TEST TEAM NOTES
Previous boards have been very wild in their colours and graphics, but this year’s Bliss looks much smarter with clean colour combinations. The wide outline narrows down towards the uniquely rounded ‘bat-wing’ tips, while the channels through the middle and tips remind us of a cable-style wakeboard. It’s intriguing, while the construction looks and feels very good even though the Bliss is only of average weight in your hand.
The 138 offered plenty of surface area for Matt (95 kilos), while the lightest rider Jim (70 kilos) didn’t find it too cumbersome either, which speaks volumes about the control. Although very freestyle in it’s outline and with plenty of drive and speed thanks to the channeling in the middle of the board, there is an instantly playful feel. The channeling isn’t overly heavy and doesn’t stop you from skidding the board around, but has a really fun feel through the tips, which add comfort as well as performance. It’s not as stiff as some freeride / freestyle hybrids, but it’s not spongy either, so doesn’t lose its drive or feel slow. Sporting a slightly increased rocker line, the landings are assured and the Bliss plows nicely through chop without misbehaving or losing control, even when ridden at speed.
There’s loads of performance to edge hard and get a pretty explosive release off the water. It’s not so abrupt to put people off who are just starting to push their freestyle level, but it’s sharp enough to really reward good riders. Continuing to track nicely after landings, there is a bit of forgiveness that improving freestyle riders will appreciate.
Responsive and connected, if you’re looking for one twin-tip for freestyle, cruising, slashing the tops off waves or even putting a pair of wakestyle boots on every so often, the Bliss can deliver. The ride feel isn’t totally locked in and the channels in the base allow for relatively good grip when ridden flat. You don’t have to aggressively edge the Bliss all the time, but the flat grip and natural rail bite provides one of the best and most complete wave hack / turns in this test.
The pads and straps are really good, too. Super easy to set up with lots of angle adjustments, there’s no pinching the outside of your foot while the footpad has a good moulded grip for your heel. We didn’t notice any loosening off after a few hours on the water, which is always a good sign.
The Bliss V3 will help you progress up to an advanced level but still have fun in choppy, ‘real world’ conditions. Responsive enough to offer comfortable control, but loose enough to ride in a variety of styles in a range of conditions.
Playful ride feel, great crossover performance, smart graphics and excellent fixtures and fittings.
KW WOULD CHANGE
The improvements in ride accessibility, choppy ocean performance and cleaner graphics are great this year, so there’s not a lot we’d change.
SIZES – 139 x 43.5 / 138 x 42 / 137 x 41 / 137 x 40 & 137 x 39cm