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!!
Last edited by Charlie360; 12th May 2010 at 04:43 PM.