I feel like it's 2004 all over again. Back then I tried a 92l JP Freestyle Wave for the first time. The new type of board just amazed me and I was hocked. I still regard the 92/ 93 JP Freestyle Wave as one of the best all round boards on the market. It was like it brought fun back into windsurfing.
Fast forward to 2010. JP has released the brand new 2011 99L JP Single Thruster (gee that's a mouth full). For me this board has delivered for wave sailing what the Freestyle Wave did for Bump and Jump. It has brought the fun back into wave sailing. The 99 Thruster planes early, gets some good speed and once you get on a wave it's a dream. My weight is currently well on the plus side of 100kg. (Damn you Coopers for making such awesome beer). I am 6.4 so even in a good year (where Coopers doesn't make much money on me) I rarely manage to keep my weight much below 100kg.
On the first couple of sessions I wasn't so sure about the volume of the board. Turns out I had both the foot straps and mast base too far back. Once I had corrected that by moving everything further forward the board trim changed dramatically and overall the board felt more floaty. I have now used the board in 10 knts with a 6 meter sail right down to being overpowered in 35 knts with a 5.4 . The board worked flawless in all those conditions and never felt too big or too small.
Most of the board volume seems to be further forward than what you see in other large volume wave boards. The result is that when you sail out in sub-planing conditions you almost pop over the whitewater.
The 2011 fin range seem to be a huge improvement compared to what they used to sell with their boards. In the past I wouldn't even bother with the stock fin in the Freestyle Waves. I almost always managed to get a much improved performance out of the board using a fin from a different company. With the fins that come with the 99 Thruster they actually seem to get it right. I will try a different fin setup when I get a chance but to be honest if the board performs any better than it does now I'd be freaky.
Just as in last couple of years the foot straps are comfy. To be honest I had a look at the 2011 Fanatic straps and they look strangely similar in the way they are cut and function. I am guessing both brands shop from the same factory.
The deck pads are comfortable and gone is that foam piece JP logo near the mast based that use to fly off after a few sails anyway.
I the only think I can't figure out is what JP was thinking when they decided to put a full length decal sticker on the bottom of the board. Is this supposed to increase the performance of the board or is it just for looks? Not sure how easy this make any repairs.
Most JP dealers in Australia now have the 2011 Thruster range in stock. I'm guessing the 99 will be a big seller for them. If you get a chance go to your local shop and try out a demo. But be warned you might not want to return it. Thanks Werner Gnigler for bringing the fun back into windsurfing for me... once again.
Windsurf and Snow have a 99 and 83 on demo... plus I'm guessing Windsurfing Perth and SHQ in Melbourne will also have Thrusters on demo.
Any updates on ya 99 thruster in the surf ?- checked one out the other day and I must say I likeee
Cheers for that - sounds like it could take the place my 104 freewave and the 92 twinnie- certainly sounds like a good allrounder for our less than good wave conditions.
Only problem is all the new gear comes out when our prime wave season is over - got to wait till next autumn before we get waves - have you stuck a 25 / 26cm fin in and used it for B&J?
I guess that waiting till the end of the season could back fire. I was going back and forth about getting a 92 Quad last season... in the end every single store was out of stock and there haven't been any used ones on the market.
I haven't tried a single fin setup yet. Mainly because I don't have a US box wave / freeride fin in that size. All my fins are powerbox. The speed of the board is pretty awesome despite the tree fin setup. I have a feeling Werner Gnigler took a lot of what he learned from the RWW, Twin, FSW boards and tried to merge that in the 99 Thruster.
As far as replacing a 104 l Freewave for it I think you are talking two different beasts really. The Freewave in my opinion is really more freeride oriented. The Thruster really wants wave but will still be fun just doing chop riding. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is that the board really can be fine tuned quite a bit by playing with the foot strap positions, mast base position. More so than any other wave board I have used before.
I had a chance to try the 93L version of this board on the Weekend and I gotta say that I agree with everything stehsegler says. This is one sweet board that's a lot of fun to ride.
The board was just smooth everywhere, easy to plane with plenty of drive and nice and slashy - made me feel like a pro in my gybes (even though it probably didn't look that way from the beach ). It also felt quite balanced and easy to slog with my 90 or so kg's.
I tried it in bumpy flat water only and it felt like a very good B&J board, but much looser than my FSW. Even though it's not quite as fast as my FSW I'd happily trade it for this board.
It even worked with my grunty 6.2m freerace sail with winds gusting from 15-30 knts. This is definitely a board I would like to spend a bit more time on, especialy in the surf, it would be perfect board for my gumby wave riding skills.
