Saw the (North)/ Duotone new range and decided to get a demo from Darren over at Action Sports. Havnt been to a kiteboard shop in a couple of years but was good to see Darren he helped me on the beach as a beginner with fixing my ****ty gear I didn't even get from him.
Ok so I am a surfboard guy...(Kiting for 10 years bla bla bla) I usually kite on something that can be surfed and am always looking for surfboard performance from my surf kite boards. Been riding Firewire FST for last 3-4 years but they recently lightened up their construction and also stopped making kite surf boards for Australia.
The Shape? 8.5/10
Its a traditional looking pointy nose with a squash tail. Its got nice low even rail and a flatter rocker through the belly with a nice tail kick and nose rocker. Looking at it it looks like an all rounder from 2ft-6ft
Hows it Ride? 8.5/10
So I am 90KG I demoed the 6FT 28LT. The board on the description basically sais its a do anything one board quiver. Straight away I noticed ease of riding first few turns with only a beer as a warm up were really snappy and connected. The rest of my kite was the same its a very active board but super user friendly you can slow it down to turn more vertically or approach a banking section at full speed and wrap pretty hard. (I tried it with Large fins but really I need XL side fins for kiting).This shape has hold and release while plaining up wind easily and can handle flatter sections. It draws a touch short on cutbacks but I prefer this than having to much hold or stick in beachies.
Its not maybe as light as I would like but for a mass produced Kiteboard its very good. The number one thing I noticed was the cork inlay under the feet. This I could feel dampen chatter and jolting through the knees. Having had sore knees from kiting to much I really appreciated this. Also its settles the board down landing from critical turns or airs.I like the combination of Glass and carbon weaves which to me it looks like it will hold up to significant abuse. At around $1000 I think getting 3-4 season from a board would be money really well spent. Duotone have a pretty good warranty being strapless on this board would definitely help longevity (Normally I am glassing and fixing my boards after one season and its a bit annoying constantly doing this.OR expensive paying someone)
I can see this board pleasing allot of people in most conditions from newbie/int/advanced riders. Just the fact I took the time to write a review actually sais allot. (Besides the fact I ended buying one myself) But its horses for courses so go get a demo and try before you buy like I did.) Plug for Darren too I noticed allot of guys having been buying equipment online or from where ever. Darren has a price match policy so go see Action sports if you are in the metro area Perth. Or support your local shop these guys are doing it tough last few years.