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Wave

Mistral Twinzer RD 84 (2009)

The Twinzer is marketed as a “waveriding sensation” and all the emphasis is put on its performance riding waves. It is the middle of three sizes, the smallest of which featured in our wave test earlier in the season.

Design: The 84 is an extremely unusual design and not really that similar to any other waveboard, whether twinser or single. It is very short (223cm) and very rounded in planshape, being extremely wide (59.5cm) for its length and volume with a moderately wide tail. It has more tail rocker than its smaller sibling though still moderate by waveboard standards (9mm). It has quite a short planing flat (early 2cm point) and stacks of vee in the tail.

On the water: It took a bit more wind to get going than most but is still quite quick to plane by waveboard standards. It feels very tubby and short underfoot and is not the easiest to handle when off the plane (or to tack) due to the short length. However, it is surprisingly easy to sail once planing. Although you can’t be too heavy on the back foot, the combination of heavy tail vee and slightly longer fins (16.5cm) made it feel more secure to push against than the other twinser and feel relatively conventional when heading out through the break. It’s also pretty good for jumping. While its width makes it feel quite substantial in the air, providing you didn’t load up the tail too suddenly you could push quite hard into jumps and get good height.

It was most impressive though when waveriding when it feels very snappy indeed, as well as having the width to keep speed and get good push from small waves. The tail seems to keep good carving contact with the water rather than having a skaty feel and yet it still feels extemely loose and snappy and allows you to get very vertical in the bottom turn and still get easy slide through the top turn. It proved the favourite of our most proficient rider in the relatively onshore conditions, and clearly does give a little extra potential for getting radically vertical in average waves than most waveboards we have tried.

It is remains nicely controllable and calm in strong conditions although our lighter sailor found the width created too much windage.

Fittings: The straps are excellent and the pads and dome were comfortable. The fins seem to suit the board well and are placed well forward on the board, no doubt adding to its loose manoeuvrability.

Overall: While you wouldn’t choose this board for a jumping session, you certainly would choose it for a riding session and still get some decent jumping with it if there was some to be had. You need to be relatively focused on and proficient at frontside riding to really feel the benefits, so we wouldn’t recommend it as an all-round waveboard for average standard wavesailors. It really does reward good technique with extremely vertical, fast and snappy turns even in small to medium mushy waves. We have no doubt that it would still perform very well in nicer riding conditions, although at what point of speed and power the width might become a handicap we couldn’t say.

Although you can feel the slight uncertainty of the twin fin arrangement underfoot it is not hard to get used to. However, we believe that most of the riding magic of the board is due to the hull design rather than the fins.

All in all, a really great riding board for good sailors in average conditions, resulting in a couple of our testers looking very closely at their overdraft limits…

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