The Single Thruster is pitched as JP’s all-round waveboard, designed to cope with all conditions from high wind bump-and-jump to big down-the-line wave days. It sits in the JP range alongside the Twinser Quad, and sizes span from 74L up to a massive 106L!
It is supplied as standard in a thruster setup, which uses a 22cm (upright) main fin and two 10cm side fins. Interestingly the main fin is G10, while the side fins are plastic construction. The quality of straps and pads is everything you’d expect from JP. The straps have a really useful washer system that allows you to twist the washer to adjust strap width. It’s worth noting that JP straps are one of the softest around now – quite a change from the very stiff straps that the boards used to be supplied with.
The JP is the shortest board on test (jointly with the Fanatic), but is actually fairly wide, sporting the second widest tail width. Weight is extremely impressive at 6.51kg – the lightest in the test by some margin.
On the water the low weight is noticeable, and the board feels very light underfoot. It also feels compact and arguably the smallest board of this group.
The JP rides with a similar low and compact nose shape to the Goya – and, as with the Goya, it divided opinion amongst our testers. Our lighter Clones found the nose a little too low and felt that it made the board a bit catchy at times, while our heavier Clones didn’t really experience this problem and found it quite a smooth (albeit less engaging) ride. Again, we can only assume that the heavier riders are exerting more force on the tail and helping to lift the nose a little higher than the lighter riders.
Get-up-and-go is fairly good. The lift from the fins helps to get it going, but the smaller feel of the JP and lower nose do make it feel a little stickier than the best of this group to get up to speed. We found it helped to keep the mast-track a little behind middle to encourage a bit more lift. The smaller, more planted feel does have an advantage at the top end though, where the JP felt one of the most controlled (particularly for our heavier Clones) with a reassuring amount of fin grip.
Straight line speed is fairly good but would definitely benefit from the single-fin configuration, which would also further improve the board’s bump-and-jump ability.
On the wave the JP feels fairly lose and agile. As with other thruster setups we’ve tried (and the Tabou within this test), the JP seems to prefer bottom turning with a little more back foot pressure rather than driving hard through the rail. It feels relatively single-fin like, but does have a bit of extra potential to its top turn over a single-fin. In fact the top turn can be really good if you get it right, delivering a really tight whip off the top.
Getting the best performance from the JP requires a bit of adjusting to in terms of rider input. It’s important to get your weight in the right place, and it seems that you generally have to push a bit harder through the turn (particularly through your back foot). On the plus side this does have the advantage of generating more drive and acceleration, particularly in onshore conditions.
Our feeling is that the JP can deliver really good all-round performance, but it’s more critical to tuning and technique than most of the other boards. To get the best from it, you have to experiment.
Weight (bare): 6.51kg
Weight (compl ete): 7.49kg
Length : 225.5cm
Fins: 3 – 22cm & 10cm
Width : 60.5cm
Range sizes: 74, 82, 92, 99, 106
For those who prefer the single-fin feel, 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-fin at the expense of a tiny bit of straight line speed and directional feel. Performance can be really good in most conditions (helped by the versatility of the fin configuration), but it’s a board that you have to spend some time adapting to and tuning to get the best from.