Designed in 2011 to meet the expectations of strong-willed, uncompromising new school fans who dig flatwater and target maximum pop, the Infra is the stiffest board in Xenon's range. Bold and sharp in shape to maximize its performance, the 2012 Infra has a decidedly lighter construction and is more lively and skatey thanks to a bigger rocker. The new top shee tmaterial makes the Infra bomb proof and ready for whatever the roughest of beaches can throw at it. The straps have been altered slightly to be easier to mount and more comfortable around your feet and, as you've read for the LaLuz, the inside part of the strap is wrapped with a double neoprene coat for additional durability and comfort. Redesigned EVA moulded pads add more grip and control.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Infra is certainly one of the most striking boards out there. Noticeable is the lightweight and also incredible thinness of the shape, in the rails especially before the board thickens up towards the middle of the board. The Infra is very square and it is quite stiff – surprisingly stiff given its thinness, and it looks ready for freestyle. The pads are quite difficult to get really tight and you have to adjust them on the beach without your kite up as you really need to push them down onto the pad as you pull on the Velcro strap if you've got smaller feet.
On the water the 133 does feel quite small, but also lively and nimble. It's not uncomfortably stiff either and, for a freestyle board, your knees come away feeling remarkably unstressed after a session in chop. But where the Infra really excels is in flatter water and in stronger winds. It's just so easy to manage when the wind picks up and that sharp rail just digs and digs while the stiffness in the board just keeps giving and giving back. Like a finely tuned suspension the board flexes while the rails forms a tight bond with the water, giving you immense grip. The carving isn't much to write home about – you can see that from the straight rails and wide tips and the stance is quite wide so your feet feel quite close to the tips of the board, but you don't find yourself working your back leg too hard keeping the nose up. In the air the board feels extremely light and is definitely not too stressful on the old abdominals. The lightweight of the Infra and the progressively loadable edge gives plenty of pop and for landings it's really easy to get the board positioned under you as it's so light and the board soaks up landings reasonably well before you engage that lovely sharp rail once again.
Although the Infra is billed as an aggressive freestyle board, although it does have lots of freestyle attributes, we found it equally, if not more at home, as a really fast, grippy high-performance freeride board, amazing for controlled edge and release for boosting as well as unhooked freestyle and just gets better and better as the wind picks up. If you're over 80 kilos you should look at a bigger size, especially in more marginal winds around 18 knots, but as the isobars pack in tighter on the wind map, so too does the fun on the water.
Fast handling and superb edging.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Give it a bit more light wind performance in this size.
139 x 41, 136 x 41 and 133 x 40cm
This test is in issue #57