Vietnam: Starboard testing in Muine

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Nothing stays the same in the sport of windsurfing. Companies are always pushing every year to discover the latest shapes and designs to keep their products at the top of the game. Test locations are chosen based on their wind and water conditions, so it’s no surprise that one of the leading windsurf board developers “Starboard” chooses Jibe’s Beach Club Mui Ne to bring their new ideas and concepts in to reality.

This year’s secret testing was headed as usual by Remi Villa and his team of Pro Windsurfers Tristan Algret GPE 44, Gonzalo Costa Hovel ARG3:As head of the racing department at Starboard, Remi Vila is constantly looking for an edge that will make his hugely successful I-Sonic (Slalom Board) just that little bit quicker than the rest. Once out on the water the test team is not difficult to spot, just look for the largest camber sails cutting through the wind at the most astonishing speeds; camber sails are usually the weapon of choice as the test team tries to achieve as much power from the wind as they can.

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Mui Ne winds did not disappoint, giving some great conditions for the team to work their magic. Board after board was taken out to be put through its paces, results collected and then the fine tuning starts. Each board is passed over to the man with the fine tuning skills X; known locally as “The Ninja”, I presume due to all his protective clothing. As he busily sets to work mixing the latest resins and compounds, making the finest of changes to the board design which can result in major aquadynamic effects. The skills needed to achieve this are unobtainable to most.

These test sessions attract the attention of local high level riders eager to catch a glimpse of what will soon be available to buy, but a strict no camera policy is adopted so as to keep and latest designs and ideas far from the competitor’s eyes. To see the whole testing and shaping process is certainly something to watch and gives the average windsurfer an idea of the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into each board.
Testing is now completed for 2018 I-sonic but if you want to catch a glimpse of what Starboard has planned for their next releases then come to visit around November/December but please remember no cameras allowed.

Text and photo: Pascal

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