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As freeride foiling continues to grow as a discipline, and skill levels increase, we’re seeing more and more minimal and low volume foil boards on the market, and this is where the Scoop Mini from North slots straight in complementing their rapidly expanding and evolving Sonar foil range.
Dimensionally we’re looking at 110cm by 45cm and a nice round 10 liters of minimalism. Construction is a very light hybrid carbon layup with a PVC core; it feels extremely stiff and durable in the hands. Shape-wise it’s a flat bottom for easy water release, particularly at the tail with rounded rails and a fairly generous little kick of nose rocker. The EVA pad has a generous kick at the rear and a comfortable and grippy corduroy pattern running from nose to tail giving the board a reassuring sensation underfoot.
The strap inserts present offer all options and both a straight or traditional Y strap configuration at the front are catered for, hinting at the crossover potential into tow foiling, where some prefer to be centered over the stinger with two straps rather than ducked out with three. North have implemented the Dropbox system on the Scoop Mini, which now spans their entire foil board range. This has four rectangular apertures matching the base plate spacing for the fixings. This allows you to keep the track nuts in the mast base, and drop all four in at once flush with the board, then simply push the mast base forward into the tracks, avoiding the usual fumbling around in the car park for track nuts. It’s a subtle touch to the board that you could easily overlook or fail to notice, but it simplifies foil installation and gets you on the water that smidgen more efficiently.
In the water the Scoop Mini’s diminutive size is easy to handle and get under your feet in position. You’ll need a little bit of juice to get going with that bare essentials 10L under you, but it’s not that arduous even for a larger guy and feels far more buoyant than a board with a twintip construction. Once you rock up onto the board, there’s a decent degree of stability and the board releases very cleanly with no suction on the water, a mark of a decent foil board. Once flying, the tiny swing weight makes the foil feel very alive and sensitive. There’s more than enough room to complete your foot switches without running out of deck pad. For such a low volume board the Scoop makes a miraculous job of recovery if you touch down. That little kick nose rocker is very effective at bouncing you out of a dicey situation.
The Scoop Mini gives you an absolute maximum of feedback from the foil regardless of what you’re doing with it. It’s going to suit intermediates and above that are confident with a low volume board start behind a kite or boat. The small dimensions and light weight of the board mean the travel potential of the board is also good. The crossover potential into tow foiling is obvious and having an absolute minimum of swing weight when pumping is a massive advantage when it comes to fatigue and range as well as more aggressive turning. Also, the board is so short, without the nose of the board in your peripheral vision, it gives you the other worldly feeling you are truly flying, which for most is the pinnacle of foil sports.
The Scoop Mini is a well-orchestrated hover board that could well sit in your quiver for a long time to come.