Waiting4wind, I confirm everything you have said. I bought my 93L about a month ago (I weight around 75kg's) and absolutely love the board. It turns so well and precise, and always feels balanced when doing bottom turns and top turns. I was up in Gerroa a few weeks ago and gave it a good few sessions and was very impressed by it. Its my new big board for the light days.
Actually my comment about the 6.2m Freerace sail didn't come across correctly. What I was implying was that I didn't think the board would cope with the grunt of the sail in that wind range...but it did.
My favourite Wave sail is my Alpha 5.8, might have to try an atlas then! On of the great things I love about the Alpha is that is has power but will twist off for a good top end and or it works under sheeted when it really honking.
I'll be keen to hear how the Atlas handles overpowered.
Waiting for some wind and waves this weekend .
Looking forward to the 99 thrusters debut!!
I have now managed to sail the 99 Single Thruster in a variety of conditions and must say I am just blown away by it's versatility. For a heavier rider it easily handles 5.8 right down to 4.5. I used it with a 6.2 but find there is little advantage over a 5.8. Also tried a 4.2 on it. It works but it isn't really ideal due to the width of the board.
This really is the perfect heavy rider board for East Coast ocean sailing. It's put the fun back into windsurfing for me.
Rode the 99l thruster over 3 sessions over the weekend and must say it feels pretty damned good - 90kg with a 5.6 Severne S1 sail (probably should have gone bigger as all the 70-80kg's were on the same size sails)
Conditions were less than ideal 12-23knt gusty cross/cross off with a reasonable current running across the break at one of the spots.
I won't be as glowing as Stehselgers reviews but on a wave it felt so much like the 92 twinnie except I did get some spin out on two dodgy choppy cross onshore bottom turn which I don't recall on the twinnie - it may have been technique on my behalf - as this tack is my least favourite wave riding side. I didn't spin in the cross off when bottom turns on the bigger ones (head high) that were a little smoother late Sunday evening (where was everyone best sail I had)
If you normally ride a freewave in gusty 15-20 knt conditions the thruster will take more work to get planing and stay upwind on the 23cm fin set up but planes earlier than my previous 92 twinnie. It seems to plane off the tail rocker and I felt like I needed to jump on the tail to pop it out on a gust and then it flew - it can be a bit of work when your used to an easy planing freewave board.
Once you have some steady wind and enough to plane it feels great. I tried it with the 23cm fi it came with - and as long as your well powered its great but lacks some lift to get you going early. I tried a 24cm MFC FPT fin which imporved the early planing but didn't feel anywhere near as good on a wave and may have been the reason for the spin out.
My Verdict -
Feels unreal on waves (from dozen or so I hade over the weekend - want a whole lot more now), nice sharp bottom turns, great cutties (especially with 23cm fin) and has great float to get out when plodding. Nice through the chop and feels relatively quick for a wave board but definately slower than my 104 Fanatic.
has great potential as an all rounder but you will need a bigger fin for flat water B&J (a 26 -29cm freewave) with a 6.0+ particularly in gusty conditions.
I wouldn't sell you freewaves just yet - but we will see how things pan out over the summer.
i had a go on the 93lt version with a 4.7m combat wave in 30-40knots bump and jump.
being 105+ kg my first impression was that the tail is a little on the narrow side for bump and jump which also slowed down it's early planing potential. probably fine for real wave sailing but that was my impression. after reading stegs comments about moving the straps forward i wish i had of done that as it prob would have made a difference. i felt the same as him the trim wasn't right and i can see how moving forward would fix that.
i was impressed with the board. very impressed. the widow maker setup to me was on the money, there was plenty of grip yet the board still felt loose. i didn't notice any drag with the fin setup either. something rare with 3 fins. if you had the confidence to let the board run through the swell, chop it tracked very well.
the board felt fast, and turned very very sweetly.
the area where i felt the board didn't perform excellently was in very rough close together chop. there was a tendency to bounce out which combined with a loose feeling board made me feel very uncomfortable. could also be that i was running an oversized sail.
my amateur thoughts are it needs a little more v up front.
but when sailing through well spaced chop with fairly smooth faces it was a blast! easily controlable and very slashy and straight back on the gas when straightened up.
yes, the back foot pressure became very noticable which unfortunately just accentuates the problem. to me this will prevent it from being a superb bump and jump board in those types of conditions. to be honest i don't think it was designed for those types of conditions so is somewhat unfair.
i've currently got a 72cm wide widow maker and a 62cm wide single fish that don't suffer this same problem so i'm not fully convinced it's the width in this case.
usually, adding side fins helps high wind control and extends the boards usable wind range, so again i'm not sure it's that either.
i'd look more towards a couple of other areas maybe.
first place, set the centre fin further apart from the tri fins.
