The Flip 2009 twin-tip is an excellent, progressive all-round board with a flexible top deck for those who prefer the flex and strength characteristics provided by a 100% wood core. Kiters of any riding style and level will enjoy the Flip as the shape, in combination with a tunnel concave bottom deck, ensures perfect edging and upwind ability and the board has a very strong core and great durability, with ABS bumper rails, glassy top sheet and snowboard base technology bottom-sheet. The transparent layer protects the slick graphics and the cover is of durable anti-scratch material. The Flip comes in four sizes, including a 138cm 'wide' version to provide you with a board which you can go out on, both in normal conditions and light wind days.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Aboards have been quietly and confidently making some lovely boards over the last two years. Earlier in the year we reviewed the X-Series – a freestyle board with the comfort and durability that's a welcome ride for many levels of rider. The Flip is also equipped with all mod-cons, such as thick and comfortable pads that aren't so soft that they suck out all the performance and can be used easily with boots. Easy to assemble and with good fixtures and fittings, including G-10 fins and is well made with a visible wood core. The Flip is an appealing package.
It's pretty obvious from the start that the Flip's intentions lie with uncomplicated intermediate freeriding. It gets up onto the plane with little fuss and without too much of a pull from the kite and will then happily maintain speed through the lulls. Performing basic manoeuvres are easy, the back end pushes out easily for heel-side carves and the board isn't so wide that toe-side becomes an issue and it's easy to get a good rail in to tank upwind without having to work too hard. There's a bit of shape to the rail so there's plenty of bite when digging into a carve and the board also responds well when pushed a bit harder. Load it up and it will pop you up nicely and also soak up some pretty big landings. As a platform its stable and also doesn't suffer from slapping once the wind gets up. Although there does come a point when you'd be more comfortable on a smaller board, but intermediates would probably be struggling by that time any way.
In terms of recommending it to riders, this would make a fantastic first board for someone that just wants things to be made easy, allowing them to focus on getting the basic things nailed. It's a good size for a bigger rider as a one board option or would work well for a lighter rider in lighter winds. If you've already been kiting for a year or so and looking to trade in, you'll probably be looking for something with a bit more performance.
If you're in the market for your first serious board then you won't go far wrong with this. It does everything asked of it really well and can even handle being pushed on to the next level. Tough enough to handle the early scrapes of your first year of being washed up on the beach etc. and comfy enough to have you cruising around with ease. A good compromise between a board you'll grow out of quickly and a twitchier board with too much high performance.
Good shape that does exactly what it says on the tin.
KW WOULD CHANGED:
Some might be put off by the bright yellow, but they'd be missing out on a solid, reliable work horse.
145 x 41.5, 138 x 45, 138 x 41 and 134 x 40.5cm
This test is in issue #39