Recognisable by the wooden look and -of course – the orange logo, the Dutch brand Lieuwe delivers handcrafted custom boards. We see more and more people riding with those stylish twin tips and yes at least one of the three different twin tips is a hit in the bulls eye. It is the fourth brand we have tested so far which produces twin tips trying to out perform in quality the boards from more established brands like F-one and North. And to our judgement Lieuwe does that clearly with succes.
Massive, deep multiple channels, surprising big rocker, extremely wide: made to shred some kickers and sliders. This, in combination with the stylish wooden colours of the Livewire with the leather looking Reefer boots, got us exited to test it. We got the Livewire Reefer 140cm 2016 for a couple of days to get an impression what this wakestyle twin tip is like on the water.
North is a big brand as in very well known around the world, but also in terms of the amount of different types of hardware. For 2016 North has roughly 8 different kites, 10 twintips and 8 different wave boards. An incredible amount and most of them are redesigned every year. Is this redesign a marketing driven thing or can we pin point some real improvements? To give you an hint; most North quiver is not really changed but tweaked.
We had the chance to ride most of the 2016 equipment for a couple of hours. Below you will find some highlights of the first impressions we had from it. In a further stage we give you more detailed reviews on all main stream kites and twintips.
How much better is a twintip that costs approximately a 1000,- euro’s compared to cheaper twintips with similar features? We tested the North Team Series 138*41 cm 2015 to get the answer.
North produces a large quiver of kiteboards. With 10 different (in 2015) twintip boards to choose from it’s a good thing they have made an online tool to point you in the right direction. When you set this tool to “100% freestyle” it suggests 3 twintips; The Team Series, the Team Series Hadlow version and the already tried and tested Jaime.
Chit Chat reloaded 134
Today is gonna be a good day. One of the many cheering lines of the JN Kites Twintip Chit Chat reloaded. It has over 20 randomly chosen sentences written down, both on the top and the bottom of the board, which makes the looks of this board unique and cheerful. The Chit Chat is described as a an unrivalled freestyler in terms of pop, speed and landings. We tested the Chit Chat reloaded 134 in several conditions; with 20 till 28 knots in choppy till rough (2.5 m waves) sea. Not the perfect conditions for a test of a freestyle board, but we tested the Chit Chat 134 * 40 cm to see if it is also in it’s element out of pure freestyle conditions. This should work out not too bad, since the aim is to bring you to the next level in freestyle and freeride. The 134 is the second out of the four possible sizes. We reckon this board is suited for kiters till 70 kg. A more heavy (or bigger than roughly 175cm) person will notice the 134 board gives some spray in the face and needs to get a bigger sizes board (138 or even 142). The board has a honeycomb core combined with a layer of carbon and is about 150 euro’s more than the Peacemaker. Both boards weigh, with dry straps, around five kg. The weight feeling while kiting feels medium till light; a bit lighter than most other boards, but not as light as for example the ultra-light North Select twintip. Continue reading Review: JN Kites twintip Chit Chat Reloaded 134 and the Peacemaker 136
According to the North website their North Select twintip is a 100% freeride board. It is described as a fast, light and responsive board and is build with Textreme Carbon. Out of curiosity we checked what Textreme Carbon actually is. Apparently it is not just a marketing term, but an existing material.
TeXtreme is the trade name of Oxeon’s “spread tow” carbon fiber composite. TeXtreme is different than traditional carbon fiber because the individual fibers are configured like extremely small ribbons, not round strands of carbon as with conventional carbon fiber. The wider, flatter orientation of TeXtreme carbon fiber means the individual carbon fibers nest closer to one another, producing a denser, stiffer, stronger interlace of carbon fibers. Since the carbon fibers are arrayed in closer proximity to each other there is less room for the matrix material, the “glue” that makes carbon fiber solid. Less matrix means more carbon and more carbon means better stiffness and energy management. It also means North can use less carbon fiber to produce an even stronger and lighter board.
The North Jamie board is one of the most popular boards of North. The 2015 model is already the 10th edition. It got its name from Tarifa veteran kiter Jaime Herraiz. The website of Northkiteboarding has sophisticated choose&slide features which pops up “best match” with the Jaime when selecting 25% Freeride and 100% Freestyle. The Jaime, according to the North website, is “The real beauty of the Jaime however is its forgiving nature; it’s one of the easiest boards to ride, yet it is still packed with performance “. Continue reading Test Twintip North Jaime 133*40 2015
“Clash”, a relative unknown brand which just makes kiteboard twintips according to the knowledge of the Spanish professional Alvaro Onievo.
Although they also are sold with boots (complete for just 750,-!) we tried it with normal straps. We took it out to Canos De Mecca on a very gusty but windy (25-40 knots) day with from time to time some big rolling “ola’s”.
We tested 2 F-one twintip kiteboards; The Acid HRD 132*40 and the Acid Carbon 133*42 2015 boards.
F-one HRD twintips
The F-one twintip kiteboards stand clearly out from any other brands by its shape and size of the rail; it is really thick in some outer parts of the rail, but narrow in the middle. To our knowledge no other brand has incorporated this type of rail in their twintip boards. F-one used this so called Helical Rail Design (HRD) also last year (2014) on the twintips. We also tested these boards (see link, in Dutch) and we were very exited on how it works; A lot of edge when you need it (to pop for a jump), and sharp as a knife when you need to cut through choppy waters. Maybe something that comes close to this technique is a invention called “Rocker Flex Adjuster“. This adjuster, mounted on the place of your handle, will try to versatile the twintip. That is where we see the similarity. But it gets different if we talk money; the RFA will take yo another 200 euros out of your pocket, as the HRD rail will just be there with the board without extra costs… Continue reading Kiteboard test F-one Acid 2015 132cm HRD and 133cm HRD Carbon