If Heineken made kitesurfing boards this would be it . BUT AS EVER
forum readers you must ride one to believe it and try one before you buy your next board.
Test Report of the 134 Wainman Joke by a very happy UK customer.
Wainman Joke 134 x 40.5 Review
The board out of the box is a nice clean looking design with a clean outline and a smooth deck, having never been a fan of stepped decks this is a real bonus. The underside of the board does not look that radical, until you run your hand over it. On doing this you notice a fairly substantial convex bubble in the middle of the board, blended into concave channels either side of the bubble then running through the tips to the end of the board, the board offers a heavy rocker but nothing too extreme. The issue with the rocker is how to measure it with a convex bubble in the middle of the board!
To say it is a weird design is an understatement as it breaks the mould of the traditional kiteboard with a concave or flat, and the traditional wake board with a convex bottom. The rails are fairly thick and substantial and all in it looks like it will take a beating. The board is fitted with small 40mm fins and a brilliant set of pads and straps. Once built up the board does not feel heavy at all and weighs in at 3.85Kg which is about middle of the road.
The pads and straps are worth a special mention! The pads seem to be gel filled with a nice depression that the ball of your foot fits into perfectly, the pads are neither too hard or soft and with a low profile keeping the feeling between foot and board very direct. The straps are comfy and well shaped with a great plastic fitting on the end that screws neatly (and easily) through the pad. The stance widths are 55, 60, 65cm centre to centre.
On the water the board is simply amazing, it feels solid underfoot and is very easy to break out. I think the ability to break it out is aided by the convex bubble, no locked in feeling but at the same time does not feel sketchy at all. The board can be ridden as fast as you like and still feel in control, riding it slowly and slightly underpowered it does not bog down and still rides very nicely despite the rocker. The wake is clean behind the board and the small fins are not really noticeable in that they do not grab. Loading an edge and releasing it the board just flies off the water, it is one of (if not the) best releasing board I have ridden ever!
The pop is just amazing, the harder you load the edge the higher you go, no suction, no mushy feeling, nothing just a simple clean edge release. The landings on the joke are exactly that, I know it has been a marketing aid for Wainman but seriously it is just so easy to land everything. Over rotated jumps, off axis raileys, unbalanced kiteloops - if you can get the board back on the water base first you can land it simple as that. I think the convex base allows you so much freedom where other boards would catch an edge and trip you up the Joke allows you to slide the board round and ride away.
With many boards these days there is a lot of marketing bull that goes with the products. For most of us riding in average conditions (horrible chop, pouring rain, gusty - this was the weekend just gone) the main consideration should really be how comfortable is the board and how long can you ride it without feeling fatigued. Well for the Joke, especially considering how strong it is as a freestyle board, it is fantastic. The bottom shape eats chop literally, in 30 knots southerly at Hayling (not the best direction) I simply did not notice the chop, usually my body would be complaining within an hour. On the Joke nothing, very easy smooth ride.
As for carving, well on the face of the head high waves coming in at Hayling this weekend it was carving brilliantly. This coupled with a board that rides very well upwind (on the beach it definitely rides a few degrees higher than any other TT though this is very subjective), putting you back upwind very quickly for whatever you want to throw at it next. It really is a fantastic board and should be worth serious consideration for anyone after a new board. I have no affiliation with Wainman at all and spend my own hard earned, the Joke is a fantastic well built board that is amazing to ride. Words don't really do it justice it just has a massive grin factor!