I always like to keep tabs on new sup boards coming into the water and over the past few weeks Mistral have publicly launched the Mistral Vortex and Mistral Equinox.
Nick from The SUP Store has been out on it and doing some testing to give us an insight.
Forward by Nick:
This week I’ve been out testing the new boards from Mistral called the Mistral Equinox and Mistral Vortex.
The boards have been designed and tested in the UK by a well respected shaper and paddler – Chris Diplock, Steve West and Ryan James. Quite a few prototypes were developed before the final boards were agreed upon. The idea was not to make an average board, it needed to be a great board. With a company like Mistral behind them they had the resources and this is the outcome.
Both the Mistral Equinox and Mistral Vortex are race specific boards. You won’t be buying these to head off for a fishing trip. They are designed for speed, glide and maximum efficiency in the water.
With a love for ocean paddling, the Equinox is the board I was ready to test, but was a little bit nervous of getting on with something that is only 23.5 wide. I’m 100kgs so anything under 25 wide has always been my limit.
It took a little while but once I got my understanding of the boards volume and footing I felt far more comfortable and the wobbles began to go, but I have to say the sea was pretty smooth.
The round nose has been designed to punch through the surf and be efficient upwind whilst really smooth downwind. Buoy turns were a bit of a challenge and after a few goes and dunkings I began to find the balance point.
Overall it felt great and I’m looking forward to get back on it especially in some downwind conditions.
This board has been designed to really excel in flat water conditions and was used to win the 11 Cities by Steve Teihotaata. Before you stand on it you feel awkward as it looks insanely narrow.
It’s certainly not built for a big guy and those who are going to enjoy it will be of a lighter frame to reduce the tip. Currently I have very little to say about this board as conditions haven’t suited but keep an eye out for it on the water.
If you are looking for an all round race board, built to last , super light and fast then why not check out the Jimmy Lewis Sidewinder. New in 2016 this range of boards comes in 23, 25, 27, 29 so will carry any weight of rider in any conditions. Jimmys boards are known for their build quality, so you’re investing in a board that is going to last you a long time and doesn’t suffer from fragile carbon layups.