COBRA International launches new composite windsurf board
Designed by former race champion Bruce Wylie, the Windsurfer LT is an advanced composite windsurf board that aims to take the sport back to its roots.
COBRA International (Chonburi, Thailand) as part of the celebration of their 40-year anniversary formally launched the mass production of the new Windsurfer LT on April 5. The company is a leading manufacturer of premium windsurf, SUP, kite and surf boards, and a global supplier of composites for the automotive, architectural, transportation and luxury accessories markets.
Seeing a downward trend in beginner interest, partly due to the dominance of boards and sails meant for extreme conditions, the Windsurfer LT is an advanced composite windsurf board that aims to take the sport back to its roots and provide a single platform that can be raced, used for teaching or freestyle and even paddled as a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) on no wind days.
The Windsurfer LT began life as an internal development project at COBRA in late 2016. Tasked with addressing the decreasing numbers of people windsurfing regularly, Bruce Wylie – former World Race champion and head of COBRA Watersports – conceived a simple, cost effective board that would appeal to beginners as well as the more advanced sailor and that could be enjoyed across the widest possible wind range.
Prototypes were built at COBRA’s factory in Thailand and tested throughout 2017, with the team going through several design iterations before arriving at the perfect combination of board shape, rocker, underwater profile and weight. Inspiration was taken from classic boards of the past, but also referencing the latest processing ideas and the final board was created using a lightweight EPS core, glass combi fabrics and a bio based foaming epoxy via Cobra’s Advanced Surf Technology (AST) process. The resulting board is 6.5kg lighter than an equivalent design in traditional materials, and plans to evaluate a fully recycled EPS core option for the future are in progress.
“We are thrilled with the reaction to the Windsurfer LT and production is really moving well,” says Danu Chotikapanich, COBRA’s CEO. “Our experienced Watersports team have developed a fantastic new board that is lightweight, cost effective and durable and I’m confident that we’ll succeed in our goal to bring thousands of new sailors to the sport windsurfing.”
The Windsurfer Class Association, who are also celebrating their own 50th anniversary this year, became involved with the project during the testing and evaluation phase and the Australian, Italian and Japanese fleets have voted to adopt the new boards as standard equipment. With several large windsurf industry brands also interested in the new board, COBRA’s standardized production lines and online quality control are poised to ramp up for high volume global supply.
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