Super light, highly responsive full carbon stealth
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #92 IN MARCH, 2018
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We’ve long been testing CrazyFly’s high-end full carbon model and what a fine looker it is. There’s no denying that carbon is sexy, but we feel it’s often over-used when it comes to ride feel and connection, particularly for freestyle riders.
The Raptor LTD is very different to the two other boards on his spread, so offers a nice contrast and reflects just how much choice there is in the twin-tip market. There’s far from just a blanket approach here.
After seven years CrazyFly have changed the Raptor LTD shape with a new ellipse double concave in the base and double V tips. The Complex 4T5 carbon on the bottom is also new with a different weave for more flex without sacrificing strength. Less epoxy use has resulted in a further 100 gram weight saving. What was probably already the lightest board on the market now weighs in at just 2.2 kilos (that’s the 136 we tried – the 132 is just 2 kilos!).
So yes, this is a real design masterpiece and should be presented in a glass cabinet in kite shops, but it’s certainly very usable. We have always appreciated the LTD’s ultra-light-weight feel, giving your abs the least workout ever (particularly great for board-offs), we did feel that the offset was that it was just a bit unnecessarily stiff which is further accentuated by the relatively flat rocker.
For sure it was quick, but needed some good heel pressure to maintain a good rail, though it did always suit bigger riders for that reason. This year it’s not just light for the sake of being light, it’s still quick, but now more playful.
The new Nano Glide skin foil is a welcome addition for more durability to scratches and with its micro channels offers better grip on the surface of the water, especially when landing flat or gouging the full deck of the board into a wave face. Although the LTD does have more slippy moments than other pure freeride boards when you’re not focussing on your rail bite, there is certainly more user-friendliness now. The speed and performance are now better matched and the ‘feel’ underfoot is less stiff with better rider feedback.
The increased grip from the double V that runs all the way to the tip ends provides more character and feel at all angles. There’s now more of a constancy in rail grip when edging and if you could get this board in some flat butter, it’s going to be a joy.
We tried the LTD in both straps and boots. Though a board this thin and light is ideal for straps, we borrowed team rider Laci Kobulsky’s board that had boots on. You need to be a bit careful not to just stomp it too hard all the time, but wow, what a super-light sensation with boots and because there’s plenty of stiffness, you can actually push lots of take-off power through this board in boots.
CrazyFly’s Hexa straps and pads are very highly engineered with lots of underfoot grip and strap adjustments. Stiff at first, they last forever though and get more and more comfortable every session.
Another interesting note is that CrazyFly make all their products, from boards, to kites and bars in their own factory in Europe. The quality and attention to detail is top notch.
Material and shape refinements have added increased feel and rider control. Now more rewarding and more playful, the LTD retains its Formula One status for speed and bite and you don’t have to be heavy to get positive reactions.
Increased flex and comfort in what continues to be the lightest and most beautiful full production carbon board on the market.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The Raptor LTD is what it is for those who desire it. Smaller riders will want more flex and those looking to throw more pure wakestyle shapes will want more rocker and progressive feel.
RAPTOR BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9.5
Fixtures and fittings: 8.5
Slider proof: NA
Boots applicable: Yes, but not for the heaviest of wakestyle
Ease of use: 7.5
SIZES: 140 x 42, 136 x 41 and 132 x 41cm
GET TO KNOW THE RAPTOR BELOW