At A Glance
Having already been addicted to the 45L Ride Engine Dad Board I was super excited to get my hands on a Moon Buddy. Ride Engine sent me the 5’0, 80L board, 26” width, 4.6” thickness. There is also a 6’0 & 7’0 board to account for all sizes & abilities.
I suppose the first thing that caught my attention is how Ride Engine had packed 80L volume into just a 5 foot board. Before foiling came along it’s the sort of shape that you would never have seen. They have done it incredibly stylishly, the Moon Buddy is a thing of beauty.
The board has a double concave hull & a tail kick for easy pumping. It has a full deck pad and a range of inserts for bootstrap placements. Something I also really like on this board is the handle on the bottom of the hull meaning you can carry it & the wing easily at the same time (it should be noted that I believe this is only the case for the 5’0 version).
On The Water
I weigh 70kg and as I mentioned have been using a 45L board as my main wing board. So where the Moon Buddy came in for me was in light winds or in difficult to predict conditions/offshore winds where I might need the buoyancy to paddle myself home. Well, it turned out the board did just that and more!
Initial thoughts as I pumped my wing and took flight was how playful & manoeuvrable the Moon Buddy felt for an 80L board. It genuinely had me questioning whether I needed to bother with the struggles of a 45L sinker. It came into its own on several cross offshore sessions here in Dorset where the wind would come & go a bit. In the lulls I simply stayed standing up and drifted towards the next gust ready to fly, on my sinker I’d have usually been swimming at that point.
I put footstraps on and enjoyed jumping on the Moon Buddy, again the length of the board meant it was easy to flick around once airborne. I do however believe the Moon Buddy will come into its own while cruising on strapless downwinders connecting waves. I didn’t get many opportunities to pump but when I did you can really feel the benefits of the tail kick, this is designed to stop the tail catching in the water & you can tell it works.
There has clearly been a huge amount of thought going into getting this right. From hull design & tail kickers to footstrap & handle placement. Ride Engine have done a great job. It’s hard to find any negatives here - just make sure you seek professional advice when deciding what size board to get in relation to your weight & ability.
This one really is a do everything type of board. Waves, downwinders, freestyle, cruising, light wind…the list goes on. What seals the deal for me is that it looks awesome too.
This review was in Issue 7 of Tonic.For more information visit Ride Engine