Tona is a relatively young brand specialized in boards and since its foundation it was under my radar. Dre’s riding style and the videos featuring Jake Kelsick and Andre Phillips made me really curious about their kiteboards.
In theory their first board wouldn’t suit my riding style. I am not a wakestyler and I ride mostly in choppy conditions with small waves (the best kickers you can get).
I was thrilled when I found out that this year they released a new board, the Flow, which looked like it might actually fit my riding style.
Tona is Andre Phillips’s pro model kiteboard and it was designed to be flowy, carvy, surfy, with good pop, providing soft landings and smooth through the chop. It sounded perfect to me.
We sent an email to Tona and they were happy to send us a 136cm board for testing.
Out of the box
The first impression is that it’s very good looking board. The graphics are simple but very nice and the colors are much brighter than they look at the photos. Here are some specs:
– very long and swallow 0.8″ fins
– the wild bottom shape
– deep vee on the deck tips
The brain behind this board is Dereck Camacho, a well known custom shaper who’s been building and designing boards for the past 20 year. The receipt for the Flow was a flat rocker in the middle of the board with a moderately high, 6cm, rocker on the tips. The board have a progressive flex, stiffer in the center and softer on the tips.
Tona uses a sintered UHMW slider base for the bottom of their boards. This sintered base is widely known as the toughest slider material in the snowboard and wakeboard industry due to its compression formed polymer structure.
How it rides
We tested the board at our local beach in Portugal. The wind was between 14-17 knots, I used a 9m kite and ride the board with straps. Summer time is the kite season in Portugal and that week mother nature was kind and brought us about 2 feet high waves. The playground was set and we had the Tona to test.
If I had to describe the Tona in 2 words I would say: smooth and fun. The board eats chop and it’s a knee saver. Even the hardest landing didn’t feel too harsh. I felt that the board flex was optimized for comfort without compromising the pop. To be honest it’s not the most explosive board but it has a decent pop.
There is no doubt that it’s a very playful and carvy kiteboard. It took me a while to get used to the shallow fins. I am used to use 4 cm deep fins and that’s a huge difference. Probably, mostly due to the fins the Tona feels like a much looser board. I feel like I had to be more gentle on the transitions and carves. It takes some time to get used to it but once you are accustomed then it will surely put a huge smile on your face.
I was expecting that the board wouldn’t have very good upwind abilities but I was wrong, actually I didn’t have any trouble going upwind with it. The board is easy to ride and you feel that you took full advantage of it when riding on the top range of the kite. The more power you have on the kite, the more fun it is to ride.
The board construction looked and felt solid and robust. Next time I will take the fins out, put on some boots and hit the cable park. Then we’ll know if the board is bombproof.
Overall, Tona team made an excellent job. I would say that it’s close to be the perfect twin tip kiteboard to use at my home spot.
You can check more information about the Tona Flow at http://tonalife.com