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 Post subject: The Shinn Ultrasonic (+ ADHD now)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:36 am 
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Thought some people migh like the low-down on the new Shinn Ultrasonic so here are my thoughts.

Me: 77kg and ride aggressive freeride and dabble in freestyle depending on the conditions. I could also be classed as a UK Shinn ‘team rider’ but I do choose to ride them as they are hands down the best boards I have tried for where I kite on the west coast of Scotland.

To start I’m going to give a bit of my Shinn history as I’ve owned a 130 original Monk, 132 original, 135 Super Shinn, 132 Monk Beast, 133 Street and for the last year 132 Monk Forever plus a recently added aW16 Speedball. I have also tried other board in the range and different sizes.

Now I love the Monk and as you can see I kept going back to it as it is just so much fun. It is a ballistic missile that makes the most of the worst conditions and you can blast your way through chop in comfort and pull the trigger for big boosts on the crappiest of ramps. It feels very high performance, but it’s secret is that it does make things easy and you feel like a bit of a kiting rock star!

When considering the original Monk I personally felt it was giant leap forward with the CC rocker, flex pattern and performance redefining the freeride board market and Mark had truly designed something special. Of course the tech and learning from the design then filtered through the range to create that ‘Shinn feel’. So in many ways the other boards in the range are hugely different, but they retain that feel and it was this is what always drew me back to the Monk and I only realized why when trying the Ultrasonic.

Previously I have wanted more unhooked pop, which the SuperShinn and the Street delivered, but to me they have felt like a modified Monk and what was given on one hand was taken away on the other i.e. more pop less aggressive carve. It was this diminished ‘Monkness’ (although better in other aspects) that would on those ‘Monk days’ leave me feel as if I was missing something.

Now the Ultrasonic - it is definitely a Shinn but it is so different to the Monk and the other boards in the range that I don’t feel is if I’m riding something modified from the original. It is a completely new strain of Shinn – yes it has the same family tree, but it is something totally different – and this is very exciting.

I rode the 135x41 for two hours powered on a 12m VX in some choppy onshore conditions. It is comfortable with even loading, no spray (it is a Shinn) and it handles chop very easily but feels different to the other Shinn boards that just blast through it at full pelt. It doesn’t feel quite as fast and that instant Monk acceleration is not as apparent, but it somehow feels coiled and ready to explode.

Now you can use this potential energy to get some excellent hooked in jumps through loading and tensioning the lines, but here it is no Monk. If you want exhilarating full throttle hooked in riding then the Monk excels; however if you want to unhook the Ultrasonic beats not only the Monk but the rest of the previous range hands down. The pop it has engineered into it is phenomenal (and so begins the debate about pop).

You can get pop from any board and it is a word bandied about a lot without people really giving context to what they are doing/want. When I say pop here I’m looking at the ability to load the tail/board (small rapid carve/ollie) unhooked while staying as square-on to the kite as possible. My experience is the more carve it takes to load the more off-centre us mortals (non pros) end up from the kite i.e. you twist through your mid-section as it throws you off the water – like having opposing forces working on you?

However, some boards almost seem to store the kinetic energy for release at will with a snap – like bending a ruler over the edge of a table and it springs back. I remember trying the first Airsuh FS that the late Colin McCulloch designed and thinking ‘ah so this is what pop is’ as it did ping you off the water with a spring like feeling through ‘stomping’ the tail. The Ultrasonic falls into this category, but unlike some boards that do this it is not a complete tooth-jarring bastard to ride in general, or a banana shaped power sucking wake monster.

As I said it feels coiled. You unhook, load your back leg and it snaps you off the water. It won’t move an inch it just bites until you release and this means you remain in the optimal body position facing the kite – the Monk you could pop but it took an aggressive carve and you could push the tail out at times. Landings are excellent – it feels stable and grips without throwing you off or over the board. The Monk (mine on 43mm fins) felt altogether more frantic but the Ultrasonic is just smooth and even with bigger fins can also be broken loose and slid toeside

Compared to the rest of the Shinn range it prefers a more dominant approach; however I never found it that demanding. You can use the immense rail bite to go upwind without having to feel as if you’re working that hard. Plus the stance and body position, although more commanding, feels very natural. You can stand very upright and you almost relax… the Monk yeah you could to an extent, but why would you and you’d not go as upwind as good as when you hack. The special thing about the Ultrasonic is that then when you want it - BANG explosive pop power on tap, you push it pushes back.

