North Pacific has been shaping surfboards since 1995 right here in Hood River. For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege to ride a multitude of shapes and sizes, and have really narrowed it down to a couple of favorites: the Waterbug, and the Tuna.
The Waterbug is a great board that has the versatility for both the Gorge and ocean waves. It has become one of our best selling directionals in the shop due to a few immediately noticeable characteristics — smooth turning, lively feeling and it’s easy on the body. The Waterbug can be ridden thruster or quad (on the 5-fin custom), making it even more versatile in a variety of conditions. I personally love my Waterbug set up thruster for tight turning, lip smacking, down the line fun!
The Tuna has been a Big Winds favorite in the Gorge. It’s shorter and wider and when set up as a quad, this little board rips. It’s super fun whether strapped in for boosting big air and laying down long arcing bottom turns, or strapless for executing the newest of strapless aerial maneuvers. The Tuna is a fun travel board as it can be shaped quite short for traveling in your golf bag.
In a perfect world, I would have one of each!
There is something that sets the North Pacific kitesurf boards apart from the competition. A standard surfboard may cost less, but just can’t handle the stresses kiters put on their boards. A standard surfboard foam core is much lighter than those used by North Pacific. The glassing on a standard surfboard is only 4 oz., two layers on top, one on the bottom, whereas North Pacific uses a double layer of 6 oz. S-Glass on both the top and bottom. North Pacific doubles the width of the stringer from 1/8″ to 1/4″, and puts carbon patches under the heel to prevent denting (which is inevitable on all polyurethane boards). All Futures fin boxes are installed in high density foam cassettes that also flex with the board, preventing any cracking around the fin box. Simply put, these boards are strong and last the test of time. It was best put by the late Donald Takayama: “Good boards aren’t cheap, cheap boards aren’t good”.
Come by Big Winds to demo North Pacific boards and find out for yourself what you’ve been missing! Custom orders taken at the shop, or over the phone.