Aaron Hadlow and Flexifoil present the Hadlow Freestyle board. Built from the original design and shape of the late, great Colin McCulloch, the Freestyle brings innovative and unique features to the world of freestyle kitesurfing, as well as a style and look to boot. Aaron says, “This board is the shape I worked on together with Colin over the years that helped me to achieve five World Championships. Its' unique flex and rocker-line combine to produce amazing performance for the best of riders and a comfortable, easy ride for any one just wanting to cruise.”
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Clean, good looking patriotic graphics on the five time World Champion's pro model – you're going to feel pretty special walking around with this under your arm, but surely you'll have to be a pretty special rider to ride it, won't you? So you'd think, but this couldn't be further from the truth!
When we first picked the board up we said, 'Wow, there's a lot of rocker in there for a twin-tip.' We turned it over and saw a moderate concave which made up for what the extra rocker-line would take away from the board's speed. The rails are fairly thin but at first it looks like a typical Colin McCulloch board, just with more rocker and a little more length over width, which seemed strange most freestyle boards are getting wider than getting longer.
The foot straps are fairly standard, nothing outstanding, but you get on with them straight away. They're like coming home. What is so surprising is that this board is as good for intermediate riders as it is for top end riders. What good news! It's not the fastest twin-tip, but it's quick and you notice that immediately. The soft, smooth feeling from the concave also makes it easy to ride. It's really not that technical and the exaggerated rocker-line means you don't have to use so much back foot pressure. In flat or choppy water, it's very easy to ride.
What we liked best about the Freestyle though is the connection you have with your back foot. We've talked about progressive edge control before in twin-tips, and this has oodles of it. When you load it up, even for something as simple as heel-side carve, the board moulds itself to the water and has a wonderful feeling. It never skids. Edging for a trick, it connects to the water and the energy seemingly travels through you and throws you aggressively when you're ready. The flex pattern is just sublime. It's like the board is friends with the water and can get it to do just what it wants. Of course it's incredible for freestyle, but we also found ourselves doing big carves on it and just throwing rainbows all day. It's got immense grip in a very dignified way.
For someone between 75 and 85 kilos, it's just perfect. That extra bit of length in the tips and the flex pattern provides lots of energy when you need it, but also sublime control. It's remarkable that a board fit for a World Champion could also be bought by someone as their first real board, and it's strong, too. There are faster, more hard popping boards, but they don't have such a beautiful combination of everything. The feeling on the back foot is by far the most outstanding thing and quite unique. Bully goes so far as to say, that this is the most all-round performing board he's ever been on. Suck-up!
The progressive edge control.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
We would be mad to mess with it.
138 x 40cm
www.hadlowcollection.com / www.flexifoil.com