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magic Bullet 95
B&J in gusty 20 odd knots with a ka 5.3 killer. Could have used a 5.7 but still popped onto the plane easy.
My set up was a bit too stretched out. I had back strap in rear holes and mast foot too far forward. Also didn’t have footstraps set right and spacing of holes is a little wider than starboard that I’m used too – so I’ll make a couple of adjustments. I ran with a couple of mm room in the rear trim plate for starters. First impressions are:
Ridiculously smooth in the chop.
You can feel the length of the rail when you carve a jibe. It is more stable and doesn’t bounce when on rail compared to my old goya.
I was playing around pushing with my back foot halfway through jibes. Tons and tons of grip.
I’m very happy with the board. Cannot wait to get out in some cross off waves to really enjoy the rocker, rails and active trim.
I bought the 95l because I watched Matt Holder crank ridiculously tight cutbacks and nail huge stalled forwards on his Windtech last winter at Dutchies and recently at Scarborough.
I was intrigued by the longer length (245cm, 63 wide), the Active Trim Technology tail and blown away by the amazing quality of the construction of the first production boards.
I'm an older, average ability 80kg wavesailor and thought I'd give Scarborough a go with my new Windtech 95. Scarbs picks up a wave when the rest of Perth is flat, but it can be a pretty intense place to sail.
The extra board length, flat rocker with the tail un-flexed and unique fin setup combines to get planing super-quickly, so getting out against the current and fluky wind in the break was so much easier compared with my old Patrik 94.
The Windtech pops over white water easily and effortlessly glides through lulls.
First session saw 25kts+ out the back - with a 4.5m the board was super-controllable and easy to gybe - even though the sea-state was manic. Also easy to stay upwind - the fin setup (single with bonzer side fins) delivers heaps of lift.
Even in the messy onshore half-mast waves, I felt my bottom turns were more flowing and cutbacks tighter than I'm normally able to achieve - I could feel the tail flexing under back foot pressure increasing the rocker and tightening the turns. Awesome fun.
Second session the wind was even stronger. Borrowed the 85l (58 wide), with a 4.5m - even looser than the 95l (as expected) but still easily controllable and simple to ride. Crazy tight turns are just so easy.
The Magic Bullet - less rocker for early planing, speed, higher jumps and upwind ability, or more rocker for flowing turns - by changing the pressure on the tail plate. Magic.
I reckon Neil and Matt have nailed it with this design -
silver Bullet 64
A perfect day to evaluate the Active Trim Tech tail on the Windtech 64 SilverBullet - the ocean state was as crazy as it gets at Cottesloe today.
With no tail-flex, downwind runs over the meter high chop were on the edge of out-of-control - got launched and slapped multiple times.
With full tail-flex the handling was transformed, the chop felt half as big - the difference was amazing.
Could head downwind at full speed in full control and really enjoy the much smoother ride
Full tail-flex also helps the board fly upwind - it settles the board in the cross chop so you can keep the power on. Stoked.
silver Bullet 64
I have been windsurfing since I was about five years old starting on my old mans wally with a stormsail. I could only go down wind parallel to the beach about 5 metres out and then had to drag it all back up and start again. But I was stoked on the sport.
I sailed whenever the wind was up when I got a bit older and tried pretty much most sail and board brands, getting shop sponsers and doing demo days when I was around 18- 20.
I was lucky enough for Neil to build me a custom windtech back in the 90s when I was into slalom racing and competed in state and national slalom titles getting a few decent results. University, trades, a business, work and a family slowed the sailing down a lot. I still took it out about once or twice a year.
I saw the new generation of big wide boards and looking at them did not really want to be a part of it so didn’t even think of getting a new board as the old windtech would be as fast as pretty much any one out there.
As the gear started to deteriorate I started looking into what was around so I could keep sailing and saw that windtech was back up and running. Having sailed windtech for most of my sailing life I knew there was no choice.
I have always been a minimalist when it comes to gear. Having only ever having one board at a time and one or two sails.
You find that the guys with vans full of stuff spend way too much time rigging and rerigging and talking. When you can just tweak your sail and hold on. (unless your racing )
So after riding the 64 for the last six months ( only once or twice a fortnight when there is wind on the weekend) I have found that one board, one sail, a 6.2 cammed slalom, works from 12-25 knots. I weigh around 72 kilos.
It makes it easy. I cant worry about what sail to rig or what board to ride. There is only one.
The board is as fast as pretty much any other board out there. Jumps on the plane and feels super comfortable. Shoots upwind and absolutely flies off the wind.
I generally run the flex plate with close to full flex most of the time unless it is super marginal. The flex acts like the flex in your fin so you can sort of pump and get that power from the release.
The board gybes so well, having the tuck in the rails forward makes it very forgiving and then the flex in the tail gives it that pop on the way out.
So after just getting back into the sport I am super stoked to have one setup that will work 90% of the time.
I just want to go sailing again now!
silver Bullet 72
Just thought I would up date you on my Windtech experience so far.
