20 Nov 2014

BOLT and/or ROCK

By Peter Hart

After extensive testing on his clinics, Peter Hart helps pinpoints the subtle differences between the Rocks and Bolts.

Where Tushingham has differed from other brands is that we’ve only presented you with one wave sail range. For the past 10 years it has been the much loved Rock.

 It’s our belief that a good wave sail, with a little tweaking, can be made to work in ALL conditions. I mean, say you bought a dedicated, down-the-line riding sail and you arrive at your local spot to find it howling onshore, what are you supposed to do? Go out and buy another set? Nice idea but you’re going to need a bigger van.

But we do seem to have gone back on our word with the release of the Bolt – but sort of by mistake. The smaller Bolts, 5.25 downwards, have 4 battens. Although they were designed to be ‘light in the hands’ all-round, freestyle and free-ride sails, team riders and magazine testers alike have given them a definite thumbs up for the waves. 
So which is it to be, Rock or Bolt?

I took a set of Rocks and 4 batten Bolts on my recent 6 week wave clinic tour. I used both in the same conditions. I gave them to my charges to try and now have a very good idea who they suit and in what conditions.
Here are some thoughts.

Over or under-powered?
The fifth batten of the Rock is there to support the foil and lend extra stability. So the Rock over-powers better and has a slightly wider upper wind range. I personally like that for those crazy days when the wind is unstable. I can rig a little bigger in the knowledge that I’ll plane through the lulls and be able to survive the gusts no problem – a big advantage if the sea is crazy and unpredictable.

This isn’t necessarily a big person small person thing but those who liked to sail slightly over-powered, favoured the Rocks.

With one batten less, the Bolts ‘bag out’ a little more and can generate more low end power. You can get a way with a smaller sail, which increases your manoeuvrability and allows you ‘hide’ and depower the sail more easily at critical moments during the wave ride. 

It’s not just a wave sailing issue. I gave a Bolt to a 50 kg lady, who found herself planing ecstatically with a 4.5 in 18-20 knots and with NO dead weight in her hands. The less battens you have the more information you get from a sail both visually and through feel, which again is a plus in critical situations but also for pumping and trimming in lighter winds. The pay-off is that ‘feel’ turns to instability in the big gusts. If you genuinely are going to do a lot of wave riding on proper swell often under-powered in fluffy winds, look at the Bolt. 

If you favour powered up wave sailing, the extra stability you get from the Rock, especially launching into and landing wild jumps, may suit you. 

Both the Rock and the Bolt make great freestyle sails. But if you’re genuinely looking towards new school tricks (Vulcans, Flakas and beyond) you might favour the Bolt. It’s so light in the hands that it makes you want to go for the tricks – and the mental ‘go for it’ battle is the one to win.

In Tarifa last week I was using the 5.2 Bolt on the 103 Kode in 18 knots of wind, a combo I would never have used before. For manoeuvre oriented sailing, it was magic. I handed it to a few die-hard old skoolers and they all immediately felt that a bit of popping and sliding could be on the cards!

Failure to nail even the more ‘basic’ moves – carve and duck gybes for example – is often down to nothing more than big blokes trying to hang on to too much sail. Having a go on a smaller Bolt was real light bulb moment and gave them a taste of how you should feel approaching a move.

So in summary I would say:
Don’t agonise too much – whichever one you go for, the choice won’t be wrong. Both sails work across the board. 

Talking teccy, the Rock depowers better from the leech – you can set it with more downhaul so it’s easy to oversheet get the leech to open.

The Bolt depowers better from the luff – i.e. you can spill wind instantly by sheeting out. 

Go for both! I’m only half joking. For waves most have a ‘go to’ size, especially for riding, which is generally a 5.2 depending on their size obviously. If that sail gets trashed at the beginning of the session, you’re screwed. I will always have both a 5.2 Rock and a 5.25 Bolt with me, because I enjoy the different feel AND so I have a spare. The Bolt also makes a great SUP sail.

Rock 1

Rock 1.  The Rock – super versatile in all conditions – the extra batten widens the upper wind range.

