Easy to ride and extremely durable, the 2010 Best Spark twin-tip is ideal for any beginner or intermediate rider. Designed with progress in mind, the Spark's new tri-axial glass lay-up, improved wood-flex core and new channel release tips provide forgiving handling, great performance and maximum versatility when you need it most. Controlled flex zones resist the low frequency impacts of heavy landings and 3D channel grip tips on the underside help you hold a better line in the water. Discrete inserts are thermally bonded for the most positive contact between insert and wood core and a biax cloth and uni-directional laminate provide stability and control of tip-to-tip flex. Thanks to the three different size models you are sure to find the perfect fit for your size, weight, and skill level.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Aimed at the beginner / intermediate rider, the Spark isn't an ordinary, basic board. Good looking and sleek, the finish is high end; glossy and stylish. If you are a beginner, walking into a shop and walking out with this under your arm will leave you grinning. More durable than last year the construction has been improved, and while it's Best's entry level budgetboard, the pads and straps have also been improved upon, with more side support and increased comfort. There's also more complex channelling in the bottom, more rocker, ABS rails and a wood core, which you might not expect in an entry level product. Adding to its styling credit is its beefy, modern wake-style outline. It's kind of like the car that looks like it's highly spec'd and high performing, but actually has a 1.6 litre engine under the bonnet rather than the full 2.0 litre turbo charged version.
The Spark immediately feels smooth, sedate and controlled on the water. Stable and grippy, it goes upwind well and is lively enough that it can release the water nicely so that you can try things on it without feeling glued to the water. Not only does it look gangster for a beginner / early intermediate, it's good fun and easy to use. Although you really couldn't say it's packed with performance, we were still able to try our usual tricks on it. The difference between this and the more freestyle / freeride boards we might ride as experienced riders is that they feel more alive through the middle. But that more sedate quality is exactly what rookie riders need. Steady and smooth, the Spark doesn't run away with you and because it has lots of grip and the speed is easily controlled, riders who haven't developed good edge control can ride it flatter but still get the grip they need to progress with going upwind and learning basic manoeuvres, such as carving and first jumps and transitions.
Well made, good looking and easy to ride, this is a great package and a fantastic option for a first board without making you feel like you're walking round with a board that's obviously for a first timer.
KW LIKED: Advanced looks and easy performance.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Give it a bit more life in the centre, so better riders could get one too!
SIZES: 140 x 42, 135 x 41, 130 x 39.5 and 124 x 39cm
This test is in issue #45