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BelSkorpio 5th May 2010 03:35 AM

Does anyone have experience with the SHOX.XTR of North ?

It looks cool.

But does it work like they promise ?

BelSkorpio 7th May 2010 12:52 AM

No one tried the shock absorber yet ?

agrelon 11th May 2010 09:56 PM

There was a test in one of the latest issues of boards. Didn't look at it in detail but I think the verdict was that on shortboards it was useless, but that on bigger boards, like formula, it was beneficial.

BelSkorpio 12th May 2010 12:17 AM

Hi agrelon,

Do you have the URL of the test report ?

agrelon 12th May 2010 01:48 PM

It was in the magazine at the library here. Next time I'm near I'll pop in and get more details. Unfortunately, the magazines are only for reading, no borrowing, so I'll have to jot down the key points they mention.

agrelon 12th May 2010 01:59 PM

This was the issue.

Charlie360 12th May 2010 04:38 PM

The Boards article, gives a bunch of general information generally from North as far as I can see and then gives their initial impressions and overall which are as follows:
Initial Impressions - We tested the shox head to head against standard North bases with cammed sails in a freeride/freerace capacity as well as with smaller rotational sails for freewave and freestyle. In all situations, the first thing you notice is there's movement in the UJ, meaning it's definately working. With bigger cammed sails, the testers said the whole experience was smoother, which gave them more confidence to push harder and go faster. Some felt it more through the gybe, whilst others said it helped them keep the board on the water in overpowered situations in steep swell and chop. With smaller rotational sails, the testers said the impact of the shox was less noticeable but still made transitions much smoother. It was difficult to tell whether or not it increased pop for freestyle. As for the claims of making all sailors immediately faster, listen up. One tester returned to the beach saying that he felt faster without the shox and was adamant that he'd beaten his shox GPS speed. However, the GPS doesn't lie and he was in actual fact 3 knots faster with the suspension!
Overall - Available with both RDM and SDM masts, North have the system ready to roll out for sailors of every discipline and all abilities. After using a shox, all the testers said that they'd rather sail with one than without. It doesn't stop the board bouncing in chop, but certainly reduces the impact that has on the rig. It seemed more noticeable when used with bigger boards and rigs, perhaps because smaller boards tend to have more rocker and therefore bounce less. The shox definately helped riders feel more comfortable through gybes and blasting over chop, therefore allowing them to push harder and increase their speed.

So a slightly wishy-washy summary in my opinion, as I've been watching independant opinions on the shox with interest to see if North's claims could be confirmed by independant sources. My personal feeling is that if it really does add a knot or two extra speed then it's well worth the money, as to get this extra performance from rigs, boards and fins one would have to spend significantly more!! So I'll carry on watching the market comment for a bit and see if I can get a demo sail with one at some point soon before taking the plunge I think - however I'm keen to hear comments from anyone else who's had a chance to try one - after all forums are a great place for sharing thoughts on these things!!

Farlo 12th May 2010 06:25 PM

There is a test in Planche Mag (FR) this month. I only had a glance at the conclusion. It says that the Shox increases comfort and possibly speed for intermediate sailors, but the difference is not significant for advanced ones. Various sail/board combinations are tested. I will post more details tonight.

When the tendon joint was introduced, it was supposed to be faster because stiffer. Mostly a matter of feeling, maybe.
I wonder if an old school joint would not do 80% of the job.

agrelon 12th May 2010 06:27 PM

Thanks Charlie for filling that in! Definitely interesting to know that it does work.

Charlie360 12th May 2010 09:03 PM

Thanks Farlo too! I'd be interested to know what Planche Mag's view is - I guess we'll also know in the next week or so whether the North world cup race team are using them, as the Ulsan event kicks off this coming weekend, and therefore if they do indeed make a difference to their performance - for me that'll be quite a strong indicator if it's definitive one way or another! Also thinking about the old school UJ versus the tendon joint versus the Shox a few thoughts:
In theory the shox only allows damping in the verticle plane, hopefully giving the same forward drive as a tendon joint in the horizontal plane, so only absobing wave/chop energy and no forward sail drive. I guess the problem with the old UJs was that they "felt" slower as they probably had some vertical give in them, not transmitting 100% of all the vertical bumps into the rig, however I can't imagine that they would have allowed anything like the 6-8cm of absorbtion travel that the shox does, by the same token a tendon joint probably "feels" faster because it transmits every small shock and vibration into the rig! Only my thoughts here though!

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