Shamelessly similar to the 2013 version, the 2014 Monk Forever features narrow tips combined with a straighter exit third in the outline which work together to provide masses of grip and edging ability. When combined with Shinn’s constant curve rocker and bi-lateral tip flex produce the fastest, most controllable and easiest to handle board on the market, no matter how tough the conditions. If high speed charging, slashing and jumping is your thing then look no further. You can see why they haven’t changed it much, and their website says it’s partly our fault at Kiteworld for what we said about it last year! Something about it being an ‘ultimate weapon’…
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We have always loved The Monk as there’s no doubt it is one of the most comfortable freeride twin-tips out there. It manages to provide all the things we want in this category of board, including speed and manoeuvrability but with grip for control, it’s light weight and now has new, very comfortable pads and straps.
However, the Monk has such a standard looking outline, so it seems to achieve all this feeling and performance from the way its laid up. The rail is thin and relatively sharp all the way round the board, which would usually result in a sharper, rougher bite, but the Monk has a constant feel and is very smooth. There is a mild concave that runs to the fins, but that is all that is given away, so the mix of the constant curve rocker, the fair width in the middle, the flex and layup all somehow combine to give so much feeling and control. It’s quite a brain fry.
Our only gripe last year was that the pads were a bit thick and that the strap was centred too much towards the toes, but Shinn have produced one of the most simple, effective and comfortable foot strap systems going. Not only that, but they look pretty rad in white, too. Easily adjusted with a pull strap the thinner pad also provides a better connection to the board; you feel closer to it and get more feedback.
Anyone from beginner to expert can get on this all-rounder and have a great day on it, busting out all sorts of stuff. The Monk has always managed to increase your performance by being so comfortable and easy to use. It carries good speed and offers plenty of pop, too. It’s not a super high performance freestyle board, but there is very little out there that makes the conditions feel like fresh powder when you’re really negotiating a choppy ocean. It’s interesting to note that you can choose a size smaller with the Monk. We originally thought a 132 would be too small, but as long as you’re not underpowered, we thought it was a wonderful size for smashing out all-sorts of tricks and general high speed shredding.
The superb blend of comfort, ease-of-use and all-round performance for all but the highest levels.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Very little. We love the monkey.
MONK BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8.5
Fixtures and fittings: 8.5
Slider proof: N/A
Boots applicable: No
Freestyle: 8 (hooked-in) 6.5 (unhooked)
SIZES: 136 x 44, 134 x 42, 132 x 41, 130 x 40 and 128 x 39cm
More info at: www.shinnworld.com
Here’s the official Monk Forever product video from Shinn:
THIS BOARD FEATURED IN ISSUE #69