Nathan van Vuuren lives in South Africa and spends most of his life in the water as a test rider for Signature Performance Gear. This week we talk about how our small wing handles high windspeed and big waves. We will have a weekly episode on our MOJO Mondays. Enjoy our conversation with a young and inspiring waterman.
You preferably ride waves and go on downwinders, but also enjoy a lofty jump. In which discipline do you feel, the MOJO feels more at home?
You have a lot of experience with sizes 3.5 and 2.8, where do you see the advantages of the MOJO compared to other wings?
Due to the strong wind in Cape Town, I have spent a lot of time riding with the 3.5 and 2.8. One of the many advantages of the MOJO compared to many other wings is its solid feel and direct power. No matter what the wind conditions are whether it’s extremely gusty in strong winds, or a light breeze the MOJO has a predictable feel in hand.
In which wind range do you use both sizes and when should you switch from 3.5 to 2.8?
I generally use the 3.5 and 2.8 MOJO when the wind ranges from 20 – 35 knots. I would recommend switching from using the larger sizes like the 5.2 and 4.5 if you begin to feel a bit overpowered in the stronger wind. The smaller sizes are also incredible for when you are aiming to do more freestyle tricks, wave riding. The 3.5 and 2.8 have a super playful and fun feel whenever I use them!
We know that stiffness and deformation have a significant impact on the wing. Do you ride the MOJO with the indicated air pressure or experiment depending on the wind speed?
Stiffness and deformation have a huge impact on how a wing feels when flying. I would recommend always using the indicated air pressure for the MOJO wings in all wind ranges! The MOJO has an incredible amount of stiffness and strength while having very little amounts of deformation even when flying in stronger winds. I have experimented with using higher or even lower air pressure depending on the wind strength, but usually, just stick with what is recommended and already works.
We installed soft handles on the MOJO to minimize the risk of injury. Opinions on the subject differ enormously, some riders prefer a boom, others prefer rigid handles and many only use soft handles. What is your opinion?
There are many different opinions and views on various handle types! From my experience, I feel more comfortable using the softer handle types like the ones on the MOJO. The handles feel sturdy in hand, but have a bit of play and flex to help soak up gusts in the wind, especially in the stronger wind conditions. Another reason I prefer the soft handles is if you end up in a bad situation and fall onto the wing, there is far less of a risk of being hurt by the softer handles as opposed to a solid bar.