Olympic inclusion guaranteed - Neil Pryde RS:X Convertible

"In the lighter winds, sailors will opt for the foils, getting up and
flying in winds around 5 knots, which is far more exciting than watching
an RS:X in sub planing mode!"
Only a couple of years ago, Windsurfing was doomed. Kiteboardboarding was selected for the Olympic Sailing Program, and the worlds sailors were booking in kite lessons like there was no tomorrow. A few months later, Windsurfing was back by the skin of its teeth, thanks to strong campaigning from Neil Pryde himself, and enormous industry support. After almost losing the fight, Neil Pryde (the company) knew it had to do something, and this week at the 2016 World Windsurfing Championships in Eilat, Israel, they showed the world.

It’s a mind-blowingly simple idea, when you consider what else is happening in the world of sailing, and it might just save the sports Olympic future. They call it the RS:X Convertible, and it’s a little 120L formula board, with a state-of-the-art hydrofoil underneath.

Dubbed a convertible because it can also be ridden with a single fin like a formula board can now, the one design board looks seriously slick. Decked out in all black, or green and white for the RS:ONE Convertible option, the RS:X Convertible has the kite-foil style main wing, with a fuselage and stabilizer mounted on a mast around 1m long. There’s no centerboard, because lets face it, centerboards are so 1985…

It’s thought that the convertible idea came about to give sailors options in very strong winds, where foils lose their efficiency. Swapping out to a conventional fin will turn these boards into mini formula speedsters, which contrary to the current RS:X boards, look like a blast to ride!

In the lighter winds, sailors will opt for the foils, getting up and flying in winds around 5 knots, which is far more exciting than watching an RS:X in sub planing mode! Already windsurfers are tacking and gybing completely on foils, so give them 8 years of training and the standard will be at Olympic level for sure.

Will this new board from Neil Pryde be the kryptonite to kiteboarding’s Olympic dreams? Prototype boards will be hitting the water soon, and we'll find out.