Guys, I need to pick your collective minds about boards. As a qualifier, my style is all about old school hooked in big air.
I have not had the opportunity to try many boards, and until recently have only owned a 2011 Cabrinha Rival 145 TT. http://www.bigwinds.com/kite/category/46/product/1630
This board has a nice mix of everything I like in a board, whether by luck or just because I am used to it, I'm not sure. Here's what I like about it.
First, it has good upwind drive. I like that because I want to be in the air all the time, and so I need to make up the ground I lose quickly.
Second, it being a large board, it has a decent low end. It has some rocker to it, so it's not the absolute best in that category, but it does pretty well.
Third, it carves fairly well. I know that if I dig in the edge, and point the front of the board in a direction, it will do what I tell it to.
Last, it can take a bit of chop, which is important where I kite most.
I have heard so much hype about the Shinn Monk, I recently picked one up to see what the fuss was about, and I was not impressed. The only good thing about the board that impressed me is that no matter how lit you are when you land, you can usually keep it under control. It surpassed my Rival easily in that regard, as mine wants to skip like a stone when you land too lit. It also handles chop fairly well. Everything else was disappointing. There was no upwind drive, I had to fight for every inch Pointing it further upwind would just cause it to plow, and I'd end up losing ground. Carving before a jump just made it plow, causing me to lose all the speed I built up, and making for rather puny jumps. In a lull, it loses speed like I hit quicksand.
What I want to improve on past what my Rival is capable of is more grip when I load the lines for a jump, and being able to land hard and fast without spinning out and getting faceplanted.