Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews

2018 North WAM 6.0

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Created by dazza5172 8 months ago, 27 Sep 2017
dazza5172
SA, 311 posts
27 Sep 2017 9:18PM
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So a quick run down on my new WAM 6.0
Its standard bamboo vacuum (there is a pro level construction but I went standard)

Its been a few years since I bought a board, and it was about time.

this year I decided to go larger board (6.0 28 litres) which is larger than recommended for my body weight, however the plan was to go larger board and smaller kite yet again (my largest kite now an 8m Neo) in order to get more of a surfing feel.

I was ready to compromise on the extra float, but as I found out it was not an issue:

So the board has a new shape - a beveled edge along the deck rails and a concave deck - this was for grabbing and tricks but I found that it gave the board a lower to the water feel on the rails and the concave gives more grip. all in all this seems to make the rails bite better and removes any corky feel that a higher volume rail would give.
The board has more width forward and in the square tail. The more forward width provides a smoother ride when normally you might dig into chop when under powered, the board seemed to recover easier when normally you might go over the handle bars. The wider tail adds to the early planing but still seems to allow for carving and bite and a nice hit off the top of the wave.

the surprising thing was the board was not corky at all and for me felt like I could easily ride it in higher winds and still feel under control and able to dig the rails in.

At 28 Litres it allows for paddle surfing as well which I can't wait to test out.

This is quite simply the best board I have ridden to date, and has rejuvenated my love for wave riding

Rider: 74kg Kite: 8m Neo Wind 14 - 20 knots (but up and down) waves mixed days 2-3 ft and day 2: 3-4 foot full onshore and marginal wind.
Disclosure: I ride for FSR Industries our local distributor of North who I ride for under a mates rate. If you want to know more see my profile. I have ridden North for 10 years now.




Slpknot
1 posts
14 Nov 2017 1:22AM
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Thanks for the info, how much do you weigh?
I am 70kg and like the feel of smaller boards, not sure if the 5'8 with 22.9 Liters will work well for me.
Thanks

dazza5172
SA, 311 posts
14 Jan 2018 9:43AM
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So quick update on this board, sorry I did not get back to you slpknot my social media attention is poor, I weigh 74kg and I still went for the 6.0 as I want to ensure my smaller kite selection this year (6 and 8m Neo) fit the board - less kite and a bit more board. However as stated to me the board does not have any really boaty or corky feel - its just a perfect size for most conditions.
Yesterday we had 25-33 knot winds and a fair bit of chop. the board was so smooth and reliable - with the gusts and lulls over the hill at this spot they did not present much issue as the board still rides well through the lulls and then performs on the rails under high wind and chop.

now if you are not convinced essentially I bought one, one mate said can I buy your old red board (2014 Proseries) I said sure take it out for a spin, hes out on the proseries - clearly loving it, my other mate says well you have a sale there. then I go out on the water on my new 2018 Wam and said mate testing the proseries says can I have a go on the new one. sure, we swap, then after that its all over. Umm sorry Daz but I have to buy one of these! - then thats not enough the next mate can't take the hype anymore so he gets one and yesterday we had 3 on the water: Team 2018 North WAM.

We are 3 dudes with different body weights and yet we all have 6.0 North Wams. I can assure you that there was such a hype on the beach afterwards - Never had that happen before - not anywhere to this level over a board.

I have now ridden it strapless and strapped and it goes well either way, I have ridden it in light winds, strong winds, clean and choppy conditions, medium swell 3-4ft (Not in what I would call big swell yet) and it performs so well.

this board is the BOMB - no questions asked


dazza5172
SA, 311 posts
14 Jan 2018 9:44AM
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Select to expand quote
Slpknot said..
Thanks for the info, how much do you weigh?
I am 70kg and like the feel of smaller boards, not sure if the 5'8 with 22.9 Liters will work well for me.
Thanks


sorry on long reply see above

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1288 posts
16 Jan 2018 2:58PM
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Thanks for the report Dazza, you have got me interested!
My WAM is in its 6th season now and getting near the end of its life.
Did you try a shorter model? At 80kg I've been happy on the 6.0 but was thinking of the 5.10 given the North guidance on weight / length.
It's quite windy here, have you ridden the 6.0 in strong winds and big waves yet? Am wondering whether it still holds a curve well.

AS you are lighter than me, if your 6.0 handles OK in full-on conditions I might go the same as the extra volume would be handy in lighter winds.

Cheers

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
17 Jan 2018 4:08PM
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Just recently, I bought the 2018 WAM 5'6". I had the 2012 Wam 5'8" and Whip 5'6" for 5 years.
I am 75kg and I chose the shortest board, as I like to ride powered up, driven by the kite... and I spice it up with jumps and flips.
This new board is a perfect amalgamation of my earlier two boards. It rides upwind as well as my Whip did, yet handles the bigger slopes as the old WAM did... and it jumps nicer then either. I had the chance to try it on 2-3m swells on a reef break for a weekend, and the board handled the speed down the line and radical bottom turns without any bounce, slip or hesitation. Same time, it is just as lively on the Perth shore breaks as the old Whip was.
I am absolutely stoked with this board. The best I ever rode by far.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1288 posts
17 Jan 2018 7:54PM
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Gee Andrash, I'm now totally convinced I need a new WAM, but what size do I choose! One of lifes more pleasant problems to resolve. Dazza loves the 6.0 and you the 5.6. I'm not going to have a chance to demo all sizes, so may just go the 5.10 as sounds like they are all good.

