer. In case there is wind during my spare freetime I decide where to windsurf.
My gear covers wave, slalom, speed and formula gear and I like it all.

Robert told me he is now your teamrider in NL. As he is now unable to windsurf the coming weeks, he gave me his set of fins for testing, with the request to test the MAKANI V2 slalom fins.
He knows I am skilled and analytical.
I am using C3 Sting V1 (full set from 30-50cm) and have a few Select fins (completely modified by myself - 35cm, 37, 39) and others

Last weekend we had some good windsurfing conditions and tested the MAKANI 36 and 38 V2.
Spot: Brouwersdam Seaside Blokkendam Harbour entrance
Wind: NNE - 15-22kts (estimated)
Water: light choppy sea - slow rolling waves (max 30-70cm)

I am 1.76m and 82kg (36 yrs windsurfing experience :))

Board: RRD XFIRE V6 (2014) 105 with C3 40cm Sting v1 - (also sailed my RRD 112 V3 with Sting V1 - 38cm)
Gaastra 2009 Vapor - 7.6 with 100% gold gaastra mast
Gaastra 2007 Poison - 5.8 with 100% gold gaastra mast

I sailed only the RRD 105 with the makani's.
Makani 36cm:
1e test: Poison 5.8 - RRD 105 - changed the C3 40cm to 36cm makani.
The wind was 20+kts.
The fin felt very easy, controllable and absolutely no unexpected behavior on all courses.
Deep down, "attacking" the chop from behind, the board vin combination gave me trust and control and the wind could have picked up a bit more. No fear for any spin out.
Upwind with the 5.8 was very easy and the board sailed well and controllable on the fin. Due to the sail size I could not achieve the "sixth" gear, even higher on the fin.
Acceleration was great. Compared with my C3 40cm the combination felt less rigid on the water.

2e test:
Changed sail from 5.8 to 7.6
The fin performed very well, no spin out, upwind also good. But fin missed power to really sail on the fin.
But the set was veru controllable and with this combination I achieved the highest speed of the day (±56-57kmh).
The fin did not show unexpected, dangerous behavior/spin outs. I missed a bit upwind power (although I sails already more upwind then my buddies)
You feel it slipping from time to time without losing track

Overall verdict: easy fin with a lot of potential but especially relaxed control of your combination (from deep downwind to good upwind)

3rd test: Changed fin from 36 to 38 (105L and 7.6)
Immediately I felt that this fin had more lift power, the board was higher on the water. The fin gave me trustful feeling and I pushed it deep downwind over the chop. Never had a moment of fear and wanted some extra gusts to meet the limit. (they did not come).
Half wind the fin sailed terrifically on the fin with total control ober my sailing, the board sailed higher on the fin than the 36cm did.
Also upwind the fin gave me power. It was very easy to go upwind. But it was not 100% perfect, when pushing the fin to the limit to go more upwind, without compromise to the speed, the fin suddenly can lose grip and ends up in a spin out. By releasing the back foot power and standing up again the fin refinds the grip. I assume the power on the fin becomes to much and the fin overbents suddenly
I think on flat water you won't see this behavior that unexpected. Will test it upcoming weekend, wind forecast is good.

As Robert is unfortunately unable to windsurf the coming weeks I look forward and willing to test more fins and share my experiences with your product to improve the product.
Friday 8th May we travel to south of france (Narbonne area). I am not joining defi wind, but will sail the waters and meet my friends who will join. I heard that one of you will be there too, which might be an option to meet.

To give you an idea of my quiver:
F2 - 2008 missile XS & S, SX S & XS
RRD - 2011 XFire V3 112 & 135
RRD - 2014  XFire V6 105
Starboard Formula 160 (2007)
Fanatic Wave 72L (2008) TE single fin (21-22cm)
Exocet Wave 85L (2005) single fin (22-23 cm)

Every time I sail and use the fin I will provide you with my findings. I look forward to test the fins that suit my sailing and boards.

Hope to hear from you s

Best regards,
Marius van de Leur
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