Author Topic: Finally on the Bullet 2020  (Read 2924 times)

nalu-sup

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Finally on the Bullet 2020
« on: July 16, 2021, 10:40:21 PM »
Covid, as well as shoulder rotator cuff surgery, has kept my wife and I away from our new custom 2020 Bullet 14s that have been sitting up in the Maui factory for the past 14 months. Now that we finally got the new boards wet, I wanted to share some observations and ask a few questions.
The first morning we took the boards out into small surf that we have ridden previously on our old F16s in. The difference was stunning. The Bullet is far more maneuverable on and off the wave. Setting the F16 up to surf a wave involved a huge arcing turn using the rudder. The 14' Bullet is easy to pivot, buoy turn, cross-bow turn, as well as making much sharper turns using the rudder making it much easier to position for the takeoff. The F16 caught tiny waves easier and further out, and rode them longer  after they flattened out, but turning on the wave felt slow and awkward. If you get right back on the tail, the Bullet bottom turned amazingly well , trimmed down the line feeling fairly loose, and would even do some slow motion cutbacks. Late takeoffs were tricky since the new Bullet has much less nose rocker than the F16. The Bullet is noticeably faster in flat water, and especially going into the wind which the F16 was poor at. My wife and I had a great time surfing the little 6" to 2' waves.
Today I did two short downwind runs with mixed success. I did a short test run inside the Kanaha reef in the morning when the wind was about 19. I have to say that it was pretty frustrating. I was not able to catch any glides on the tiny mixed up wind waves that were bouncing back and forth between the reef and the beach, but did manage to get some glides on the larger windswells that came in across the reef. The board felt very directionally unstable in all the mixed up water that Kanaha is famous for inside the reef. From past experience I would have to say that the F16 with its directional stability and extra length would have handled those conditions much better.
In the afternoon, we did a Kihei run with the wind averaging over 30 with gusts into the mid to high 40s. Lots of white smoke blowing off the tops of the white caps. The board was much more fun in these conditions with lots of glides, but we came away with a couple of questions.
1. When the nose of our F16s poked which it rarely did because of all the nose rocker, it usually meant trouble since the nose tended to bury enough to slow the board way down and pitch me off balance. Also, the board would often veer off course when the nose poked. The Bullet has a LOT less nose rocker, so poking was happening far more often, but with much less consequences since the high volume nose would always pop back up and was well.-behaved when underwater. The main problem was that in the steep short period waves, I was so gun-shy about the low rocker that I kept jumping back too soon or too much and ended up losing many of the steeper bumps. Open to suggestions. Note: I do hang out on the tiller when hunting for bumps, but hop back once gliding.
2. The F16s tended to track straight unless you told them otherwise. The Bullet almost has a mind of its own and was turning all over the place with me frantically trying to use the rudder to correct the boards radical turns in all directions. In fairness, the board often turned to align with a good bump, but would then continue turning so that I would end up cutting out of the bump like a surfer cutting out of a wave. I think a larger and more raked fin would help, but we need the rudder to make our 90 degree turn to get home through the shallow reefs. Open to suggestions (other than to put in a fixed fin which would mean not getting home through shallow reefs with a 30 mph crosswind). Has anyone been able to retrofit a larger fin into the FAST system, or should I just learn to love the high-spirited turning performance of the Bullet 14 with the standard rudder fin?
3. I was thinking about locking the fin for most of the run, and then unlocking it to get home. Thoughts?
Thanks for any input now that we are finally back on the water after 18 months.

8'7" Sunova Flow  121 L
8'8" Blue Planet 'All Good' 120 L
9'0" Elua Makani 124.4 L
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf  145 L
14' SIC Bullet 2020 310 liters

burchas

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2021, 11:18:05 AM »
Congrats! It's been long time coming.

Few thoughts, I would say yes to locking the rudder till the end of the run.
It may take a minute to dial-in the ride and riding the board without the rudder could help you to get to know it better faster imo.
It frees you from being mentally locked to the center and helps you move around and find the best trim.

The Bullet has generous sweet spot and you may find that riding it few inches to the back may improve you performance considerably
in short steep bumps. These bumps are the bread and butter for us around here and my buddy who owns a rudder equipped Bullet V2
rides that way (not the same bullet but a bullet non the less, see pic). He locked the rudder and never looked back (now on fixed fin).

Try to monitor the way you apply rail pressure to prevent cutting out of the bump, it could help to counter the effect with a slight paddle
brace on the water surface.

