Rider: 95kg, intermediate
Weather: 14-35 knots
Build Quality: 9/10
Disclosure: Only ridden backhand
I'd been riding a quad for forever and it was starting to feel a bit safe and predictable so I thought it might be time to get a thruster for those light to medium days where you're brave enough to get a bit more vertical on the face. I picked out a kite I hadn't used in months and headed down to the store to trade in on a new stick.
Looking at the North Pro CSC 5'7" for the first time it diesn't look like a big board. It's not till you put it under your feet that you really understand what you've got yourself into. The Pro although touted as a performance board is built tough and suffers from a bit of stiffness and too much bouyancy as a result.
The CSC is built for speed and is fantastic at zooming around close outs and getting yourself out of trouble. The board also has enough deck area for you to move around to control your speed or point a bit higher upwind. There is a small double concave at the nose but through the middle to the tail its perceptivly flat. Using a Thomo design it but without the nice channels or concaves it is very much a pop out board.
The boatishness of this board makes it an excellent platform for sticking your gybes, even more so than the Nugget. The board has a ton of bouyancy up the nose which is great for springing off whitewash for some airs (if only I could land one). Also great for gusty days where you might need to do some standup paddling between the gusts.
With the thruster it definately responds well to planting the tail and going vertical and it also does well skimming across the lip. You can get away with a surprising amount of vertical downward on hollower waves, the duck nose is pretty hard to submerge and I have yet to go over the front.
Although primarily a light wind board I have had this one out in a squally se'r gusting 30+ and well overhead waves. You can keep your speed under control no worries but it's too bouncy to give you any confidence to take on any decent size wave.
The deck has a couple of channels in it to keep your feet planted which works pretty well. Also no inserts for footstraps on this one.
This board's bouancy can be hard on your knees going over decent size wash. If it doesn't buckle your knees it will throw you into the air if you aren't paying attention. It's very boaty and as such not the greatest for speedy carving turns. To be fair I haven't had the chance to take this one out properly on my forehand which is where you really connect with a board but still, it feels more like something your riding than something you're connected to.
Not quite what I expected from a PRO board in terms of performance but if you're into strapless airs in small mushy stuff I think it would be a good replacement for your old BWS thruster and most likely last you forever. I've given it a couple of months and I'll probably give it a couple more. Having taken delivery of a new Delta Vamp though it might be out the door sooner rather than later.
I was looking at getting a North Pro CSC but the price put me off, but it looked like a fun board. Luckily I ended up getting a Vader :).