JP AUSTRALIA X-CITE RIDE PLUS 135L PRO 2014 TEST REVIEW
After launching the Magic Ride line (see report on MR 118 in April 2014 issue) JP have re-positioned the long-standing X-Cite ride series with extra ‘sportiness’, but with easy-handling remaining the key focus of the four-size range. The X-Cite ride sits alongside the Allride (freeride), Magic Ride (freemove) and Supersport (freerace) collections. The X-Cite ride comes in either PRO construction (125L, 135L, 145L), Full Wood Sandwich (125L, 135L, 145L 160L) – or Full Wood Sandwich ‘Family’ edition with EVA deck in 145L. The 135 is delivered with a Ride 44-cm. G10 Powerbox fin.
“Sporty, fast and lively, these new freeride boards are re-designed for more performance and still preserve all of the proven X-Cite Ride attributes like easy riding and control. PLUS, they are very exciting and fun to ride, jibe and carve. Already X-Cited? Jump on the new boards and feel the performance PLUS!” (Sic.)
Allride, X-Cite Ride, Magic Ride. It’s been quite a complicated JP freeride range to date – although we’ve always found each board had its place and suited various levels of freeriders – so it’ll be interesting to see how the Magic Ride influences JP’s future freeride offerings, but we’re calling that they’ll simplify the line from this point forward. So where does the X-Cite ride fit in? Well, although the Magic Ride has impressive ‘perceived volume’, (feeling like a board 10 or 15L larger off the plane and 10-15L smaller on the plane), the X-Cite ride still offers plenty of ‘real’ stability and security for first-time freeriders. We mostly experienced horrendously rough and windy conditions during this test, so when we say the board felt smooth through the water then it’s a testament to the shape that it can cope with wind approaching 30 knots and rolling swell mixed with dastardly cross chop. On lighter days we found it to be a positive early planer with a good mix of rails, length and width all working to make planing a fairly passive experience. Upwind it’s noticeably strong too, something that will be vital to those mastering gybes and conscious of not losing ground downwind. The ride does have elements of an older skool, ‘stand-and-wait-to-plane’ and more outboard, ‘push-against-the-rails’ stance that will be popular amongst many. Paired with 7.8 twin cams in the stronger wind we only occasionally experienced spinout, so the fin will work superbly in flatter seas. Gybing-wise we found it more than capable, with slightly less of a ‘fixed radius’ nature than the Magic Ride, which will appeal to more advanced sailors looking for a fun moderate-wind board to carve about on and vary the radius of their turns a little more. Sails-wise, we found it paired best with draft-further-forward rigs, which might be something to bear in mind.
It’s all about the control: the JPAustralia X-Cite ride Plus delivers a refined and smooth ride through almost any water state and is a strong – and easy – early planing shape.
Other boards in this test: