by Matt “Phatty” Mayer Mar 21st, 2009 •
I picked up an 09 Best Spark 134cm from DCKites last month and I’ve ridden it for a few sessions now. Watch out for DCKites’ false advertising; it was supposed to be an 08 After losing my LF Proof 151, the Spark became my 2nd kiteboard. It has the standard Best straps/pads and 2.0″ fins.
The Best Spiel:
You’ve just finished your lessons, and you already have your first kite. Now you just need to choose the perfect board to help you progress. It has to be easy to ride, durable, and it has to look good as well. The Spark range has you covered.
With three different size models in the Spark range, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your size, weight, and skill level. Designed with progress in mind, we are sure you’ll keep your Spark long after you have completed your first season.
Priced lower than you would expect for a board with these specifications, the Spark’s core, layup and computer-generated 3D Circuit flex are inspired by the Ouija. Every bit as versatile as its big brother, with a more forgiving ride and flex to soak up any chop, it’s the perfect first board for any rider.
A thin section core profile made from lighter graded Poplar wood provides the added flex and comfort that riders need from their first board.
For a more forgiving flex and softer damping we use a multi-weight Biaxial fiberglass layup on the Spark range. Each size of board receives a different blend of cloth weights to provide a consistent handling feel right across the range.
Discreet mounting system:
Utilizing individual mounting blocks for all fin and strap hardware means the natural flex patterns and strength of our twin-tip boards are not compromised by providing multiple foot strap position options.
I’ve ridden a number of other boards, thanks to my moochiness and my good friends here on EasKB. As a rider, I’m upwind and jumping, so losing the beginner board was a blessing in disguise. The Spark has a modestly concave belly, and I’ve had no trouble holding an edge and going upwind on the Spark as easily as I did on the beginner board. With the shorter board, I do occasionally have to think about keeping my back leg tucked under a bit more to keep from turning too far upwind and losing speed. When nicely powered, I’ve managed an upwind tack toeside, too. And the Spark makes landing jumps and popping a whole lot more fun. It’s got plenty of rocker, so I like it a lot more than the Super Phatty, but it doesn’t eat up the chop at Brownies quite as smoothly as Vali’s Nobile. I really enjoyed the flexiness of the 07 Crazyfly All-Around 145 down in Hatteras, and the Spark has nice flex, too, but not as quite as much. This is probably a function of length more than anything else, though.
This is the first kiteboard I’ve assembled myself. It was no easy trick to get the straps properly attached, but nothing has come loose, yet. There are 3 settings for each strap to adjust the width of your stance, so I just chose the middle one. I do miss my LF luxury pads, but I haven’t had a chance to ride this board barefoot, yet, so I’ll reserve judgment until it warms up.
I think it looks cool. I’m not a fan of board graphics that look too busy or graffiti-ish, but if you ride in a lot of blue water locations (First of all, I hate you), it may not be the easiest board to spot when body dragging back to it. Any companies out there making neon orange comfy straps might be able to sell me a set.
The Spark retails new for under $400, so I think its a damn good value for riders looking to progress without unlimited funds.
Action shot from a better location than your local launch: