View Full Version : JP FSW vs. Kombat

JP Breaks easily
26th August 2007, 01:29 AM
Has anyone sailed the JP Freestyle wave AND the Kombat? I'd like to see a comparison from someone who has ridden both.

I liked the shape of my JP Freestyle Wave 85, but it snapped in half when I was sailing it this year! Not too good, and the "Full Wood Sandwich" construction seems to be just a very thin layer of carbon on the outside, then pure foam core.

The JP snapped midway between the footstraps and mast step. First board I've ever had fail on me like that in 20+ years of sailing. One minute I'm sailing along at 26 mph in head high waves and 6.0 conditions on Lake Michigan, the next I'm drifting- with the board pivoting from the bottom skin, the deck is what separated.

26th August 2007, 05:39 AM
Yes, those JP boards are light, but not built to last. Have not sailed the Kombat, of course the A box is not too good, otherwise it might be a good board.

26th August 2007, 10:35 AM
I'm hoping Roger Jackson gets the 79-liter Kombat in his arsenal this year. I'm trying to decide between the JP FSW 77, RRD FSW 78 & Kombat 79.

26th August 2007, 12:22 PM
the JP's seem as you said light and having seen more than one fail I wont be rushing
out for mine just yet. Ill keep my carve thanks

27th August 2007, 12:16 AM
I've owned and sailed both.

If you want performance go for the JP. My Kombat was the 2006 96 liters. Kombat is more durable and tough (DRAM) and JP is way more light. JP gets on a plane faster and is faster once it's planing. Kombat has a very progressive and slow way to get on a plane and feels sticky tothe water, very smooth and under control, the JP has more "life" and grip on the water, lighter means more fun and more fragile. Forget about freestyle with the Kombat (sliding moves), JP is good for freestyle.

It's all about feeling on the water. The Kombat always felt too slow and heavy to perform compared to the JP but was better in small waves. Kombat seems like a good choice for mushy waves while JP is a better match for places with strong currents and tides.

27th August 2007, 04:06 AM
I own a K96, have sailed a few others in the range and have sailed and owned JP FSWs (owned an 84).

I think it would be unfair to say one board is better than another as both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Performance wise the jp seemed faster for straight line blasting and got on the plane slightly quicker. Freestyle wise (watching those who have the skills) it seemed better for the sliding stuff.

The Kombat is easier to ride in difficult conditions and loves waves. I was watching a guy a few weeks back on the south coast performing some massive jumps and loops on one. On the lake it's much more comfortable in the messed up wind blown chop we get when it's really honking.

Board repairers I've spoken to say the JPs lighter build doesn't affect strength too much, they do get more rail and nose damaged ones but the white paint is easier to match.

27th August 2007, 08:00 PM
i sailed the kombat and Jp FSW in maui this spring, after a few days on the JP FSW i changed to the kombat and liked the kombat better, then after a few more days went to the acid. All with stock fins with 4.2 to 4.7 size NP zone sails at 190 lbs body weight.
BUT people will have to make there own choices and i guess if you can try all the boards youll find out what you like but in the real world is that possible?
i dont do freestyle at all so the freestlke in FSW or the kombat meant nothing to me. On the other hand i was trying to sail waves, and while the FSW did not do that well at all, the kombat was slightly better suited , .........but not as good as an acid, is that a suprise???
One thing i have had a problem with is these so called "crossovers". IMHO it a confusing crossover.
The shape one must design for freestyle is very different to that of a wave board. For freestle, flat and wide for pop and slide ( hey that rhymes ) yet... for a good wave rider you need rocker and a narrow low volume tail, aka an Acid.
these concepts and their practical apllications in board shape are almost diametrically opposed, So different IMHO i really wonder why call any board a freestyle/ wave at all.
So ultimalty it is up to the sailor and while i liked the kombat over the FSW my buddy sailing in maui at the same time stayed with the JP FSW while i changed to the ACID and like the wave riding even better.

27th August 2007, 08:14 PM
one big difference is the stock fins the FSW came with this big fin in comparison to the kombat it was totally unsuited for waves sailing great for blasting and jumping but otherwise no good for wave stuff.
so ultimately this too would make a big difference i sure the FSW would do better in the "wave ".

27th August 2007, 11:18 PM
PPS oh i heard through a distributor's sales rep up here in ____ ( i wont say) but to paraphrase this person , " people were complaining about Jps durability, ie they were breaking , but then also wanting the lightest weight , and you just cant have both at some point." that was a year ago...

JP Breaks easily
30th August 2007, 09:09 PM
The JP folks claim that their "Full Wood Sandwich" construction is more durable than the lighter "Pro" version. But this didn't help me much, I liked the JP shape since I mostly sail bump and jump type blasting rather than surf zone waves.

So when I bought the JP Freestyle Wave the dealer recommended the FWS construction, he said the "Pro" construction would only last six months. Well now it looks like the FWS construction lasts just about 13 months, slightly past the warranty and don't bother to talk to JP about it, they just don't care and don't seem likely to change their construction.

30th August 2007, 09:56 PM
My general advice in these cases is to have an expert take a look at the laminate around the area of breakage. It may be that it is too dry or something and then it really is a manufacturing defect that you could talk to your shop about (then they talk to the importer that talks to JP that talks to Cobra...). You might get lucky despite that the warranty period has passed.

As for FSW vs Kombat, a few years have passed since I last sailed JP FSW. But they have always been a bit more freeride oriented and are well know for being super easy to sail "right out of the box". I think Kombats are more true crossovers in the sense of being both pure wave boards and good freeriders depending on trim. They require a bit more technique to excel in freeride stuff, but really perform when you push them. And in a wave setup, they are just exceptional and also here they get better the more you push them. But most boards in the FSW/crossover segment seems to do the job, its more personal preference that decides which one that fits the best.

