The Passport was created from a surfer's point of view and is a dedicated strapless kite surfboard, designed by Sean Ordonez. These boards, just like their 'Gambling' cousins are usually ridden four to five inches shorter than your normal short board and 3/4 or an inch wider. The low rocker line gets the Passport planing faster and is therefore suitable for a smaller kite. As this design is intended to be more of an entry-level board, it's not suited for very high riding speeds. However, it is very stable and assists in making strapless riding easier. The dedicated quad is also very light and can be surfed without a kite when the waves are nice. The reinforcements over the regular epoxy surf lay-up provide a solid construction composite to survive kite-related overloads and you can use this surfboard wherever you go, making it a perfect choice for the world traveler, combining features of two different sports in one universal design.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
When I pulled this board out of its board bag down on Brighton beach, the Kellner brothers spotted it in an instant and were straight over, caressing the rail, turning it over and claiming it was the most exciting shape they've seen in a long time. Friends with legends of the shaping game and watermen for more years than they care to remember with seasons racked up around the world in heavy waters like Hawaii, they know a thing or two about wave shapes. “Jim, that looks like the perfect board for here.” claimed Steve. I looked out at the gusty 7m-ish weather and a sea of crumbly white walls and couldn't help but think that, although I was getting sucked along with their enthusiasm, I would surely be set-up for disappointment. Taking nothing away from the fantastic looks and finish of the Passport, bu twhen the wind is that far cross-onshore in front of the King Alfred centre, it's not always guaranteed to be what you might call classic. Plus, I've always found quads quite stiff and more intent on straight line traction than rail to rail action for a flyweight like me. I hadn't read the product hype beforehand either, so was going into it blind and Steve said that he'd had a pretty whack time in the chunky, sloppy gusty conditions without straps, so I threw a set on.
Holy crap that board is lively! Short and stubby looking underfoot, but it shot off the beach, sitting just deep enough to slide and groove its way over and around the choppy white waters with a lovely manageability. I'll cut to the main point quickly as I've take up a lot of space writing about my first board discussion of the season with the Kellner Bros; I'm a stubborn goofy footer and do enjoy a bit of back-side action at my home spot. The issues I have with backside riding that isn't helped in onshore winds is that for powerful top turns, turning on your toes, I usually like quite a narrow board to easily be able to throw loads of rail at the wave. The Passport runs around the wave's coping like a dream; I felt like I'd brought a flick knife to a chop stick party; slicing with obvious ease where others were fumbling and letting the best sections slip away from them through sloppy turns. The Passport seems to have a wicked bottom turn that can be set, and once set just drives right the way round a long carve to the next section. For the width at 19.5'' there was barely any pressure needed on the rails to get the party started.
Lively, good looking and eager to please whatever the weather... and that's just the missus!
Super easy, grippy and a super tight top turn.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
We have to confess we've only had one session on it, but it was so good and the conditions were so average, that it had to go in to this section.
5'11'' and 5'8''
This test is in issue #57