Mistral have approached the twinser from a slightly different direction. The planshape is similar, with the fairly standard narrow tail and wide nose – but that’s where the similarities end. Most visually noticeable is the length. The other twinsers are all about 230 but the Mistral measures just 222cm. As it’s a touch wider than the others too, it has a noticeably tubby / rounded outline. Perhaps the most radical difference though is the rocker. It has just 3.5mm of tail rocker – a fast rockerline on any waveboard. It rounds off its unique design with a greater quantity of vee than we are now accustomed to seeing in waveboards.
On the water:
You can’t escape the effect of its length. It feels like it has no nose and everybody had some awkward moments with it, as when it is only marginally planing or not planing you have to be very careful with weight distribution. However, planing is surprisingly easy. It takes some initial unsticking but accelerates easily, with lighter sailors particularly finding it really quite fast to get going. Once planing the length is no longer an issue, and although it takes a bit more concentration than a conventional waveboard it goes upwind quite well. Of all the twinsers it is perhaps the most satisfying to jump, due to its speed and increased resistance to back foot pressure on take-off due to the vee. Riding the board takes a bit of practice. Weight distribution and familiarity is critical but everybody got some moments of magic from it. The arc in the bottom turn is very tight and it is not as easy to draw out the turn as on some other boards, but it does give about the tightest, cleanest carving turn that we’ve encountered when you get it right, allowing extremely fast and vertical rides. Again, you have to get used to the top turn as it happens fast, and it’s easy to bury the nose or lose the tail, but results can be excellent when you get it right. It seems equally at home in big or smaller waves and keeps its speed up well.
The fins are much like the other twinsers and seem fine. Mistral straps are very comfy and Mistral have finally sorted out their hard deckpads which are now no longer hard!
There is no doubt that the Mistral Twinzer represents a challenge, due both to its short length and the techniques required to maximise its riding. However, it is a challenge that we think will be a lot of fun for experienced waveboard sailors to take on, and will result in some excellent riding. Due to its faster rocker and wider outline it seems better placed than most of the twinsers to take on British onshore conditions, and although it doesn’t have the flow at slow speeds and top turn power of the best stubbies it definitely offers tighter and faster carving turns. Also, if you have sufficient wind and technique to unstick the board and keep it planing it is one of the more all-round and easy to sail of the twinsers, with good relevance for jumping too.