At A Glance
When this board arrived we thought we had made a mistake, we had ridden the 5’5” the year previously and ordered the middle sized board in the range to test. Last year the sizing went like this, 5’3”, 5’5” and 5’7”. This year the sizes are as follows, 4’11”, 5’2” and 5’5”. When the board arrived, and we unboxed it, we were left scratching our heads and thinking there had been a mistake. A quick look at the website revealed that the 5’2” was, in fact, the board we had ordered, and it is indeed now the middle sized board in the range and suitable for riders of between 70 and 90kg, perfect for me in other words.
For 2017, Sky Solbach, North Kiteboarding surfboard shaper extraordinaire had sought to shrink the sizes of the CSC shapes even more while still keeping the performance. The volume of this tiny stick is more than the 5’8” Mitu we tested a couple of issues ago, yet when you put them together it looks a little like David and Goliath! It is also worth noting despite the drop in size you only lose 1.2 litres of volume and this 5’2” still has more volume than the smallest board in the range last year. We’ll get more on to the sizing when we talk about how it rides, so for the moment, let's get back to looking at the facts.
CSC stands for Compact Nose Concept and essentially means the nose has been cut off. This allows the rails to run more parallel and you can fit more board and surface area into a smaller shape. A smaller size is more manoeuvrable and won’t get blown around as much in the air or on the water either.
The board utilises the new Light Team Construction, and with no inserts, this board is considerably lighter than some of the other surfboards we have had on test. There is a new Technora weave on the top deck to add strength as well as a large carbon stringer in the centre of the board. The key goal of the construction is to create a light, durable board that still has the flex you would find on a polyester surfboard.
Cork shock absorbers are underfoot, and we’ve been riding it a little while and haven’t managed to heel dent it or damage it in any way. It’s certainly a very durable construction, and it is indeed very light!
A thruster fin set up is serviced by North’s excellent multi-box system; you can run Futures or FCS fins in these boxes with no issues. It’s a clever system that works well, just ensure the grub screws are done up tight as they can work loose after a few sessions, we have found all fin box systems do this with the extra pressure kiting at high speed creates.
The finish and quality of the board is fantastic, and we’ve dragged it on a few long haul flights and been riding it for about three months and not had a single dent or ding in it at all.
Sizes: 4’11”, 5’2”, 5’5”
On the Water
The contoured deck is a charm to ride, as ever, it is shaped to fit your foot, and once you have ridden a board like this it is hard to go back to a standard deck! We’ve installed pads on ours, mainly as I have an old heel injury that thanks me for them, but we have ridden this construction with just wax, and it is very comfortable underfoot.
The small size shocked us until we tucked into our first wave. This board is insanely manoeuvrable and great fun to throw around. It can handle Euro mush with aplomb but also copes with some bigger swell too. Sky’s aim this year, was to reduce the length of the nose while keeping the outline and rocker of the board the same as last year, so while it is shorter you still have plenty of rocker in the nose
However, a couple of times we’ve slapped and buried the nose on a bigger wave and this rarely happened on last year’s board. Perhaps it’s the shape, the V nose of old has gone this year; maybe it’s the length? Anyway the first few sessions we experienced this and then found by adjusting our riding style and shifting the weight back these instances have reduced.
Minor niggles aside and fitted with some small fins this has to be one of the most fun surfboards we have ever ridden, it just feels so natural underfoot. You soon forget about its tiny size and crack on with the job in hand. Even though it is small, it still packs enough volume to get going early, and we’ve been out riding 9m kites when others have been struggling on 11’s and 12m’s.
The square tail promotes power on the wave, and the tucked rails give plenty of grip in the turn. The thruster set up offers a familiar feel with a very loose backend especially if you step down a fin size. Getting vertical snaps in is a cinch, and we’ve enjoyed riding this pocket rocket. When we first saw it out of the box, we couldn’t believe how small it was. However, the proof is in the pudding, and it’s an amazingly fun board to ride.
Beautifully constructed with an incredible finish the Pro CSC is very light and at first glance rather tiny. Once you ride it though those smaller dimensions start to make total sense and we’ve fallen in love with this little pocket rocket! Great in Euro mush but also able to excel in the bigger stuff, this is a board you can bury into the turn with complete confidence it will back you up with plenty of drive, grip and power.
This review was in Issue 61 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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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!