O’SHEA WIND 100 2018 REVIEW
The Wind 100 is new to the O’Shea range for this season, sitting neatly between the Wind+SUP (reviewed the last two seasons) and their Wind 90. So named to account for its length, it packs in 210L of volume and has the same thickness as its siblings at 4.75”. Produced using Korean ‘Mirasol’ drop stitch fabric in its core (regarded as some of the best around), the 100 is finished in the brand’s Premium HP Fusion Lite technology, using 1000D PVC as the board’s outer layer, and with a double wrap along the rails. It also benefits from the iRail first seen on the 90 – a ‘roll-able’ hard edge along the tail’s rail to assist water release and help the board to plane. The straps to compliment this exciting feature come already fitted to the board’s deck using four hex bolts per strap to stop them twisting. Dressed in its purposely bright and visible colours, the 100 comes complete with durable webbing grab-handles in the middle and tail of the board, industrial towing / leash eyelets on the nose and tail, and an elastic net in front of the diamond-grooved deckpad for transportation or stowage convenience. It comes complete in a branded roller backpack with two removable fins, a three-piece travel paddle, repair kit and a two-way GRI pump. O’Shea are also keen to point out that their boards work well at a lower pressure (typically 13-15 P.S.I) meaning less time can be spent pumping, allowing for more time on the water.
“Primarily designed as a mini version of the award winning Wind + SUP, with windsurfing in mind while offering a bonus all-round SUP appeal. Featuring our all-new iRail, for fully planing capabilities, making it an ideal stepping-stone windsurfer that rolls up in a bag! Super versatile.”
At over 300cm long and 80cm wide, the Wind 100 provides plenty of float and stability for light air windsurfing. Whilst adult beginners would be well advised to look to the Wind+SUP in the O’Shea range as their most suitable platform, this 100 could be used to teach younger / lighter riders, its shorter length making it more manoeuvrable. It tracks incredibly well thanks to the two fins and moulded thrusters, but shift your weight or reposition the sail and the board responds purposefully. The addition of thrusters also provides the option of taking the tail fin out and relying solely on the side-fins for directional traction whilst partnering the smallest sails (1.0-1.5m), making the 100 a fantastic board for the youngest family members. For the more experienced rider you can remove the central fin, load the 100 with a powerful sail and take it into planing conditions for a bit of fun. Deliver power and it accelerates quickly yet smoothly, allowing you to move your stance rearward early. We have to say we were sceptical about the minimalist straps before using them, unsure of how comfortable they would be … but they worked surprisingly well. Whilst they possess little padding or adjustability, the cushioning from the inflatable board under your feet mitigates the potential for abrasion that we anticipated before use. Just be aware that the prescribed stance by the straps is extraordinarily wide – for most, just putting your front foot in the strap will suffice on a reach. The ride is certainly wet (the nose and shoulders catching on chop) and comparatively slow, yet we honestly didn’t care – we were having a blast and were enjoying ourselves too much! You can even push it into a few carve gybes and the 100 initially bites well, carrying speed easily through the initial arc, such is its low planing threshold; just be prepared to step early and flare your way out of the turn as it loses its momentum. And if the wind disappears all together, get out a paddle and use the 100 for SUP’ing, its directional stability thanks to the three fins in the rear making it easy to use. The straps also tend to lie flat to the deck, reducing their trip hazard potential.
With the durability to handle considerable abuse, the Wind 100 provides an option for all family members and abilities. Throw it in the back of the car to guarantee you’ll all get out on the water, whatever the conditions.
Other boards in this test: