The board that launched the freestyle-wave genre and redefined the wave-slalom concept for the widestyle age, the JP FSW has always had a reputation for extreme ease, early planing and blasting comfort. This year it claims to add “greatly improved manoeuvre potential”, to the traditional mix.
On the Water:
Actually, despite adding noticeable quantities of tail rocker this year, the FSW still feels pretty similar to previous years. It is perhaps not quite as fast and exciting and a bit more controllable in stronger winds but it remains basically a very easy board to get up and going, and very easy and comfortable to blast at a very respectable speed. The vaunted greatly improved manoeuvre potential doesn’t leap out at you, although it is certainly a bit looser than in previous years. We actually found it to be even easier than ever to sail, if that’s possible, as it tracks so well with good adhesion to the water, keeping its shape in chop very well. It is still very quick and likes to seek out ramps and jump. It gybes nicely and handles itself quite well in waves, though was felt to be not quite as quick to respond as some of the sharper or looser boards. Many commented that it felt slightly more voluminous and therefore stable and floaty rather than agile compared to the average, and it seemed very suitable for freestyle.
Fittings: Very comfortable deck, pads and straps gives it the five star feel underfoot. The fin seems to work fine.
Popularity: Solidly popular, as ever, with everybody who sailed it, but this year just missing out on the very top places.
In time-honoured tradition the JP FSW offers extremely easy sailing and a combination of lively, early planing performance with good speed and very good jumping. It remains a classic freeride / jumping biased all-rounder that is happy in both flat water or coastal conditions. This year it has added a dimension of control that will make it more suitable as a high wind board for intermediate to advanced sailors who either aren’t ready for or have no need of a waveboard.