Just to give my early feedback on the XBlend.
I have some Surges in my quiver so it might be useful to understand how the XBlend compares.
- feels lighter in the hands overall
- still has that nice PPC forward pull in the gusts that I like, maybe not quite as aggressive as the Surge. Great upwind. Doesn't get back handy in the top half of its range like a lot of wings
- pump is tight and elastic in nature, not super rigid and dead feeling. I hate this , super rigid wings can be easy to oversheet in my experience
- the big difference between the Surge and XBlend is that the trailing edge stays higher when luffed out and riding downwind. Very noticeable when you are riding dead downwind on a swell. It is VERY stable when flagged out, trailing edge stays high and no rocking from side to side. This is a worthwhile benefit in my opinion.
So overall it retains most of the good points of the Surge ( balance between hands, great upwind etc) while being even better when flagged out. Didn't have any bad habits or unfortunate compromises / trade offs that I could feel.
I like the new sizes, helps fill the gaps between the Surge sizes.
I pay for my own gear , thought this info might be of interest. Cheers