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M8 Altona Test

Created by RAL INN > 9 months ago, 29 Jan 2007
VIC, 2674 posts
29 Jan 2007 11:11AM
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Had the M8 141x41cm out at Altona for a test on Saturday.

For those who don’t know Altona. It is onshore wind with shallow water over a series of sandbars that can dry out at low tide. The waves are only forming on the outer bar and at best about 2ft high and very close periods, it’s possible to pop of one on the way out and clear the next.
Outside the sandbars is just wind driven chop but you can manage to run along some long swells but it’s rough.

Used the board mainly with a Tribal2 13m, but a guy also gave me a go of his Torch3 12m but when wind was at it’s low cycle.

Wind was gusty and way up and down, the Tribal regularly going thru the full range of it’s depower ability on the strap.
So I’d say 13kts-30kts.

The Board should have been too big for the high wind but strangely it held it’s edge all the time. In the low winds it was a very easy cruise.
The carving ability is pretty sweet but likes a more flowing turn. The extra planning surface seems to help when you need to quickly stomp on the tail to finish a turn, keeping some form of planning happening.
The Pop of the water is very good although you do notice the extra size just as you leave the water (I usually ride a 125x39.5). The landings are absolutely sweet.
A bit of tail first touch down uses the extra length and tail flex to really cushion the touchdown and balance you for edging.

The rocker and flex at the tips, combined with the size of fins allows this board to go very shallow, shallow enough to ride ripplets of water over sucked dry sandbank.
Without touching.

On the other hand the extra size of the board made for some harshness over the worst of the sharp chop, and along the face of the outer swells. This is me comparing the waves of Torquay here and I feel that this board would really make for some insane TT wave riding, as the tip flex and extra size would be a big advantage, plus it seems to have sacrificed no Popping ability, so jumping incoming waves on the way out will be as easy as it gets.

This would also be a great board at St Kilda both for riding the gusts and crap as you go from the outer harbour past the Newbies and Yachts into the inner harbour, and for boosting along the pier (the best boosting bit of water I know of) .

At Pt Danger it would be insane, at high tide, for both riding the waves and boosting in the flatwater over the reef against the Cliff.

Of course I’m a bit biased, selling M8’s and Having ridden them for about 3 years, but these boards are every bit as good as the best you can think of.
The very experienced riders may have very personal preferences about rocker and flex, but those who are not yet at the level of noticing the very finer points.
Will not make a better choice on a board that will help them progress and be with them for years.

A note on the Kites used.
The Tribal2 13m was sweet in the wind strength I used the Torch in but jumps were a relaxed 6-8FT, and upwind was just OK.
The Torch3 12m was a bit snappier and sharper in the same winds, but upwind was harder and I had to work hard to get a 3ft jump(Give a little leeway here to getting off the Tribal which is very technique specific and not having time to adapt to the Torch3).

The Torch is a great kite and way fun to use, with heaps of depower, but probably doesn’t have any better low end performance than the Torch3 10m.
This surprised me, although it really powered up nice when an extra couple of Knots of wind were added. This kite would be a gruntier version of the 10m in the earlier stages of wind strength, but those trying to judge a kite by it’s absolute lowend and think that if the 10m goes in X knots then the 12m should go in X-2 knots will be caught out. Hope this makes sense.

Best Winds

VIC, 2674 posts
2 Mar 2007 7:53PM
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The M8 141x41 has been tried at
Pt Danger
Sandy Point

still impresses but certainly shines brightest in waves.
probably the pick of the bunch for TT waveriding.

still great on flat water but feels big when trying for big boosting, and toeside carves need to be a lot more flowing. of course the board loves flowing turns, which is why it feels sweet on waves.

Just 141cm is a lot of edge to control when powering up for a big boost.


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"M8 Altona Test" started by RAL INN