Picking up Mistral’s Cloud Nine (geddit) Cloud Burst surf SUP you wouldn’t think it was 32” x 145L. Even with a full deck pad it feels light as a feather and looks good to boot with its vivid graphical livery. If you haven’t seen a Mistral sled of late then you’ll be pleased with what you find here: top notch manufacturing and attention to detail given to all the right places. Don’t misunderstand the Cloud Nine Cloud Burst, however, because as much as it’s a performance ripper it’s also user friendly to the layman.
Stepping aboard and the CN feels lively from the off. Quality 2+1 thruster fins protrude from the tail helping make this so. There’s a notable amount of nose rocker that does slightly slow forward momentum, but it’s nothing you won’t get used to quickly.
Picking up your first wave(s) and riders will be surprised at how easily you can make the drop. Once on an open face that light weight translates to a supremely throw about board that belies its physical dimensions. Yet again, we stress, (as we say frequently) dims mean nothing versus the actual feel of a board/paddle on the water.
The Cloud Nine loves to be worked from the tail and will reward physical paddlers wanting to whip it into lips and lay rail. Only when you come off the top on particularly vertical swells do you remember how much volume the board has packed in. That said controlling carves and finishing off turns properly isn’t hard. If you’re a paddle surfer looking to progress then it’s a surf SUP that’ll help aid and allow riders to develop all those necessary skills. Transitioning from this to an even more performance orientated wave rider wouldn’t be as significant a jump as with some either.
Back on the wave and we found with a more cylindrical wave shape the Cloud Nine slots beautifully into the pocket. As such we’re pretty confident you could use the 9’2 as a step up machine for bigger surf – the additional length and volume helping paddlers get in early but still having the necessary curve for when lips throw. Heavy weights will also approve of the CN’s spray chucking capabilities and it possibly provide a one board only surf SUP quiver.
The most performance orientated Mistral we’ve used to date the brand’s Cloud Nine sled is worth a look for anyone into slaying waves. Lighter paddlers will find it a bunt about vehicle for smaller swells, whilst bigger boned riders are poised to discover a wave machine that gives manoeuvrability without said paddler requiring the balance of an acrobat. Packing more performance and volume/width into SUPs is certainly a way to encourage paddlers into the wave riding area of stand up without too technical a piece of kit putting riders off.