31st August 2007, 02:08 AM
Interesting difference... if the Kombat is more wave oriented, why is it the only one of these boards that has an option for two back footstraps on the 79-liter board? RRD's and JP's don't give this option.

1st September 2007, 12:53 AM
I was really impressed with the kombat and pushing this board in B&J in 4.2 to 5.3 condtions at kanaha last spring. there has been some critcism of the smallish fin but it worked great, providing enough lift and enough looseness at the same time for my 195 lb frame. It never spun out even when heavily pressed in either wide arcs or short slashing gybes when i was trying to stay upwind. The conditions were big time lumpy and bumpy inside the reef. KP had commented on his blog that the wind was very high for maui, ( although he didnt seem to think it was very bumpy...) wile i doint thrash the board IE: any pitchploes or hiugh wipeouts i dint treat it with baby gloves either. i was a bit worried as one kombat had buckled in half the spring before from one shop i rented from. there was no nose guard on the board either all the Jps had them at all the shops i checked.
I saw tesieda there during the starboard photo shoot and complimented him on this board. i had sailed a bunch of other types, and maye i was zoned in but i went back to it day after day and decided ti was de rigeur for the conditions.' although ti not the board for my local conditions ( trying to find a lightly used s -type)i could not say enough aout this board i did sail the JP it was Ok but liked the komat better .

1st September 2007, 03:49 AM
Interesting difference... if the Kombat is more wave oriented, why is it the only one of these boards that has an option for two back footstraps on the 79-liter board? RRD's and JP's don't give this option.

Well, it has to do with that all the Kombats, even the small one can be trimmed to become a freerider. I think it is best to view the "history" of the current Kombat shape to understand it. It is a close relative, or even a descendant, to the Pure Acid shape. Rocker is the same, v-layout is the same. Rails are very close. Only outline is a bit different with a bit wider shoulders an a wider tail (or you can think of them being narrower down the middle if you want). Pure Acids are well known for being very good wave boards, particularly in down the line conditions. The Kombats have a very similar feel, but the outline change tunes them for keeping speed better when you mess up or don't have so much wave or sailpower push.

But as it happens - call it luck if you want - the Pure Acid rocker is a very, very fast one as wave boards go. So the Pure Acids are already surprisingly good for high wind freeride blasting (many tests confirm this). With the added tail width and with the freeride strap option of the Kombats, you gain the ability to control a bigger fin and also get a wider wind range with the extra light wind performance this gives. So, what we have is a real transformer board rather than a compromise between the two categories wave and freeride. Its really a board on which you can cross over from one type of sailing to the other rather than a board which is a cross between one type of board and another.

4th September 2007, 11:36 PM
Last year I was on the verge of buying the Kombat97 to replace my JP FSW98. I never did buy one due to poor results in tests in various surf magazines. One of the most common view was that the Kombat had poor early planing. How is it this year? One more thought, I am considering this year the Kombat96, but I have seen that the width of the tail is above 40 cm. how does this affect the board in choppy water conditions?


6th September 2007, 03:01 PM
I saw some test with that kind of remark. For me, the Kombat 87 which I had last year was a very early planer. I will try to explain a bit about these things which I think is on one hand VERY individual but on the other hand also relates to my post no 11 above.

JPs and some of the other FSW boards are really built around maximal user friendliness (similar thoughts that Starboard used for the Carve series of boards, although they are not FSWs). User friendly for example includes a "crisp" feel so that it is very easy to get an exciting ride. It includes easy planing so that the board get going early _also without_ much sailor input. It also included easy turning without to much sailor input. There is absolutely nothing wrong with building board this way, many great boards and test winners are designed this way. And its is also not a black and white thing but all boards are somewhere on the line from "performance only" to "user friendliness only".

But the Kombat, I think, is clearly a bit more high performance about it. The rocker, bottom and rails are the same as one of the top tested down the line wave boards, the Pure Acid. So, when some test says the Kombat is not so wave oriented, this is in a way ridiculous, but it goes back to that the the test looked only for these easy riding wave type of turns while the Kombat thrives on a "real" kind of turn. The same thing goes for planing and freeriding. The Kombat loves to be pushed hard and get better and better the harder you push it due to for example its ability to handle chop. And early planing is the same. WIth just the slightest bit of technique, the Kombat gets going very early. But it does have a slightly "shorter" rocker than some of others and this means that for a passive sailor it will get going less early.

Personally, I didn't get a Kombat the first few years just because I tend to like performance boards more than compromise boards. But when I finally got one, I found that it actually was a performance board, just that you could tune it for two different modes by changing fin and strap positioning.

So, while I definitely wouldn't call the Kombat a difficult board in any way (it's actually still very easy to ride) is definitely still a performance board that nobody will out grow in a while...

6th September 2007, 10:17 PM
But what about the new -08 Kombat? Isnīt the new Kombat96 totally remastered compared to the -07 edition? Better planing? Less wavy?

JP Breaks Easily
1st October 2007, 09:33 PM
I would probably already have a Combat if they came with a Power Box. Why is Starboard stuck on the "A" boxes? In my opinion and long experience, the A boxes are weak, fins are looser, and they are harder to use.

Tuttle boxes are the best, Power Box is OK for smaller fins. So why is Starboard putting the A boxes on bump and jump boards?

That factor alone is enough to send me to Exocet or some other manufacturer now that JP has proven to be so weak in construction and warranty.