Now my beloved Monk… I will miss you and if I were to only have one board then it would probably be you. However, I now have the Speedball for aggressive carving and hooked-in boosting where again it feels different enough to not make me think ‘why not the Monk’? Plus now I have the Ultrasonic – undeniably a Shinn, but a completely new version. If the original Monk was Tim Burton’s Batman (the first movie only), the Ultrasonic is the Christopher Nolan version.


Last edited by John-B on Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:33 am 
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Location: Saltspring Island, BC Canada & Mui Ne, Vietnam
Nice review!
Just looking at getting my second Monk. Now I'll have to consider the Ultrasonic vs. the on sale monk. Hmmm...
How well does it eat chop? I'm starting to get sore knees from the chop even on the monk. Is the Ultra stiffer?


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:22 am 
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It eats chop just fine with no splash and a heap of comfort for the type of board it is, but it is different to the Monk. As I said you don't just blast through it but the amount of rail you have and the outline mean you can ease off a bit and still go very far upwind - so the level of control if used could be easy on the knees. That said it is probably not intended to be used this way - why buy a sports model and treat it like a cruiser?

It is by no means stiffer but the flex is also different to previous boards. If you are not aiming to unhook more (which will affect the knees) then I'd probably add another board form the range - the Dundee is far more tactile and not as raw as the Monk. You have to consider that although comfortable when riding around the POP you get from it when wound up is massive and unhooked you come if fast from good height - the landings are good but the board can't magically make them any softer?


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 am 
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Nice review John. I understand for your review what this board is about and I think it will compliment the speedball of yours. Time to get out the razors again then hey? Lol!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:53 am 
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Eppo - no Razor required. That new VX is great in the unhooked pop department and also gives an middle aged dude some respite.

It is time to start crashing those blind judges again!

You need to demo one - much more connected and way more POP than the La Luz.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Ha ha...what about in your smaller kite sizes? You gonna unhook and pop on the wave?

You ridden a 2013 laluz?

But yeh although they have stiffened them over the past two years true wake style riders, especially those who ride on boots might find them a little soft...well I know of two that do anyhow. Suites my freeride stuff and have been unhooking the dice and it seems to do the trick,

But yeh always open to trying a new board especially a shinn.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Westozzy wrote:
Ha ha...what about in your smaller kite sizes? You gonna unhook and pop on the wave?

You ridden a 2013 laluz?


I already do - the Wave is probably a lot like the Dice. The 9m Wave is a cracking all-rounder and in lower end of range is great for unhooking/everything, but give it beans (not unhooking weather) it is a boost monster! The biggest surprise as I said to you was the 12m VX just such a great kite.

I think I have tried the 2013 LaLuz, deffo been on a 2012 as a mate has one.

You need to demo the US and give us your feedback... it is an altogether different type of Shinn and if you want clean edge release coupled with control and comfort then :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Yeh I know I was just giving you some friendly shit. I watched a guy in Bali actually unhooking a wave and doing the wake style dance. I thought...mmmm there you go.

Hey get mark to send me one and I'll write a review....lol

Yeh love to get on one, but for certain reasons don't know if I can.

Love the try the VX as well for sure.

Talk soon.

Email sent man.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ultrasonic – it’s a Shinn, but not as we know it!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:19 am 
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Update - ADHD demoed with feedback below.

Firstly the ADHD is a gorgeous looking board and like all Shinn boards it looks much better in the flesh as pictures never seem to do them justice. Construction wise it is similar to the rest of the range but you can see it has slightly thicker rails and tips and when you try to flex it there is a lot of resistance. Then there is the rocker which is big – it almost looks like a longer, more substantial Monk with more rocker? That said it is by no means heavy and I was quite surprised by this as some wakestyle boards are very much so.

