The Kontact range will take your surfing with a kite to new levels apparently! With input from pro riders Sky Solbach and Dreu Beavis, Australian shaper Martin Littlewood has put his 30+ years of shaping experience and a full year of R&D into the Kontact range. From pumping Western Australia down to one-foot onshore beach breaks, these boards are designed to be pushed as hard as possible in all conditions. The concept is quite simple; create the overall look and feel of a bigger semi-gun, scaled down to around 6'0 for kiting. The result is a board that offers excellent grip and encourages you to go as fast as possible into turns and carves and gives you more confidence in pushing the next turn. Excelling in good conditions where speed and control is key, they still maintain enough direct response and snappiness for small waves. Strapped or strapless, big or small surf, the Kontact is a no compromise high-performance range of competition surfboards that will never hold you back.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
CHRIS: I like gunny boards, so I like the North. Really pulled in tail and thin rails at the back. Good construction and quality fins. The pads aren't over the top like they have been in the past, which I think is important – they are just about right. This is a board that definitely has its roots in riding decent waves. It's really a good, big wave board.
NEAL: Fairly narrow for a 6'1 but with a lovely swept in tail to a narrow square tail, it screams speed and power turns. Last year's North was a little big and bouncy for my taste although very easy to ride, but as soon as you
see this you know it’s aimed at higher-performance riding. On the water it feels instantly comfortable, although again, would have been nice to have a pad between the straps for cruising upwind with your back foot out of the strap. It actually feels quite small for a 6'1 but on a smooth face with some power it turns really nicely and you can really get it carving hard off the back foot. The narrowness does compromise its ability to deal with bumps on the wave though, with just occasional tripping on the bottom turn on messy faces. Fairly good for throwing around but I think the North's strong point is that for such a focussed big wave board it still has a wide range of performance. Even at 6'1 it was still easy to whip turns in the shore-break
CHRIS: It's not the quickest board off the wave and it has moderate bounce and feels fairly stiff as you'd expect from a high-performance board. You can definitely feel the back of the board and the drive. I played on this one in waist high waves and I really like the way that it bottom turns; it really pushes you round and grips nicely. The tail section is great, almost finishing the turn for you. Top turns are snappy but some people might not like the narrowness and straight lined gunny outline as the uninitiated might find it a bit difficult to gybe and ride. Its pedigree lies in big, decent waves with really grippy, consistent and continual turns along the wave. If you live somewhere that gets solid groundswell or with a good wave height, then it would be perfect. In marginal conditions you'll want something a bit more all-round, and perhaps the smaller sizes
cater for that. I wish we had better waves here more regularly so I could justify owning one. You just know that with North you spend your money with confidence. They have a great pedigree for wave boards.
The Kontact is a big wave machine that can cope in the smaller stuff when necessary. It's less all-round than the Rocket Fish and a little bit more specialist. When the conditions call for a weapon, and you’re up to it, whip out the Kontact.
Powerful and consistent turns.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
A little more all-round performance, but that would change the whole nature of the board and high-performance riders living near good waves would be cursing us for messing with their trusty wave tool.
5'8, 5'10 and 6'1.
This test is in issue #36