SU2 Syntax 2011
I have been kiting for 7 years, and go out in anything from 11 to 38 kts. I am 82kg naked, and have size 45 feet.
I got this board to test from Big Surf in Tarifa.
The first thing you notice when riding it is the comfort. The pads are very thick and absorbent. The board handles going upwind against heavy chop without problem. It never sprays water in your face like both the Norths. It is stiffer than the X-Ride, which is a very good thing. With the X-Ride, occasionally the board would bend like a banana when heading into chop, stopping the board dead and causing a lot of knee pain. I don't like soft boards. Upwind ability is good, but not amazing. The board is big - its the longest and widest I have used. However, for me, with size 45 feet, I did not notice the width at all - it never made my ankles ache or felt too big even in gnarly gusty conditions.
This board was a revelation in the jumps. I originally bought the Jamie Pro because I thought it would be the ultimate board for doing jumps and tricks in the air. Jumping with the Syntax is so much easier - "loading the rope" by going downwind then scooping upwind just as the kite reaches its peak was very very difficult with the Jamie. With the syntax its second nature, and my jumping has improved enormously in terms of height and not going down wind.
This board carves as hard as you can push it without losing an edge. It is exactly as I want to carve - softer boards can carve in tighter radius, but at the expense of control and smoothness.
It is not as fast as my old Jamie Pro, and doesnt quite go upwind as well which is to be expected as it has more rocker. However, it is much better jumping and turning - which is where the fun is. The foot straps have a string and ratchet type adjuster, which I found hard to adjust in the water. The pads are a bit slippery, but with the special toe grip and well formed straps this was not a problem.
The Syntax is well built, comfortable, performs and is very good value at €520. Try it and buy it! I wish I had this board 3 years ago.