My dealer in Taiwan had a Speedball for demo so I took it on a 15 minute spin.
The board is extremely fun. It does not excel in any single category, because there is no category for horsing around, mixing it up between styles and just having a good time.
It was very easy to ride (I read in another review that it was skatey - not at all? Maybe if you have a habit of weighting your back foot a lot, I'm more of a 50/50 Mako or surfboard rider, and I felt it was totally solid). It took me about 1 minute to dial it in and have fun.
Planing, acceleration, speed and upwind are excellent especially considering it was the wrong size form me - it was a W16 and I'mm 90Kg marginally powered up at the time, I was as fast as the rest of the boys and going upwind same angle without any particular effort.
Pop was good - better than my Shinn Dundee - and landings soft. Carving/tight turning was fantastic - much better than the Dundee for me (I have the 44cm Dundee) and the Mako 150. Great comfort and the new straps have an advantage over 2012 - you can adjust the duck angle. Stiffer than the Dundee. I could not feel the small chop at all - maybe a similar "air cushion" effect as the Monk??
Overall I'll stick with my Dundee because I'm more interested in waveriding (especially riding the crappy waves / mutant chop we have here...) and I feel the Dundee suits me better for this (flex, glide on wave power without kite pull), but for balls-out fun mix-it-up all-terrain this is the best board I've been on.
At 90kg think you should have been on the W18 I feel to make a true comparison with the Dundee.
Funny you say you had no problems adjusting given you ride a 50/50 mako. I had the same experience. A lot of reviews say how different it feels...well me thinks they haven't ridden a amko much. Both my bro and I ride the makos and demoed this baord back to back and felt competely at home.
Look everyone keeps saying no spray and all that...but both my brother and I said that water would spray at the point where the board quickly turns in at the tip. Sprayed up the back of the legs and the mako was far drier.
Interested if you to found this. I almost feel the tips need rounding just a tad sooner.
i was also interested in saying the dundee's glide without power...i found one aspect of the speedball that was really good was it went early and allowed you to move through lulls due to its width. What size dundee you on because as I said you may have been better on the W18 at 90kg. yeh pop is a better than the mako i will admit.
Anyhow gonna demo teh W18 next, it is a really good board for freeride no doubt, but I'm still convinced the mako is better for me anyhow.
Eppo- That Speedball does look like a cousin of the great Mako.
The Shinn boards felt obviously different from other twins immediately, the first time I got on one.
And you're right, they all have that 50/50 foot thing going on like the Makos.
Would like to get a test ride on this new Shinn.
Well, I am one of the original reviewers of the Shinn Speedball a month or so back. I was not going to respond to this post. First off, I have told everyone who is interested( yes I sell Shinn boards) that the Speedball is a board you want to try before you buy. Unlike the original OP, hopefully you will ride the appropriate size,powered up and for more than 15min to get a good appreciation of the board.
As for some of the assumptions the original poster says about riders abilities, please, you dont know my abilities or background to question anyones riding. When we were an OR dealer I rode a Mako for over a year(when the first model came out) and have no issues riding that style of board. I admire the love and loyalty to the Mako that the riders have.
Try a Speedball if you can, specially if you ride a Mako(or any TT), Hopefully you will enjoy it and have what everyone on the water wants ...FUN!!!!