Have been comparing it with the Fox 120 only because i have one and they both are good at rough conditions. I swapped them back and forth with the same sail in 20-25 knots with a 5.7m sail in knee high bumps. The fox is similar as far a comfort goes, but it hurt me a few times, catching the nose whilst trying to bear away. The 72 just eats the same conditions that had me on edge and crashing. That extra nose is a life saver
Was out yesterday in 15-20 knots with a Severne Gator 6.5m Most of the other guys were on race sails all around 7.8m and full on slalom boards.
After coming in they all wanted to check out the board that was matching their speed and angles going upwind with a smaller freeride sail.
The collective opinion was it cant be the sail or the sailor it must be the board. I had the rear set for max flex due to the water conditions.
I have not yet got the gybing worked out. I think im used to the pin tail on the severne and need to adjust my technique a bit.
Overall very happy, and hopefully you get some more Brisbane customers.
A video i made yesterday.
Silver bullet 64 and 72
VERDICT - I'll be up front, I LOVE these boards, they do everything they promise and more - HUGE range, efficiency, comfort, HUGE fun, and plenty fast - within days of getting the 64 I grabbed the 72 as well
ABOUT ME - 90kg, 56 yo, Melbourne based, often sailing on Port Phillip Bay - decent windsurfer but not the best out there - 41.48 knots average/44.2 peak on GPS rankings is credible but not incredible
WHY I BOUGHT WT - I have been on iSonics for years, stunning kit but I'm tired of edgy, short-nosed slalom boards in the evil PP Bay chop (head high mess in only 20 knots of breeze, hence birthplace of Severne Fox boards), with the constant pounding and need for absolute concentration or else - I went for the Silver Bullets to have more fun on the many moderate wind days in Melbourne and elsewhere
HISTORY - Neil Scheltema is Mr Windtech, the shaper who created uber-slalom boards "back in the day", very expensive, very hard to get hold of, VERY fast - he is a great innovator, and Windtech 2.0 is all about returning to the pure STOKE of windsurfing (rather than making everything about PWA podiums), with boards that deliver maximum smiles - he and his partner Matt Holder have developed 4 new designs, 2 flat water shapes and 2 wave shapes
TEST CONDITIONS - have now sailed the Silver Bullets all over the place, from open ocean to pretty flat - including PP Bay, Jervis Bay, Sanctuary Point, Lake Illawarra and Swan River
COMFORT - above all, these boards are EASY to sail - they excel in any water conditions, and handle the wildest chop/swell with comparative ease - I can sail for hours with 75% less fatigue, no BS! - no more need to take lots of recovery breaks on the beach
EFFICIENCY - very early and easy planing, just bear away a touch and off she goes with minimal pumping - amazing through lulls, they just keep going, with the ability to stay semi-planing (like a 377 raceboard) long after my power-hungry iSonics would have thrown a tantrum and stalled
FEATURES - the longer, narrower classic shapes breed the confidence to push as hard as you want - the ATT adjustable tail plate is no gimmick, it really changes the board's performance, even at a low flex setting it feels like Rolls Royce suspension, and settles the tail as you launch off the peaks into the next trough so you can go full throttle off the wind with remarkable control, then as the wind and chop increase just increase the flex - the deck shape means you sail high and dry, no more shooting spray/Velcro straps etc - the supplied Flying Objects footstraps are good quality
SPEED - the Bullets are more than fast enough across the wind, and unleash massive speed off the wind - I have already cracked 30 knots on the 64 with a 7.0 moderately powered in wild Bay chop - 40 knots is definitely achievable on a speed course, especially if you modify the tail plate to reduce the wetted area
ANGLES - you can get upwind easily, and I have sailed with Neil watching him get insane upwind angles with his prototype hybrid winged foil fins - then enjoy stunning high speed downwinders, at super deep angles
GYBING - no need for big slalom board pressures through the back foot, just engage the rail and let the board track around naturally, and if you get it right you come out as fast as you went in - my gybing is not 100%, and I'm enjoying the easy, predictable gybe which allows me to focus on improving each part of my technique
SAILS - SO versatile it's bizarre - use any sail you want, wave, freeride, freerace, and full-on slalom sails all work somehow - the 64 will take anything from about 5.0 to 9.0, the 72 anything from about 5.7 to 10.0 - it's hard to describe, but the boards work beautifully with low power sails for cruising around, as well as fully lit up with 4 cam race sails - and you can sail with about 0.5m less area than usual
FINS - again, super versatile, and happily a tuttle box - use freeride, freerace or race fins, whatever suits your sailing style or mood - and you can go about 2cm smaller than you usually would
RANGE - the Silver Bullets are about "flat" water blasting, up to 30 knot winds - plus days when it is too gusty/marginal for me to get out on small gear - plus open ocean sailing when you need the range/safety of more volume
SECURITY - even at 90kg I can uphaul a 7.8 race sail on the 64 pretty easily, so these boards will get you home when the breeze dies without warning - they are WAY easier to shlogg home off the plane compared to your short and wide designs
DURABILITY - Neil builds his boards to last- I talk to guys who still get out on their 90's Windtech carbon rockets - the Bullets come out of the Kinetic factory in Vietnam, and they demanded an even tougher build spec to avoid any warranty claims - the finish is impeccable, and they arrive ultra-packed
PRICE - the Silver Bullets are A$2800 including delivery - great value compared to A$4,000+ for slalom boards .