It was the 137x41 setup with the new Shinn Sneakers on the narrow setting, which is wide on most of the range and 53mm fins; which is important to mention and I’ll explain later. To be honest I did not know what to expect as I’m not a fan of these 'types' of boards, but as I’ve ridden most of the range it was thought I’d be able to provide perspective from a ‘normal’ rider i.e. I’m decent and can do some basic unhooked but I’m certainly no wakestyler!?

I was out locally in the West of Scotland in a cold NW wind (a lot of punch) were I was powered to very very powered at times on a 9m Airush Wave. As soon as I got on it you could feel it was stiffer underfoot as the flex is totally different to the rest of the range. However, it was super smooth as the rocker and the concave provide a cushion that you glide along on. Also it might be a relatively long board but you have very little rail in the water and the nose tips/fins are out completely.

Not having a lot of rail means it doesn’t go upwind anywhere near as well as the Ultrasonic or even the Monk, but it is not terrible as there is some surface area with the width in the centre driving it – you just need to be more determined. What is interesting about the rocker is that it was physically impossible for me to bury the nose and you’d have to lean so far over you’d fall. In the ‘lagoon’ that fills at high tide there was small windblown high frequency chop – ADHD is smooth, then outside in the choppy wind blown waves – ADHD is smooth. So it is very smooth and I’d describe it as controlled and steady – it doesn’t feel as if it accelerates or goes anywhere near as fast as the other boards in the range, but in a variety of conditions it rides exactly the same.

In the lagoon unhooking for some POP you can tell it is not going to load through flex/engineering (stamp POP) like the US and you have to carve load to ‘hook’ some up (imagine trying to make a hook, or J shape). If you know how to do this then the POP is explosive and very easy to access. Also you can load the board/kite very progressively as it never seems to get out of shape – again just smooth and steady. This really works in choppier conditions and if you get the timing right and hit a kicker wave then you go huge… after which the magic happens.

The magic thing about the ADHD is the landings. It never once bucked, bounced or gripped hard enough on a hooked or unhooked landing to throw me and the board stayed on my (booted feet) the whole session. Now the new sneakers are much improved but with boots on hard landings my narrow feet still have a tendency to come free – the Ultrasonic’s rail can bite on landing and I’ve been bounced out the straps. Coming in heelside, toeside, fast, low, high, sideways, off-axis it just doesn’t matter you somehow mange to land the ADHD and ride out just fine – I can see why this would be awesome for practicing wakestyle as it just never catches even with 53mm fins!!!

Generally freeriding it is fine, not as dynamic as the rest of the range but it is no slouch and more lively than some of other boards of this ilk I’ve tried. The smooth, steady ride means you can boost very easily on it as it never seems to trip you even on a breaking kicker. It was also fun on the mushy waves - the nose is lifted so high it felt impossible to bury it; however it won’t carve as hard as others as the rail grip is not the same, but that must be the trade-off for the magic landings?

In fact it is very loose and even with the 53mm fins you can slide it around – it will even go sideways if you have enough power. This is not to say it is overly slippery though and the channels seem to give it enough grip and feedback that you are in control… that is until you are overpowered. When really overpowered (small squall hit) it will slip sideways whereas the Monk just goes faster until you crash, the Ultrasonic will snap your ankles or you’ll get pulled over it, but the ADHD will start to slide and give way and you’ll slip downwind. I’m surmising, but I think if you stuck some boots on it at the widest stance setting it will flatten the mid section give you a bit more bite and possibly better upwind.

I suppose that is the crux of it – it was designed as a wakestyle board and having seen Alex Bournay (Shinn team) ride where and how he does in Medano it is perfect. It does have crossover potential, but unless you are going to use it as designed (not as a fashion accessory) then there are better choices in the range. However, if you are going to stick some boots on it ride new school and stomp landings then (to the best of my experience) I can see it being a very good board for messy, real world conditions.

The ADHD… controlled, smooth, steady and not as hyperactive as you’d think, but it will let you throw all the shapes you want without ever getting ill tempered.


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