At A Glance
Board bag design is an area that is no doubt rather guilty of lacking development, just stick some padding in between some fabric, make it a certain size and forget about the rest... Well, that is where the Elevate series of bags from Mystic steps in. Designed to be as light as possible these bags have had some real thought put into them, and the result is rather startling.
The bags are available as a standard twin tip bag or the wave version that we have here. If you have a limited luggage allowance, you can waste up to 8kilos of it with the empty bag alone! Madness! All in the Elevate Wave weighs 3.9 kilos, which is nothing, by detaching the removable wheels that comes down to 2.7kg! It makes my current board bag, which has travelled the world with me for years look like a veritable couch potato living off a diet of chips and gravy.
The bag features plenty of straps, both internally and externally for keeping things neat and tidy inside, as well as externally for compressing the bag down to a decent size when not fully loaded. There is also air ventilation to keep things fresh, plus front and back carry straps and protective padding in the critical areas.
(5'10" FT) 1.80 X 0.50 X 0.30 MTR / (6'6" FT) 2.00 X 0.50 X 0.30 MTR
On The Water / In The Car / On The Plane
Loading the Elevate Wave up leaves you with a sense of not having enough gear, the 2m version we tried out is cavernous, to say the least. We weren't even close to filling it before we hit the 32-kilo limit. Inside we had a twin tip, surfboard, two bars and three kites, plus some other bits we had laying around. We've never had a board bag that hit the weight limit before it was full before, the Elevate series opens up some interesting prospects that's for sure.
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While it is light and huge though there are some issues, due to the lack of padding (just the base and the rear sides of the bag feature any at all) you do need to ensure your pride and joy surfboards are well padded inside. You can use bubble wrap, a day style board bag, or even your kites if you want to risk it. So you need to think about how you pack with this bag, rather than just chucking everything inside!
It would also be good to see a size in between the two on offer too. We have a 5'10" board so after padding figured the 6'6" would be needed to fit it in. Once fully loaded this left a loose area at the front of the bag. This meant when you picked it up at the front it didn't roll and rather dragged on the floor. Picking it up by the compression straps improved this, but then it was bashing against your leg as you walked.
Our other small issue was that after a couple of long haul flights we did see some scuffing to the bag and even some very very small tears in the fabric. OK, so we understand how much abuse these bags can get, however for the sake of lightweight have Mystic sacrificed practicality? One thing we did love, however, was the way the bag can be rolled upon arrival at your destination and packed into a space about half the size of a badly folded and bagged kite! This makes storage on holiday easy, and in fact storage at home even simpler too.
This feels a little bit like a specialist board bag, if it does what you want it to, take shed loads of gear, pack down small and save on weight, then it is perfect. However, if you want something a little more robust, we would recommend the Mystic Kite/Wave Pro which is heavier but offers better protection for your surfboard. It is worth noting though that if you ride a twin tip, which are far more durable boards, then these bags, in our opinion, are great...
We wanted to love the Elevate Wave, perhaps it was the size that caught us out, the 2m version is huge and unless you have a 2m board in there it lacks stiffness for dragging around an airport. Perhaps it was the lack of protection, meaning surfboards each had to have their own padded bags. Whatever it was, it didn't quite gel with our needs, yes we loved the fact it weighs nothing, and we loved the fact it packs down so small and neatly, the removable wheels are a great idea.
We liked it, but for us, it wasn't love at first sight, if you ride waves, unless weight is crucial, stick with the Kite/Wave Pro. If you ride a twin tip, however, the bag makes a lot more sense...
For more information visit Mystic
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!