QUESTIONS - just contact Neil, he is really into windsurfing (even after 30+ years and '000s of boards) and will happily talk about the Silver Bullets and Magic Bullets, and about what you are trying to get from your windsurfing - how often do you get to chat to the shaper!
Thanks for delivery of the Silver Bullet 64. Please tell the elves who designed and built it, I said they can have Christmas off this year. Sorry kids!
When I first saw the Silver Bullet 64, I was not sure of what to make of it. The first demo session grabbed my attention and is the reason I persisted with your offer of extended demo. The Silver Bullet is a unique offer. There is a lot of jargon that could describe the board’s features, but I won’t go there. To my mind, the differences are in the way the board functions.
The sail I learnt with is illustrative of what this board is about. That first sail had a very narrow power band. The sail demanded concentration, energy and bodywork to keep it happy and trimmed correctly. The sail was awkward. The sail’s endless demands would burn me out quickly and shorten sessions. The shift to a modern ‘free race’ sail kept me going in Windsurfing. The modern sail was faster and seemed to do all the work, leaving me free to enjoy the situation.
Progressing to modern slalom gear, left the impression modern boards do not have the range to match modern sails. The 64 has a wide range. Anyone struggling to make a one van, one house solution work, will appreciate the 64.
I did find mojo on conventional slalom boards, but I also found my limits earlier in the envelope.
The 64 will go upwind with greater ease. Sailing upwind through a washing machine is easier, probably down to length and underside shape. The board is less inclined to slam on chop and carries momentum well. The board will burn less of your energy and focus as a result. Getting up wind to enjoy a down-winder is much less of a chore. Consequently, I feel more inclined to have a go.
It is on a down-winder that the board’s ability becomes more pronounced. In short you can run deeper, with power on, while feeling more secure in the process. Again, I feel more like having a go.
When exiting a wave downwind, a ‘conventional’ tail will kick and transmit wave energy to the back foot. The impulse force is de-stabilising effect and at some point you back off and or, you’re driven up wind. The effect seems to happen earlier for lighter riders. Being a reasonably proportioned human, I found it a revelation to run the 64 deep downwind at speed, through a random sea state. The 64’s tail seems to release wave energy in a manageable (longer) time frame. The result is stability and control.
A willingness to spend more time on the water is a spinoff of this boards range and ability. I don’t feel shattered in short order. No mouth guard is required and it won’t break an image stabiliser in a camera.
What are the 64’s limits? I found my limits on a solid 30 knot day with a 5.5 RAF sail. A cambered sail with more stability may have made a difference. Time will tell. A slalom board in those conditions is an academic exercise in any case. An 8.6 meter sail works well, which means the 64 covers my entire quiver.
Ian (Average Joe) Davis
I got hooked on windsurfing, because it was pure escapism. That feeling of being a kid, where everything is new and you are absorbed in the moment. The 64 takes me there.
More enjoyable, more often, is what the 64 means to me.
Sailing deep downwind through a washing machine is easier and I put it down to the tail. The tail is an energy management system.
Hi ho Silver- away
Today was the maiden voyage – the 64 was certainly a new experience for me – after everything is said and done – the feeling before/ during / and after was almost the exact same emotions i recently went through with a new BMW. The detail of finish, the absolute easy to use handling and the frightening realisation when you put the hammer down.
OK ,OK I am using poetic licence a bit – here’s the real deal. The wind was uncooperative, dropping from gusts of 16 knots down to 9. Rigged a 7.0m with a 41 cm fin and after a few adjustments – footstraps, harness lines, outhaul etc – well it was obvious there are some hidden gems with this beast – discounting my lack of expertise – there was a glimmer of hope that we are going to become a formidable force together!!!!
Thank you so much for a great board.
Choppy and light conditions: This is where I was having the biggest problem with my (other brand ) production boards. When you are on the plane you just keep going.
the fact that you can set the boards to be fast in light wind as well as you can set the same board to go well in High wind is Huge... for sure a game changer.
Unreal how the board just plot along over the chop. You can by foot pressure make it lift more or less depending on what you need. It does point good enough and handle the holes very well. Feel fast off the wind.
Jibe is good, board seem to accelerate good out of them as well.
The wind keeps building to what I normally would say is over powered.
Now the wind hit the 30 knot range and it was a bit wild.
Compared to my Production board the board is much faster in the mid range and light conditions. Over powered I think they both go fast but this board is easier to ride so you get less tired.
But the board stayed down and was easy to ride.
I was super impressed that it was still going as the range of these things are off the scale