Equipment Testing

JP Thruster

 

2011

JP Thruster

Jp 5

Loose

Directional

Easy User Range

Advanced User Range

on the water

The ‘Single Thruster’ is pitched as JP’s all-round waveboard, designed to cope with all conditions from high wind bump-&-jump to big down-the-line wave days. It sits in the wave range next to the two Twinser Quad ranges. The Single Thruster actually retains the same shape as last year’s JP Wave range, but adds the thruster fin option. This 83 can therefore be used as a single-fin (with 23cm fin) or thruster using a 21cm main fin and two 10cm thrusters (mini Tuttle). The graphics are quite a departure from the brand’s theme of the past few years, while the quality of fittings is everything you’d expect from JP – great straps, pads, and a high quality G10 main fin.

The JP is the third shortest board in test at 227cm. Width is average at 57.5cm, and it’s the second lightest (to the Thommen) at 6.27kg (bare).

We tested this board mainly as a thruster. A single-fin setup will make it a little quicker and more directional in a straight line, but not quite so good in the turns. In thruster mode the JP still feels very good in a straight line, so we saw little reason to remove them. Even with the thrusters in, the JP flies off the tail of the board in a straight line, feeling fast and exciting with good drive off the fins. It copes well with chop and has a comfortable and easy ride to it. Early planing and ‘get up and go’ are very good, as is the top end control, thanks to that well balanced ride.

On the wave the board feels fairly lose and agile. As with other thruster setups we’ve tried, the board seems to prefer bottom turning with a little more back foot pressure rather than driving hard through the rail of the board, where it can get a little bouncy at higher speeds on bigger waves. It feels relatively single-fin like, but does have a bit of extra potential to its top turn over a single-fin. Not quite as radical as a twin, but better than a single. It also seems good for backside riding, where the thrusters give a little extra grip for those hard snaps off the tail of the board.

However, it’s in small waves and bump-&-jump conditions where this board really excels. It’s fast and comfortable underfoot and great for jumping, but still agile enough to be snapped around off pieces of chop, making it a great choice for those choppy days at the coast when the waves fail to materialise.

At the bottom end the 83 was comfortable with sails of up to 5.3m, and at a push could go to 5.5-5.7m (for an 80-85kg rider). At the top end it was quite comfortable down to 4.5m sails, and even 4.2m could be okay for most small wave / bump-&-jump conditions.

 

target buyer

The JP Single Thruster feels like a subtle modernisation of the single-fin concept. In thruster mode it has a little more turning potential than a single, at the expense of a tiny bit of straight line speed and directional feel. The board has wide appeal to all levels of rider in all conditions. However, advanced riders will probably err more towards the Twinser Quad range, leaving the Single Thruster the choice for novice and intermediate riders or high wind bump-&-jump / onshore jumping conditions. Remember too that the Thruster can be used as a single-fin, giving slightly better straight line speed and sensation at the cost of a little manoeuvrability.