Kitesurfing’s beloved twintip goes carbon
This test first appeared in KW #100 in July 2019
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Jaime twin-tip has been in production as long as Kiteworld. We’ve grown up with it and what we’ve always appreciated is that each model has aimed to deliver the broadest freeride performance appeal. It has never gone too performance- oriented, too difficult, too twitchy or too fast. The basic Jaime model has become much softer, but since Duotone brought in their full Textreme carbon lay-up wrapped around a wood core and produced a Jaime version with that, we’ve fallen hard for it once again.
This is the 2019 model and, although it will be superseded sooner or later, the changes implemented on this current model are standout if you’re a busy rider looking to ride with power and control without sacrificing feel and connection. This definitely isn’t the same board that we tested last year.
The standout quality in this Jaime is the unique feel underfoot when the board goes through the water. You can almost feel the contours of the water passing by underneath. Most twin-tips slide along quite happily when you get on them, but with the Jaime it’s like they’ve added a few more sensory contact points.
That could all come from the Jaime being relatively thin and light, but it’s likely due to what Duotone are calling a Double Diffuser bottom. Our initial feeling was that this year’s Jaime is a bit slower; it’s probably not – but instead we sensed a softer flex which delivers a lot of easy grip.
The connection that your back foot has with the back of the board is constant. Although the Jaime offers a comfortable ride, you can feel what the back of the board is doing all the time; adapting, softening and smoothing out the choppy peaks and troughs.
A board already has an advantage in terms of comfort and sense of control when paired with a pad / strap system like Duotone’s NTT, which are top drawer alongside a few others in our book (including the AK Durable Supply Co system that’s found on Airush boards), but there’s something even deeper going on with this board. Duotone have added an extra level of water contact control that makes your foot feel closer to the water. We had the board out in some serious chop, and as we were coming down and flying over the wind swell, the Jaime is able to remain connected to the water with a consistent rail connection. Hammering over the chop you’re banging a lot of back foot pressure to keep the nose up and that tail acts like a really effective shock absorber.
Initially, when loading to take off and push off, at first we felt that the Jaime was a bit sticky in that respect (having come off an Ozone Torque which fires off the water), but once dialled in a few minutes later we appreciated the longer than usual element of control that the Jaime gives when loading for jumps.
Of course single, double and quad concave boards can deliver different feelings of contact / release / grip. A Shinn board for instance is famous in our eyes for having that bubble of air feel under your feet. The Jaime Textreme feels like it’s had the suspension dropped, but without the usual hardness in the ride that that tends to bring (if it were a car!). To get speed, comfort and feeling with ease-of-use you’ll usually have to sacrifice something. Somehow with the Jaime you get the performance of a thicker board, but feel of a thin board.
Once again, the Jaime is pretty much a dedicated performance / freestyle board for strapped riding and it absolutely excels again. In our opinion the flex has changed to make it more comfortable, but at the same time somehow made it even easier to perform at a really high level. The subtle flex profile behind the back foot is the highlight, and when you have that without making the board feel sluggish, it makes so many aspects of your session pleasurable; whether you’re maintaining speed over chop, or spraying your mate with a powerful heelside carve and kicking up a ton of water. You can really push hard through your back foot, making beautifully controlled carves. You’re not just digging the tip in to make rainbows; you feel the sensation of the carve throughout.
For us the Jaime has the most progressive flex pattern in the tail of a board that we’ve felt this year. We’re finally getting to a stage now where carbon construction is being combined with wood, not just to make a light board, but to provide an element of just the right amount of stiffness to marry performance and comfort. And vitally, even though it’s thin and light, somehow the Jaime can ride out most of the difficult landings and choppy hazards you could throw at it. Once again the tip and tail do clever things to prevent either end bogging out, backed-up of course by the security you feel in the NTT foot straps.
SUMMARY: Perhaps the Jaime is a shade slower this year, but the interactive feel in the flex pattern gives you so much sublime control when attacking difficult conditions. Comfort, edge control and grip for days.
KW LIKED: Once again the Jaime Textreme has gone another step further in delivering incredible strapped specific freeride / freestyle performance for the masses.
KW WOULD CHANGE: We don’t think the Jaime is the most graphically attractive board, but it’s on the shopping list anyway.
JAIME TEXTREME BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8.5
Fixtures and fittings: 9.5
Slider proof: NA
Boots applicable: Perhaps, but it’s perfect for straps Freeriding: 8.5
Ease of use: 9
SIZES: 142 x 43, 139 x 42, 136 x 41 and 133 x 40cm
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