OK so theres a new board tech SLS from Duotone saying how f????ing briliant it is (again...dont thay all say that??)
Theres only one way to find out how good it is. Thats to ride it .....like you stole it...Ok technically if you give the Demo back at some stage they dont call the police. ANyway enough Dad jokes.
Rider - 95kg Dad bod. 11 Years wave kiting...30+ yrs surfing.
Current board WAS the North WAM 6ft.
SO I spent a week on the 5'11 Duotone WAM PRO Demo. The new shape gave me the confidence to upgrade my board and being a surfer I am super fussy about boards....SO much so just recently I just blew 1K on a board I didn't end up liking..FML. Its like having a great board makes everything better...having one that isnt quite right for you just BUGS THE FK out of me.
If you are going to drop a 1K+ on a board definitely see if theres a demo of it first. Luckily for me Action Sports Balcatta were nice enough to let me thrash theirs for a week. Go check out their range End of season sale bargains are ON!!
First impressions- Its smooth and planted especially stable under the front foot...I love this coz burning around the lineup through chop burns energy concentrating. On the wave its nimble and very responsive...The SLS is way more surfboard like than kite board like. I put this down to the boards flex...when I tested it against the PRO Model the flex in the SLS was way more responsive.
Turns- Very snappy. Quite easy to pop fins out of the lip on turns if you like or lock down on the tail for a hard carving turns. Occasionally I get my ass in the air and this board is quite compliant...what I like is the landing. You can see Sky has focused this on performance surfing and also stability on landing tricks for his Team guys. SO WTF does this mean. Well I think this board will suit Intermediate riders through to experienced helping with progression and performance.
Conditions - Suits 1-6ft I would say. So its a true all rounder in that way. If you ride strong wind go a size down...if you have lighter wind and flowing waves like the sunny coast dont be scared to size up..
Construction- The Innegra Shield is a fibreglass fabric promoting added strength but not adding stiffness (Unlike carbon which is super strong but stiff AF) Hence why surfboards only use carbon strategically for structural strength in rails or down the middle. Anyway Innegra sounds like a Marvel comic invention making Spideys web stronger and lucky for us its now super cool in kite surfboards. This is the best construction I have seen to retain performance and strength thus far in my eternal search for the perfect kite surf board. The CORK inlay I love it. Its saved my knees the last few seasons its very noticeable how it absorbs chatter and harder impacts compared to a normal board.
Price - OK FK me its the most I have ever spent on a surfboard... having had the WAM Pro and Whip Pro before I thrashed these boards and they stood up to 2-3 seasons for me with out any major damage and I sold them on. Alternately me and allot of my mates normally would spend $500-900 on high performance boards. In some cases glassing the decks for extra strength...this was hit and miss as we would invariably crease or break these at some point making them pretty worthless. No regrets the performance is worth the effort but fixing boards all the time SUX. My budget per year on my kite boards is $500-1000. If I ride this board for 2 seasons and still get $600 back that keeps me happy its bang in the middle of my budget. BUT B4 you drop your Moola get a demo to figure out your size.
5'11 over 85kg
5'9 (This looks like the money size I am to fat...James Carew rides the 5'9 and froths on it)
The website recommendations are probably bang on.
FINS- I used Quobbas Large in the front medium in the rear (great hold and release when needed)
OVER and OUT Yeow!!
The standard Wam with the red base looks way nicer though...!
Great review mate, Just picked up my 5'3" fish SLS and looking at it the construction and quality is second to none and better than the 2020, if that is even possible.
No other board construction ticks all the boxes, lightweight, strong, looks good and has the most surfboard feel of any kiteboard, and I have owned dozens of boards over the years.
Expect a another boring review from me also. No affiliations.
Just update after a couple of weeks of new board froth and also response from another thread from Nathe asking about the diff between PRO and SLS. Hope feedback is helpful.
Myself after having the SLS for a couple of weeks its super responsive (bit like a tennis racket or golf driver). Its real high performance so if your timing is out or you are out of rhythm it kicks back a bit. In that way I would say the Pro is a bit more consistent and forgiving which in chop/backwash onshore might be better at times. Especially for intermediate riders progressing don't get hung up to much on high tech
Is it worth the extra 3-400$ (If you are int/advanced rider have the cash spare then YES, if spend is hurting a bit then you NO. You will still love the PRO WAM. Don't forget it was the legit top line board only last year. Plus few sales on atm. Save few 100$
Any comparsion between the normal WAM and Pro WAM for 2020? Purely strapless, no freestyle, so not as worried about durability. The Pro WAM would seem to make more sense but.....I actually don't mind a bit of weight in the board, the main thing is snap and flex.