We review Takoon’s all-round classic wave board
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #93 IN JUNE, 2018
Words: Jim Gaunt
The sandy coloured material look gives the Burning an earthy feel. The Flax used to create that is a natural linen material used to reduce the amount of glassing needed while still having a positive effect on the board’s strength-to-weight ratio. Indeed the Burning is very light and yet also doesn’t have that hollow and super-fragile feel that some surfboards do.
The Burning is only available in this 5’10” size and it’s pretty thin and narrow, though Takoon state that it has a moderate volume of 24.7 litres, it feels a bit more sinky than that, though.
All the Burning’s dimensions add up to being a fast, targeted high-power, high speed wave weapon, and it is. It’s fast and like burning rail-to-rail. There’s a stiff feel to the board that definitely helps it plane earlier than it might as a narrow, thin-railed board though this is a harsher ride feel than the Wam this issue. Most sessions I had the Burning out in were when the wind was just filling in, which is always the nicest time for waves in Cape Town and I found that if you’re used to moving your kite around to generate power then the Burning was pretty easy get going and it doesn’t feel boggy once you’re planing and rewards better technique.
It’s definitely playable and I looked forward to sessions on the Burning because I’m the smallest rider in the team at 70 kilos. This board likes carving back and forth and the straighter, narrower rails than we’re seeing in many all-round boards at the moment makes it really easy to do tight and hacky turns in the pocket. On a good wave the Burning responds well to wave power and as it turns tightly you can easily stay in the section. This board is ideally suited to managing some power from the kite though as it sits fairly deeply in the water and the thin rails are perfect for easy grip without having to work too hard yourself. The Burning would also be fantastic fun in straps as you can really influence it and crank some seriously fast and hard turns. It’s also light underfoot and yet feels solid, so it’s going to feel right when it comes to windy boosting, too.
The pad deserves mention, especially for strapless as it’s one of the most simple and quite thin three-quarter deck pads, but there’s no foot-slipping at all and it minimises the sensation loss that you feel underfoot when riding with a pad. That grip and connection adds to the manoeuvrability you can get from the board at the top of a wave. The Burning is snappy anyway and not difficult to throw the tail out, but the added feel and grip from the pad further aids that sensation.
As this is quite a straight, narrow shape with thin rails it is quite tippy when you’re feathering your way out over white water and needs some good foot placement and a light touch for tacks and gybes, so suits lighter / better riders. Also, if you’ve drifted out in front of the wave and lost a bit of kite power too, it’s not the most forgiving shape so takes a bit of know-how and balance to re-power the kite and whip yourself back into position before the board drops off the plane too much.
As a relatively light rider at 70 kilos, I had three really enjoyable sessions on the Burning and it suited the riding that’s often called for in Cape Town, hacking quick, hard turns in the tight sections before they close out and also helps you to manage your kite’s power well, too. The Burning does feel narrow in terms of balance, but therefore also requires less leg and body work to influence the board when going rail-to-rail. The offset of that is that it offers less natural drive to carry you around longer sections. Quite knife-like in its handling therefore, the Burning is also going to suit strapped riders looking for a carving machine for rough and windy conditions. Again from Takoon, you’ll be kitesurfing happily for a great price.
Super tight turns mixed with a playable, loose feel at the top of a wave.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Bigger riders will find this a bit too tippy, but it’s more of a performance carving shape anyway, so if you’re learning to gybe, look elsewhere.
SIZES: 5’10” x 18 4/13”