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KONA positioning -

The KONA Style and KONA One (same board, different years) offer performance and fun over a very large wind range.

 It is worth looking at longboard comments in the press, and think about them. There is an article in Windsurfing USA (August 2007) about "Light Air Options", and it is about as misleading as it can be. The article mentions the Exocet Kona only as "a similar crossover lonboard as Tabou Windstyler" in a footnote. They present various light air options: longboard ("I want to cruise - and plane"), hybrid and light-air shortboarding ("I want to plane").

The Windsurfing US position the "longboard" essentially in the box of "90% subplaning", "for sailors who want to have fun on the water no matter how light the wind is". This is probably true for some of the traditional (Pacifico) or specialized longboards (Serenity, a reborn div 2, maybe better than the old boards) in the market. It seems as if they haven't yet understood (has anyone told and showed them?) that the non-traditional Kona longboard actually is a planing hull (i.e. light air shortboard) with light air performance on par with any longboard?

Longboard characteristics.

  • "Who it's for: Sailors who want to have fun on the water no matter how light the wind is".
  • What it isn't: A shortboard that feels loose and lively underfoot - carving and footsteering are not the primary thrills of sailing a longboard.
  • Alternatives include the Tabou Windstyler, the Mistral Pacifico and the Starboard Serenity.

My comment: BUT the Kona is loose, lively and fast.

On the other hand, they assign all the attributes relevant to the Kona to the group of "Hybrids".

  • "Hybrids look to offer fun cruising while offering shortboard planing thrills more readily than traditional longboards"
  • Who it's for: "Sailors who want to cover a range of conditions with one board; families who want a board versatile enough for racing, recreational sailing and teaching."
  • "What it isn't: "A speedster in either light air cruising mode or planing mode"

My comment: BUT the Kona is a speedster BOTH in planing and light air modes

On the subject of "Light-air shortboards".

  • It offers high speed planing, jibing thrills and a loose, friendly, ride
  • What it isn't: Fun when underpowered, not a performer in light wind

My comment: You get almost the same high speed thrills, in an easier package, with the Kona. And the KONA is FUN also when underpowered!

They seem to have tried the Tabou Windstyler in light winds as they state that "has great release that provides a smooth gliding sensation". And "the real advantage over the Mistral Pacifico is the ability to kick the centerboard down and stay upwind even in the lightest of airs". But they never tried the Windstyler in planing conditions?

Go for it!