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North consistently steps it up year after year in product improvement to their gear, and their newest range of Seek wing boards keeps to this trend. Upon unboxing I was immediately impressed, as always, by North’s build quality. The Seek boasts of Hybrid Carbon construction with inbuilt PVC reinforced stringers, glassed and sprayed gorgeously with not a fiber out of line. I couldn’t see a defect anywhere on this board, speaking to a great manufacturing process, and I should also mention that this extends even to the way they package their product which helps to protect and showcase their gear.
Available in sizes from 4’4 @38L to 5’11 @138L, with five sizes in between, the 2022 North Seek features many of the attributes one looks for in a wing board – it’s stiff, responsive, lightweight, durable, user-friendly – and it features a few extra design quirks that the talented design team at North is becoming known for dreaming up… I particularly like the box design, called their “DropBox” mounting track, which has openings for the T-nuts of the mast to drop in, slide back, tighten and go. When you have a short window to have some fun in the waves, this saves time and makes a lot of sense for setup and packup. I wish every board had it.
The single concave, recessed deck also features a cool corduroy deck grip which looks and feels good underfoot, with raised sections and markings for visual and tactile reference points in finding your best front foot placement. For someone like me that prefers to ride without straps, this feature is great to dial things in. I should say that there are also numerous strap inserts if you do like to strap in and go big.
I tested the Seek 4’10 @78L, with the North Sonar foil and a North Nova 5m wing. Conditions were onshore 10-20kts constant, with head high swells mixed with high period wind swell.
As stated, setup was quicker than usual, and I loved the grab handle on the base of the board, which allows one to easily carry it with foil facing out, and wing in the other hand. One trip to the water, no wing tips near bladders, no pre-session catastrophes! At 4’10 and light as all heck, it honestly felt like carrying a prone, but when taxiing out was very stable even at low speed and sinking, so much so I could stand on the board SUP-style while getting into the wind line. I’m 80kg and usually SUP an 85L Sunova 6'2, so was quite impressed at how the distribution of foam has been designed to provide stability in this little board.
The Seek’s recently improved hull design also features a longer waterline and increased nose rocker to help make lift off noticeably easier. Once flying, the board felt as it should – very nimble, light and stiff – contributing to a nice intuitive and responsive connection to mast-foil and the pockets of energy in the water below. It feels very much a performance-oriented board, maintaining a streamlined track into the wind with little resistance, and allowing tight, stable turns and forgiving touchdowns. It’s so easy to steer and handle compared to my other wing board – I picture it in my mind like the way epoxy surf boards respond compared to conventional PU fiberglass boards. Both have their advantages, and disadvantages.
Overall, a big thumbs up for the 2022 Seek. I see this as a do-it-all wing-specific foil board that can be used for those intermediate foilers out there that want that perfect compromise of stability while taxiing and ease of take-off, paired with performance-oriented stiffness and turning capability once up and going. Whether it be in lakes or ocean, upwind, downwind or whatever in between, this board has it covered! JK