At A Glance
The Gambler is the weapon of choice for discerning wakestyle riders and in recent years has set the bar high with a wealth of technologies. For 2016 the shape has undergone a major overhaul with a totally new base design that can be found on this board and the Team Series. It’s a step up double concave design that essentially leaves a long flat ridge running along the centreline of the deck.
This has improved the grip immensely and allows the board to be ridden without fins with ease. Perfect for hitting sliders and for riding in the kite park. The Slick base ensures the board can take a beating, it is specially formulated to be tough and is built to hit any features you can imagine. On top of that TheTrack system for connecting your bindings remains from previous years, yet this year all the tracks are in line.
Essentially this means you can have the boots pointing to either edge, so if your heelside edge starts to look a little tired, simply flip your boots around and prolong the life of the board! It’s a simple but ingenious idea that many riders will really appreciate!
The rails are quite thick, allowing them to spread the load of any impacts and increase the strength of the board. While we are on the subject of strength it is worth mentioning that the Gambler has been built to take some punishment. It isn’t going to win any weigh-ins at the fat fighters club that’s for sure! There is a huge rocker and a fairly stiff flex with more flex distributed in the tips, all standard characteristics for a wakestyle board.
On The Water
We’ve been lucky enough to test a few of the Gamblers over the years, but in 2016 this board really had us stunned. Usually a huge rocker and stiff flex means a power hungry beast that doesn’t go upwind very well. Especially when you factor in the numbers on the scales, everything points to this board needing a lot of power.
On the water though it’s the exact opposite, the Gambler flies upwind with aplomb, and strangely gets going pretty quickly in light winds too. The wide outline definitely helps here, but we can’t help but think that new bottom shape is playing its part too.
The rocker makes for a smooth ride through the chop, even with the stiff flex and of course, it’s that stiff flex which is amazing when it comes to pop; the Gambler has it in spades and it’s easy to see why so many wakestyle riders around the world love this board. It’s got everything going for it by the truckload, it’s tough, fast, and packs in a heap of performance in areas you’d be forgiven for thinking it might struggle.
Bombproof construction combines with a totally new base shape to create a rather fantastic wakestyle machine that ticks all the boxes. Upwind and in lightwinds it outperforms itself and seems to defy physics, the pop is excellent and if you try one then you might struggle to keep the credit card in your pocket at the kite shop!
This review was in Issue 56 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!