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A long standing name in the watersports world, namely in windsurfing and SUP racing, over the last couple of years Mistral has been making strides to include foiling in their extensive range of watersports offerings with the intent of targeting the intermediate rider who wants to push their limits further.
The Skywave board has a striking shape and appearance that stands out against the ‘standard’ shapes and looks like it draws inspiration from the Mistral windsurfing heritage. A square tail with sharp edges for release at the back smooths into a round nose with a vee’d double concave to aid touchdowns. Multiple strap inserts provide more than sufficient strap possibilities to keep riders happy and a solid and grippy deck pad with full width tail kick completes the interface between rider and board. At 4’11” x 25.5” and 75L with a solid carbon construction ,the board is well suited for the target market of intermediate riders looking to progress their riding across all disciplines and downsize their boards. We tested the Skywave board with the Skywave wings and Sultan Foil.
The board is nice and stable even in choppy water despite its shorter length. The volume distribution is more toward the rear of the board making it easy to nose dive if too far forwards, but once you have your position dialed in it is very stable. Getting started on the board is really easy. For a 4’11” it planes very well. Having the volume towards the back lets the rider to stand slightly further back allowing for a bit more planing length allowing the board to build speed thanks to the v hull. We were especially surprised at how easy it was to get the board going in light wind in combination with the 5m Skywave and 1100cm2 Sultan foil, something that the harder rails toward the back of the board also help with allowing the board to release very easily when pumping up.
On foil, the board complements the surfy mid aspect Sultan foil. The board has a very solid feel to it and is responsive and easy to throw around in waves thanks to its more compact shape. It is easy to pump thanks to its low swing weight making connecting bumps and waves a breeze. The touchdowns when riding straight are very forgiving thanks to the generous double concave, though it can cause the board to track a bit. Touching down the rails isn’t an issue thanks to the softer edges allowing you to recover from rail touchdowns in carves. Which means you can focus on your turn as opposed to worrying about bogging a rail. Its compact nature and solid construction means that the board lends itself to jumping and rotations and those wanting to progress their riding in freestyle as well, though this is not something that we tested.
Mistral have designed a solid and responsive board that covers all disciplines well and complements their range of wing foil products. It is well suited to riders looking to size down to a more neutrally buoyant or smaller board that covers all disciplines whilst still being easy to start for how compact it is.