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Test Review - 09/07/2010

North Shox RDM 42cm Extension and Base

This is one you just have to read for James’s forthright comments ( which are his own and not that of Surfladle) and it is a shame but I have had to alter one of his 'f' words..sorry James. You will note in his write up that he mentions footage of the Shox in action. This should be with us at some point on Saturday the 10th July, so please drop into the shop when you are next down to sail and take a look.

And finally,  if you are interested in James's Nutrition Products
.. Click Here!

"SHOX, it Works!
I'll be honest and say that I was not overly impressed with the way that North have released this "revolutionary" piece of equipment. It arrived with about as much fizzle as a dead firework, if you ask me North missed a trick with this (idiots).

Never the less I've been given the opportunity to review one courtesy of James & Danny at Surfladle, film the thing in action and give a write up either favourable or not. Those who know me will know that most equipment I don't think is any good heads in one direction, off the *fecking cliff!

I'm going to split this review into 3 simple sections starting with construction.

It certainly looks well built being constructed from heavy duty anodised aluminium, although to be honest I was expecting it to made from carbon, so its a little heavier than expected. It has a bespoke UJ assembly which is very neat and tidy, but perhaps a little fiddly when attaching it to the base of the SHOX unit. The actual SHOX part looks very simple, special rubber segments inside the mast extension form the shock absorbing function, I can't see this failing. North equip the unit with their ratchet system which I love and seems robust as ever. So overall it looks like a very strong piece of kit, confidence abound its time to rig up.

The SHOX has two settings, one for big chop & big waves and another for smaller chop etc. I set it for smaller chop, its easily done with an Allen key. The SHOX comes with an odd looking pin/clip sleeve that’s actually very easy to use making quick height adjustments very easy. My only gripe is that it looks like a potential weak spot, but I'm guessing this has been tested to construction by North so full marks for something easy to use. Who wants to be fiddling around with a full pin and sleeve when you simply give this thing a squeeze to release the sleeve and then simply slide it up or down the extension to your desired setting. I rigged a 5.0m Ezzy Panther on it in no time at all, the only slower part of the rigging was attaching the UJ/Base Plate to the SHOX, you've got one oversized spring clip, its all of bit tight, and any sand or cold fingers will make this process even trickier. I guess its just practise! But I must find something bad to say about it so far and I'm struggling!

On the Water
I was sailing at Shoreham Beach with high tide fast approaching, looked nice and choppy. I was using a nice new RRD 85 FSW so was expecting the usual mega clatter. Initially when you step on the board and head out you don't notice anything. However, once you sheet in and go for it the feeling of comfort across the chop is amazing. There is a real difference, I'd say night and day to what I'd normal expect. I've sailed at Shoreham for over 20 years so I'm familiar with how the chop at high tide puts so many riders off. Don't be! This SHOX transformed the sailing experience. Gybing on the outside was simply stunning, so smooth, so easy, watch the footage and see how easily I crank into some chop and gybe! The same goes for jumps, the SHOX gives that little bit more pop and landings are all cushioned, yes you really can feel it working. I was all the more impressed remembering that the unit was working on its lowest setting.

Thanks Danny, James & North(Nik Baker) for allowing me to give this a proper whirl, I did warn you that I would flame this SHOX if it was just a gimmick, its not though, I really believe that anyone who regularly sails in ANY choppy location with waves then you NEED to buy one. One thing I forgot to mention was that I used less energy whilst sailing because everything felt that little easier to perform, oh and I recorded 27knots on the Navman. Not bad.

Just one thing guys you're not having it back!!!

Reviewed by James Phillips of Reflex Nutrition, Brighton.

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