Words & photos: Tez Plavenieks
Mistral’s Sunburst Air 11’ is the brand’s multi-discipline inflatable paddle board that can be sailed, ala windsurf mode, wingsurfed and piloted when swinging a blade, naturally. With its two centrally located fin boxes in the middle of the hull, affixing two additional skegs will see minimal downwind drift when riding with a sail or a wing. Yet it’s an adept performer in paddle mode too. And an iSUP that found favour with my little helper (as you can see in the photos).
Mistral’s iSUP technology is right at the premium end of the scale. As such, it’s a rigid design with minimal deflection. The board’s rounded nose is quite forgiving when paddled. Combined with the Sunburst’s 11’ length, it still delivers efficient glide and tracking. There’s no reason you couldn’t use the Mistral Sunburst as a fun touring paddle board, especially as it’ll carry some of your belongings via the on-deck bungee lashing in front of the rider.
Mistral has removed the usual centrally located carry handle you get with iSUPs for moving about the deck. And have instead attached two side handles. If you’re a rider wanting to practise any feet switches, this is a good thing, as there’s nothing to get snagged on. Also, it’s the same when using the 11’ in windSUP or wingSUP mode – nothing to trip over.
With watersports equipment needs becoming increasingly varied, MIstral’s Sunburst 11’ inflatable multi-discipline cross-over board is a high-quality product that ensures maximum versatility. Paddling is par for the course with the Sunburst. But as we all know, Mother Nature doesn’t always play ball weather-wise. So with a ‘toy’ like this, you’re poised to be on the water whatever the conditions.
Taking it one step further and beyond just the realms of fun, the Mistral is a good tutor for each of its target activities. All those foundational windsurfing moves can be learned using the 11’ as is the same for winging before transitioning to an actual foil board.
Mistral produces some extremely polished, refined and performance-orientated watersports gear. The Sunburst Air 11’ continues this trend by catering to the needs of modern watersports enthusiasts. Stand up paddle boarding is a going concern, but with the watery landscape having altered a lot in recent times, the additional versatility of products is undoubtedly needed and most welcome. If you’re after a cross-over iSUP accommodating different riding styles – that’s packaged with a decent fin and paddle – then look no further.
Price: 849 Euros