Airush Apex 2019 review

Airush Apex 2019 Kiteworld Magazine review

The fastest twin-tip we’ve tested in 2019!



Airush Apex 2019 Kiteworld Magazine review



The Apex V5 is the fastest and most freestyle-focused board we’ve reviewed for this issue. It’s a cross-over freestyle / freeride board, but leans more towards freestyle and, of all the boards we’ve tested in KW #98, it’s the most tuned for speed and traction above all else. It’s ultra-fast with an ability to knuckle down and retain power through the rail, which is obvious from the start. This thing is rapid!

The Apex has the look of a wakestyle board with its squared tips, but there’s definite freeride ability in there and Head Tester Bully tuned into it straight away. He says, “The sheer level of grip accessible through the rail allowed me to ride along with tons of speed and power before edging hard and releasing off kickers!” 


Airush Apex 2019 review


Part of the reason why it’s so fast is its relatively low rocker line and small fins which cause very little drag. The grip is mainly achieved through the rail, and you need to really lean on that to access it which can be challenging in choppier conditions. However, if you dig your heels in and focus on keeping the rail engaged then the Apex delivers a very dependable, locked-in riding experience.

Initiating that grip and loaded pop is easy and the Apex is beautifully set up for strapped riding. Add a pair of boots and this would also be a good freestyle board because with more pressure you’d be able to create more rocker-line as the Apex does flex with force. We didn’t get chance to ride in very flat water, but it’s going to be a freestyle dream in those conditions when all you need to focus on is edging, loading up and enjoying the hard pop that the Apex is capable of, which will help generate line slack.


Airush Apex 2019 Kiteworld review


With such formidable grip, it does take a bit more of a conscious effort to release the edge and when pushing the back end out to do 180 turns, you need to push a bit harder than most freeride twin-tips, but that’s because the Apex leans much more towards the freestyle end of freeride. If you’re already a fairly experienced twin-tipper then this is a really exciting upgrade for you that still maintains some element of comfort. The Apex is so much livelier than most other boards on test for easy pop without having to be strong in the legs. The Monarch has good pop but it’s a meatier ride. The Raptor comes close, but is a couple of notches lower on the freestyle end of the scale.  

We love the light weight of the Apex and the high riding speed. As good as it is though, it is quite a technical ride and in lumpier water states, so you need to weight your back foot a little more to avoid catching a tip when riding over large chop or down the face of a wave, but that’s just part of making the step up to a more technical board, that ultimately offers more performance in the areas you want.

There are boards that are softer, more comfortable and a bit easier to control when flattening the board off to slash a wave if that’s what you’re looking for, but they don’t have the Apex’s top end speed which, along with its easy access pop, is what makes it’s so much fun. 


Airush Apex 2019 review


For all of its grip and reasonably stiff flex pattern, the Apex still doesn’t feel harsh underfoot and owes a lot of thanks to the brilliant Airush footpads. The Element footbed system is currently the best on the market for us, mixing a soft, very plush feel with supreme grip thanks to the ridged foot bed (and also apparently because of the two-part dual-density construction). The pad really is something else and works beautifully with the straps that aren’t too wide or too thin, or too hard, or too soft! Adjusting easily with four Velcro tabs, you can find a super snug and yet very comfortable fit.


Watch our video review with KW Head Tester Chris Bull here!




The Apex V5 is a fast, light board that rewards good technique and it’s hard to beat for pure speed and unshakeable grip if you still want to maintain some element of freeride comfort instead of committing to more of a bone shattering pure freestyle design. The ability to hold down insane levels of power before very easily releasing the edge for huge pop isn’t too far beyond most rider’s reach.


KW LIKED: Bags of grip, tons of speed and some of the most comfortable straps and pads on the market. 


KW WOULD CHANGE: More rocker and channeling would make it a little less technical to ride, but there are other boards in Airush’s range that offer that more relaxed, freeride feel.



Build quality: 9

Fixtures and fittings: 9.5

Speed: 9.5

Pop: 9

Drive: 8.5

Flex: 6 – It’s stiff but also thin and light so you can influence it quite easily.

Comfort: Foot strap comfort 10 / Board comfort 7 

Looseness: 4

Grip: 9

Upwind: 7.5 

Slider proof: NA 

Freeriding: 6.5

Freestyle: 9

Ease of use: Fast rider 9 – Intermediate 6


SIZES: 140 x 43, 138 x 42, 135 x 41cm

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