Just sold my King. hard decision. Ride an underground 5’7” Freewave (aka Kipuna) hybrids surfboard 95% now. 140 Mako when I go twintip a couple times per year.
The King was my first board that really made me progress. It taught me to carve heel to toe, and back. It taught me to rode topside.
I rode the King for a whole year exclusively.
When I rode it it was twin tip with adjustable DaKine straps on top of the full deck pad probably 90%.
Awesome board for light wind big kites. But it’s long rail line may butter out of short period chop with small kites.
I rode it directional mutant a few times, but when I couldn’t foot change (due to the strap angles), I would resort to pulling my feet out and riding strapless tail first to gain ground back upwind. Yes I could ride toe side in the straps, but not as efficient, fast or at as a steep an upwind angle. So I’d ride a few tacks upwind, then S turn heel side/toe side back.
I tried it finless and strapless once. Not as easy as I had expected. It was light wind, 13m kite.
I have a Naish Alaia that I play around on in light wind smooth water instead.
Never thought about putting regular pads and straps on it until it was too late.
I suspect that it would be even cushier in chop. My wife felt she couldn’t get it on edge very well (her heel was too far inboard and away from the rail, thus a leverage problem for her smaller foot), and perhaps regular pads may have enhanced her leverage.
A windsurfer friend had his best success on this board over other twin tips, and loved it’s “surfy” feel.
That’s all I got guys.