The high-performance version of the Spike is a real flyweight. Its taut tuning offers advantages and disadvantages.
Duotone also delivers with the Spike Textreme an XXL twin-tip with high-performance orientation. In the only available 153 size, it lies between the Fusion LW and the Flydoor, although the very straight outline and the huge glide surface are closer to the Flydoor than to the much more compact Fusion LW. Besides the Textreme version, Duotone offers the spike in a simpler, cheaper, but also heavier version with the same shape.
Duotone, with its very flat rocker and relatively straight outlines, sets the focus of the Spike Textreme on early planing. The underwater hull features a harmonious mono-concave that runs through the entire board. Its interior has been designed with the well-known Textreme Carbon and a 45 degree biaxial glass construction, which should provide riding dynamics and pop. At the same time the construction saves a lot of weight. On the scale, the Spike Textreme is even lighter than the smaller Fusion LW. The spike is also very tightly tuned. In direct comparison, the Fusion LW and the Flydoor appear noticeably softer.
The low weight, the lush surface, the flat rocker line and the relatively straight outline are convincing when gliding. On flat water, even a slight pull in the lowest wind range is enough to get the spike going. It accelerates immediately and builds up speed quickly on flat water. It also scores points with its good glide in wind holes. You can clearly feel the sporty, taut setup. Despite its XXL dimensions, it hangs precisely and reactively on the foot. This is where the carbon construction shows its advantages. The edge bites with enormous grip and offers a lot of guidance.
The weight distribution is relatively undemanding. Only too much pressure on the front foot does not like it very much. You can't get it out of gliding, but you will encourage splashing water development if the edge is too deep in the water in the tip area. You can feel the width of the tips.
While the spike can score points in shallow water with great smoothness, in choppy water the picture turns. The smaller core and the softer Flydoor offer much more comfort and smoothness in chop than the XXL Duotone. It requires active footwork to balance the strokes. When running upwind, the spike is again convincing. Thanks to its good gliding characteristics, the rich grip and the straight outline, it pulls you up as if you were on rails without the pilot having to put in a lot of effort.
We're a bit divided about agility. Yes, the Spike Textreme is taut and for the size it is extremely reactive and precise to ride. But it needs powerful steering impulses and the handling seems less playful than with the smaller core. The Duotone pulls into the jibe in relatively wide turns and due to the width the edge changes are more leisurely. For carving freaks the spike is simply too big, but that's not its primary purpose either.
On the other hand it provides solid jumping performance for a light wind glider. Although it needs to be charged with power and the jump requires some getting used to, so that the edge, which bites hard, separates from the water, the timing is right, it jumps explosively with a lot of dynamics into considerable heights. When landing you should not expect too much comfort, because the stiff board touches down rather hard with the flat underwater hull.
A board for early risers who like it sporty and tight. The Spike Textreme has its strengths in flat water in the lower wind range. In return you miss some comfort and smoothness in the chops.