Hello Kite Addicts, check out the new stick:
Yes it is incredibly sexy, yes it does drive girls wild (well, my girlfriend at least.)
I have been riding it for about a month now, 3-4 sessions per week, so I think enough to give a good review of it. First lets go over the features:
- Unique "tunnel V" concave
- Low drag polycarbonate "thin fins"
- Fins are slightly toed in
- Contoured footbeds, with mount plates, and adjustable straps
- Shaped ABS rails, very thin
- H110 Divinycell Core
- Low rocker, flexy tips
I'd say the two most stand out features of this board are the low drag/toed in fins, and the footbeds and straps. The pad/strap setup may say NSI, but they are also designed by Hein (for NSI.)
Many people who I have showed this board to on the beach were a bit unsure of the polycarbonate fins, however one ride and they were all in agreement that these were more than just a gimmicky feature. It may be tough to tell from the pictures but the fins are very thin. They have about half the the volume of an ordinary fin. The front is foiled by hand, and the back sharpened.
The fins are secured in a pretty ingenious way. The fin has two tabs sticking up, that fit through two small slits in the board. On the other side a small "bone" plate is placed over and secured by two small allen screws. Hein includes an extra fin and allen wrench in case anything happens to the fins. I have been over sand and rocks at high speeds on this board with no problems, the fins are as tough as they are fast.
Top of fins
The straps and pads on this board are very nice. To tighten you just pull on a small webbing on top, and to loosen you press a release right next to the webbing. The mechanism is similar to straps made for securing things to the top of your car. The footbeds themselves have a nice toe ramp built in, and a very grippy texture.
I was really surprised by how well the setup worked with booties. Most of the time my booties drive me crazy, I feel like I can never feel the board or really control it as well as I can with barefeet, but with this setup I had no trouble.
Tunnel V Concave
Hein has a unique bottom shape that allows for the smooth feel of concave, and the looser feel of a flat bottom. It makes for a very efficient and fast board, that loves to be slid around and carved like a snowboard in fresh powder. It's really something else. Hein describes his concave like the detuned edges on a snowboard, because of it you can ride out of some pretty gnarly landings.
You'll have to tilt your head to check out that rocker
The board has a very flat and fast feel to it. Because it has such low rocker and a fast shape, I have found it to work great in even light wind, which it surprising given its size. It has a good deal of flex which you can feel going into wakestyle pop manuvers and fast transitions.
Upwind is very good, but you with its loose feel you will need to focus on keeping your board straight. I'd rather have loose than locked in all the time, but if its not your cup of tea its something to consider.
One other small downside is the paint finish is not as durable as production finishes, since it is just regular paint you can touch it up easily though. The bottom is very durable, I have taken it over sand many times and it still looks new. The edges are made of ABS and are very durable.
One more shot for the road.
Here's a list of the boards I have owned or demoed in the last year:
- Hammersurf 147 GTO (owned)
- Slingshot SX 132 (owned)
- Slingshot SX 122
- Naish Thorn 129
- Jamie Pro '05 126
- Liquid Force Element 128 (owned)
- Liquid Force Drop
- Jimmy Lewis Custom
I think that all these boards have their own positive attributes, but at the end of the day I really have to stick with the Hein. Maybe its that "custom" feel, who knows. I'm just happy to have it, it really fits my style.