Nik Baker from Duotone and K66 came over on a super light wind day and brought the new Duotone Ventis – their super lightwind wing. He brought the Duotone 7.0 Ventis in the SLS construction and the 8.0 Ventis in the D-lab construction. We had a very light wind inside Chichester Harbour of around 8 to 14 knots. We were both riding the 5.1 Fanatic Skywing (85ltr) – I was on the Axis HPS 980 (1323sq cm ) front wing and carbon mast, while Nik was riding the new Fanatic Glide 1305 (1250 sq cm ) with an 82 Team edition mast. Nik weighs 92 kg and I weigh 84 kg.
The big deal with the Duotone Ventis wings, is that they really do work well in light winds. I had to try it to believe it and was sold on it within 5 minutes of use.
When we pumped the wings up, the first thing you noticed was the centre strut is mounted under the leading edge – there is a much bigger gap between the strut and the canopy, the Ventis also has a new longer front carbon fixed handle. Instead of battens you have an extra inflatable strut (now a 3 strut wing) which allows the design of the wing to be more compact – closer to the dimension of a 6m. Duotone have used their unique ripstop fabric on the canopy of both the DLAB and standard constructions.
What I found immediately when testing the 7.0m Ventis – was how easy it was to pump onto the plane – a couple of pumps the board just lifted off and felt exceptionally light. It felt more like a 6.0m in the way it handled. The bigger tip section seems to catch the wind and you pump the wing a fraction more off the wind and “boom” you have lift off!
We both went out on the water, shot up wind and using the harness on the bigger wing felt like a bonus to lock into the upwind tack. When you got hit by a bigger gust this turned into more speed rather than un controllable pull . The extra struts lock the centre of effort forward so there is no back hand pull or shifting of the centre of effort. Gybing and tacking was good and occasionally when the wind died through the move the tail of wing would drop. Otherwise it felt very balanced .
The Duotone 8m Ventis DLab felt the same – obviously bigger and a fraction slower to move in the turns but super light with the DLab material you get no water absorption in the leading edge which is super stiff. What I have found with all the DLabs you get more wind range in both light and stronger winds. Nik was doing the occasional air 360 and made it look very easy on the 8m wing. It was amazing to be planing in winds around 10/12 knots and under.
If you want a super lightwind wing and you are under 85 kg the Duotone 7.0m Ventis will work for you -over 90 kg the 8.0m Ventis will work. Make sure you get the pressure right when you pump up the wing and can lock off the centre struts once you got the maximum pressure.
We will have a demo wing of the Ventis at 2XS West Wittering call 01243 513077 or email email@example.com and ask for Simon .
Photo credit Jane Bassett