Luckily the NSWWA get to demo some of the absolute latest equipment from the best shapers in the world. Recently, we have been fortunate to demo a “hexo” board, shaped by an underground, boutique group of wavesailors who call their brand OKJE (pronounced Oak-Gee) after the four key sailors – Oli, Kai, Jason (not Polakow) and Ed. Before we get in to too much detail, we should point out that a “hexo” is what OKJE are phrasing their 6 finned board (as in hexagon). The design brief was straight forward, yet very hard to find the right solution that could be programmed into CAD. The brief was “design a board that had the lively feel, straight line speed, big drawn out turns of a single fin, the super snappy, exciting, brilliant frontside ability of a twin and the loose, grippy drive with top turn slide of a quad”. The one thing that wasn’t in the brief was to emulate the “fat boys” board, as OKJE had been reassured that this was covered off with a Gerroa specific 99ltr thruster.
The board has a bonzer fin set-up with a larger fin right in the middle of the front pair of quads. All fins are much smaller than you’d have in your quad/twin and have been developed with K4 who think OKJE are really on to something. The board has a good amount of V through the mid-section finishing at the central front fin, then going in a short planning flat before hitting some extensive tail kick. The board we demo’d was 217cm x 49cm and has been quoted at 78ltrs (although it felt a little smaller).
When sailing you can really feel the drive from the forward central fin which helps the board on to the plane and gives a very crisp, exciting feel. It makes you want to fly around the break popping jumps off waves. Thanks to the speed you can catch the wave in front of you and boost big jumps, landing in front of the wave face then straight-line it to the beach! However, if you don’t sail like a Euro and actually turn on a wave, you really unlock the performance of this board. This thing reo’s on its own, the fin drive helps to throw buckets off cut backs and it seems to never nosedive off late turns thanks to the massive amount of tail rocker. The glass window is also a nice touch when sailing across reefs.
Would we buy one? Absolutely! OKJE has finally managed to develop the “one ring rules them all” approach to windsurfing – buy one of these hexo’s and you can sell all of your other boards.
Unfortunately we’ve managed to misplace the NSWWA digital camera lead so can’t yet upload pictures of this board – but we will be sailing it at Wanda/Gerroa over Christmas so feel free to come over and give it a go.
If you are part of the windsurfing industry and feel you would also like to have your gear reviewed as well as we have done with the OKJE hexo, then drop us a line on the contact page.
We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas/New Year/Festive Period and look forward to a windy 2012!