The FS Team features the same outline, bottom shape and flex ratio as the FS series. However, unique innovations in lamination, construction and core technology have enabled Airush to offer a product that is simply lighter and more responsive with the stiffness required from a dedicated freestyle board. Starting at 1.7 kilos this unique development is the result of a complete rethink of the production process, saving weight at every step. This process is then combined with the significant innovation found in the quad layer multiaxial carbon construction, resulting in the lightest freestyle board on the market today.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Wow, what a creation this is. First impressions are that it's made of kryptonite and you don't want to drop it! It's gorgeous and incredibly light – super light in fact and looks the nuts in red and black. Very subtle and extremely stylish and looks even more classy in the sun.
Shape-wise we were expecting something much more aggressive from a board that uses the word 'team' in its title. It's fairly broad in the tips, but not overly square and aggressive but has sections that fade into a narrower, more all-round shape. But again, not too narrow, but comfortable and capable. The foot pads are stunning, perhaps a bit firm brand new, but the texture and grip underfoot combined with the strap that's really easy to get nice and tight and you're not far off the support of a half binding.
The rocker-line is really usable for both freestyle and freeride. It's not overly flat which makes the board comfortable in a lot of water states – in other words, it's not just for advanced riders who ride exclusively in flat water. Holding good speed over the water, the FS Team has a nice bit of concave in the bottom adding comfort and control and also making it relatively easy on the knees for a performance twin-tip. Not only does the FS Team offer a smooth ride but, combined with the super-light feeling under foot, it's fun and a relatively undemanding ride, allowing you to enjoy your riding and progression as much as possible. A moderate flex throughout the board makes it really adept at carving as well as having heaps of pop, rather than being stiff in the middle and only flexing in the tips, which a lot of out-and-out freestyle shapes are more like. You get a lovely bite on this when you load it up and there is loads of explosive performance for advanced riders, whereas on some stiffer boards you have to be really powered up or very aggressive to get the same response. There is no sticking at all and no trouble getting in the air. Some people say they prefer a heavier board for rotations, but we reckon that the FS is just a joy in the air and really easy on the old tummy muscles. Airush have found a nice balance between the concave, rocker and channelling to make the board comfortable and the landings soft. The FS drives forward beautifully, there's nothing wishy-washy about it and it tracks upwind really well with five centimetre fins and is surprisingly good in chop with an excellent rocker-line.
If you don't mind splashing a bit of cash on a worthy product, you're not going to be disappointed. The FS Team is very smooth in terms of top of the range freestyle boards. What it is is a fast kitesurfing board with heaps of all-round performance. A chugging new school wake-style board it is not. It's athletic, beautiful and easy to ride. Getting a bit frisky now... time to stop with this analogy... it's only a kiteboard!
Super seductive performance that you don't have to be youthful and athletic to get involved with.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Having to black out the windows in the back of the Escort to hide this little beauty and stop it getting stolen!
140 x 42, 135 x 40 and 130 x 39cm
This test is in issue #57