PROJECT X – FLIKKA ‘BOX OF GOLD’ PART 1
For a while I’ve been thinking about a board that really would fulfill my demands in light wind conditions. A few months ago I sold my Quatro Quad LS95, a superb board which I’ve been using the last years with lots of pleasure. But it was time for a change! Last January I visited the Boot fair in Düsseldorf and saw this Black Box concept from Starboard.
For a long time I was already thinking about a concept like this. Several other brands already came out with a extreme short board as well. Finally there is a production version coming out. But going from a quad ls 95L back to a 87L BlackBox didn’t sound very logical to me, although they (Starboard) claim it to be a light wind board. I’m sure the BlackBox does plane quick, but the float in my opinion stays put on 87L. On minimal days I do almost sink on a 95L and having a light wind board with 8 litres less on volume will not do the magic trick for me. I already have a 75 & 85 litre quad for the windier days… but would love to have a rocking light wind waveboard! I wanted a board that actually floats when the wind suddenly dies on me, planes quicker then I can get into my harness, turns on a dime, has a light construction and is feeling loose and snappy! A bottom/rocker-shape that is perfect for our NASTY DUTCH MUSHY, everything but perfect waves along the Dutch coastline.
Yeah… where to find such a board? I got in contact with the boys, Luka and Janez, from Flikka custom boards
in Slovenia. Luka, the shaper, very much liked the idea of building me such a fully customized board.
I wanted it to be very short, wide but not extremely wide, a slightly inverted fishtail (not shown on this picture yet) and yet, quite important… push 103 litres into this concept! Yeah… and make sure it still has very thin rails in the tail area! What do you think? See picture below.
Check out the outline… its stunning! I censored the Cad a bit, if you don’t mind…
Thickness: We pumped up the thickness off the board I guess, in the middle section. Let the width/outline of the board increase further over the masttrack into the nose area and round it of in a fishy pointy nose! Yeah… the way I LIKE! A windsurf board looking like a fish short surfboard.
Straps/stance: I wanted to play a little with the settings of the straps. Normally you can choose a strap stance between 42-46cm. I personally like to have a wider strap stance. It gives me better control over the board. I can lean more into the wave face while bottom turning. I took measurements from my favourite strap stance on my other two Quatro wave boards. A wide stance it is, so I opted for 46cm and 47cm. The front strap has just one insert option and back in the tail area the strap has two insert options. The back strap is placed quite far back towards the tail and insert-option two even further. Two screws on each side of the foot strap, making sure it would get loose.
Single, twin, tri, thruster or quad; A very wide twin fin setup with a trailer fin in the centre it is. This should make the board feel loose and turn like crazy! Three slot boxes, the center/trailer fin as well (instead of a US box). It saves a bit of weight too. The side boxes are placed ‘toe’ and as far as possible towards the rail. This setup should make the board very manoeuvrable. In my opinion even more loose compared to a quad setup.
Fins; Probably placing two Maui Ultra Fins X-Twins 16.5cm in the side boxes and in centre a Maui Ultra X-Twin 14.5cm. But I’ll try for sure more fin combinations, just to play with the concept and figuring out what works best. The fin-setup mentioned above is going to be the one to begin with.
Bottom shape: As the board is quite short and wide, it’s not going to be the fastest waveboard on the market (read: slow). That’s why it comes with a fast waverocker to keep up the speed as much as possible and gives it better planing capabilities. A mono concave into double concave bottom for the last 50cm of the board into a V in the tail. Combined with the typical Dutch strong currents & side/onshore wind conditions, I think this bottom shape should do the trick.
Sailrange: 5.0m2 as a minimum to a maximum sail size of 6.2m2. The 5.0m2 is the sail size where I eventually switch boards to a 85Liter quad.
Square, swallow, pin, fish, keelquad, diamond, zippytail… What do I choose for my full customized Flikka?
As it’s a real lightwind board I didn’t want the cut out to be much inverted to the back strap. As you can see here on the picture above its a square tail but rounded slightly inverted – fish tail. The rails around the tail stays very thin eventhough 103 liters have been pumped inside this piece of gold.
Why would I go for custom made, if I can go for production. Check out all the extra (white) dyneema reinforcements in the nose area and beside the mastrail, bombproof!
The area where the footpads are going to be placed looks like it has nice reinforcements as well. Soft decks are history! Can’t wait to abuse the board on the water sometime soon.
Trust me, the best is still yet to come!