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Mistral Syncro 115
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Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 393

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Mistral Syncro 115 Reply with quote

go4it wrote:
Can anyone give me any review on this board. How does it handle in chop wave conditions, min and max and ideal sail size. How it turns, is it a fun board to sail. pros and cons would be very helpful....thanks guys look forward to hearing any imput...

2006 model year, I am 189lbs, bump & jump
sail size 5.2-7.4, sweet spot 5.8-6.6
I use outboard footstraps

Planes early
Very fast
Very good upwind
Still uphaulable
Durable to knocks
Jumps easily (I am beginner jumper, though Smile
Jibes well (not off the tail, needs plenty of MFP)

Could be a handful in chop

Overall, fun board to sail bump-jump @ 5.8-6.6 conditions
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20051

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two of my buds who have been serious Gorge sailors for decades absolutely rave about their 93(?)-liter Synchros. These guys aren't loopers or tricksters or radical aerialists because that stuff doesn't interest them; what they do is sail in any wind the Gorge throws at them, for hours on end, in swell from two to ten feet covered with chop of one to three feet, freesailing (e.g., elegant swell riding with power on of off, duck jibing, flying far upwind or off the wind) 'til the cows come home without ever falling. They are very picky and knowledgeable about their gear (one of them bought, tried out, and returned several new quivers of sails one spring before finding what he wanted). They now use their Synchros instead of their much smaller boards because the Synchros are so extremely silky in any conditions including some truly crappy, choppy, gusty Gorge days.

So I asked a big Gorge shop I trust and which carries JP, Naish, Mistral, and Starboard boards, "What is the slashiest, smoothest-riding board in the 110-120-liter range you carry or can get?". Their answer was, "That's a no-brainer: the 115-liter Synchro", so I jumped at it.

That was in the fall and it's by far my biggest board, so I have only a couple of hours on it, but I've professionally tested hundreds of boards in less than two hours so I feel fairly confident in my opinion so far: the Synchro is just what I wanted. But note: the key word in that last phrase is "I". If you want the fastest board on the water, buy a race board and learn how to jibe and carve on something else. If you want a wiiiiide-tailed, super-early-planing board, buy one of those and suffer its rougher ride and reduced control and speed in heavy chop.

I wanted something on which I can pretend I'm on one of my total sinker mad slashers when the wind isn't sufficiently strong or steady for that, or if the wind line is a kilometer offshore -- both of which we get way too often. I want to slash extremely tight full-speed rights and lefts way up on one rail, feel no chop even when that's all there is (I can't see when my head is bouncing, so ride is critical), jump, carve casual wide jibes or extremely tight high-speed jibes at my call, then be sure I can slog way upwind much more easily than I can on my 93-liter board when the wind backs way off at dusk ('cause the same problem that knocks out my vision with head bounce also impairs my balance when slogging). So far the board has exceeded those expectations.

Because polar moment of inertia is important to my sudden slashing, I wish I had known there is a lighter construction available, but
a) jeez, it's 115 liters, not 65,
b) I can feel its 18 pounds only in the most extreme off-the-lips, and
c) I value durability very highly and don't know how sturdy the lighter version is; I don't want a board that's going to break before it's been through its first several hundred yard sales. I don't do eggs.

Mistral admits it's not a speed board. I've not gone head to head with anyone yet -- I very seldom do -- to discern its speed potential, but it's fast enough to love everything else about it, and speed in big chopswell is also dependent on ride quality, at which it excels.

It's rated by Mistral at 5.5-7.5 liters, and I have encountered only one board in decades whose sail range I felt was as narrow as claimed (WMP will disagree, but he's really tuned into his custom version). I'm sure my big honkin' Synchro will see some days that are 7.5 and choppy inside the thousand-meter wind shadow and 5.0 with shoulder-high swell outside.

If you're light (I'm about 190), consider smaller boards, depending on your intended sail range. I'd have gotten the 104 liter Synchro if I didn't already have the Synchro line's fine 93-liter predecessor and want a significant gap. I also planned to use it under a 7.5, which I no longer have and don't plan to replace. Its biggest motor will be 6.2 liters. That will waste much of its carrying capacity, but that's OK in my case; its flotation and fun factor will be what I remember most at the (dying) end of every light and/or holey day.

Mike \m/
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Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: Close but no cigar Reply with quote

Windsurfing Mag reviewed a 2006 Synchro 103

and a 2007 Screamer 114
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Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just picked up this board. CAn anyone recommend fins for this board? How is the stock fin?

I'm 215 lbs and sailing 5.9 or 7.5 on the SF bay.

Looking to get gybes carved regularly this year.
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Joined: 24 Apr 2002
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got the 104 Synchro and the stock fin works fine for me. I'm 195lbs and usually sail 5.5 to 7.0 conditions with it. I do find I spin out more often with the 7.0 but that's usually more because I'm just overpowered and trying to go upwind too hard.

LOVE the board. No it's not a speed demon, yes, it plains great, navigates a broad range of conditions well and feels great under my feet. Everything to flat water blasting, chop hop and rolling swell. Haven't used it for waves but I'm not a wave sailor anyway.

As for durability, my wife just knocked it off the garage mounting and it landed on concrete from 5 feet up without a scratch. Highly recommend it!

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Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 3394
Location: OnUr6

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got the 115 and it is pretty much everything that Iso and DC talked about. The stock fin is fine.
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Joined: 08 Mar 2002
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a 115 Mistral last year. I'm 190 lbs. and basically agree with everyone except I thought that it handled chop very nicely. I have sailed both the Mistral and a 2003 123 Starboard Carve on the same day in choppy conditions and I thought that the Mistral was much more comfortable, almost tame and therefore a board I'd go to when the wind picks up when in the past I might go for a smaller board. I'm am not a wave sailor but I like swell and plain tomfoolery (sophisticated windsurfing expression) and I have found the Mistral to be loads of fun. I do have a 39 cm Ames fin that I use in gusty or more marginal conditions that helps me plane faster and handle the lulls. Hope that helps.
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Joined: 08 Mar 2002
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh one more thing. Like you I bought it for the Great Lakes, in my case Erie and Ontario.
I think you'll like it.
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Joined: 15 Jan 1995
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right on about chop. My 2007 Syncro 115 is excellent at handling chop (considering it's size). It also planes early and feels loose underfoot (again, for its size). I don't think it's very fast, but I'll take that trade-off given its other strengths.
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Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20051

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I first tried it with the stock fin yesterday. It planes quickly, points very well, did not spin out with my 6.2 -- all god stuff and better than most OM fins I've tried on many production boards. However, it's stiff, as opposed to loose. It cruises great and jibes fine in wide-to-moderate turns, but getting it way up on the rail for extremely tight jibes or aggressive off-the-lips took way too much effort, making the board feel much larger than need be. Bolting on a shorter fin with less tip area reduces its roll damping (its resistance to quick rail-to-rail transitions), freeing up the board for far better maneuvering -- and I was just in knee-high chopswell most of the time. The distinction was even greater when the wind and swell picked up.

The fin I liked much better for high-speed maneuvering is generally called a freeride fin (mine is the Curtis/G-Sport Freeride fin shown at It loosens the board up significantly with little cost in pointing or early planing. Mine is a 34 cm, bought for use with a 7.5 I no longer have. I'm anxious to try a smaller version, probably 30 cm, with my 6.2.

Has anyone tried the Hydroblade with it? My shop says their customers love it ... but when I try to buy one from them, they say it's not available in the U.S. ???

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