Fresh and out of the box thinking gives the kite industry a push in new directions with new opportunities. So we are proud to have been able to test a completely new French twintip invention; Inobo. It comes with a transparant plastic –polycarbonate– deck. But what is even more interesting is the ability to exchange a complete part of this deck. This is how the Inobo twintip can be transformed in a different type of board. Very clever work. The looks from the polycarbonate version are completely outstanding. Be ready for that talk on the beach. Because people will come up to you and ask about it. The chat -however- will not be just full of praise. The Inobo kiteboard is not the cheapest nor the lightest one out there. But the ride is extremely comfy on the polycarbonate deck. For a more aggressive mode other decks are needed.
The German designed Spleene 2017 RS 38 twin tip has been marketed as their freeride&freestyle board. The figures of the RS 38, with 42,5 cm wide, suggest a pretty big board. Good thing is that it feels much smaller and is surprisingly alive under your feet. The Spleene RS 38 would fit a typical freeride kiter from 75 kg’s and more, who wants to be triggered to bump&jump and play around very happily. But it is not a radical wakestyle board and neither a light wind miracle.
Numerous shiny, outstanding colors to style your board from the -friendly prized- new brand Encore. We took two twin tips of them out for a test, both of them containing a carbon spine with a very specific, interesting shape. Carbon isn’t an automatic choice as we learned from Alvaro Onieva and Saul Customs which makes us very curious how the Encore Inferno and Paradise perform on the water.
The cheapest board we have ever seen. Just 300 Euro’s, including pads, straps, handle and fins. Is it just for beginners? Is it crappy build quality? Not for extreme moves? Actually non of them is true. It is nothing you would expect. It gives a strange feeling upfront when you know its price. It quickly became the talk of the town when we tested the just released Tribord Zeruko twin tip. Eye catching is the huge amount of channels on the bottom. It gives away what type of board it really is. It is not what you would expect from a store with just one board in their line up. It turns out to be a pretty extreme edging machine which could easily be used in a pure freestyle session!
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.
“A board must be my friend, my partner, not the one I have to fight with. I want to trust my board and be sure that it will perform the way I want and expect.” These are the wise and passionate words from twin tip shaper Saul. He is not only referring to the shape, but also to the fact you can get your twin tip looking just as you wish. On top of that the board will be cheaper as most others.
Saul customs will make both the shape and the appearance just as you want it. Saul is an experienced shaper from Lithuania (Europe) and respectful 40+ freestyle addict himself. He offers a couple of standard shapes and is waiting for your artistic input to get any picture or print you want on the board. Made in his own production unit he ensures that at least the quality of a standard production board can be achieved; “Boards of the highest quality, newest shape and unbreakable“.
Carbon or no carbon? That is a relevant question when it comes to the twin tips of F-one. Both the Acid and the Trax are amazing boards when it comes to performance. The super comfortable Acid and the low – and up wind capabilities of the Trax made these boards very populair. But as we have many people around us riding happily on these two F-one boards we also have seen that a lot of the carbon version have a tendency to break. Luckily F-one Benelux has a good warranty back-up so most of the unlucky owners that broke one have a new board in no time.
According to the product video’s all twin tips haven’t changed much from ’15 to ’16. The boards still come with the F-one invention from a couple of years ago where the rail varies in thickness over the board from tip to tip; the Helical Rail Design (HRD). Most obvious changes for 2016 can be found on the new pads&straps and the new colourful designs.
For one whole month we could test the new Trax, Acid Carbon (large) and the Acid Girly edition in Tarifa to see how the changes F-one has made affected these boards.
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.
When we were heading for Tarifa (Spain), the playground of Alvaro Onieva, we felt honoured to be able to test his prototype of the Clash Reincarnation 2.1, the follow up of our most favourable twin tip from 2015. And yes, the 2.1 was as good as we hoped for and still with the same astonishing low price. We also had a little interview with Alvaro after the test.
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.