At A Glance
As North continues to develop and add more products to its range for 2022, we see a new twin tip addition that joins the family, the North Trace. The Trace is all about light wind and free ride blasting. On those light wind days, having the option to take out a bigger board can really change your session for the better. The North Trace does this while packing in plenty of quality design features, making the performance on the water quite remarkable!
Looking at the board, we can see it's got quite a square and straight outline, providing a large surface area. Having this large surface area gives early planing in the lightest of winds. The base is where this board really caught my attention. Quad channels run from the tip and tail of the board, and with an A Centre-V Spine concave, this provides an element of stiffness, less drag and incredible upwind drive.
The Trace features a medium-low rocker. Although most of this board is built from a Paulownia wood core, it also features layers of carbon sandwiched between the wood in the relevant places. Blasting back and forth has been made so easy; flat-water spots become so much more enjoyable with a rocker line like this!
Paired best with the all-new Flex bindings, they provide a great connection between the rider and board. I would say that 2022 sees the biggest change in regards to the North foot straps with better grip and raised profiles around the toes and heels. With plenty of options to choose from for placement, the Flex bindings are great! Note that the previous version of the Flex bindings is shown in these test photos.
Like all its twin tips, what North does, which I love, is that every single screw for the fins, handle, and foot straps are all the same. This means if you ever lose a screw and need a replacement, it's an easy process to source another. The Trace also has a great colourway to it! The marine green portrait pops, and, like the new Atmos, it's a real head turner!
Sizes: 145x45, 155x46
On The Water
It was only right that we demoed this board in the conditions it was made for! We've had some great sessions on this board paired with the 15m Reach but also brought it out when the wind has dropped to keep the dream alive on a 9m session! It's a bit of a session saver, really.
With all its concave features, it's an upwind machine! It really does get going early, and with its large surface area, you're able to gain some serious momentum in light winds. Although this board won't create as much pop in comparison to the Atmos or Focus, it still provides great edge control and easy lift-off for those jumps or tricks. That huge V outline that runs down the centre of the board makes landings very comfortable as all the water deflects away!
Although this board might be bigger than what you're used to, it really doesn't feel like a 'beginner' board. It's packed with performance and provides a completely different feel to something like the Prime.
The Trace is certainly a session saver. It gets going in very light winds and allows riders to develop their skills further due to it being packed with amazing performance features. It's a fantastic board for beginners and intermediate riders who want a board that will give them a platform to enhance their kiting skills. Marc Jacobs has been putting the Trace through its paces over in New Zealand, and to see just how great it really is, head over to his socials to see some madness!
This review was in Issue 91 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
By Liam DredgeLiam fell in love with all Watersports after completing numerous seasons aboard, he then picked up kiting whilst in the warm tropics of the Carribean and has been obsessed ever since! Anyone that knows him would say it's near the only thing he talks about (which drives some crazy), and he loves to keep up to date with all the latest news, equipment and events that kiting has to offer. Liam also runs his own Watersports Centre along the south coast of the UK, LOOP Watersports, which is where our IKSURFMAG Test Centre is located!