Luigi holds his head high in all company, providing genuine high performance riding for those looking for high-speed carving, huge jumping and no limits playful performance. If riding without restraint is your goal then Luigi is the man. Shinn have kept the FS9 mould which accurately controls the flex through the tail and they’ve also maintained the balanced outline that provides grip whilst allowing for high-speed turns. All new, however, is the adoption of the exaggerated constant curve rocker first seen on the Monk and a revised global flex pattern that cushions your ride without sacrificing performance.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Shinn boards are dripping with class this year and the Luigi is no different. Eye-catching and unique, the Luigi's cool, inoffensive styling will appeal to many. There's something very different about the Shinn boards (aside from the Monk having a gorilla on the bottom!) and one of the first things you notice about the Luigi is the outline with its super soft and rounded tips. That outline is in no way bog standard, it's really different, which brings us on to why Shinn's boards seem to be so consistently good. It's no fluke.
The intermediate rider category is actually the hardest to design for. It's also the biggest section of the market, so if you can nail it you're on to a winner, but riders in this category actually have the most demands. To aid their progression their boards must be easyto-ride, yet fast and fun, comfortable and agile. A high-performance freestyler has more skills and can allow for any drop in comfort and stability in favour of pop and speed. A beginner just wants something stable, with moderate speed and plenty of directional stability. But hitting the nail on the head for a high-performance freeride board is what makes designers' brains ache. The ease-ofuse comes from a mixture of many factors: rocker, outline, bottom shape and flex. It's that magic combination that can't just be conjured up.
The more rocker you put into a board, the more comfortable a board becomes and the less back foot pressure is required to ride it, but on the flip side, the slower it becomes. The more you add of one thing, the more you have to remove from another area to compensate. The bottom-line is the Luigi is fast, agile, flies upwind, is comfortable, has a progressive edge, moderate flex and is lots of fun in the air. It's a classy bit of kit.
We can't begin to tell you why the Luigi works so well – if we could work out that magic combination of design factors, we'd be making our own boards. This isn't an out-and-out freestyler's dream board, it's not a really early intermediate's perfect stick either. It's for everyone in between. On the flat water we had it on in South Africa the 130 was ideal, but in regular conditions, we'd have opted for a size bigger.
Silky smooth, effortless fun and performance.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
This isn't something we'd change, but when you first put your feet on the pads your heel feels slightly more raised than your toes. The feel is just a bit different from the standard flat pads and the system is actually very comfortable, supportive and within a couple of minutes you've completely forgotten about it, but do also have the added advantage of riding around with slightly more shapely calves. Bonus.
SIZES: 134 x 44, 132 x 42, 130 x 40 and 128 x 39c
This test is in issue #51