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Hybrids - Phantom 320 vs Kona ONE

This is a small preface since I use a term hybrid here and some may deem this inappropriate for these boards... I got this idea from this site: and leave it as such for now - until i am convinced otherwise about what "hybrids" really are.

I was somewhat surprised when i discovered the Phantom 320 is considered a "hybrid". People seem to consider hybrids those boards that can handle the biggest range of conditions like 5 to 25 knots, but are not particularly GREAT in that range. However, they are VERY good !!! Some are calling these the "next generation longboards". The same people seem to consider hybrids to be short and wide with centerboards - huh?

From the Starboard site,"The Phantom Race 320 is designed to win the Hybrid 320 segment of the Raceboarding class. This hybrid segment limits the maximum length to 320cm and allows for designs up to 100cm wide." The K1 with the a step tail and flat bottom feels like it is trying to be both a longboard AND a short board and as such fits into the true meaning of a hybrid - a mix or cross of two.

I was looking at the Phantom 320 as a potential replacement of my Fanatic Ultra CAT if and only IF i discovered that i preferred long boarding over my BIC Techno Formula, which i consider a "FreeFormula" ie slightly less wide than a Formula AND longer - again a coined term from me ...

Let's start at the bottom line or price AND availability:
at the Phantom 320 is quoted at $1469.00 - silentsports has the 295 and 377 ONLY
at the Kona ONE is quoted at $1889.00 - silentsports has a used Kona $1400.
In other words a new ONE is a bit more, butt used ones are available about same price as NEW 320.

This indicates to me there are fewer 320's available ie more ONEs around - and i happen to know people are happy with them and there is a separate race class at the local races that i attended.

Here is a Kona ONE from the windspirit site:

And here is the Phantom 320 ...

In terms of hybrids, what are the similarities ??
They are both long and narrow by today's standards...
They both have centreboards and as such are classified as "longboards".
Both plane up fairly easily and ride with the nose out of the water.

And how they differ?
The Kona has the "step tail" which touches water more when "schlogging" and less when planing. It cuts 35 cm off the length of the board.
The Phantom has straps and centreboard based on the 377 raceboard and NO steptail.
Phantom has step to move track while moving, while One does NOT.

And in terms of specs ??
The Kona ONE is 220 liters and the Phantom is 260 liters.
The Phantom is 320 cm long and the One is 350 cm.
Both are about 70 cm wide at widest point.
The Phantom is actually 2 kgs lighter at 13 kg.
The One is PB/powerbox and the Phantom is DT/deep tuttle.
The Phantom is marked good for fins 40 to 48 - comes with 44 cm -- this is about 7.5 on shortboard
The One is to arrive with a 46 cm fin - around 8-oh size sails on shortboard
The Phantom has sailrange 6.5-9.5 and the One 1.5- 9.0 {hard to believe}
The Phantom has a 78 cm centreboard and the ONE is 65 cm.

Okay, let's start the discussion:
has some interesting discussion and comments:

There are several International One-design classes that are active :

Bic T293
Starboard Formula Experience (only non-raceboard class compatible)
NeilPryde RS:X
Kona One Design
Mistral One-design

I have the impression that T293 is the class with the largest fleet of active racers, followed with FE, RS:X, etc... 

Kona One -> lack of performance, disputable deck design, too long at the cost of fun in upper wind range
in my personal opinion the best compromise so far could have been something close to Phantom 320

Another one for the list is the Windsurfer One Design - this is quite an active class in my neck of the woods. 

On iwindsurf forum:
As for the Kona, I sailed it about 10 times last year from dead calm to 15+. Hands down the Superlight/Equipe/Phantom are better/faster. The kona is a great recreational board and great for what it is designed for. It's performance just is not as good as the other longboards (but the Kona is definitely better for learning).  

