What was the biggest innovation in technology and design in 2009 keeps evolving. A new longer outline to allow easier landings and to improve the pop effect is combined with a new torsion box deck design, improving riding stability. Hand-finished deck with a triple layer of paint over ultra-thin water sticker graphic patterns bring an unmatched custom-made look together with a super hi-tech construction of full CNC laminar wood core, ABS side-wall snowboard technology with custom-finished deck and UTDC bottom. There's no comparison available with anything else on the market.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
In terms of performance freestyle boards a 42 centimetre width is bigger than we're used to, and 134 centimetre length is shorter than we'd usually expect for something with such width, but after riding this we reckon this is just about the perfect size for riders between 80 and 90 kilos looking to push their freestyle. Super flat, it's stiff, but with a lot of carefully placed flex in the tips. The outline is very aggressive with plenty of sharp points, abruptly changing from the side rail to the end rail, for example. It's angular and aggressive. There's nothing soft about this board, even the foot straps are fairly hard, but they do lock you in to the softer, grippy pads very well. They also don't require a screwdriver to put together, using RRD's innovative Screw-it system that lets you screw in the side arms of the system before slipping the Velcro pad over the top and tightening. It works very well.
The Poison has a flat rocker, so if you ride in chop a lot there are better boards for you, but as a flat water board it's a dream come true. We tested it in super-flat water, mild to fairly chunky chop and dead onshore conditions with plenty of flat space between the waves, generally on ten to 12 metre kites. It really excelled in the flat water, and as it has incredible upwind ability from its stiffness, flat rocker and big fins it was also very good in the dead onshore conditions. Only when it went side-shore and we were spending a lot of time negotiating waves and chop did it prove a handful, requiring lots of work on the back foot to keep the nose up. Most of the trendy bindingwearing wake crew will want more rocker. It may be a top-of-the-range PKRA freestyle board, but it's not a dark side rail hitter. Anyone riding bindings isn't going to be happy with that rocker; it's just too flat and suits a faster riding style. A park rider will want more versatility and channels. If you want speed, bite and poppiness then it's fantastic. Give a board more rocker and channels and it'll become looser but this is so wonderfully locked in it sometimes feels like it's on train tracks, requiring some technique to get it round from heel-totoe-side. There's no skidding it, but it does have everything a keen above average intermediate needs, but they might buy it and realise it's harder work then they imagined. It's a bit like buying a superbike too early in your motorbiking career. Yes you could ride it and go fast on it, but you wouldn't have the technique to get the most out of it. With good technique you can stamp on that back foot and it'll bite and hold longer than a pitbull that hasn't been fed for a few weeks. If you're taking off at high speeds, you'd better hope the Poison can handle the landings, and it can. You need a bit of technique because it's got a flat bottom and no channels, but it locks back in with those fins and rails quickly.
Anyone can get on this and ride it fast and go upwind well, but it really rewards better riders with the built in energy and horsepower it has for those who know how to access it. Even if you ride in chop a lot, but like riding with a fast and aggressive style and occasionally get treated to some flat water, then you should get one of these just for when it's good. There aren't many other boards on the market with that really taut feeling that are this drivey, poppy and fast upwind without being knee breakers. Graphically it looks amazing too – check out the detail in that eye on the bottom that scares all the big fish away!
KW LIKED: Twisting the throttle to see what it sounds like and waking up all the neighbours.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Not a thing. If you're at the stage of progressing into powerful new school freestyle, or are already killing it, you should have one.
SIZES: 135 x 43, 134 x 42, 133 x 41, 132 x 40, 131 x 39 and
130 x 38cm
This test is in issue #46