The CrazyFly 2010 Raptor builds upon the great performance of last year's model, combining a balance of stiffness and flex with amazing pop for both comfortable and aggressive riding. This year an improved rocker line, progressive flex tips, shock absorbing system, new Quick-Fix system II and new straps are the most significant improvements, allowing you to effortlessly switch between new school freestyle tricks and aggressive freeriding. This full carbon best seller has been steadily evolving each season and is becoming a legend in the CrazyFly board range.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Initial impressions of this board give away its freestyle tendencies. Wide and square, there's very little concave and a very flat rocker. While not actually CrazyFly's top-of-the-range performance board (the Rocky Pro Model takes that crown), the aggressive graphics and super-tough construction immediately set the stall out for this board wanting to run with the top potentials in the freestyle category. It really looks the business – even the fins are bling. There's also a tiny handle, which we liked. Functional, it also seems to camouflage itself against the board, making you more inclined to keep it on. Foot pads and straps are up to the standard we've grown used to with CrazyFly. There's nothing standard about them, and aren't the same as any others. Modern, very adjustable and easy to fit straps combine with super thick pads that aren't really squidgy, but tough and very supportive and there's a lovely grip for your toes.
The Raptor is stiff and packed with pop. Reasonably quick, it's definitely more suited to flat water than lots of chop and the average rider might find it a bit technical. Lots of grip for loading mean there's a little technique required to get the board to break loose for switching from heel to toe-side or basic board manoeuvres like that, which you'd expect from a higher level board. A little more work in heavy chop, how often you're going to be able to set it free to perform in flat water could influence your decision with this board. At 132 x 41 this is never going to plough upwind like something longer with more parallel rails might, but we had no issues with its windward performance. Its good freestyle traits, such as the stiffness and flat rocker also make it good in lightwinds. There's lots of get up and go, and as learning your unhooked freestyle is so good in light winds, this is ideal and with good range. Rotations are fast too with the Raptor. Although it's bombproof, it's also super-light with not much swing weight. The Raptor's strengths are no doubt in its awesome take-offs and planted landings and its controllability in the air, being short and wide.
If you're looking for a board that you primarily want to go out and freeride on, cruise upwind and try a few tricks with then you'll be better off with something less aggressive. If you want to push your skills on something tough, well-equipped that pops, goes boing, spins effortlessly and soaks up landings beautifully, think about getting this. Stiff and aggressive it likes being ridden hard and rewards good riders with lovely responsiveness.
KW LIKED: Responsive feeling and aggressive nature in a tough but lightweight design.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Make it a little more all-round.
SIZES: 137 x 43, 137 x 41, 132 x 43, 132 x 41, 132 x 39, 127 x 40 and 127 x 38cm
This test is in issue #45