1. stock centre fin is too short for lit up sailing
2. the board is too stiff for really bumpy stuff
3. board is too light for high winds
4. not enough v somewhere, either up front or in the tail, more likely up front
5. too narrow tail making the board less stable
6. maybe rail shapes need a tweak.
i have to say though i am being very picky. i really did think it was a great board from the get go. i just felt the bouncing comments needed to be made.
that said, i really did enjoy the board and would love to sail one again and would easily get one for myself.
Are we talking about the 99L JP Single Thruster? Maybe a JP Freestyle Wave a bit smaller would resolve almost all those picky glitch?
my comments were specific to the 93lt single thruster.
because there are reviews on the 93lt and a mention of the 75lt also in this thread.
i clearly stated in my first comment that i had ridden the 93lt. i'd GUESS that if i found the 93lt to bounce out in rough stuff then the 99lt will also. reading through the previous posts i'm not the only one who felt the boards bounce a bit in roughish stuff.
I think the question regarding bouncing in short chop is pretty much the same for all early planing boards and is mainly due to the width around the mast track section.
That said, I found I can minimise it by:
- using a smaller sail (the beauty of having a floaty early planing board)
- bringing the mast track a bit forward
- try and anticipate the chop and absorb it rather than staying stiff on the board
- jibing behind the break before I hit the really bouncy section
For me this is really a none issue as I don't really like sailing in those joint shattering conditions. I have now tried the 99 Thruster in conditions from 5 to 35 knts. with sails ranging from 6.2 to 4.2. I am 6.4 and 110 kgs.
The ideal sail range for me is 5.8 to 4.7. The 4.2 works but it's not ideal. As far as waves go I have had anything from tiny ankle slappers to about logo high. Works a treat in those conditions.
I have done some direct comparisons against the Starboard Evo and JP Twinny. I find if I go out on the JP twins I have to put up a bigger sail to get the same performance and stay upwind. Not ideal once you get on a wave. As for the Starboard is fun on a wave but a bastard otherwise. It's just not fast enough for my taste.
For now I would sum the 99 JP Thruster up as follows:
An allround wave board for 100kg+ riders that want to go out in open ocean sailing conditions. It can handle onshore conditions as well as down the line sailing. You can easily handle sails from 6.0 down to 4.5 with plenty of speed in the board. The thruster setup gives you good reach to easily get upwind.
If I had to choose a single board setup this would be it. Your mileage may vary if you are sub 100kgs in weight. Perhaps take a look at the 93 or 83 liter version.
I can't make any statements on durability yet as I have only had the board for about 3 months...
As I mentioned, Windsurf and Snow have a 99l and 83l Thruster on demo. Plus the JP demo trailer currently touring the country has an 83l Thruster on board. If you run into me on any of the South Coast beaches around Gerroa or Kiama you can always have few rides on my board but I will want it back!
Nice summary - if we ever get any wind and waves again I will try some different setups.
Can't wait till winter wave conditions are back - with a good floaty wave board in the quiver I can see its gonna be long flat summer of little wind down this way
Two weeks later still no wind to try the different setups - when will this na blooooody nina piss off - highest rainfall ever in December in adelaide (probably a normal weeks rain for the east coast) - it feels like we are in Darwin - hot, humid during the day, thunderstorms in the afternoon and eveniong - bring back the Adelaide dry summer, seabreezes and gully winds please
My last post on this - sorry to add to it again
Finally third session with different set up and some steady 20+knt dead onshore wind in a inner reef lagoon and outer reef tiny waves. 5.6m S1 severne and 23cm stock fin + 10cm sides
Changed set up from centre mast track and rear / centre hole foot starps Fin slightly forward of centre - now mast track at the front and foot straps forward
Planes sweetly and easily good turn of speed and nice and loose on back hand turns and off the tops and can get some real nice sharp gybes on the wave face. I was amazed at the difference the setup made - steady wind probably helped and flew up wind
Jumps nicely but good ramps were few and far between with the onshore conditions
Amazed at how much better it felt with the new set up - just shows you have to experiment a far bit to get it to suit your riding style (or in my case lack of)
Me like - just need some decent cross off conditions
Looks like it will be the allrounder I was hoping for - and with the big fin a 6.1m it should cover even the 15-20 knt days