The low down
The Slalom VIII is JP’s race board line which consists of six different sizes. The range is split into two, with three boards for the heavier more powerful racers and three boards designed for the lighter guys. The range has had a few tweaks from last year, with wider tail shapes and refined rocker lines to increase the performance.
At a glance
The 68 sits in the middle of the heavier/power side of the range and has gained an extra few litres of volume on last year’s board, from 112 to 118. It has a wide tail, widest in the test, with straight sides and a pointed nose. On the deck, it has a raised stance area, for the best elevated riding position, and underneath it has a combination of subtle vee and double concaves with cut-outs in the tail. It has a Tuttle fin box but is not supplied with a fin. JP recommends a fin around 38cm for this board.
It is very stable, with plenty of volume under foot. The JP is extremely eager to plane and as soon as it’s powered up, it takes off like a rocket. The ride from the straps is great, with the elevated deck putting you in an aggressive yet comfortable riding position where you have plenty of leverage to push hard. It really thrives on power and the more you push it, the more it rewards you, never running out of juice and just continuing to accelerate. At high speed it deals extremely well with chop and is devastatingly fast on the straights in all conditions. Round the corners it holds its speed very well and tracks nicely through the carve, favouring a more committed gybing style and a slightly wider arc, the wider tail keeps you up on the plane and gives you a burst of acceleration during the exit.
The JP Slalom VIII is without doubt a very fast and highly competitive board, it is not a particularly technical board to ride but the more powerful and focused riders will certainly get the most out of it on the racecourse