Windboarding – windsurfing on snow

We received information from company SWIFT Sport about windsurfing gear they produce. Here it is:

Windboard is a new type of a device for windsurfing on snow, developed by Czech company SWIFT Sport. Thanks to a range of original construction elements it offers excellent ride characteristics.

• Constructionally, the windboard itself is derived from a common snowboard, but it has several differences. These are mostly the overall size and shape and also the profile of deflexion and hardness. The windboard is equipped with a standard mast track, which offers various positions for the attachment of the sail within a 12 cm range. It is optimized for the use of sails with a surface area from 3.5 m2 – 7.5m2. For the attainment of optimal trimming you can use also fins in various format, which are simple to change, based on current snow type.

• The next important component of the equipment is a rider’s deck. It can be attached or secured to the board in three optional positions. The securing mechanism has a safety function. The deck can detach from the board in the event of a fall. We have made two different deck types:

Firstly it is a “classic” version with WS foot straps. It allows free movement of feet, what offers performing many maneuvers and allows easy start or getting up in case of a fall.

The seccond type is the patent protected swivel deck with bindings. Tests and trials have shown that for riding on snow it is useful to have a much firmer contact with the board than is offered by foot straps common in windsurfing. This was already discovered by Jake Burton who in the early times of snowboarding was the first to use improvised bindings and was able to reach much higher stability and maneuverability of the snowboard. During rides with a sail we also need to change the orientation of posture during turns where the requirement for stability is highest. If in the middle of a carving turn you step out of the foot straps to change feet, it is really difficult to keep the board under control. This is why we have developed the mentioned swivel deck with bindings which offers a sufficiently firm contact with the board. The deck is equipped with a turning brake, which locks it in the set position, but you can release it at any time and turn over to a new position, where it is once again automatically locked. All this can be done in the fraction of a second and at full speed. For swivel deck we use the FLOW type binding with backward step-in system, which offers very easy and quick entry. This option requires the use of soft SNB boots.

No matter of the used deck type, this is the way of riding: if the board is flat on the snow, the fin is used, which optimizes the position of the lateral force, the board goes straight, but can be controlled by tilting the rig. When we tilt the board, the fin more or less rises above the snow and at the same time the edge comes into play by carving a turn, whose radius we can control by the tilt of the board. It is possible to do a jibe in a radius under 10 meters. Windboard allows a high speed ride and execution of radical maneuvers, and many freestyle tricks. It is designed for riding on snow, or on ice covered by a snow layer at least 3 cm thick.