Tried and true :-)
Today, I had a nice surprise, Norman John Hann let me have his Sunova Torpedo just for me ??for a bit of a trial run.I went for my usual reverse Coffee Run, with the hopes that the inflow would picked-up for the end of the run.
1) Launched out of Britannia with some "glass" and it gave me a few km to get a feel. The board is really fast considering it is more dedicated to bumps. the nose goes nicely and the stiffness is likely helping with speed. With a pintail not much issue with release :-) At first there was a bit of a twitch until the legs get dialed and found the spot where the hard rail should just seat and then it is just plain sailing.
2) That was good preparation for a bit of light side chop, side wind quartering getting against the river flow and with the wind starting to build up on my left side. No problem there but will have to really see with some hard steep chop. With the hard rails on most of the board, that might prove teh Achille's Heel and then again maybe not.
3) Then I got into the perfect angle to catch a light downwind to the Blind Channel and the marina. First time on the board, pintail, 25.5 wide, sand bars, I was expecting to test the cold water of the harbor. I was really surprised at the stability and predictability of the board. It is simply what I call a well balanced design. I felt way more stable than the 25.5 Allround and I enjoyed this board without any comparison. It is easier to get on the tail than I would have expected (I was there quite a few times) and once there following the bumps for linking feels natural with no stability issues at all. Now I did not tried to get fancy or anything and no extreme cutting across steep bumps. Just enjoying the ride. I had zero problem with stalling and the board gets back into gear and speed with a few strokes. All I can say is that I was in a happy place even if it was my first time on that board.
4) Now, would I buy one. First I would need to know how the board in 25.5 is going on the nastier stuff quartering some messy steep chops. If positive. then most certainly if/when a used one become available (Norman John Hann, hint, hint ??). My first thinking was that I would go only for a 27" wide. But now I am starting to thing actually that I would go for the 25.5. Why. For the speed and fun factor in light and marginal conditions. I think that speed is an important factor in the enjoyment and dynamic of this board and I was really impressed with the stability and soundness of the 25.5.