Review & pics: Tez Plavenieks
The more versatile a product, the better, in my opinion. Whilst many will want to simply paddle, the weather doesn’t always link up, and so often, paddlers are left forlornly looking out to sea or cursing Mother Nature. But with a dual purpose board, such as Mistral’s fab looking Sunburst, you’re primed to make the best use of all scenarios.
Firstly, the Sunburst has its unique eco-credentials firmly in place. With its cork laminate, the 11’9 draws glances (as it did during testing) and many questions. Hopping aboard and that cork element gives the Sunburst a softer feeling than full carbon SUPs. It absorbs chop during paddling and delivers a cushioned ride. Of which, the second point – its feel – is sublimely easygoing.
The Sunburst’s shape is that of an all-round SUP but with slight longboard wave leanings. There’s decent glide happening, and whilst pointy nose sleds do track a tad more efficiently, it’s no slouch. Riders will have no issue covering ground in a suitably elegant fashion.
And then there’s that additional versatility. Mistral’s Sunburst is windSUP ready with its deck located mast track. And a proper mast track at that, whereby sailors can position their windsurf rig in the exact spot they want. Underneath the Sunburst has a centrally located fin box for a downwind drift stopping skeg. Therefore this is a nifty board for anyone dabbling with learning the art of sails and boards. And combined with the wavier rocker Mistral’s Sunburst makes a great light wind wave windSUP machine.
My family adored playing about on Mistral’s Sunburst 10′ – the girl, in particular, found it fulfilling to paddle. As a not quite seven year old that’s saying something. Away from recreational SUPing and the Sunburst is lovely to chuck at a few waves. With longboard style surfing performance, it’s relatively throw about and stoke inducing. Should the wind rock up, stick a sail on and go flatwater cruising or carry on with your wave sesh, windy style. Beginners and cruiser breeze head should also apply, with the Sunburst being more than applicable. The cork laminate only makes it more desirable for a stand up paddleboard.