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Z U D ? the windsurfer of the future.

Over ten years ago Ken realised that the evolution of the modern planing-only shortboard from the traditional longboard had gone wrong. Many sleepless nights had his thoughts going several different routes to a shape that was radically different. Over the next eight years this shape became more and more obviously the way forward until Ken just had to make one to see if his calculations were right. The ZUD Mk I was crudely made in Ken?s back yard. Fearing that it would prove unsailable he smuggled it to the lake on a rainy day to try it out. It was easy to sail and behaved perfectly even if it lacked speed. Once Ken halved the amount of rocker it showed signs of the sparkling performance his calculations promised. With some help from two Wellington-based entrepreneurs the ZUD Mk II was made by Styrotech of Auckland and tested. Being a test-bed for the radical concept it suffered some negative aspects but showed promise so Mk III was made quickly before the enthusiasm cooled. Mk III was indeed a board ahead of its time. With Kevin Trotter (the brains behind Styrotech) hanging on the rig it won most of the races it entered. In response to popular request Mk VI was made narrower (56cm) but didn?t show any performance advantage. Mk V was made just in time for the ?99 NZ open championships but too late to find a top rider who would risk his results against the new generation of wider raceboards. Ken, now in his 58th year, raced the Mk III and won the first three races in the silver fleet on it. This board was then sent off to UK to find a rider game enough to race it there. Just when enthusiasm was wearing a bit thin word came that Jamie Walker Had won the UK Joint Services Champs outright on the Mk III. On hearing this Ken decided to have Mk VI made for ex-NZ Masters Champ Brohn Torckler to ride in the ?00 NZ Open champs. Brohn, now in his 42nd year, convincingly won the Masters class and achieved a creditable 7th overall placing. At this point Ken realised that the writing was on the wall for the conventional ?narrow-nosed? boards and made the scale model for Mk VII which is currently being made for the ?01 NZ Open.With raceboards going shorter and wider the conventional nose that tapers in to a point is producing more severe impact surfaces on either side forward of the widest point. This has two main critical negative effects:1. Every drop of water impacting on these two surfaces gives a decelerating force ? costing speed,2. In extreme ?roller-coaster? downwind conditions these surfaces can easily produce the dreaded forward wipe-out if they penetrate the surface.The ZUD (stands for zero unnecessary deflection) has it?s widest point at the front in the form of a carefully sculptured knife-edge. The advantages are:-1. The only forward facing surface is the bottom in the form of a gently angled lifting surface,2. This makes it possible to make the front much shorter without losing the reserve lifting surface,3. When gybing in rough water the whole length of the rail being used is angled in the direction of the turn giving a more predictable outcome,4. The shorter, wider nose has a more efficient aspect ratio and gives a more positive lift to ensure all the water goes under the board.5. Less length means less rocker and less frontal area even though it is able to respond more quickly to a rough surface,6. Remembering that a board is always tracking at a lee-way angle the rails do not produce so much drag as they impact on rough water.Ken now has Mk II, Mk IV, and MkVI boards at Rarotonga so visiting experts can have a foretaste of things to come by arranging with him to have a sail on them.

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