The Jimmy Lewis Sidewinder review is our own thoughts on the second revision of this race and downwind board by the Maui shaper.
We had a bit to do with the first version of the Sidewinder back in 2016 and it proved to be a serious contender when both the UK 12’6 and 14 classes were won using the Sidewinder.
That said we got lots of feedback from riders everywhere and took that on board.
The deck area has been lowered bringing the rider closer to the water level, but it hasn’t gone as low as a dugout. It’s much more like the SIC RS that is a proven race machine in the big league. By lowering the deck area, that board also has small elevated side walls that have given the board a much stiffer feel and reduced lengthways flex so all the paddle effort is being used.
The nose area has a newly shaped bow that still has the recognisable bump, but also utilises a chine in the underside and topside that’s increased its piercing abilities when head on into chop. That said it definitely prefers to have the very tip of the nose just slightly elevated.
Stepping back used to see the tail sink for heavier paddlers, but Jimmy has now increased volume and so the tail stays well balanced and doesn’t get dragged down so resistance is decreased.
The model ridden and tested in this video is the 14×27. Not the faster widths of 25 and 23 but seriously good for open water conditions and rougher water or downwinding.
Jimmy has always had a knack for making boards that perform and not punish. The team got together and decided upon the sizes that would best cover the range of paddlers using this type of board.
- 14×29: the board shaped for heavyweight paddlers 110kg+. To paddle at their best.
- 14×27: the board you want to ride in open ocean conditions.
- 14×25: the most suitable board for wavy and choppy conditions.
- 14×23: the most suitable board for flat water or small choppy conditions.
- 12’6×29: the most suitable board for bigger riders or just casual racing.
- 12’6×27: the most suitable board to ride if you approach a competition for the very first time. It’s easy while fast, but will also deliver unparalleled stability in rough water.
- 12’6×25 : the most suitable board for racers looking to find the edge.
The board is only 5inches thick with a tapering tail and some pretty volumous side rails that really add to the stability.
Riding this board in the rougher water was a total joy as it was super balanced and delivered great glide when on a bump as well as surfing.
All in all this board is what you’d expect from a great shaper who has taken the feedback and reworked the mould, but it also goes to show how good the first board was.
As always with all Jimmy Lewis boards and the Jimmy Lewis Sidewinder, you get an amazing build quality that is testament to this long relationship with the Kinetic factory. It really is super strong and light which many find hard to combine so this board can be seen as a long term investment for sure.