The board that powered Kevin Langeree to the ‘Mystic Move of the Day’ at this year’s King of the Air, the Monarch, is a no-compromise and no expense spared top-end freestyle board.
For 2016 there is a new Double Basalt Fiber and the flex has been reduced yet further to increase the amount of speed and pop you can generate. The Monarch can be ridden with binding or straps, and for us the Naish Apex pads are one of the best sets of pads on the market with plenty of adjustment options and the ability to add stiffer or softer heel pads as required.
On the water and you can immediately tell that you have a ‘Ferrari’ under your feet! This is a serious board and it feels it – it is super-stiff and you can tell that it just wants to be ridden hard, but it also feels surprisingly soft through chop and doesn’t cane your knees too much (the Apex pads also help with this). It powers upwind, and for general cruising around is fun.
Of course the real fun starts when you begin to push the Monarch – and then it shows its true colors. You really can load it up – you don’t quite appreciate how much power it is holding as it is so stiff, but as soon as you release an edge you realize! It is the pure definition of ‘explosive pop’ and lets you turn your freestyle moves up to 11…
This may be a top-end board that you would think would only be suited to the top 5% of riders, but we were really surprised by how accessible the power was – so if you would class yourself as a ‘competent freestyle/wakestyle rider’ then this is the kind of board that really could give your moves an edge.