At A Glance
North Kiteboarding have put a lot of effort into their surfboard range, and it shows. Shaper Jaimie Scott has been working hard behind the scenes to bring three shapes that will cover all bases in the surf no matter what the conditions throw at you. The Charge is, as the name suggests, the stick to take out on the bigger days, fast down the line waves are where it feels most at home.
It’s Jesse Richman’s weapon of choice for riding big days in Maui, and the shape is a classic surfboard style with a squashed thumb tail. There is a deep single to double concave on the base, with a slightly fuller outline shape to add volume and ensure it flies back upwind. The rocker line has a low entry point in the nose; this aids acceleration and drive in big waves.
You have footstrap inserts for those days when riding strapless is just too much, and the rails have a classic surf shape with plenty of tuck for smooth carves. Perhaps the biggest talking point is the Futurelite construction, which marries a traditional surfboard construction process with high-end materials. The “tech bit” is a carbon fibre and Innegra wireframe reinforcement that runs about an inch inside the rails around the tail of the board to about a foot from the nose. This reinforcement is inserted into channels and runs through the fin boxes too.
The idea is to allow the board to flex and react to power from the kite creating a lively ride under foot - the Holy Grail of surfboards for kiting. One thing to note on the construction: this isn’t a hardcore indestructible board, you’ll need to take care of it and try and keep it from getting bashed in the car and on the rocks. It’s stronger than a straight surfboard, but it needs some tender loving care to keep it looking fresh.
Under the deck pad, there are recessed DualShock EVA inserts, to cover the main impact areas reduce denting around heel areas. North Kiteboarding’s solution to reduce overengineering of impact areas, keeping the boards lightweight and retaining the required flex.
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On The Water
The Charge is a fast board, but with that speed also comes lots of control, the flex is just right, and North Kiteboarding have hit the nail on the head with this construction. It’s light, stiff when you need it to be, and has plenty of snap on the wave.
Carving on the Charge is every bit as awesome as you would expect it to be. Smooth rail-to-rail transfers inspire confidence on the wave as those thin tucked rails offer plenty of grip. It’s easy to get snappy vertical-style turns out of it too, for a high-end board it’s incredibly easy to ride.
You get an immense amount of drive off the fins, this is meant to be due to the Futurelite construction, but without riding a similar board back-to-back, it’s hard to say if it’s the shape, the fins, or the clever carbon and Innegra wireframe working its magic. One thing we will say is that it feels fantastic underfoot.
A classic shape with a hint of a modern twist, and capable in just about anything you decide to throw at it. The construction is on the money, light, with a good amount of flex and lots of feedback from the board underfoot. Anyone looking for a very capable board that can handle anything from small waves to outrunning Jaws should apply here…
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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!