I'm sure many of the Laser sailors out there have heard about new blades being made. The class approved glass blades a while back and I know I've heard of people in US getting blades from Australia. Now we are finally going to have a proper GRP blade available in the US.
We have a couple blade sets here that came with new Lasers that we have in stock. I have to say I was really impressed with the blades when I saw them. They're super smooth and glossy, definitely a vast improvement over the previous blades.
Laser Performance has this to say about them:
The new blades are made with the most sophisticated composite manufacturing process available for this type of component... Our new blades are class approved and are designed for increased durability. Since they are fiberglass construction with a foam core, the trailing edges and tips are far more durable than the old blades where breakage in this area was common. The finish is excellent...Compared to my old blades these new GRP blades are as smooth as a pig dipped in teflon (thanks to former Stern Scoop writer Chris for that witty comparison). The tips of the blades definitely feel like they would hold up better over time. Hopefully this means repairing a daggerboard tip with epoxy and some paper clips will become a dead art form.
You can see at the right that the new blades have a totally different style to the top as well as a new stopper with a fancy Laser Performance logo on it. I can't unscrew the stopper, at least not without damaging it, so I'm not sure how it's put together or if there will be replacements available for it.
For now the new blades are only available when you buy a new Laser and it's going to stay that way for a while. All indications are it could be late October or even later before we actually get any blades to sell. Basically the factory can only build them so fast and the production is all going to new boats right now.
Prices may change before the blades become available but as of right now Laser Performance tells us the daggerboard will be $485 and a complete rudder $405 with the rudder blade only being $295. This is certainly a bump up from the prices of the old blades but that's to be expected for the dramatic increase in quality seen with these.
You can place orders now for the new blades and to get at the front of the line as long as you're prepared to wait a while to get them. Any orders placed now will get the new blades when we get stock. Look for more information here on the Stern Scoop as it becomes available.