The new Mistral iCross Adventure – Just freshly delivered and tested the same for you!
The future is called Mistral iCross – at least so when the Mistral product managers are to be believed!
Mistral did not spare polynuclear marketing slogans in advance. The new technique should be absolutely groundbreaking, 100% Made in Europe, sustainable, extremely lightweight, durable, small pack volume and bock stiff. For some tastes then almost too much innovation. True to the motto: „Way too good to be true!“
Accordingly curious and suspicious, we head to the new iSUP board. First surprise, the package is already about 1/3 smaller than usual and really light as a feather!
We unpack the board and look in disbelief at the folded flat shape. „Flat as a pancake,“ the packing volume resembles a small air mattress. The material feels very soft, delicate and flexible – like a textile.
Once rolled out the seams are beautifully finished, even the thin, fine pad, handle and other applications were extremely clean married to the shape. The pad has (as well as the Mistral M1 Race proven) a smooth standing surface in the middle area and the remaining area is in the more grippy diamond style surface. The SUP board has one gear fastening bungee application upfront and an additional towing ring in the front under the bow. The handle is pleasantly wide and has a convenient paddle holder. The bottom of the board sports a US fin box.
Included are a too large standard backpack, a bag with extensive repair supplies and a US box fin with practical hand screw.
Two promises seems to have been keep by Mistral iSUP. Packing volume and weight can easily be called a sensation and really not an exaggeration. The pointer of our scale stops at a whopping 6.9 kg! Thus, the Mistral iCross Adventure is approximately 4 kg lighter than most other boards.
With the board skin material in hand, it is very difficult to imagine that with the ingredient of „AIR“ it can form a rigid board!
At first the fear of a not so stiff board seems to be justified. With an average pressure of 6 psi, it appears to be already relatively stiff but a board with the conventional drop-stitch technique acts stiffer at that inflation stage.
But lo and behold … with each other psi stiffness increases so drastically that the board at recommended 1 bar is already as hard and stiff like a classic drop-stitch board. And our rigidity test proves it – Bock Stiff!
Unbelievable … really very impressive. Nevertheless, skepticism remains that only a subsequent driving test may well refute or amplify.
The Shape: The shape of the Mistral i-Cross is relatively flat, the front at the nose is very slightly raised. The outline is round. The shape is somewhat reminiscent of a BIC 10’6″ Allround board, but cut a little sportier.
The secret behind the Mistral iCross Series are special, multi-layer textile-like materials and in X-form arranged threads that connect together the upper and lower decks. The threads are not made of polyester like the drop-stitch method uses, but made of a woven material.
So far, so good …
With a big grin and quasi one finger I carry the “featherweight” towards the water. And while on the water the grin just won’t stop… the SUP board moves very well and very easily forward without sucking itself too tightly to the water’s surface. Because of it’s low weight the board seems to move around very playfully .
The new Mistral board is not only brought up to speed quickly, but can retain the speed remarkably well for an Allround board of this length. The iSUP board is nicely agile, perfect for play. With a slightly longer fin one could improve the straight-line forward movement a bit which is possible due to the supplied US fin box.
The stability on the iSUP board is very good, acts only a little wobbly in the rear of the board. If you jump the nose bobs only slightly and hardly twists with unidirectional loads … in practice, the board shows itself from the stiff side.
Due to the cold water (some might call me a wimp), I refrain from doing steep pivot-turns and other gimmicks. But I am convinced that the board itself is a good playmate because of the weight, stiffness and agility.
The shape should convince also in various types of water / water conditions. The slightly drawn upward nose holds very small waves under the bow. The agility and stability comes into play very well in the ocean and on a river.
Only one question remains. How durable and sturdy is the new material? Due to the more than impressive features, the skepticism in this regard holds itself to a limited case. At the end of the season we will report about the endurance tests results.
Until then I can only recommend to you – stay somewhat skeptical! Come and test this innovation!
With this new material Mistral has created unquestionably a new and unique iSUP generation and thus leads the pack – inflatable SUP boards generally will be smaller and lighter in the future and therefore will attract even more people to the SUP sport than it already has!
By the way – for touring enthusiasts, we have good news: Mistral is offering soon a 12’6′ Touring version, the Mistral iCROSS 12’6” Cruiser. We will test the longer brother and examine it thoroughly !
So much praise … and now some blame:
So much praise … and now some blame:
We see an improvement potential in the backpack. A board of this size deserves much smaller, compact backpack. Only then can it make full use of it’s mobility advantage. The Bravo pump with the long cylinder ranks to date with the best, however, in terms of durability and quality its impression still leaves to be desired. Furthermore, a board in this price range should sport a high-quality fin (like a Fanatic). The thumbscrew for the fin is practical but looks very bulky. The long service manual should also be written in German. That’s it!
Price is up there but considering the performance quite fair!
Enough written … let’s go board testing by the SUP Pirates!
And here’s the -> link to the Board
This text is translated by: Edelweiss Systems, LLC Franz Halaschek-Wiener