JP AUSTRALIA MAGIC RIDE FWS 119L 2016 TEST REVIEW
As with the three other larger sizes in the Magic Ride line-up, the 119 is a completely new design for 2016, replacing the 118 of old. Available in three constructions, from Pro to ES (Epoxy Sandwich), it is tested here in Full Wood Sandwich (FWS) – the middle option price wise. Supplied with a 40cm G10 fin, the board has a noticeably thin profile and reverse teardrop outline, the max width placed north of its mid-point. This means that although the tail of the board is no narrower than others in the group, it seems visibly narrower, with lots of curvature in the board’s outline. With a flat deck throughout, there are all the usual strap options, from training to inboard and outboard, yet JP have wisely reduced the number of holes to two per plug to reduce weight and any confusion.
“The 4 new designs target to improve performance and handling in lighter winds. The 119 and 130 now are clearly sportier compared to their predecessors [and] feature a double concave Vee flowing into a flat Vee towards the tail, lifting the boards onto the plane instantly: You don’t need to pump or use a special technique – just sheet in, plane and enjoy! As a consequence, you will get away with a smaller sail and about 10-15 L less volume compared to traditional freeride shapes. They will feel like the smallest boards of this width that you have sailed on – ever!”
Releasing easily onto the plane and accelerating smoothly, the 119 instantly has an appealing and alluring nature, feeling fast, loose and lively underfoot yet without ever hinting at getting away from you. It rides over rolling swell and chop effortlessly, flying on its fin as the shoulders keep high, well clear of any danger. Push more power into it and it responds, gaining more speed and giving just the right amount of feedback to feel playful and lively without unnerving the hesitant passenger. Unlike previous incarnations, the 119 doesn’t clatter over chop, but rather irons out any impact, the vee and double concave in the shoulders and mid-section helping to cushion the ride. Whilst stable and forgiving in the tack thanks to the flat deck and volume in the nose, it’s in the gybe that the 119 really stands out from the group. Simply offer up the leeward rail and the board does the rest, biting and gripping superbly. Push harder midway through the turn and the board responds willingly, charging through the tightest arc as if it has an identity crisis and thinks it’s a waveboard! It’s a lot of fun to play on, its carving prowess inspiring many of the team into a session of old school freestyle carving antics.
Easily the best Magic Ride we’ve tried yet, the 119 has ease and practicality to coach the progressing rider, matched with a loose lively nature and scintillating gybing capabilities. It comes well recommended.
Other sails in this test: