Our virtual digging continues as we bring you all the latest on just some of the hottest shapes and boards that will hit the shelves in preparation for the 2014 season. Don't forget to cast your vote below.
Much of this rather sexy looking kit you will be able to see live as we cover the first PWA wave competition of the year, the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Event, right here on boardseeker.com. We will bring you updates literally as they happen, we will have top pros join us and offer some pretty unique insights through our features, so be sure to stay well and truly tuned.
Back to topic and the 2014 boards certainly have a big Boardseeker stamp of approval. You will understand exactly what we mean when you take a closer look at the galleries below. Just like our 2014 sails feature (check it out here) we have a whole stack of images, some that have not hit the web and others that have. So take a browse and get that wish list out again as it will certainly need updating after this.
Formerly known well for their sail range (check out their latest 2014 sails here), Simmer stepped into the board market in recent years and since then have rapidly and progressively developed. Launching with some impressive designs and shapes and ensuring a tightly nit colour coordination with their sails, Simmer now produce a very cool complete package. One of their most recent releases was that of the Frugal, we got a quick quote from Ola Helenius, the Simmer board designer, about the ideas behind the Frugal -
"It's designed to open up for more variety in the top turns and be extremely reactive to sailor input. To move wavesailing more towards modern surfing. Sailing the Frugal in a small size will make it even more reactive. But that said, another purpose is to enable it to be sailed as a fun floater in light winds and slow waves. The Frugal stays agile like a smaller board. So you can enjoy both the float and power of a bigger board, but still fit it into tight spots on the wave."
Fanatic are keeping very quiet about their 2014 gear, they are well known for releasing their prototypes with little to no colour on so their top riders can get used to the gear and give their feedback for the up coming season. We've managed to track down a few pictures and judging by the looks of things their new designer Dani Aeberli has already been having a positive impact. Check out the shot of him on the HUGE new formula board. Another sexy looking brand but could they have been more wild with their designs this year or do you dig their look? Thoughts in the comments below. One last thing to point out, which those with a sharp eye may have noticed, the slot box that now appears directly under the back footstrap on the new Skate...
It is well known that Tabou and Gaastra are extremely closely linked and could the latest designs be any more revealing about such a fact. Completely off the pattern chart, Tabou, like Gaastra, have gone all out. It is by no means a disadvantage and it will no doubt appeal to many but does it appeal to you?
Now we don't want to be picking any favourites but the look of the new Starboard range is very appealing to the eye. The sleek but subtle colour addition with the cross-over fade effect is perhaps the perfect progression for Starboard and their 2014 range. We certainly give this a massive thumbs up and can't wait to see them in the flesh, but are we perhaps jumping the gun and/or being too over the top? Tell us below.
Another to pull out all the stops is RRD. For those who read our 2014 sails feature will have noticed already that their graphics went pretty wild this year, a good wild or a bad wild is certainly down to personal preference. We kinda like it, but how can they make it suit the boards? Just take one look at this gallery and you will see. Do you 'kinda like it' also?
From what we recall Quatro were one of the first to implement, or should we say re-implement the slightly wild colour schemes to their boards through bold print and graphical layouts. Having initially done that they seem to have stuck with it but not progressed too much, perhaps that means they have been spending a little more time on the shapes themselves, which can by no means be of any disadvantage. What do you think? More colour please or back to basics?
Now if there is one brand that has simply not put too much into their actual design development in recent years, it is Patrik Diethelm. This really can mean only one thing, every new development is 100% about improving the ride for you the windsurfer. Again this really isn't anything negative but is it about time Patrik substitute in some colour or are the boards just too damn sexy to warrant any change? Should other brands follow suit?
JP have proudly pushed the straight parallel line design for years now, a trend that many will automatically associate to this brand, especially when combined with a touch of grey colour. However, things are beginning to change a little, take a closer look at the JP freestyle... This brings up the debate that is it important for a brand to keep their brand image through colour and design or should they throw less caution to the wind and enhance the image with more drastic steps?
Also alongside Quatro in the early re-implementation of slightly more 'patterned' boards, Goya have continued a little further into this for their 2014 collection with bright bold colours as a background to their familiar graphical prints. Another one we like and cannot wait to see in the flesh, just imagine the photos and reaction of the non-windsurfing population on a grey European day as one of these launches through a pushloop into forward at places like Sylt and Klitmoeller. Have Goya got it completely spot on this year?
A brand that remains a little quiet in the ranks is Exocet, however with a dramatic push in their designs this year will they explode onto a beach near you, what do you think? Again we are kinda into this but are we getting carried away after seeing so many new toys?
No matter what your answer is to any of the above questions the fact that windsurfing equipment is becoming much brighter and bolder in their graphics remains true. Only Patrik Diethelm stick with their single timeless look. One thing we can be sure of is that the look is not what it is all about these days. Material development is ongoing and each brand strives to find the next super product to make their boards that bit stronger, that bit lighter, so that you can obtain the optimal performance from your investment. Then you begin to understand why windsurfing boards are worth their weight in gold. From the drawing board to your feet is a long winded process but one that is essential to ensure one satisfied user. Dig up that wish list again and write down your favourites because your local shop will be stocking very very soon...
If you enjoyed our galleries then please take a moment to cast your vote for what boards catch your eye the most. Bright and bold or simple and sexy? You tell us your thoughts in the comments below and you can be sure that some of the brands will also be reading in anticipation...