on the beach
The JP Supersport is one step down from JP’s thoroughbred racer. It’s designed to give as close a match of speed to the race boards as possible, but with better gybing, control and general ease of use – although JP make it clear that they still wanted to maintain the ‘aggressive, electric feel’ of the race board within the Supersport.
The Supersport is offered in three constructions: Gold, Pro and Wood. We have the lightweight Pro Edition tested here, and it weighs in as the lightest board in test at just 6.7kg.
The fin is 38cm (one of the shortest in test) and a little more swept back than most. Straps are the usual high quality JP offering and the pads are a little softer than previous JPs’, but also a bit less textured than most.
Looking at the measurements, the JP is the second longest board on test, but also one of the narrowest. It looks a bit more ‘parallel sided’ than most, although the tail width is also one of the narrowest of the group.
On flat water the JP feels rocket fast and was in fact one of the fastest boards of the group. It has a very locked down feel and really gives an impression of speed. The nose sits low in the water and the board has more of a tendency to trim from rail to rail rather than lifting at the nose in gusts and chop. It’s slightly more technical to sail than the similar riding Futura because of this characteristic, but at the same time a little more engaging.
In chop (particularly bigger chop) the locked down feel did give a bit more of a control issue than on the flat. This style of board encourages the rider to drive harder from the side rather than staying on top of the board as much. On flat water this is great as you can take full advantage of every gust, pushing sideways against the grip of the board. But in chop, particularly when airborne, the board becomes a bit harder to control. Boards that prefer a more upright style of riding tend to stay a little more balanced in the bigger chop.
Upwind the board tracks well and the fin could be pushed against with minimal risk of spin-out, even at lower speeds. Getting planing was also a strong point. The light hull weight helped the JP to accelerate rapidly, and the locked down feel helped the board stay trimmed while working back into the straps.
In the gybes the JP was excellent. It grips extremely well, was very smooth, and experienced gybers could crank it into the turn as hard as they liked. It also gave good scope for adjusting the arc of the turn mid-gybe (as is sometimes necessary in a racing situation or in chop).
JP recommend an ideal sail range of 6.0-7.7m, and we reckon they’ve got this spot-on. At the top end our 5.8 quiver sails worked fine on the flat, but a smaller board would have boosted control in the rougher chop.
Weight (bare): 6.70kg
Range sizes: 91, 100, 109, 118, 127, 136
The JP Supersport is an extremely quick board, particularly on flat water, and is easy to get the best from in these conditions. It has a locked down feel that helps you drive every ounce of power into the board with good control, but at the same time remains quite lively underfoot. The low nose was more preferable in flatter water than steeper chop. Gybing the JP was easy for less experienced riders but also a lot of fun for the more advanced.