I got the opportunity to do some test runs with recently manufactured iceboard Bodom sled made by Finnish company called Airice Oy. While ice conditions and weather in Finland is as good as it could get, I couldn´t be more excited about the test. My previous experience with ice sailing is with Hiberna, and DIY “freeskate” iceboards.
Bodom iceboard – A three blade beauty
Bodom is a sled with 3 blades, wherein 2 of the blades is attached to the turning front frame and the rear blade is fixed. Board structure is frame-controlled, so that the front frame is pivot able and located in front of the main body, and not under it such in Hiberna. Steering centering and turning resistance is controlled by carbon fiber leaf spring set, attached on top of frame, so that steering response can easily be adjusted to match with rider’s needs. The body of the sled is made of carbon fiber and the shape of it is curvy, unlike other boards. It flexes slightly under the weight of the sailor, making driving response very pleasant, and the appearance of a sled slightly “aggressive”.
The Bodom Iceboard – The first feel
The preferred test sled feels really fast and directional stability is good, but still very easy to maneuver. On the first try sled feels bit unsteady, probably because there is only one blade on back of the board, which primarily holds the weight of the rider. Since the back of the board doesn´t have stabilizing structure of 2 blades, the first gybes feels at the least little shaky and pressing the board too hard to turns may cause front blade get loose, or even cause sled to crash.
The Bodom Iceboard is very competent for high speeds and slalom sailingAfter a while and getting together, the Bodom sled begins to feel natural and windsurfing familiar. Moving the weight in front of the board during the gybes removes shaky feel and makes sled turn very smoothly. Crosswind sections with Bodom feels safe, and the rear blade doesn´t spin, even when adding more pressure to it. Sled runs determined and predictably in each direction, and the driving position has more natural feel than in Hiberna. Preferred test sled had turning radius tuned to about 10 meters, which seemed to be very competent, as well for high speeds and slalom sailing. After short training, the sled was easy to turn to laydown gybe at full speed, without constant fear of losing grip. The feel and vibes are very close to windsurfing board. Initial doubts of turns proved to be wrong and the most fun part of the day was really the gybes. Truly pleasant sled!
On test day, the conditions were sunny and the wind was 4-7m/s. Test sail was Severne Reflex6 7.8m2