The Raptor LTD is a brand new high-performance freeride and freestyle board in CrazyFly’s range. Featuring a unique double concave shape, combined with full carbon construction and a strong CNC shaped tip-to-tip wood core, the result is an amazing control of flex, stiffness and pop. Cutting powered turns and making transitions with this kind of bottom shape is so easy that anyone can feel like a pro. Say goodbye to water splash, as the concave channels direct the water exactly where it belongs – away from the rider. The new Crazy Flex Tips make the kiteboard very comfortable and extremely responsive, generating much more pop and providing the softest possible landings. CrazyFly believe that this technology makes kiteboarding even more fun than it ever was. The double concave shape gives the rider much more stability on difficult landings and much more power when loading a jump. Riding in choppy waters has never been more fun than with the new Raptor LTD and it's also a really fun tool to play with in smaller to medium waves. Suitable for many riding styles, it will even suit wake-style riding with its heavily concaved shape.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
If you can look at this board without feeling in any way aroused, then you should be a monk, or living in a nunnery, as long as you're female. If this isn't the most stunning board we've ever featured, then we need our eyes testing. CrazyFly make some beautiful high-performance boards and it's so nice to see a brand passing the same high-quality materials down into their more freeride oriented shape. Kitesurfing is a consumer's market, we make high-involvement decisions about relatively expensive luxury items and we want to feel good about them. It's why a lot of people end up buying inappropriate gear that's too advanced for their level and then struggling; they don't want to walk down the beach with a board or a kite that makes them stand out as a relative newbie. Having said that, the Raptor Pro certainly isn't just for less experienced riders, we were just trying to make the point that it looks and feels like it's their most advanced product in the line-up. In terms of comfortable performance, it just might be that, however. The Raptor Pro has a generous rockerline compared to other CrazyFly boards we've seen this year and that comes through in its ability to soak up chop. Really easy and smooth, it gets up to speed beautifully and soaks up the lumps and bumps without any slapping. There's also no spray in the eye and that comfort and ease of use extends right the way up through Cape Town's extraordinary wind range. At 40+ knots, the softness in the ride allows you to really dig an edge against your kite and those comfortable, but firm, pads and straps leave you locked in tight. There's also loads of grip for really powered wake-style tricks and advanced riders won't find the Raptor really lacking in pop, although it's clearly not as stiff as the Bulldozer for example, but it has more of a feeling of steadiness and control that most intermediates and freeriders need. Landing from a jump or kite loop the Raptor's extreme double concave in the bottom, as well as the flex and forgiving nature, soak it all up, but the carbon also responds before the board soaks up too much of the energy, pushing back to propel the board forward. There really is a lot of control with this board. Although the board looks fairly big, it didn't feel it and when we got Floris' girlfriend on it, who has been kiting for less than a year, she was amazed at how manoeuvrable it is. Its 136cm length helps it up onto the plane nice and early, but the forgiving rocker means that you can switch or turn it nice and easily.
This is like when car manufacturers make their performance car into an estate version; it maintains its engine and virtually holds the same handling characteristics, but allows more people to enjoy the ride. The Raptor really is a fantastic board for intermediates and above for pure comfort and generally easy handling, although for carving it did need more of a push to get round. Advanced freestylers looking for the ultimate in performance won't find quite enough here, especially on flat water, but in terms of soaking up every day chop and turning average conditions into a lot of fun, if you fancy treating yourself to something nice, this is great.
Eating up chop on the best looking board in the playground.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
It is what it is, and it's just nice to see so much care and attention having gone into what is essentially an intermediate board.
SIZES: 136 x 41 and 132 x 41cm
This test is in issue #51