THIS DUOTONE WAM CLASSIC TEST FIRST APPEARED IN KITEWORLD #105 ON OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM IN JULY 2020.
DUOTONE WAM CLASSIC 5’8” REVIEW
“The joy of the Wam is in making credible turns and hitting waves how you want to across the widest spectrum of conditions.”
Tested by: Jim Gaunt.
TEST TEAM NOTES
The all-round wave weapon in Duotone’s line-up returns, however this time slightly shorter and wider and now in the same shape as the ‘Pro Wam’ (which is made with the lighter ‘Light Team’ construction). Both Wams are designed to offer all riders access to great performance in all kite wave conditions, but now the ‘classic’ model delivers performance that won’t leave you wishing you’d bought the ‘pro’ model.
Duotone say there’s a little more width and volume under the front foot. There’s absolutely no doubting how well paced and balanced this ‘more basic’ construction of the two Wams in this year’s Duotone line-up is. The carve initiation is so easy and yet the Wam doesn’t feel ‘tippy’ or unstable. It’s not a wide style floaty boat that’s a cinch to gybe on, but there’s an element of forgiveness if you put your feet in roughly the right place.
The general feel from sessions on the Wam is that I was making fewer mistakes and able to get more turns in on a wave. As a result, I was maintaining speed from the wave much more efficiently and having to move the kite less. That’s what pros and amateurs want, but the difficulty is developing the skills to do it.
One session I had on the ten metre Bandit 2020 kite was really light wind, but the waves were lovely, shoulder high and it was easy to get four nice turns on the wave without having to move the kite much at all. In other words, just letting the board do all the tight work.
DECKPAD & FOOTSTRAPS
The deck pad is as grippy and comfortable as you need without removing the feel of the board underneath and, like all the other boards on test this issue, there are inserts for straps if you want to add them, so this really is an all-rounder. The 5’8’’ feels like the perfect size for me; a good mix of high wind / fast wave control without feeling sluggish in lighter winds or in the chop.
This is one of those ‘no brainer’ products for those riders looking for one surfboard suited to most situations. There’s also a part of me that has grown to rely on riding something wider, more buoyant and flatter in rocker to make the most out of sloppy onshore conditions – something a bit quicker that relies on less kite power, but that’s moving towards something more specialised. The joy of the Wam is in making credible turns and hitting waves how you want to across the widest spectrum of conditions.
VACUUM BAMBOO TECH CONSTRUCTION
Overall the Wam is tough and resilient thanks to the vacuum bamboo tech construction, and looks superb with its wooden deck. Don’t fear your heavy landings either as the cork shock absorbers under the heel areas, that are now popular on Duotone boards, prevent heel dents.
The Wam is very sweetly balanced as a board that you could take anywhere to ride. As happy in small waves as it is in overhead conditions. With a little commitment, you can learn to gybe on it, too. Although the Wam is capable of delivering the highest wave riding performance that most of us will ever need, the ride is also smooth and forgiving. Boards that make riding easy help you reach high performance.
Feeling like you have good technique because the board performs so well with relative ease across a broad spectrum of conditions.
KW WOULD CHANGE
A stubbier, flatter rockered shape would deliver more drive if you’re a strapless rider looking for a more pure-surf / less kite power small wave performance.
DUOTONE WAM BALANCE POINTS
(TEST SCORE BREAKDOWNS HERE)
Pure wave riding: 8.5
Big waves: 8
Small waves: 8
Strapless freestyle: 6
Early planing: 7
Bottom turn drive: 8
Snappy turning: 8
SIZES: 5’10’’ x 18 5/8’’ x 2 5/16’’ (26.6L), 5’8’’ x 18 3/8’’ x 2 ¼’’ (24.8L) and 5’6 x 18 1/8’’ x 2 5/32’’ (22.8L)
MORE INFO AVAILABLE AT: DUOTONESPORTS.COM
Why not treat yourself to our special print issues?
Get the Winter Issue now and the Summer issue in May:
Print and digital: £15
SUBSCRIBE AT : SHOP.KITEWORLDMAG.COM