I have seen both 8" and 7" FAST rudders so if you have the 7" you could probably get an 8" version but I'd wait a minute before
going that route.
in progress...

nalu-sup

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2021, 11:55:09 PM »
Thanks Burchas; your experience and suggestions are always much appreciated. I think I will try locking the rudder for most of the next run and see how that feels. Also, I think our rudders are the 7" version, but I will measure tomorrow.
It is interesting that your friends foot positions are pretty much exactly where I ended up most of the time. If I lost speed, I would get my toes on the tiller to hunt for bumps, but once I was up to cruising speed I would be just behind the tiller where I could still easily reach a couple of inches forward if I wanted a quick rudder adjustment. When back on the tail, these boards feel like they have a lot more V in the tail which makes them very loose and surfy; a little disconcerting at first, but I think we will come to love this aspect since this extra surfing looseness was a lot of our goal in switching to these boards.
Thanks for the reply. We turned 70 this year, so we need all the help we can get. ;D
8'7" Sunova Flow  121 L
8'8" Blue Planet 'All Good' 120 L
9'0" Elua Makani 124.4 L
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf  145 L
14' SIC Bullet 2020 310 liters

burchas

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2021, 10:32:34 AM »
Seems like you're doing just fine. I'm sure few more rides and you'll dial it in.
Very stoked for your pimped ride 8) wouldn't mind some porn pics and general specs if it's not too much trouble.

If you do have the 7" rudders and you still feel you want the 8" I have 2 of those and I'll trade you.
in progress...

nalu-sup

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2021, 06:38:24 PM »
Hi Burchas. It turns out that our rudders are the 8" version, and I think we will stick with those for now. We both tried paddling with the rudders locked, and really missed those quick turns to go from riding a small bump coming from the left to catching a bigger bump coming from the right which is so common on both sides of Maui. These 14s will turn on a dime with the rudder; we just have to learn to not oversteer them after coming off the 16s. I'm afraid we have become rudder addicts. Plus, on our last Kihei run the wind shifted 45 degrees offshore right after we launched, so the rudders were a godsend.
I think the biggest differences from our F16s is getting used to the nose happily cruising along just under the surface, and how well the rounded bottom under the nose combined with the softer rails up front makes the board so much more forgiving in terms of catching a rail. When we surfed them the very first day, I ended up doing an instinctive floater off the lip like I would on my surf-SUP, and realized midway that I was doomed based on the way the rails of the F16 would have caught on the r-entry and flipped me. The Bullet just slipped into the base of the waves at an angle and kept going as though it was a waveboard.
I am attempting to attach a few pics, two of my wife's board with the pinstripes and one of mine with the white stripe down the center. The logos were not on the deck of mine when the photo was taken, so it looks a little bland in the photo, but I am delighted with it once Carla and I got the logos on.
Janet's board without the center white stripe is basically the 2020 Bullet 14 X 27.5" widened to 28.5", and slightly thinned along the whole length for her lighter weight. Mine is the !4' X 30" narrowed down to 29.5". Yeah, we know those are wide, but these boards are designed to keep us downwinding on Maui now that we are in our 70s and our balance and tolerance for climbing back on the board is going downhill fast. :o
8'7" Sunova Flow  121 L
8'8" Blue Planet 'All Good' 120 L
9'0" Elua Makani 124.4 L
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf  145 L
14' SIC Bullet 2020 310 liters

nalu-sup

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2021, 06:50:27 PM »
Burchas, if you want a good look a the new shaping of the 2020 and 2021 Bullet 14, this video from Surf FX is the best. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxtGHGs7XEc
Forgot to mention in the specs that Andres was able to bring Janet's board in at 23.5 lbs and mine at 26.5 which is awesome.
8'7" Sunova Flow  121 L
8'8" Blue Planet 'All Good' 120 L
9'0" Elua Makani 124.4 L
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf  145 L
14' SIC Bullet 2020 310 liters

PonoBill

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2021, 10:27:25 PM »
Cool. Now you need to start foiling. Here in Hood river, every other car used to have a black and white Bullet 14. Now it's foils. Everywhere. I saw a Black and White today and it made me nostalgic. I need to take my Bullet 17 off the wall rack and go do a viento run.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

burchas

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2021, 01:38:52 PM »
Beautiful boards nalu-sup! 8) These are light boards indeed.Thanks for the pics.
in progress...

nalu-sup

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Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2021, 07:47:10 PM »
Hey Bill. I was actually down at the Harbor a few days ago while Alan was kind enough to give my grandson a wing lesson (Alan and I taught windsurfing together for over 30 years, so he was kind enough to take on a beginner).
We were stuck up in Sun Valley for the past 18 months due to Covid, and just returned to Maui. I have not touched a wing or anything else having to do with the ocean or wind since the one time Alan got me going just before Covid.
Right now its not an option because I dislocated my shoulder and tore the rotator cuff muscles right off the bone in a skiing crash last winter. They screwed everything back together, but it turned into "frozen shoulder" so I cannot lift that arm up past shoulder height right now which means no windsurfing or winging. Thank goodness I can paddle (sort of), but only on one side with any power. At least it gets me on the water at 1000 Peaks or Launiopoko in the mornings and then hopefully a short downwinder in the afternoon.
Glad to hear that you are inspired to dig out your 17 and do a Viento run in it. Let us know how it goes and whether it rekindles that fire.
8'7" Sunova Flow  121 L
8'8" Blue Planet 'All Good' 120 L
9'0" Elua Makani 124.4 L
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf  145 L
14' SIC Bullet 2020 310 liters

 


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