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Freestyle Wave

Mistral 95 (RD) (2009)

Design: Mistral have had quite a major re-organisation of their smaller ranges over the past couple of years. Their very popular Syncros got a name for being excellent control-biased all-rounders / big waveboards, until last year the name (Syncro Move) was effectively transferred to a much faster-rockered board and a new range of control / wavy all-rounders similar to the previous Syncros was christened the ‘Style’, now available in 85-105L.

The Style 95 has a relatively standard FSW planshape but more tail rocker and a shorter planing flat, the rockerline is that of a fast waveboard. It features high vee in the tail flattening quickly as it goes forward. We found it to be relatively low in volume compared to the quoted volumes of the other boards, and our heaviest sailors found it quite sinky.

On the water: The strengths of the Style can be best appreciated as soon as the wind reaches a solid Force 5. It becomes comfortable but lively, compact for blasting but riding very much off the tail, loose and keen to jump. It is not a board that we would recommend for use with sails above 6.0m as it was comparatively slow to plane, and it drags back off the plane in moderate winds. However it clearly feels quick and accelerates well because most of those not involved in the comparative early planing testing felt it planed quite early!

When the wind is solid the Style feels relatively small and agile, very quick to turn and gybing very tight, though needing good skill to keep exit speed. It is very controllable in tricky conditions, gripping well on the high tail vee and tracking securely.

Our freestyle experts found it satisfying for high wind freestyle with very good pop, and it was easy to turn and very loose in the waves for a bit of riding.

Fittings: A high standard of fittings with a decent G10 fin, very comfy straps, good pads and some unusual doming that was liked by most.

Overall: Although it has the rocker and early planing attributes of a waveboard the Style actually still feels more like an agile freestyle-wave when sailing in good wind. It is more comfortable to blast around and easier to control in chop than most waveboards, yet it still enjoys the good jumping and manoeuvrable riding performance of a fast waveboard.

We think it is best suited to intermediate sailors of c. 70-78kg or more advanced sailors a little heavier, but for anyone much over c. 87kg the Style 105 would be the better bet.

We would recommend the 95 principally for sailors looking for a high wind board to complement a medium to larger freeride, and take over from Force 5 upward. Its strengths are best appreciated in a coastal environment but it would work well in strong wind / flat water conditions as well.

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