Patrik (Diethelm) Windsurf Boards are causing quite a stir at the moment. Owned, engineered and manufactured by one of the stalwart shaper/riders of the past few years (Patrik Diethelm), Patrik Boards look striking with their brushed white carbon livery and suggest blistering performance levels that will guarantee to transform your sessions from lame snail pace ‘burn and turns’ to full power super charger heaven race fests.
Patrik Slalom 122 – pic Steve Barrow
I managed to get hold of the Patrik Slalom 122 2013 to see if this turbo stick lived up to expectations.
I must admit I’m a sucker for a simple looking white board. Funky graphics are cool but there’s something about the minimalist approach that appeals to me. Patrik Boards take this one step further by finishing their designs with the biax – carboxylic material poking through the top coat which, in my book, makes for a super sexy looking piece of kit.
Pic courtesy Steve Barrow
Coupled with high end detailing – such as well engineered footstraps and ruler edged lines on the fin box and mast track – the finished result is an awesome looking bit of kit.
Unfortunately the attached price tag does reflect this. At around 1500 of your hard earned (without fin), some may balk. Having to take out a second mortgage to afford such a machine could be an instant turn off?
Wind in the UK is a fickle beast and during the testing of the Patrik Slalom 122 the breeze was being rather shy. However, the Patrik Slalom 122 was still forced, kicking and screaming, into the drink and with gusts around the mid-teens was put through its paces.
The water was uber flat and buttery with minimal chop – a rarity for my home spot of Hayling Island.
On the water
The Patrik Slalom 122 is extremely lightweight (6.9kg). The flat rockered profile and width (77cm) of the board suggest the Slalom 122 should be heavier than it actually is, but not so. Even after having slotted a performance race fin into the box, the featherlike nature of the board remained intact.
After beach starting and heading out the Patrik Slalom 122 powers up immediately on hitting a gust. Like a truffle hunting bore it hunts down that puff and keeps on wanting to accelerate, constantly pushing the accelerator to the floor but without needing to be reined in.
If your sail doesn’t quite have the drive of a high performance slalom foil then you may have to push against the fin to aid release – it’s important to partner the Patrik with a high end sail, anything less with leave you with so much potential completely unfulfilled. The board wants oomph and freeride rigs just won’t cut the mustard.
Pic courtesy Steve Barrow
Once up to speed the Patrik Slalom 122 is a full on power hungry speed machine. Even when faced with a degree of watery turbulence the air smooth cushioned feel makes for a composed ride and at times you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re sailing a freeride stick. Survey the scene and check your speed in relation to other sailorsand you’ll then see the needle is indeed registering in the red. When sailing the Patrik you just have to remember to pick your head up and smell the coffee.
I was surprised by how smooth the Patrik Slalom 122 was to gybe. The initial plan shape of the board suggests that going round bends may be a little stiff and technique orientated – not so.
Cranking the Patrik into a full power turn is a breeze with the board cutting through chop like a knife through butter. Riders will obviously need the correct skills under their belts to full throttle out of the exit but with the right technique it’s relatively easily to power through your gybe in preparation for your next full power run.
With its flat deck and superb stability, tacking the Patrik Slalom 122 is relatively easy, but to be honest, with a pedigree slalom machine like this, forget slow corners – sending it into full power laydowns is where it’s at!
With the world class slalom pedigree that Patrik Diethelm Boards possess the Patrik Slalom 122 is a thoroughbred stallion race horse.
Good early planing capabilities, when paired with a foil of similar performance, the Patrik 122 Slalom offers world beating performance that’s accessible for non pro sailors.
A great top end speed, achieved with comfort and composure (so much so that you could miss it if you blink), and gybing capabilities that are more freeride than slalom, if you’re looking for a blisteringly quick summertime drag racing stick, or board to take you to the top of the podium, then you’d do a lot worse than grabbing hold of one of these beauties.
(Worthy of extra note is the comfort of the Patrik footsraps – some of the best I’ve used in a while.)
Patrik boards are currently doing the rounds on the demo circuit in the UK so if you get the chance to have a bash then take the opportunity – you’ll be glad you did.