Roger of Starboard says:
I think your choice depends a lot on how far down the windspeed spectrum you want to
go. If you simply aren't going to sail in < 7knots of wind, then either board would be good with a slight advantage to the Phantom as it planes a bit more like a short board than the Kona.
If you are going to be sailing in < 7 knots, then the longer waterline length of the Kona gets the advantage. If you are thinking of racing, then the Kona Fleet is the way to go.
The Kona is really big, the Phantom is not quite so big.

Lets get some more photos and then perhaps some videos ...

Here is the Kona ONE step tail:

Here is a better view of the Phantom:

And how do they compare with my Fanatic Ultra CAT ??

CAT is 210 liters and thus closer to the ONE with 220 liters.
The CAT is 374 cm - closer to the ONE and the Phantom 377.
It has a US fin box with small fin and weighs more - like ONE.
They are all around the same width - longboards tend to be narrower ...
Sounds like the CAT is closer to the ONE.

Let's see if we can find some decent videos ?

Kona ONE with P.R. :-) looks like fun with family and socializing

Here's the Phantom 320 - there are less videos about people getting together :-(


Thus far the critical points seem to be:

1) The Kona ONE seems the closest to my current Fanatic Ultra CAT.
2) A major consideration seems to be whether i want to race or not. Racing seems to favor the
    ONE i.e. already more organized races for this class of windsurfer & NOT in terms of
    open class performance... Update: In the first 2013 Windsport Magazine #135 on p 24 it
    states that the Phantom is becoming a race class in Asia - soon here ??
3) What are the minimal winds? The Phantom is lighter and is supposed to plane earlier and
4) The Phantom seems to be a little less expensive - for the newer model.
5) The Kona ONE is now starting to be available in the used market and that price approaches
    the SB Phantom price at new...
6) Would i be better served replacing my BIC Techno Formula/BTF with a JP SLW92 or SB US
    rather than replacing the Fanatic Ultra CAT ??
7) Keep looking for a used CAT ??
8) For me in 2013 - fix the CAT as best i can - compare the CAT to the BTF and decide when
    necessary - where will the money go
9) As mentioned, perhaps forget the hybrids and go for real longboard like SB Phantom 377,
    which is much more expensive...
Windsport just put out a 2013 equipment issue and is on their site. Here is the piece on the One:
{NOT sure why it is in entry and WINDSUP category though}
Kona One
Versatile, friendly and fun to sail. It has grown to be a serious One-Design race class in record time. The characteristic subtle shape combines stability, maneuverability, control and excellent sub-planing performance all in one package. Cruising and racing in all conditions becomes a thrill and performing classic tricks becomes a breeze. The Kona One's natural wave ability in not only a bonus, but the most appreciated aspect among many sailors world wide. It is as demanding for advanced sailors as it is easy for "newbies" because of its versatile design which incorporates a gently curved outline with soft rails and a flat rocker. This board allows you to ride soft, long waves in marginal conditions. Additionally, the planing threshold has been dramatically reduced by implementing the 'step tail' which shortens the waterline when powered up and boosts the board onto a plane much earlier than conventional longboards.
  • 65cm daggerboard
  • 46cm fin
  • 4 footstraps
  • full soft EVA deck for maximum comfort
Construction: ASA/EVA

Teaser Kona CarbOne first ride from Kona Windsurfing on Vimeo.

some more KONA ONE PR/public relations - actually a report :-)

When i did this analysis I was unaware of the BIC Hybrid OD. I knew about the BIC 293OD, which is aimed at younger and smaller sailors. The Hybrid on the other hand, is aimed at older and larger sailors. They say over 68 kilos, but good up to which weight? Is it an option for a 100 kg heavyweight like me ?,3,31/hybrid,329.html
I find it a bit wide at 82 cm and a bit short at 308. I donut see how this board can slice through water when schlogging rather than gliding. In other words, it feels like a far cry from a longboard in lighter winds. It also asks for very LONG fins -- over 60 cm.

