With over 10 boards in the North line up this year it would be easy to over look the X-Ride, especially with the star studded pro model line up. The X-Ride is designed as their all terrain board, using their snowboard style construction. Aimed at the rider who turns his hand to a bit of everything it really defines what we mean when we say free ride. If you like blasting about, smacking the odd wave and throwing down a raley or two then this could be the board for you.
The X-Ride is very light, noticeably so when you compare it to other boards in the test. It also uses a much more oval outline shape than the Jaime Pro; the board is really at home carving from rail to rail. When you design a board with freestyle in mind you want pop and speed. And quite often will sacrifice all else to achieve it. In a free ride board you want it to have an ability to carve and slash the odd wave here and there. The outline of the X-Ride coupled with the softer rail shape really allow the board to power through those carves and turning rail to rail on this board is a dream. The lightweight construction allows it to jump up onto the plane early and the board feels very crisp underfoot. The ride is super forgiving and the shape cuts really well through the chop. The flex is quite soft and this makes the ride really comfortable, anyone looking for a gentle cruiser or something that is easy on the knees will appreciate this, especially if you ride in choppy conditions a lot of the time. That said the board still pops well and if you want to throw down the odd new school trick then you won’t be disappointed with the outcome. It is also pretty forgiving in the landings as the softer rails allow you to make the odd mistake. The super flexi tips also make coming down from any height a fairly painless process. The board cruises upwind with ease and although it needs a little bit of power to get going once it is up and riding it has a good turn of speed. The single concave bottom shape allows excellent control when you are powered up and the continuous rocker line, which is quite large, adds to this.
Fixtures and Fittings
The board comes as standard with a set of “new wave” carving fins. These are unlike any of the other fins in the test and have a swept back shape to them. The swept back outline allows extra grip and control when you are carving hard off the back foot. The straps and pads are easy to fit and we especially liked the way the strap can be adjusted across the foot, tighter closer to your toes and looser on the top of the foot. This allows the straps to really grip the whole of the foot and gives you a very connected ride. The pads have plenty of grip and are comfortable on the sole of the foot.
If your riding isn’t just about freestyle, and you like to carve up small waves and bits of swell then the X-Ride could be the board for you, a true definition of the term freeride. It is happy cruising, wave riding and even likes a bit of freestyle. If that sounds like your riding then look no further.
This review was in Issue 9 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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!