Bolt 1

Bolt 1. The Bolt – so light in the hands – it can bring a new ‘freesyley’ element to your sailing.

Bolt 3 Bolt 2

Bolt 2 and 3  Harty on a 103 Kode and a 5.25 Bolt, a big board, small sail combo he would never have got away with before.


20 Nov 2014

Ten Steps to Gybing with Harty and Whitey

The irrepressible duo is back in town combining their diverse talents to inspire you to the next level.

For those looking to crack or improve the carve gybe, this is the one. In ten chapters, it focuses on what’s really important. Excellent demos along with freezes, slow mos, graphics and an enlightening commentary, highlight the key areas. 

Harty’s instructional style is legendary, whilst Whitey is the original motivator and a huge inspiration.

Filmed professionally by Acrobat TV in full HD, this program is in a class of its own. It’s informative, clever and, as you’d expect from these two, highly entertaining. 

Here is a quick taster to whet your whistle! 

To get you hands on one of these just email windsurfing@tushingham.com


10 Nov 2014

End of Season Update

By Luke Smith

The season is finally over now in Ortakent and I’m back in the UK. It has been a super awesome season with the wind staying pretty much till the end. Even the sun hung around to see us off.

I’m back at home now waiting for a bit of autumn wind, dreading having to put on a winter wetsuit and thinking about how good working in the sun is. It made me think about what my top 5 things are working away in the water sports industry.

1. Friends
Living inland does mean that out of my mates where I live, only 1 windsurfs. When you’re working in a centre you have an endless supply of likeminded people ready to chat about windsurfing for hours and hours.

2. Improving
Obviously having strong trade winds everyday is going to improve your windsurfing, but the amount of time out in lighter winds is what really does it. Normally you are on the water for an hour or 2 in the morning in light winds and the same in the afternoon in the stronger winds. Then, factor in lunchtime and after work windsurfing and the time on the water clock soon racks up. A windsurfer will improve their windsurfing more in an hour of skill based light wind freestyle than they would in an hour of blasting back and forth. Teaching is really good as it forces you onto the water everyday in light wind as well as strong. Don’t get lazy though, just because you have 7 months of wind still means you have to make the most of everyday. The only way to improve is going out all the time and trying new stuff constantly. Oh and never, ever doing long runs of nothing!

3. Slalom
Slalom is well fun and the skills for a decent gybe filter into so much of windsurfing. The thing is, slalom is expensive. The bigger sails cost more and slalom boards aren’t cheap, so having access to slalom gear is a big bonus. In fact having access to all sorts of gear is great news for your windsurfing, if you get out and try it all. I would love to have a garage that contains freestyle, wave, slalom, freeride and freemove boards, all in different sizes with every sail size rigged too, but realistically, that’s probably not going to happen. It is if you work a season.

4. Loosing touch with the normal world
The smug feeling of superiority when somebody looks at you and confusedly asks “so you don’t watch Made in Chelsea or the X Factor?” There’s something nice about being out of England for ages. 

5. Tanning
Its hot 24/7 and lets be honest, everyone looks better with a tan!

Luke’s Last Orty Postcard – Towing Stuff from Luke Smith on Vimeo.


Team Tweets

TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
RT @JoWright592: Picked up all my new kit for the year on Saturday! Thankyou for the continued 8 years of support @TushinghamSails http://t…
10 months ago
TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
RT @BOARDS_Magazine: Team15 is amazing, read about some awesome kids: http://t.co/KwUVXXd9vF @RYASW @polkerrisbeach @StarboardWind @Tushing
10 months ago
TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
10 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
Great second day with the Techno Class Association at Queen Mary Sailing Club, everything from 70 litre wave... http://t.co/L6ASfeg1z4
10 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
RT @windsurfmag: Need a technique brush-up? Our Gurus’ comprehensive guides listed here might hold the magical key you’re looking for! http…
10 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
All seasons in one day at Queen Mary Reservoir today. Big storms but still plenty of water time, round 2 tomorrow.
10 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
The Neilson Holidays clinic are filling up fast, great to see so many returners but also some new faces.... http://t.co/QpY2MXhlr4
10 months ago