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Ubiquitous in nearly every manufacturer’s product range, North have developed a surfboard specific to strapless freestyle that crosses over well into average wave conditions. The Comp is an interesting board from a construction perspective and there’s a decent mix of modern materials utilized. The layup is a visually impressive mixture of carbon weave and Innegra that North are calling their Futurelite Technology, which makes up a structural skeleton whilst retaining some decent flex characteristics, important for a board designed for harsh landings. The EVA pad is a fairly thick, extremely grippy corduroy affair and has a pronounced bump in the front to wedge your front foot against on water impact – there’s very little chance of landing hard and doing the splits with the Comp. It is a familiar boxy outline, with relatively squared rails for building decent grip and loading the edge for easy release for strapless airs, and the formula works well. A considerable amount of shaping and sculpture has gone into the base of the board. The tail has a deep central concave channel and two smaller channels either side flanking it. They seem to produce that magic mixture of grip and bounce resistance that strapless freestyle requires.
Fin-wise, we’re looking at a thruster setup, which is well placed around the channeling and has the well proven and sturdy FCSII boxes for easy clip-in fin swaps. The rear of the board around the fin box and kick pad has extra cross-aligned carbon mesh woven around it for even more impact resistance.
In the water, the Comp certainly ticks all the boxes for a load and punt perspective. It develops forward speed in an eager fashion, and it feels easy to release and get in the air with. What’s very noticeable is what a pleasant board it is to land on – the bottom contours seem to disperse the water well. We had some pretty heavy landings on the Comp and it certainly seems to take it like a trooper. In mushy onshore swell, the Comp does a great job of giving a fun skateboard style top to bottom performance, and its tail slides out very predictably on a stalled top turn and definitely makes sub-par conditions very entertaining.
It’s Comp by name and competition by nature. It is an excellent reaction to the focus and development of strapless freestyle, and is a great platform that will push your personal development from your first few strapless punts to as far as you can take it.