Note: This review of the 14’0” x 24” Sonic Pro Carbon originally appeared in supmag.fr on May 12th 2018. They had the 2018 Sonic Pro Carbon reviewed as a part of their annual test. Read the entire article in French on the SUPmag website.

The 2018 Sonic Pro Carbon comes in different sizes and widths, click the picture to learn more about the different options
The 2018 Sonic Pro Carbon comes in different sizes and widths, click the picture to learn more about the different options

Pros:

Good all round performance, balanced hydrodynamics, good control in surf and downwinders, reactive, comfortable, good pumping and an open tail.

Cons:

Fragile.

The big picture

NSP presents a newer version in 2018 of its famous dugout “Sonic”, on which its designer Alain Teurquetil and rider Titouan Puyo worked a lot. The new shape distinguishes itself from its predecessor by a hull much less rounder than before, offering a flatter area in the center, but a curved shape on either side, leaving the rails quite high.

Daniel Parres and Lucas Cebreiros Benet doing battle. Note the AVS drain holes below the rails

The pin tail, the moderate rocker and larger front volume have remained the same, with a cockpit design at the center that progressively fades towards the back. Note that the edges are thin and rounded, with a subtle additional rim-type screen at the front of the cockpit that helps with holding off splashes of water. The water that does get in is flushed out by four AVS drain holes (accelerator vacuum system).

The 2018 Sonic Pro Carbon on which Alex and Hobey alternated

The Ride

Tested in 24 ” width, this new Sonic, with its flattened hull, is noticeably more stable compared to the 24’5 ” and 23” versions from previous years, which tended to roll more and affected their accessibility. The board remains on the technical side of things, carrying itself exceptionally well. The slightly nervous character of the board is a result of its full-carbon construction, giving the rider fabulous gliding properties.

Whether on flat water, chop or downwind conditions, the Sonic offers an astonishing performance level. It gets going on the slightest of bumps, with the small pin tail and and optimized rails allowing for comfortable control of your board. Connecting one bump to the next becomes child’s play with simple leg pumps which isn’t all that common.

Marcus riding a bump to victory in Air France's Tahiti Paddle Festival earlier in 2018

The Verdict

Whatever the playground, this new Sonic amazed us with its performance and the joy we got out of it. This board, with such a well-founded reputation, has made some undeniable strides in accessibility this year, without compromising on other characteristics. Reasonably experienced riders will find their ultimate weapon in the 2018 Sonic:

Length: 14’0″
Width: 23″
Volumes (liters): 266
Weight (kg): 11.14
Construction: Pro Carbon
Fins: NSP Race 22
Finbox: US 10

Click the picture to learn more about the NSP Race 22