JP AUSTRALIA MAGIC RIDE 120L PRO 2014 TEST REVIEW
JP have introduced the Magic Ride into an already comprehensive range of freeride styles. They have the X-Cite Ride Plus – a kind of ‘freecarve’ line – the All-Ride higher wind freeride/FSW crossover range and the SuperSport freerace collection. The Magic Ride is probably the best pick for a first-time freeride board in their lineup and is available in either PRO or Full Wood Sandwich layups.
Both come with a 40-cm. Powerbox fin. (The PRO delivered with a G10 version. JP claim the Magic Rides are the lightest in their class.) The rear outboard strap settings are fairly inboard which should help ambitious first-time shortboarders enjoy higher speeds and be able to control larger sails sooner.
‘This is an all-new, thrilling and exciting concept of extra wide, short and thin freeride boards within the JP line. It features so far unseen early planing with the easiest jibing possible. The main difference to comparable boards from our competition is, that they really give you an electrifying feel which you normally only get from much smaller boards. Their early planing and top speed is also unmatched in their class.’ (Sic.)
We immediately found the Magic Ride 118 quite an early ‘passive’ planer. It was the narrowest outline in the test group, but the tail width is on a par with the rest and this shape definitely demands less input than some to get up and running. This Pro version was unquestionably the liveliest of the bunch in terms of riding style, feeling super direct and lifty from the off, sitting high above the water with a nice sensation of ‘controlled nervousness’. The ‘perceived volume’ factor is amplified like in no other in this model as it feels like a much smaller board (similar to 100L) underfoot when planing, yet displays the stability and cork of a much bigger hull (say a 130) at idle. The speed is good and with the more traditional, boxy rails at the tail it offers more of a ‘push against’, outboard stance than an upright, inboard sailing position. Being compact and feeling small it’s exciting to gybe and fairly forgiving too, something that will appeal to intermediates looking for speedy development. The basic turning arc is quite ‘set’, which is perfect for novice gybers, offering little distraction and eliminating potential errors from less-practised feet. That said, offered enough input, it’s also nice and involving for advanced riders to drive the rails further too. A polished product with good ‘growing room’!
The JPAustralia Magic Ride is a lively and positive shape offering fun and speedy progression within the sport. Easy and early to plane, forgiving to turn and delivering a small board feel with the security of a bigger hull, this is one shape that’s sure to light up the love of windsurfing for first-time freeriders.
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