This board is slap bang in the middle. You'll have to decide whether riding around in extreme comfort is enough of a trade-off between out and out surfing and having the benefits of a full-on twin-tip. It will do a turn on a wave but at the same time you can try a lot of tricks on it, if you're powered.
Simon Harvey's idea with the hybrid surf twin was to create a kiteboard that sailed exactly the same as a small twin-tip - allowing for downwind kite loops with fast landings that can be ridden at the same speed in both directions, but with the ability to carve hard turns in both directions. The surf twin has much more turning ability than any twin-tip and offers the rider the option of taking on a left or right-hand break without changing the foot-strap pad configuration. The Nomad 132 hybrid is that kiteboard, using the lightweight double carbon construction system with its typical hard-wearing epoxy high-gloss gel coats. The carbon system gives a high-flex rhythmic ride responding quickly to impacts and is better suited to the advanced to expert rider orientated at stronger wind conditions.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
GEORGE: The word 'electric' springs to mind for me. The ride is very lively, responsive to foot steering, the fittings and straps are sublime... I smiled a lot when I was riding it.
NEAL: It's a really fun little twin-tip that turns and cruises, but my problem with it is that it's got such an elliptical outline. In theory this is to try and get it to bottom turn which it does better than your average twin-tip, but the shape doesn't help its upwind ability or its ability to plane early. The outline does help it deal with chop – it's really comfortable and feels fantastic under your feet because the materials are all so good. I just don't see the point of a tiny little elliptical board when I bet Nomad's twin-tips do everything better.
WILL: You must always sail it lit, then it is fun. You'd be ruined if it was 15 metre weather. Kite looping though and powered it's great. I think it's just really good for messing around when it's really windy and wavy.
NEAL: It feels really lively because it's the smallest board on test and it's not hard to get it to do things. The absence of big tips means that you don't trip in the surf or in chop. It's one of the best little twin-tips I've ridden for that. Don't get me wrong, but I actually think it's more technical to ride because it is small. There's no width in the tips because it's an elliptical shape and therefore there's no support for when you get your landings wrong. So you've lost half the benefits of a full-on twin-tip, and then you're looking at a board that you're trying to use in waves without being a surf shape.
GEORGE: I really enjoyed it, I think it just needs re-classifying as an easy twin-tip for lighter riders to ride powered-up.
132 x 39cm
This test is in issue #28