3 weeks ago today I received the Flysurfer Flyrace from Flysurfer UK, I was due to leave for the first stop of the BKSA race series at Redcar on the Thursday and right in the nick of time the board arrived and I assembled it.
it comes in a lot of pieces but didn’t take more than 20 mins to get it all together.
The Flyrace is the twin tip race board from Flysurfer. It is 1727mm long and 480mm wide, with a volume of 6 liters. Compare that to the latest North offering of 1864mm and 690mm wide and with a volume of 86 liters – you will understand this is quite a different machine.
I arrived in Redcar to about 6 knots dead off shore – a few guys set up and went out on North boards and 18m North Dyno rigs and they did well, the were able to ride and get some good speed up, I was on a 15m FS speed3 and unable to ride the board.
The board got a lot of attention, firstly I was the only person not on a directional, secondly I was the only person on a foil, and to say that they weren’t convinced would be an understatement. From the outset this is a board that will take practice to ride, for starters you have 6 fins and a main dagger board of *I think* 40cm. When you power you kite with your feet in the straps, you want to stand over the board but the board wants to flip you off…
I spent 30 mins trying to get up and going and each time I got flung over the front.
The next day we had 12 knots of cross off wind and I was entered for the first race – I went out 40 mins before the race to try and learn the board, I remembered what Eddy Lansink said – Push against the fin and keep the board flat and hey presto! off I went!
so say this board goes upwind is an understatement…. it truly FLIES upwind – Yesterday in 15 knots I measured myself against my flydoor and 15 and in 2 tacks on the Flyrace, I could get further upwind than in 9 on the door. I have the GPS to prove it.
In race on on the Saturday, in 10 knots I managed to get to 5th or 6th before the race was cancelled due to a lack of wind. When the wind came back I lost my contact lenses and was unable to compete that race, despite shouting at Davo for directions to the upwind mark.
I found the board very comfortable to ride upwind, it flies upwind much to the surprise of myself and others, I could point as high if not higher than the latest North 2012 board and maintain a speed of probably 30kph ( I have since got a top speed of 48kph going upwind which feels very fast!). Across the wind was tricky as you need to pull up the dagger board to about half, accelerate and hang on. Downwind was the hardest which is where I lost most of my speed and places. I think a lot of practice will be needed to get this board to go downwind fast, my best tip is get upwind faster than anyone else and then hope you stay ahead!!
In the first race on Sunday, I had started to feel good on the board. I made it through the start line pretty much on time and at the upwind mark was in 3rd in the ever increasing winds. Downwind again I lost time and a place, but on the upwind I was back to 4th racing against North team rider Callum Edge, which was a tight race and seriously exciting. On the downwind he beat me and was 2 seconds clear across the finish line pushing me into 5th. I was ecstatic! as I never even thought I would finish a race let alone do well!
All in all the board is great! Upwind is amazing and across the wind is super fast. All you will have to learn is how to ride it downwind fast and you will do well at racing. If you want a competitive board that doesn’t require tacking, this is the one for you but mark my words – you WILL have to learn how to ride it.
See more photos of the Flyboards FlyRace.