At A Glance
Producing leading equipment for many years now North still bless us all with some insanely good setups. One of the world’s most accomplished kitesurfers Aaron Hadlow has been a part of their team for some time and his signature model boards are well known across the world.
We recently got our hands on a North Kiteboarding TS Hadlow twip tip and North Boot binding set up. The 2018 TS Hadlow is an out and out performance freestyle board which is also fully equipped with North’s Slickbase ensuring its ready to hit the park whenever the opportunity arises.
There’s not a lot of flex in the TS Hadlow, and a new top mould and stringer have been added to minimize reverse flex on landings. You may find the base of the board catches your eye sporting even deeper and wider channels, which leave a stepped double concave. The board boasts build quality and is made perform.
Coming in one colourway and size the TS Hadlow is best paired with a set of North Boot Bindings, while this board will still perform with a footpad and strap set up (as seen in the 2018 Red Bull King of the Air competition) you will be wanting bindings to unleash its full potential.
Size: 140 x 42.5cm
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“One of the top setups on the market today”
On the Water
Normally when looking at a wakestyle board and a performance freestyle board its very clear where their place is on the water. Wakestyle boards tend to be heavier / stronger, freestyle boards come without grind bases and are lighter. It’s rare to find a board that just slots bang in the middle. It seems North and Aaron have hit the nail on the head here.
Rigging the board with the North Boot and in-line track system was a doddle and actually allowed me to really fine tune my stance. Once rigged with boots the board remains what I would consider light for a board that’s capable of hitting obstacles all day long.
Out on the water the board was instantly identifiable as a performance freestyle board, it builds speed fast and doesn’t feel heavy underfoot. When riding in chop and fully maxed out the board handles incredibly well, biting into the water like a train on its rails. Get this board in the flats however and you can really start to feel the minute characteristics that this board creates.
That skatey feel is there with flex between the front and back of the board, yet a slight touch on your heels and your back on the train tracks. Edging is very progressive though and the pop delivered from the board is very instantaneous on takeoff, there’s also shed loads of it! Landings on this board are soaked up and smooth. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hit any obstacles on the TS Hadlow but the Slickbase is always present and ready to handle the abuse you throw at it in the park.
I really enjoyed the North Boot, the ability to have the top either laced tight or loose and restricted by Velcro meant there was both extra security when needed and more flexibility on set up when desired. The boot itself is very true to size and comfy underfoot. They are moderately flexible and look well constructed. Time will tell on the durability…
Out of all the boards I have ridden recently, I can safely say this is one of the top setups on the market today, for this style of riding. As with all North boards the construction quality is very high, oozing robustness. Out on the water this board has so much to offer. The pop is immense, landings are butter smooth, it’s light considering the wakestyle Slickbase and it’s easy and fun to ride. Coupled with the super comfortable North Boot it’s an ideal set up for anyone wanting a wakestyle and freestyle set up combined.
This review was in Issue 68 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding