North Select 135 2016

North Select 2016 review Kiteworld Magazine issue 80

TEST TEAM NOTES

The Select is the prestige model in North’s performance freeride range. Also the lightest in the range, it very much ticks the boxes as a top-of-the-line carbon board. Well finished, it oozes quality. Clean and stylish, the minimalist look compliments the full carbon top sheet.

 

 

That sleek black look makes the Select look a lot meaner than it really is. The friendly, traditional freeride outline, rounded tips, medium rocker, single concave and thin rails combine to give the board a responsive, yet soft and forgiving feeling under foot. The lightness you feel when you pick the board up is also noticeable on the water and there is a good level of connectivity between the rider and the board. Landings are very comfortable thanks to well engineered flex through the tips and this board is close to the top of the pile in terms of comfort and feel through chop.

The Select is a serious freeride performer, but it’s playful with quite a generous flex profile and sensibly sized fins, so there’s plenty of grip, but not overbearingly so. Simply put, you can hold down lots of power very comfortably and it’s especially at home when powering through carved turns or knocking the tops off waves. This also isn’t one of those boards that naturally likes to be ridden flat due to the lack of channeling on the base. The edge control is beautiful, though.

 

 

Although it’s definitely quick, the Select doesn’t have the same drive as a stiffer freestyle board, so more advanced riders may sometimes find themselves wishing for a little more power when they put their foot down and speed up for take off or when aiming for a kicker. At the same time it’s more comfortable than a board like that, but when you really push it and ride it aggressively in really strong winds or start throwing more powered moves or mega loops and landing heavily it can start to feel a bit spongy. But just below top level specialised performance, there’s excellent performance for 90% of all round riders.

Generally, the Select offers very precise control with a light, responsive feel.

In our minds, the Entity is one of the best stock footbed and pad systems on the market. They’re hard to fault. Detailed in their design, very easy to assemble and fit, there’s a great deal of adjustment options for different foot sizes and for how and where you like the strap to grip. Coupled with North’s outstanding sliding insert system, there’s a lot of scope for achieving an individualized fit, including three choices of heel-density pads.

 

 

SUMMARY

Soft in feel but fast in performance, If you’re looking for an easy-to-ride but very capable freeride board that you’ll really enjoy riding even in choppier waters, then this is it.

SELECT BALANCE POINTS

Build quality: 9

Fixtures and fittings: 9


Speed: 7.5


Pop: 7


Drive: 7


Flex: 7.5


Comfort: 8.5


Looseness: 7


Grip: 8


Upwind: 8


Slider proof: N/A


Boots applicable: N/A


Freeriding: 8


Freestyle: 6


Ease-of-use: 8.5

SIZES – 132 x 39 / 135 x 40 / 138 x 41 & 141 x 42cm

 

More information at www.northkiteboarding.com

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