Two Evo or Kodes?
Iím looking to replace my two boards with either kodes or evos as soon as I can. I currently ride JP 89l freemove and 66l wave, and wave sails 6.3-3.5m. The boards are relatively old school (both 2001, but the sails are a new quiver).
I weigh 59kgs, and sail on the sea, south coast UK, mostly bump and jump, with wave riding cross-onshore. The 89l is a little too big at times and Iím keen to reduce this size, and gap between boards. I usually use 5.0m as crossover.
I have had conflicting advice from dealers and friends on whether to go for 2 evos or 2 kodes or one of each, and am a little confused! Am I right this is more to do with sailing style?
I was planning to go for Kode 86 as my lighter wind board and 68 for
high wind, but am concerned 68 will be too big for small kit.
Conversely I am not sure if evo 80 will be too sluggish on my 6.2 as my light wind board, and some have said the pairing of evo 80 and 62 gap is too big?
Unfortunately I am not able to try any of these! Any advice would be gratefully received.
There are lots of options, but before I answer, can you maybe say somehting about your sailing style, conditions, and priority between jumping/blasting and front side wave riding?
I tend to sail on cross-on to onshore winds, messy waves usually, big shore break, or rolling swell with steep chop most of the time. I am fortunate to live on the coast and get to sail almost when ever it blows properly. My style at the moment has been biased towards jumping and blasting, but I will backside ride when I get the chance. My aim is to improve the wave riding, but it is rare I get the opportunity for cross shore and front side riding.
Well. As long as you will continue to ride backside, I think you'll find the Kodes a better compromise. But if you, particular in those conditions, want to improve you frontside riding you will much easier on an EVO.
The EVO 80 would be a wonderful light wind riding board for you and it's aster in recent incarnations too. But at the same time I think it is in fact a bit big for you to get a big range out of it. Chances are that when its windy enough for wave to be OK, you'll already find it a bit too big. It's a wide boards and even though it has a huge range for a heavier person, it will not have the same range at 60 kilos, I would say.
So, I think it makes more sense to go Kode for the big one. A Kode 86 is pretty much as big (wide) and will be even more difficult in powered up wave riding but then you will at least have a PERFECT board for blasting, jumping and backside riding which are things you do. And when the wind starts to generate some wave you can easily e on the small board anyway, I suppose.
So, then the choice of small board becomes the next question. Kode or EVO? Or more specifically, Kode 68 or EVO 66. They are pretty much the same width (53) the Kode having a narrower tail. Both have excellent control, the Kode by feeling very solid and directional and the EVO by being a bit more calm and damped. I personally prefer the EVO feel in lots of wind and the 66 in particular is awesome. Both are good with a 5.0. The Kode wil be a tad faster and easier in really big sideshore wave conditions because its easier to keep it on it's rail. But in practice, I dont think this is something you need to consider. If you're interested in developing your front side riding skills, the EVO 66 will be the best board, and in 5.0 and down its fast enough for anything.
(You mentioned the EVO 62, and then we're talking a 2008 or earlier board. It's good too. In a way even more "EVO:ish". Smaller in volume but still perfectly OK with a 5.0 for you. If you have your eyes on an EVO 62, I can describe it more if you want).
So, EVO 66 and Kode 86 then? Well, maybe not so fast. You should also consider the Kode 80. I think this will be a more all round shape for you. You will get A LOT more high wind performance out of the Kode 80 and more options of tuning the feel you want for the day when it's typical mid wind conditions . But you WILL lose some light wind performance too. Not with something like a 5.5 maybe, but the 6.2 will not go as well in the Kode 80. So maybe the 86 is better after all. Unless you could settle for, say, a 5.7 as your biggest sail.
If you go with the E66+K86 and really want to fine tune things, a quiver with a 5.3 in it would get the max out of the 66 and probably be a better fit on the 86 for you too. But that is very much going into the fine print...
Thanks for the information which is really helpful.
You mention e80 maybe being too big and more narrow range… I would intend to use this size board only for 6.2, 5.5 really, and the smaller one for 5.0 and below. I am happy to sacrifice some upwind and speed for manouvarabily, control and being able to throw it around. I tend to prefer to sail powered to under, rather than over.
Your opinion was the k80 would not really be suitable for 6.2, would the e80 more suitable, or do you still recommend k86? I suppose I am angling for less volume if possible and two boards that ride in a very similar way.
If I went e80, would the better pairing be e66 or e62? My only concern is whether e66 would feel too big with 3.5, 4.0. (I tend to use 3.5 when most are on 4.2/4.5!), or conversely I would get more form e66 in 5.0 weather? Are the two small evos quite different?
If you are recommending the k86 as the big board, I feel the jump to e62 would be too big? And two quite contrasting boards and styles? to pair k86 and e66 am I also looking at two different styles?
I think the E80 will work better for you with a 6.2 than the K80 (due to more width). I used to use it with 6.0-6.2 myself now and then and I'm 71kg. The E80 turns very well despite its width and tai width, its only when speeds go up it will start to get cumbersome (at your light weight). For light wind sailing (5.5+) at the type of locations you describe it work great. It will be an AWESOME tool for practicing those frontside turns in lighter wind conditions. And if you're willing to sacrifice that last piece of "crisp freeride feel" a faster board like the K86 gives, then E80 is a better alternative.
E66/E62: In the big picture these two are similar boards - both with the EVO feel. But when you go into details they are a bit difference. E62 is shorter and (slightly) lower volume, a tad wider and curvier in outline. Good in smaller waves, despite the curvy outline it handles sail power really well. It is slightly more difficult when waves get a bit hollow, but maybe this is not what you will sail. Both are sweet and easy in a top turn, the 62 comes around a bit easier but the 66 carries speed a bit better. In backside riding, I would say the 66 has an edge. If you're learning front side riding, I think the 62 might be a bit more "supportive" by giving easier turning at slower speeds.
The EVO 66 (which is really 64 liters, so not much difference really) is a slight bit more directional in feel and I would say it works in more types of wave conditions. For me its a better board than the 62 overall, but there are times when I miss the 62 too. The question is how it will be at your (12 kilos) lighter weight? For pure high wind control I think both of them will work just as well. The 62 feels very controllable just by being so short. It gets blown around a lot less than most boards and just feels "right in size" in a special way even at my weight and probable even more so at your weight. The 66 feels more stable instead, which helps with high wind control too, but in a different way.
I guess either would work fine. Both are fantastic with 3.5, at least for me, and them I'm talking the kind of 3.5 sailing when even the 80+ guys are on 3.5. So I think they will work very well with 3.5 for you too. Both work with 5.0 for me, and will for you too. Neither will work well with 5.5, but the 66 might actually be able to handle (under protest).
For some reason, to me it feel that the 66 connect a tad better to the 80- but in practice I think the 62+80 would work well too at your weight. Personally I prefer quivers with a fair bit of overlap and neither 66+80 or 62+80 will have this (at your weight I would have ditched the 6.2 and gone or a EVO 62/66+75). But if you instead prefer to have the widest possible sailing range you can get from two boards, than EVO 62/66+80 will be perfect.
Ola, thanks for the advice, this is really useful and the kind of input I have been unable to find! Just need to make the decision now!
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