The 2014 RRD X-Fire V6 is the fastest range of slalom boards with unmatched acceleration that we have ever produced.
Designed for one purpose in mind: to win World Cup events, local events or the daily fight with your friend on the water. The V6 has been designed with an increased TT Tail cut underneath to release back foot pressure while still maintaining the leverage over the fin.
Follow these simple help tips and you will be able to unlock the huge potential these boards have while maintaining the desired amount of control you need both in the gybes and on the straight line.
• Footstrap position:
> This is a critical point that greatly changes the way the rider ‘sits’ on the board and also has a great impression on how the fin gets loaded. If you feel the nose coming up then you can put the footstraps all the way front in the front strap and all the back in the back strap, this gives a wider stance and will help for an easy ride.
If the width of this stance is too wide, then keep the front strap all the way forward and move the back strap forward one hole at a time, try each hole to find the perfect feel. The more the back strap comes forward the more rail pressure you can get which gives stability. Finding the right footstrap positioning is the first priority.
Personally I ride all the way back both front and back foot on the 122/129, all the way back and 2nd hole to the front on the 105/114 and all the way back and 3rd hole to the front on the 90/98. But keep in mind top pro riders have the skill and power
to keep the boards riding on the very last part of the tail with control. Having the straps further forward like described above helps considerably with the trim of the V6.
Another point to consider is people with smaller feet or a very sensitive sailing style can put the front straps in the 30 degree hole option. This puts the foot further on the rail and makes you the rider stand more parallel to the board which can have a big effect on the board remaining stable with speed. With the 30 degree option make sure to have the straps a tiny bit more loose than the 45 degree option as this releases the foot better when entering the gybe.
• Downhaul on your sail:
> Top important point. Many amateur customers (and also pros) put too much downhaul on their sails, this is not recommended for these V6 boards. Letting off some downhaul can greatly increase the stability of the board and create rail grip. This point
is very important since the boards are more free than the V5 so then the sail does not need as much release. Personally I am running less downhaul than last year which is working very well as I get more range, usable power, control but still enough release coming naturally from the board to get the top end speed and acceleration required to be fast. We communicate this point very clearly because I have the feeling the V6 customers are rigging their sails the same way as for the V5 but this can create a different trim angle more upwards, which is not necessary.
Also, running less downhaul (we are talking about starting with 5mm less, then another 5mm etc. etc., small adjustments) creates more downforce in the gybes especially when you hook out to enter the turn. Too much downhaul gives an unstable feeling in the beginning of the gybe and especially exiting the gybe, particularly if your sail has a very open mid-leech twist. Some sails are much more stable than others regardless of speed potential, so if your sail is not so stable then getting the correct DH setting is more important than ever.
With the new board and rig generation the gear is already trimming freely so just play with the downhaul with the different conditions and you will also see that the board changes on the water.
Getting the downhaul tension correct to fit the board will unlock the ‘Beast Mode’ of the V6!
• Mast track position:
The third key point is the mast track position. This dictates where the pressure of the fin, board and sail meet together. If you get the feeling that the board starts to lift at high speed move the track position forward. Start at 132 but do not hesitate to go to 135, 1cm at a time, go slow with the adjustments as 1cm for a top professional is a huge adjustment already with all of these tuning tips.
For reference, Antoine, Julien and myself run the track about 126-128 depending on the sea state and amount of loading on the sail.
RRD X-Fire V6 Tuning Tips
However a more forward position will get more rail in the board and put more downforce on the rail to get more grip and stop the board from lifting as much when powered but still create drive and slipperiness. Do not forget moving the track position forward will require making the boom higher. Start with 1cm more, then 2cm and so on. The higher boom compensates for´the reduction of load on the fin, which is more when the mast track is further back.
Everyone knows the importance of the fins in this slalom board game. It is the one thing that 100% passes through the water, which has the much bigger drag coefficient compared to the wind.
Gybing: If you want to turn better with more grip and more range (so when really powered) use a fin with a curved leading edge. Fins with a straight leading edge do not gybe as well, this includes fins that have a small amount of curve on the from
edge. Fins with enough leading edge curve to notice an effect gybing are the Kashy, Hurricane SR5/6, Boss 4.3, ERD, Select Vmax 2.0 and Z-Fins SL for example.
Fins with a bit less leading edge curve are the CA, Z-Fins SF, Select Slam S1, Hurricane
SR2 as examples.
However the more straight you go with the leading edge the more direct control keeping the nose down, stability and rail pressure you can get as long as the lay-up is not too stiff. But very straight leading edge fins are testing a bit slower than their curved counterparts at the moment, so this is a choice and compromise you need to decide.
Fin rake: Here is a tip that almost nobody knows, rake the slalom fin forward and immediate control and stability with increased rail pressure arrives. But again this can be a touch slower in the top speed but more power leaving the gybe mark and light wind pressure along with easiness can be attained by doing this trick with exactly the same fin you are riding now
Sand the back bottom corner (near the fin screw) and the front top corner (near the bottom of the board). Go slowly until youget the fin sitting 2mm ‘up’ in the back and 2mm ‘down in the front. Do not worry about the fin sticking out in the back, this makes almost no performance difference, but the new forward rake of the fin for sure will make a big difference to keeping the nose down.
Fin size: Many sailors believe that more control can be attained by putting a smaller fin inside. This is mainly true but it getsthe board more ‘loose’, but sometimes putting a bigger fin can actually bring control and stability, this is what I have foundwith the V6. That is the perfect time to put the track forward and the boom higher as a combination to try.
Fins are the basic weapon of the top pros so take these tips to good use.
These points are the secret to success with the V6. They will help with keeping the same top speed (which is incredible) but can also help the gybing and control creating more stability at top speed. The V6 boards are rockets especially with the acceleration when the gust arrives, these adjustments can help in the handling area so you can always be faster than your friends!
If you put together these tips to suit your sailing style, sails and fins you will realize that the V6 is the best board you can have.
If you have any specific questions concerning the XF you may contact me directly.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
RRD X-Fire Designer