SUN 25AUG2013 - went to BDU to try Sailboarder's KONA. He wanted to try the CAT. The boards are similiar in length and both have VEE up front. The Kona goes flat around the middle for planing and obviously has the step tail. Both weighed about the same ... I set up the MS-oh 8-oh and Yan the KONA 9-oh. Yan set up the KONA with the mast track all the way up and i started with the CAT in the middle. For both of us the CAT went better in the lighter winds. In slightly more wind the KONA was faster. We both felt the CAT would fly with KONA 9-oh sail !!! Once planing the KONA will feel lighter. I would like to see them both with the same sail on the same day :-) Give the day a 7 outta 10. Winds dropped slightly and i got off early. There was another SW sailor and some sail-boat races. The motor boats generated bad waves %^&*()_ I was surprised about the sensitivity of the KONA - the protective covering breaks easily and Yan has busted the nose :-( Helmut dropped by to see the KONA up close ...

For myself ... I have a BIC Techno Formula that can plane in 12 + knots - with my TR-4 10-oh. The CAT was dying and has been replaced with a Mistral Equipe I LCS-XR. The older longboards that are similiar to today's hybrids just glide well .... i almost purchased a used KONA and the fellow went from asking $1400 to $750 !! I was ready to purchase it at $1200, but he said NO. This was a LOSS for both of us cuz i purchased the Equipe in the interim ... for a LOT less money, but now my quiver is FULL !!! and will NOT purchase another board and sell what i just purchased !!! So, stick with Mistral Equipe, BIC Techno Formula and AHD FF 160 liter shortboard for the majority of my sailing. The Equipe goes really well with my MS-2 8-oh with the cambers removed. I am guessing i will end up with another 8-oh to replace that one - MS Pursuit 8-oh ??


  1. Joe,
    You have a "real" longboard in the Cat. The Phantom sails more like a full raceboard than the Kona. I own a Phantom 320 and have a friend of similar sailing ability who owns a Kona One. We have traded off and I can give my comments. If you want to join the Kona fleet, get the Kona One. Both are fun to sail. The Phantom is faster, rails up better in sub-planing conditions and is a little more technical to sail. The Kona is more "plug & play". Either one will work well in winds 5-30 MPH.

    1. I agree WINDSUP
      even IF the CAT seems closer to the ONE in numbers,
      it is closer to the Phantom - in terms of ride, etc
      for me i need to first decide which i prefer
      the CAT or the BTF - as i usually do NOT start until 10 knots, i presume it will be the BTF and as such - will i be saving for JP SLW92 or SB US
      my guess @ this time is JP SLW92
      time will tell

    2. That was then and this is now ...
      In 2013 I did NOT use the BTF Free Formula since i had issues with my 10-oh sail.
      The CAT and Mistral Equipe were used over 80 % of the time.
      On the local river the longboards are the only thing to use.
      Up at the chalet on the smaller lake , the longboards are the only thing to use.
      Michael in Toronto is looking at an RSD2 and I am drooling.
      Barry of Toronto Windsurfing has a SB Phantom 377 and I am drooling.
      Guess I see where I should be putting my money !!
      Too bad dedicated longboard sails are difficult to find :-(

  2. I agree...The Phantom is much more technical to sail than the Kona - which I had sailed sometime ago in Cocoa Beach. I found it to be an undemanding ride (much more undemanding than my usual slalom quiver).

    But its that technical aspect that actually gives the Phantim its flexibility...hence its hybrid designation...A short board in raceboard clothing: together with its dagger board and moveable mast track it can sail upwind swiftly (deceptively so) and on the reach, it can blast like a freeride board.

    If the slalom board is your F1 Formula Car, a freerace board the BMW/Merc, and the Freestyle wave board the dirt bike, then the Hybrid Board is....the quintessential American sports car (eg Mustang) heavy, relaxing to ride even when full throttle...but a very very fun...


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