2024 North Nova Pro Wing Review (and Vs. Mode Pro?)

2024 North Nova Pro Wing Review (and Vs. Mode Pro?)

It's Wing Wednesdays, and this week Jeff and Tucker have the North Nova Pro. They had a chance to ride it and have some insights to share on how it feels and how it's different from the Mode Pro and what's been upgraded from last year's version of the Nova. North is a brand that is known for quality materials and design, and the guys have high expectations.

ShiftLock Handle/Boom System

The 2024 Nova Pro has the new ShiftLock System, which is a rail that you clamp your choice of handles or boom onto in any position you like. You can use any combination of the three rigid carbon handle sizes or just go with the boom, so the wing doesn't ship with handles since everyone's style is different. There's nothing like it in the North lineup or even the rest of the industry right now. Jeff and Tucker think it works great, and it's earned a big thumbs-up from them.


In addition to the standard and Pro construction, North will be introducing the Nova Ultra Pro in the near future. The Nova Pro uses the N-Weave45 frame, which is arguably the best frame for the money. It's quite competitive with materials like Aluula or Ho'okipa, but at a more moderate price point. Its weight is between the top-tier materials and Dacron, but price-wise it's closer to Dacron, so you're getting a lot of longevity, performance and technology for your dollar.

The Matrix canopy is also among the best materials for a wing. It's purpose-built by the North textile team and is durable, which means fewer rips and abrasions, and less maintenance. These add up to a very rigid, robust wing that is happy to accommodate heavier riders and overpowered conditions without deforming. You can go out and rip on this wing without having to be nice to it. Even in gusts, it's smooth.


Compared to the standard Nova, the Pro has a bit more drive, though it's subtle. It's got a more direct feel, better upwind, it's stiffer and more intuitive, and the overall performance has been dialed up. While the Nova Pro is certainly accessible for a beginner and would encourage progression, it's really intended for intermediate riders and above who can appreciate the upgrades. You can ride it overpowered and still be comfortable.


The Nova Pro is awesome for freestyle and also very good in waves. It's probably North's best wave wing. It's boosty, and Tucker was able to send it. It's the sort of wing that you can leave in your car and go ride whatever the day throws at you. Racers will probably be happier on the Mode Pro, but everyone else would be glad to take the Nova Pro out.

Mode Pro vs. Nova Pro

The Mode Pro uses the GripLock handle system, while the Nova Pro uses the new ShiftLock handles, but other than that, the construction is very similar between the two.

In raging, charging conditions with a ton of wind and waves, the Mode Pro is going to have the speed and performance you want in gusty conditions. It pulls forward more than being grunty, so you'll just go faster rather than being yanked. It really shines when you're dealing with a range of wind, such as when it's 20 gusting to 30. It stays smooth and comfortable and feels at home.

If you don't like to ride heavily powered and fast, then you want the Nova Pro. A lot of wave riders and recreational cruisers would rather be on a smaller wing going not quite as fast and have the easy up. The Nova Pro is for them.

Both wings are good on the low end, but the Mode Pro requires better pumping technique. The Nova Pro is without question easier in light wind. It's got more lift and pop.

You could certainly have both wings in your quiver. You might go with the Nova Pro for sizes 5m and up, and then the Mode Pro for your smaller wings. The Mode Pro is definitely happiest when it's powered up.


Both wings have that legendary North quality and design. There's a reason that people who ride North tend to be brand loyal. The ShiftLock System is a great innovation by North, and Tucker wouldn't be surprised to see it come to the Mode at some point in the future. The Nova Pro definitely lives up to the high expectations the guys had and is a lot of fun out on the water.

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Mr. Jeff
16th May 2024 Tucker Vantol

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