Well it's not my love story, but it was true love at last!!
So a friend of mine that has been wake-boarding for about 4 years started his quest to find his perfect wake-board last year. He tried the LF Watson, a couple of different Krown boards, a couple of different Gator boards, and the O'Brien Natural and Valhalla. He ended up getting the Hyperlite 3DS (he got a good deal) and rode it for the rest of the season last year.
Well our season is just getting started here in Washington and he decided he wasn't really happy with the 3DS. We went riding on Sunday and he rode his 3DS the first set. One of the other guys in the boat had a O'Brien Cartel and said he could take it for a spin. He had looked at the Cartel earlier and commented to me that he didn't think it looked like the type of board he would like. I told him he should give it a shot, so he did.
The minute he popped up out of the water he had a huge smile from ear to ear. He started carving around and checking it out and then he hit the wake and boom he got more pop with less effort then ever before. He was so stoked and I think a little amazed. Here was a board he had looked at that he didn't think he would like and now he was in love!! When he got back in the boat he couldn't stop talking about how lively and effortless the board felt. He commented that it made the 3DS feel like someone had put on the E-Brake when riding it. He also loved how soft the Cartel landed.
So long Love Story short: Don't try and judge a board just by looking at it, and try the O'Brien Cartel when you get the chance!!