Skill : intermediate / advanced
Previous boards : 2015 Shinn Monk, Shinn Bronq
Received a brand new 2017 Bronq Heritage 2 weeks ago to replace my original Bronq from 2015 - Shinn's 2 years no-fuss warranty is exactly that: no fuss, if you're in your right, you'll get a new board. I was lucky enough that the 2015 Bronq's were all out so they hooked me up with a new version, the Bronq Heritage. So already here big up to Shinn, will buy Shinn again for this reason alone.
Here's a short review of how it compares to the original one:
When placing both boards next to each other, the Heritage has more or less the same outline and rocker as the original Bronq. Since it is a full carbon board, it weighs next to nothing, making jumps and grabs and tweaks a breeze. However, there is one significant difference: the Bronq Heritage has a channelled bottom, which supposedly is better for low end and upwind. After testing it a few times, also in less powered conditions, I can confirm that the Heritage is indeed more efficient. The channels allow you to ride the board flatter while pushing water with the channels, so more surface area without losing that upwind angle. Definitely an improvement here.
- Faster: because you can ride the board flatter with more control, you can also build more speed faster. At top speed, you can re-engage the full rail and bite fins in the water, riding it full power like you would with the old Bronq. Top speed might be more or less the same, but getting to top speed is easier because more control when riding board flat/accelerating.
- Comfort in chop: similarly, because you can ride the board a bit flatter and use the channels, the board glides more over chop while the original Bronq cuts through chop more. This allows you to manage/keep your speed better, without being slowed down when hitting chop with the edge/rail. However, if fully powered/overpowered, the Heritage also still allows you to edge hard and cut instead of glide. In either way, the board goes through chop supersmooth with 0 spray, just like the previous version.
- Coming in hot after landing hard seems easier.
- Because the board is designed to also be ridden flatter using the channels, actually engaging the rail to carve / edge hard requires a bit more input from the rider. For example doing a toeside to heelside carving turn, the original Bronq dug in deeper faster and almost automatically, always being supergrippy and sending huge spray. The Heritage will send similar spray and will let you carve just as hard, but I had the feeling it first engaged the channels and only then afterwards dug in with the rail/edge fully engaged. Similarly, when overpowered and taking gusts, one must lean back a bit more to hold the same amount of edge when compared to the original Bronq. This is just something I had to get used to - once dialled in the bite fins ensured plenty of grip to hold the edge.
So overall, the Heritage is an improvement of the original Bronq, because it can be deployed in a broader range of conditions. So when would you prefer the original Bronq? If all you want to do is ride overpowered and carve in strong winds, the original Bronq might be better suited to really ride it only hardcore on the rail and hold that edge, Monk-style. Unfortunately, for most of us those superpowered days are outnumbered by days with less powerful winds, so here the Heritage is the winner, as the original Bronq lacked upwind-efficiency and low end when riding it in underpowered/barely powered conditions. In addition, with a bit more input it can be ridden just as aggressively fully on the edge in overpowered conditions, so it is still a great board also one those nuking days .