I was shopping this winter to renew my "weapon of choice" as I was getting bored with my old and trusty '06 Misfit 127. Had my mind settled on the Nobil 2HD or 2012 Laluz when I've got offered the 2012 Brunotti Riva L. And since I kinda enjoy riding different gear than everybody else, the decision was easy. So after a great trip to OBX and a good deal of local riding here are my thoughts.
Riva L is advertised as an ultimate freeride cruiser despite the fact that you'll be really hard pressed to find any significant difference in rocker line, stiffness and bottom shape between the Riva L and the Pro-X (advertised for freestyle) side by side. I was actually choosing between these two boards but at the end went for the Riva L due to better (unapproachable) finish. Pro-X had some "rough edges" that I really didn't like.
Board rides just as well (if not better) as it looks! This is probably the most surfy twintip i've ever tried - never had so much fun in waves and on a downwinder! Yet, everything else is in check - upwind, edge hold, chop eating, pop - you name it - she'll do it beautifully!
Stock pads and straps - although bloooooody heavy - are so damn comfortable! Nothing else to add here except that after riding the Riva for a good while, when i've stepped into my old North Phantom for a light wind session it came as a surprise that North's pads/straps are a major piece of crap!!!
Riding that board reminded me a lot about the difference between a good waiter and an uber-good waiter at a restaurant. A good waiter does everything what a good waiter is supposed to do - take your order, bring drinks, bring food, pour wine, take away dirty dishes, etc... Well, an uber-good waiter, does all the same, but you just don't notice it!!! Same goes for the Riva L - it does everything a good board is supposed to do without thinking about it. No questions asked, no comments, just pure riding pleasure! An ultimate freeride cruiser that is indeed!
Now what I didn't like:
-Weight, the board it-self is on the light side, but the stock pads are easily doubling the board's overall weight.
-Stock handle is crap! Brunotti logo started pealing right from the start, so to keep the looks in shape I had to cover it with a layer of kitefix - holding for now, but in long run i'd either change the handle for something more durable or remove it altogether.
-And along with the handle, quality of other "made in China"-parts is rather questionable as well. For instance, after getting the board I had to go back to the shop to change a fin as one of the screw holes was crooked.