Nik Baker

Old VS New

We celebrate our 40th anniversary with visual designs by a blend of iconic graphics from the history. The Ultra Grip Mosquito Edition waveboard for example celebrates the famous graphics of the Ultra Mosquito from 30 years ago. But how would an older shape like the Ultra Mosquito stack up against thelatest waveboard designs, the Grip and Mamba? It was an interesting question and nobody better qualified to find out than the UK’s most successful professional windsurfer, Nik Baker. John Carter headed down to visit Nik at his stomping ground of Shoreham to capture the action.  

Nik Baker: Old VS New

Fanatic legend Nik Baker reporting about testing the original Ultra Mosquito as well as the actual Ultra Grip Mosquito Edition and Mamba.



"I bought the Ultra Mosquito on eBay. I knew it was our 40th anniversary so I thought it would be quite a nice board to take to our demos. I thought it would be fun to let punters try it. The old Mosquito compared to the new one felt about six feet longer, although somehow it has about 20 litres less volume! It was quite hilarious to sail. The mast track is right up the front end of the board, nothing like the boards of today.

It was an interesting experience sailing it. It was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. It got planing reasonably well. I was on a 5.3m and it was quite windy. Because it has a long waterline, it started moving forwards fairly easily. The board was a lot less stable because it is so narrow; the volume is over the whole length, rather than in modern boards where it is all in a more concentrated area where the mastfoot and footstraps are. We are using the volume a lot more efficiently nowadays. To be fair, it did get moving ok!"



"I sailed the Grip Ultra Mosquito Edition, which was a 92 litre. The grip has four fins and is a very fast board and incredibly controllable. When the wave is reasonable, anything from shoulder high upwards, the board has incredible grip through the turns, funnily enough! It cuts through the chop really well and is a much more ‘drivey’ board. You can change direction on it, but not as easily as the Mamba. As you are going through the turns from frontside to cut back, when you start carving off the top, it feels like somebody is hanging onto the rail and the board just drives through that turn. You are really using the entire rail and all the fins. You don’t necessarily create so much spray, but it is more ‘drivey’ through the turn and when you get it right it feels amazing."



"The Mamba 94 is a new board to our lineup this year. The Mamba has three fins, while the Grip is a quad. The new boards are quite different in themselves to be honest with you. The Mamba is a bit more free feeling and a little bit faster to get going and it is quite smooth running over the water. It is quite a free feeling board through the turn. I can change direction quite easily and pivot off the tail easier than I can on the quad. It is halfway between our old Stubby and the Grip. The Stubby pivoted off the back foot incredibly well. It accelerated very quickly. The new Mamba is not quite as snappy off the back foot but it drives more through the turns. You can snap off the top but it will follow a line better than the Stubby. With the Stubby you would snap and stop. Then you would have to accelerate for the next turn. The Mamba will snap and keep on driving, not as much as the grip, but you get a bit of spray from the snap and it also drives into your next turn. That feels quite nice. For consumers, I think this will be an amazing board. You can bump and jump it, wave ride it and snap off the tail."


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