JP SUPER SPORT PRO 125L 2017 TEST REVIEW
JP’s longstanding Super Sport freerace range has been completely refreshed for 2017, the 125 described as the sweetheart of the series. It is the only size available in the brand’s premium Gold construction, using Textreme material, yet is tested here in standard Pro technology. With a significant scoop to its deck between its rounded nose and track, the new shape saves most of its bluster for its rear quarters, with raised wingers for the deck sitting above a narrow waterline for the hull’s tail-shape. The idea is to provide the pressure under the back-foot for early planing and traction on the fin, yet reduced drag for greater speeds. It is an eye-catching design – the rails chunky throughout to match the hard edge that is present along their whole length. The dual density deckpads have a reduced area, yet remain thick and provide good traction, whilst the Velcro straps have an internal neoprene sidewall over the webbing for added comfort.
“These all new shapes deliver explosive acceleration and electrifying speed like World Cup slalom boards but are way easier to get going and are more comfortable to ride. The new generation represents a huge step forward in every aspect and they now come with Tuttle boxes and high performance G10 slalom fins.”
The new Super Sport is significantly different to its predecessor, both in appearance and riding character. Whereas the old shape felt fairly typical underfoot, (directionally stable and progressive in nature), the new contender responds best to a proactive style and positive input from the rider. The back straps can be inset, yet still place the rider’s stance right out on the rail whichever position is used, requiring subtlety and precision. Once in place, the Super Sport accelerates with interest and feels as close to a slalom board as any in the group. It is stunningly captivating to ride and insists upon the rider’s attention, increasingly so as the wind picks up. The more you use the Super Sport and explore its capacity, the more it endears itself. The strap position is incredibly comfortable, the backfoot in the optimum position to really drive against the fin. The fin itself is the ideal partner to the board, providing plenty of traction and confidence to really control the flight of the board, whilst rarely feeling it will slip or give way entirely. Electric off the wind, the Super Sport has to be partnered with a sail that can keep up with it – its voracious appetite to go faster will provide control issues for the more pedestrian power source. It also responds best to a more confident, modern riding style – if you try to force the issue and load the rail too hard, the benefit in speed is negligible. Instead relax, hold the sail upright and as still as possible and let the board do the work. It takes a little getting used to, but keeps the rider infatuated and engaged, keen to discover and unlock the potential available. In severe conditions, the Super Sport is surprisingly easy to control despite the rider’s outboard stance. It remains planted to the water’s surface and enables the sailor to come over the board if they want to ease off for a while. In transition, the volume and width around the nose makes it forgiving in the tack, whilst in the gybe the JP needs to be dominated, yet responds positively to a spirited riding style.
Super efficient and engaging, the Super Sport is as close to a slalom board as any in the group and rewards the experienced rider with a flighty yet controllable ride that offers masses of potential.
Other sails in this test: