I've got the option of getting a new Duotone Select or a older Shinn Monk (3 years), dont have the opportunity to demo the boards.
Looking for something with comfort through chop main thing, then tracking and carving.
Anyone who owned both and can offer some comparative advice?
Although both boards are kind of aimed at a similar market segment, there is quite a difference in the feel and ride of the two boards you are talking about.
The older Shinn Monk is a very soft flex with very thin rails and a wider than normal (comparative to length) width measurement, meaning earlier planing and shorter overall length.
The super flexible design and simple bottom shape, coupled with the Shinn Bite fins gives VERY locked in control in choppy conditions. There are legions of Shinn fans whom love the locked in feel and soft comfortable and controlled feel of the Monk, especially for riding fast and loaded in choppy conditions. I haven't been a massive fan of the footstraps in earlier years and my feet used to bounce out a bit unless super painfully tight. These softer Monks are excellent for riding in overpowered conditions as you rarely bounce out or lose control on take off for massive jumps on overpowered kites.
The Duotone Select comes in two constructions: Standard and SLS. Standard was my choice over the more expensive and lighter Textreme models in previous years. Duotone have had the best bindings and pads in terms of fitting any foot comfortably and not coming out of them. The Select has a simple ever so subtle concave bottom and single wide channel in the tips. The window in the tips with the soft opaque window adds to the tip concave under load giving the board excellent speed and carve. It is a little stiffer than the Monk and has less concave so it feels a little looser, especially with the smaller fins.
I loved the Select last year in wood construction and did some speed runs to 67kph in flat water. It is such a veratile board with more pop than the Shinn, so it really comes down to how you want to ride and what you are looking for in terms of board performance.
If pop or vaulting off the tip in a front roll is important to you, go Duotone. If control in really nasty chop is the mission, go the Shinn. Both boards are fast, both boards carve beautifully and both have great control in chop.
With my freestyle background, I'd pick the Select, but on a mega boosting day I'd take either. There's no bad choice.
I tried them both in the past and being a heavier rider (about 100 kg) did not like the Shinn Monk too much, way too flexible for my taste.
Liked Select much more but settled on the Flysurfer Radical (I have version 5). Looked for single 'do it all' board, good for chop, good for boosting, good for low wind. I don't unhook and it is probably not good for that.
Toby Braeuer is a hooked old school tricks master - you can look him up, he used to use Flysurfer Radical board (not sure if he still does)