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
18 Jan 2018 7:57AM
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Select to expand quote
Dave Whettingsteel said..
Gee Andrash, I'm now totally convinced I need a new WAM, but what size do I choose! One of lifes more pleasant problems to resolve. Dazza loves the 6.0 and you the 5.6. I'm not going to have a chance to demo all sizes, so may just go the 5.10 as sounds like they are all good.


Hi Dave,
Thanks for asking. It is not difficult decision at all. If you are a lifelong surfer looking for "surfing with the help of the kite" and don't care about jumps and basic tricks, then the board should be about the same size as you would use for surfing without the kite, and you can forget the straps.... you ride like a surfer.
If, however, just like myself you are more like a traditional "kite surfer" who rides the waves with coordinated movement of the kite(!!) and the board, and don't mind leaving the surface of the water at times, then shorter boards (usually with straps) with a bit more kite power (and fast kites) are a better choice. I think it is safer as well due to the feel of constant power.
Generally, the unpredictable Perth shore breaks are more fun for the "kite surfer", and the clean reef breaks of Sumbawa or La Morne in Mauritius are the paradise for "surfing with the help of the kite".
In the few sessions I did on the new WAM I found it suits Perth chops much better than my old one, and yes it still handles bigger slopes...
Cheers

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1288 posts
18 Jan 2018 12:30PM
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Thanks Andrash! Yup I like straps, powered and boosting as well as wave riding so I think smaller will be the way to go. I have a nugget for light wind so the WAM is not normally used when its marginal.

Out of interest what kites are you using with it? You mentioned fast kites. I use Neo's, am not sure you would describe them as a fast kite but work well for me.

Cheers

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
18 Jan 2018 2:51PM
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My main kites are 7 and 9m Ozone Enduro, and I also have one old 12 Catalyst, and a new 5.5 Cab. drift for 25+ gusty days. I tried, and also owned a Reo, but I found it turning fast, but moving slow. Now, the Enduro is just suits me... in the mid setting (freeride) for normal day, or wave setting when gusty. This is a mid aspect kite, very good for jumps, provide constant power on the turns, yet drift well enough when **** hits... . The cab drift, although advertised as a wave kite, it looks and behaves more like mid aspect, and at 5m all kites are fast.
Dedicated wave kites, like the Reo, are I think usually on low aspect, they drift well, turn pivotal, but flying slow and not particularly good (being diplomatic) for anything off the surface of the water.,
I have to say, though, being a time constrained recreational kiter, I have limited experience on flying and comparing different brands...

...I stick an 8mm thick higher density EVA foam under my board pads. They prevent dents from hard landing, dampen fine vibration of the board, and generally provide a smoother ride in chops.... they make no difference on proper waves...

ononimus
1 posts
22 Jan 2018 5:08AM
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Hi guys, really interesting thread. Has anyone tried the 2018 WAM in overhead waves yet? Any feedback on bigger waves? Cheers!

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1288 posts
22 Jan 2018 9:35AM
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Thanks Andrash, thats a bag of kites! I have 3 north Neo's that I'm happy with, dont ever think about them to be honest as they just work and all the limitations are with me. Like the idea of the extra padding, as long as it doesnt feel too soft I guess. Am looking forward to getting a 2018 WAM, though I was carving around in the waves yesterday on the old one thinking this is pretty dam good, hope I don't lose anything.

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
22 Jan 2018 8:20PM
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Select to expand quote
Dave Whettingsteel said..
Thanks Andrash, thats a bag of kites! I have 3 north Neo's that I'm happy with, dont ever think about them to be honest as they just work and all the limitations are with me. Like the idea of the extra padding, as long as it doesnt feel too soft I guess. Am looking forward to getting a 2018 WAM, though I was carving around in the waves yesterday on the old one thinking this is pretty dam good, hope I don't lose anything.


Any time you are in Perth metro get in touch and try my board if you like. Yes, the EVA padding has to be mid to high density.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1288 posts
23 Jan 2018 1:39PM
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Thanks for the offer, will get in contact if the stars line up!

Cheers

Jakeblack15
WA, 2 posts
26 Jan 2018 7:28PM
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Dont buy the north pro wam if ur into airs or anything to heavy.
Snapped mine within a month or so, north and the shop that is was purchased from said they arent covered for warranty if ur doing airs.

Andrash
WA, 552 posts
27 Jan 2018 10:43PM
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Jakeblack15 said..
Dont buy the north pro wam if ur into airs or anything to heavy.
Snapped mine within a month or so, north and the shop that is was purchased from said they arent covered for warranty if ur doing airs.


...sounds interesting. Where was it snapped... any pic?

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1288 posts
29 Jan 2018 11:48AM
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Select to expand quote
Jakeblack15 said..
Dont buy the north pro wam if ur into airs or anything to heavy.
Snapped mine within a month or so, north and the shop that is was purchased from said they arent covered for warranty if ur doing airs.


That would suck! My old wam has been tough as old boots. Am surprised warranty doesn't cover airs, as how can anyone really know what happened when it broke, unless there were Tyre marks over it or something.



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"2018 North WAM 6.0" started by dazza5172