JP ALLROUND AIR WINDSUP SE 10’6” 2017 REVIEW
The Allround Air has been completely redesigned by JP for 2017, with a narrower nose entry and more parallel rails for improved glide, matched with a wider tail for stability. Whilst the larger 11’0” sibling is solely produced in the brand’s familiar Light Edition (LE) technology, this 10’6” comes in their ‘Superior Edition (SE)’ construction. Claimed to be stiffer and lighter than ever, it uses three layers (a polyester sandwiched between layers of PVC) on its deck and hull to ensure durability and stretch-resistance. And yet the clever bit is that these layers are fabricated and adhered to the drop-stitch core using a pre-lamination method, dispensing with the usual manual glue application and thereby eliminating room for human error, reducing any excess glue* in the process (*read weight). With the two polyethylene fins supplied fitting into a couple of short 8” US boxes, the fittings and features of the JP match its visually striking colour scheme. Inflation to the desired 15 P.S.I. using the supplied double action pump was easy, whilst the Superior Edition wheeled bag looks and feels the part, providing easily enough space to fit even the poorest rolled-up board back in.
“In the past couple of years our inflatable boards have featured the best weight to stiffness ratio on the market. This year we took another huge step forward. It was our goal to develop even lighter and stiffer boards with improved durability. The breakthrough was the pre-lamination process.”
Physically one of the lightest in the group, the Allround Air is also one of the most responsive on the water. Used as a paddleboard, it feels like more of a touring board – a little narrower and less stable at rest than most, it responds instantly to the strokes put in and glides beautifully through the water. It does require a little more knowledge and technique to keep directionally straight, changing direction easily if your stroke is a little wayward. With its square tail, it offers plenty of support when moving your stance rearward in transition and helps to control the sink for a tight dynamic turn. In windsurfing mode, the JP feels equally at home – it responds eagerly as you put power into it, accelerating smoothly underneath you, up to a good speed. Tracking well thanks to the enlarged 10” central fin, it can also point admirably and will provide plenty of stability for the light to medium weight rider. Even in heavier sea states it seems to cope well, the narrower nose deflected less than most others in the class by any oncoming short sharp chop, pushing through and maintaining speed.
A classy looking bit of kit, the JP is finished very well, and is equally happy fulfilling both roles, ideally suited to light to medium weight riders. A little more technical at first, it is a great tutor for those looking for a more high-end product.
Other boards in this test: