I just came back from my first Gorge session since the move. I've been trying to get some intel about what gear to get for the conditions here, and I was able to narrow the sail and volume range to 3ish-5ish, and 70is to 80ish. Now that's rather broad, so let the testing begin.
First stop: old friend David Ezzy (actually he has no idea of who I am) and his Tigers, paired with an 85 L / 25 cm fin Mistral Joker (what? is Mistral making new boards? Turns out they are). Got to the Event Site by 10 or so, assessed the wind an determined that it was solid 5.5. Rigged, launched, and got my ass handed to me 200 yards from shore... Got back, rigged a 4.7, and that was the ticket.
So how do the Tigers handle in Gorge conditions? First of all, I do not believe in reviews, I think you could copy the description of a 1970 F2 Lightning and paste it on a 2014 Quattro Shpere thruster and people would not notice. They all say the same thing! Tight turns, supersonic acceleration, no top end speed, will put you in orbit... You get the point. So you have to go and try shit if you can, and if not, just buy stuff and adapt to your gear. AYWAY, the Tiger has the trade mark Ezzy feeling, grunt, power, stability, no fuss and no muss. I know that feeling oh so well, I've been riding Ezzys for 6 years. When well rigged the sail feels like a feather, seriously, weightless in your hands. It actually depowers pretty well for an Ezzy, and in the air it feels super stable. So, verdict: more of the same awesomeness, worth considering them.
The Joker 85: I don't know about this board. It didn't have the crisp turning that an 85 L board should have. It does accelerate pretty well, and it jibes nicely, but it did not blow my mind. Sorry Mistral, it's not you, it's me. I may not be good enough to unleash the power of the Joker.
So all and all it was a pretty awesome session. By the end of the day I could not move my arms. I need to start working out.
So what's next? I need to compare this rig with others, and try a lower volume board (78 L or so). The Joker felt a little bouncy in the gusts, so I may need something smaller. In the end is a matter of what do you like the least: slogging in the lulls, or bouncing in the gusts.
OK, more to come soon.