TUFLITE is the result of over 15 years of science focused on one goal; to build the toughest, lightest, most responsive surfboards in the world. Tuflite construction offers the most advanced quality construction suitable for the spectrum of surfboard models. Using only the highest quality EPS foam and epoxy and fibreglass materials, Tuflite surfboards are a composite sandwich that boast the ultimate combination of performance and durability.
Built following a shaper's most renowned shape, each Tuflite represents the highest quality surfboard in its respective range. The Stretch Rat Boy model has been tested and approved by Stretch's team rider Jason "Rat Boy" Collins as well as a host of other world-class riders. Designed to ride fast down the face of waves allowing the rider to generate insane speed that can than be translated into huge airs and carves. The Rat Boy model is for athletes looking for a truly high-performance board.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
GEORGE: It's so light. You can pick it up and hold it in your thumb and forefinger. It feels very solid though. That Tuflite construction feels tight all over if you know what I mean?
WILL: I thought it looked too small for strapless surfing, but it's absolutely amazing. I'm not sure who could surf it normally, though!
CHRIS: It's a classic shape - a little squat board without a huge amount of rocker. Small and wide: 19". Nice, narrow, grippy rails. The board I ride strapless at home has a lot more volume but this just works so well; those rails really dig in and give you a lot more grip than a more buoyant board. You can bury the rails easily to get control if you're overpowered as well – like we're used to on most boards in kiteboarding.
WILL: There's a grab rail all the way round the rails which is great for those skate tricks. The board reacts so well and feels tight as George said...it almost reads the chop for you and deals with it. So easy to chuck around and it goes upwind like a train. You could take this out in anything.
GEORGE: It seems to point in a different way so it doesn't feel like you're going upwind, but I think it's so good upwind because it's so fast. For an out- and-out surfboard, it's wicked that it's so rideable because it looks so good!
CHRIS: It really behaves properly on the wave, but I think it performs best in the small, mushy stuff.
WILL: Really nice and snappy. You almost don't have to think about what you're going to do, just do it and more than likely it'll work. So empowering.
CHRIS: For a smallish board the bottom turn holds speed and has drive, but as you say you can snap it right round at the top because it's loose. It's got loads of potential for so many people because it's so easy to ride.
WILL: I wouldn't give it to an early intermediate, but if you've dabbled in surfboard riding before or are thinking about going strapless then you have to start with something, and I can't recommend this enough. It's comfortable, light and gives you confidence. Sure it's a bit nerve-racking to start with...even getting over a one foot wave in the beginning will be a challenge, but you quickly progress and it really teaches you how to actually ride rather than hang off a kite. You may not have ridden for a month, but go out on that and guaranteed you will learn a couple of new things in an hour...and you won't have hurt yourself like you would learning powered freestyle! Learning to gybe on this is ridiculously easy as well. Far easier than having to manoeuvre around straps and so much fun in light winds.
CHRIS: If I gave that to a lot of riders on my beach who already ride directionals I'd get a lot of positive feedback. You have to keep pinching yourself that you are riding a strapless board. It smooths everything out so well and holds so much power that you think you must be strapped in.
GEORGE: I guess that's years of surfboard design for you.
CHRIS: The only bad thing I can think of is that it's not coming home with me!
Good in waves, holds its speed well, is really manoeuvrable, snappy and a breeze to learn to gybe on. A lot of these qualities could be found in other strapless boards, but this board does everything so sublimely at it immediately makes you feel like a better rider. The water may be flatter in summer, but the winds are generally light too, and this offers the opportunity for massive amounts of fun, and we guarantee after a few weeks on this, when you get on a strapped board in serious waves, you'll be amazed what you can do.
Swallow tail: 5' 6" x 19" x 2.13"
Squash tail: 5' 10" x 18.75" x 2.13"
This test is in issue #27