The North M2 125 is definitely more suited to higher winds, but would work in light winds for sub-80 kilo riders. Freestyles well and feels very accomplished in waves with really good bite. It does it all well - a great all-rounder; turns well and puts up a good fight. Definitely an X-Wing fighter!
The M2 125 is Will James' pro-model, and yes, his truck does look like that! North describe the board as a 'mutated mutant', similar to a bi-directional board. It has only four fins but the foot straps are placed off-centre thus creating a stronger side. North designer John Amundson put a great emphasis on the rails for this short board's riding characteristics, while its four G10 fins provide the necessary grip for launching and landing big airs. John is from Hawaii, and the influence is obvious. As he says, 'The M2 is great for riding huge waves and carves perfect bottom turns!' There's little danger of catching the fins at the front as the scoop rocker has been carefully judged to the three cm fin set-up, making the board easy to ride backwards and for all kinds of switch-stance tricks. The snowboard top sheets on the base and deck make the board very durable. There are grab channels for no-handle riding, however there is also an EVA grab-handle available for those less dextrous among us.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
STAV: Everyone seems to be attracted to the North, it's very pleasing to the eye with good graphics. Everyone that came to the beach looked at it and said they'd like to try it. It's not too big, nice and light and you can chuck it around in the air and always know where it is.
DAN: Yeah, the whole thing feels balanced. Everything just feels finished on it.
STAV: It's very light underfoot, unlike many directionals. There is obviously a gap between the whole mutant directional surfboard style and wakeboard twin-tip, but with the 60/40 style you seem to be able to marry up the two styles quite happily. Anyone who wasn't too sure about a directional, and maybe came from windsurfing, will find this board good for them. Dan, you religiously rode twin-tips until three weeks ago when I handed you the M2 - did it seem to suit your style?
DAN: There's nothing I can do on a twin-tip that I can't do on the M2. Riding it like a twin-tip, I couldn't feel the difference. As soon as you get on a wave though, the board turns into something else. With more fin area under the back foot it comes into its own. But you can also just use it as a twin-tip.
STAV: I found the rails quite soft in the centre, but the foil in the tips allows you to manage loads of power and kite really fast. It's forgiving too.
DAN: Even when you get really powered-up, the rail is so thin it takes a lot to get overpowered. A board that keeps its thickness all the way to the tail will get overpowered much quicker.
STAV:You may want to try putting six centimetre fins in the nose and seven centimetres in the tail - it makes a huge difference to its upwind performance.
DAN: It's the smallest board on test and it's thin too at 36 centimetres wide, so it's definitely a good ride in high winds. Nice handle and quality handmade TFC fins.
This test is in issue #10