The Kipuna is built to rip waves whatever the wind direction and to give you a chance to taste the freedom of strapless surfing. No matter how or where you jump onto this game-changing board, the uniquely recessed and padded deck gets you closer to the motion in the ocean than ever before. This miracle is achieved without sacrificing volume in the rails, which are built tough from Paulownia wood – infusion laminated under vacuum – for extra durability. Pop massive unstrapped airs and this lightweight board rises with you – seemingly glued to your feet. Back on flat water, easy tracking is maintained with a silky smooth, single to double to V base. You’ll amaze your mates, and yourself with new-school trickery in the surf and you’ll never regret a moment spent on this imagination-fuelled ride, even through to finless skimboarding! The 6'2'' pin-tail stands out when the waves get more serious. Available in a range of sizes, tail shapes and fin configurations to suit your freewave style.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
What a great design, it's so striking in black and orange and with that embedded deck pad running the entire deck. The first thing you notice when you pick it up with one hand... is that you can pick it up! The round rails around the sunken deck provide one big grab rail around the edge and, combined with the genuine light weight of the board, you've got yourself one trick readysurf tool to throw about in the slop. But not only the slop, we found that the Kipuna has a very respectable and smooth bottom turn and really tight-as-you-like and snappy top turn. Strapped it couldn't be easier to ride; it's relatively small dimensions being really easy to influence into any turn and handles well in the air. Strapless, the full length pad gives you loads of freedom to run up and down the deck and it's easy to recover any wrong foot position, although it takes a bit of getting used to how to grip it with your feet as it's not as immediately grippy as loads of soft wax. You do get loads of grip and purchase on your back foot though as you can get it into such a position where your toes are jammed up against the rail lip on one rail and your heel on the other, which is really nice and allows you to really throw that tail round at the top of the wave. The board feels really lively under your feet and you can't help but want to edge up into the wind off a bit of chop and get straight into some new school board-off trickery we're seeing more and more of from the new generation. Strong enough to take the knocks and exciting to ride, it really has a wave board, wake-skate and freestyle thing going on. It's not a tool for hardcore down-the-line carves, it's too loose for that, but in slop where anything goes and you have to make the most of what you're given, it's excellent.
Riding a directional in kitesurfing is at a very exciting time, because with this board you don't necessarily need waves! Freestyle on a surfboard is so much fun to practice, doesn't hurt and is attainable by everyone. Seeing what young teenage riders in places like Cape Verde are doing has really opened our minds and just shows why this sport is still so cool. You'd want more grip and drive in bigger waves, but for the other 99% of the time you will love playing on one of these.
Carving it, hacking it, spinning it, shuving it and trying to catch it.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The pad could be just a bit more grippy.
6'2'' and 5'8'' thrusters and a 5'4'' quad
This test is in issue #57