I have just returned from a three week visit to Cape Hatteras where I teamed up with Dimitri Maramenides of Hanacrew and tested the entire new range of boards.
There are at the moment six boards in the range going from the Matrix 120 x 38 to the lightwind/heavy weights Excalibur 140 x 43 the other boards in the range are the
Stealth 140 x 40
Stealth Slim 140 x 38
Genesis 130 x 36 (Wave machine).
Nemesis 120 x 40 ( my favorite )
We spent many days on the entire range trying different boards out in various conditions. I have been on the old construction Stealth for sometime now but was in for some major surprices with the new shapes and construction.
We sailed on the soundside doing various downwinders from Jockies Ridge down to Kitty Hawk Kites and Salvo down to Waves through the "slick" and past Real Kiteboarding. Also a few downwinders on the Ocean side at Nags Head and loads of sessions at Bartons place. Basically I've done more kiting over the past three weeks than I have ever done in the UK.
All the board performed very well indeed and surpassed all expectations and comparrisons to other brands available at the moment. I have settled with a Nemesis and a Stealth for myself but if visa card would of allowed I would of had a Genesis as well !!!
The new construction seems to be bomb proof as I found out from landing an ill timed air on the beach OUCH !! not a scratch. The flex is where the secret lies, the boards can be loaded up so very very much as you hack up wind and then send the kite the board energy is released and POP of you go skyward the light weight 1.7 kg for the Nemesis also plays a key part in the easy handling and earrly planing. I have never sailed anything as small as the Nemesis at 120 but too be honest it planes early takes my 15 mtr slingshot very well and is also very ridable in 9 mtr weather as well. Oceanside the benefit of the additional length in decent waves and 25 kts was apparent and the Genesis came into it's own with it's three fin tail set up, Dimitri ripped on this as we sailed in the tail end of Tropical Storm Bill in 30 kts.
In all I have found all the boards exceptional you just have to pick the one that suits your conditions and weight oh and at $599 they are a bargain. It was interesting to notice that out of every kiter in the Cape Hatteras area about 80% were on Hanacrew's that must say something.
Check out the website http://www.hanacrew.com
Hopefully the boards will be available in the UK very soon, August in fact so watch this space for further details. If you require any further info drop me a line at Rossallpr@yahoo.co.uk
I have a Nemesis and Stealth on demo in the Blackpool area, unfortunetly the Stealth Slim has been already purchased by pete Whitley 4th at Rosi at the BKSA event, he's already ordered a Nemesis as well.