The KW review of Jason Slezak’s long-running pro model
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #91 IN JANUARY, 2018
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We managed to test both sizes of the Legacy: the 136 in the UK in good nine metre boosting conditions and the 141 in Cape Town in a good swell and in two sessions of 15 and 25 knots.
The pro model of veteran all-rounder Jason Slezak, who was one of the original Hatteras pro rider ‘back in the day’ and a key character in developing the Triple-S contest, he’s also been with Liquid Force pretty much since day one. He worked closely with designer Jimmy Redmon to create a board for all conditions, not just the wakestyle crew. The Legacy looks stunning with its full vector net carbon weave, interesting split V tips and simple but fresh graphics. It’s certainly not heavy either but does feel strong without carrying the substantial weight of an out-and-out wakestyle board.
In fact this doesn’t feel like a wakestyle board, it’s so easy and smooth. As the Legacy doesn’t run at a really high pace, it always feels steezy, playful, soft and forgiving in difficult conditions. That comfort translates into great handling at its top end in both sizes. The 136 feels tight and compact but likes to be powered, especially when ridden in boots. For boots riding we’d recommend opting for the bigger 141 as it’s still easy to engage the rail and control it, but also offers a bit more float. If you’re over 70 kilos, whether you’re riding in straps or boots, go for the 141 as it can also hold lots of power and won’t feel too big.
The Legacy impressively blends good performance for both strapped and boots riding. The pop isn’t as explosive as other more focussed freestyle boards in the LF range, but most riders will find the performance very easy to dial into as it’s got a progressive feel through the tips in release. Where the Legacy really excels though is on landings. Whether you’re in boots or straps, when you’re coming in hot, the Legacy really helps you out – it’s like your mum’s there just waiting to catch you and make sure you don’t fall over. We were saved several times from going over the front when landing heavily with too much weight on the front foot and the Legacy just kept the impact soft and allowed us to pull the nose up. There’s enough looseness in feel to add a lovely playfulness without making intermediate riders find it too skatey. All this adds up to you making a higher percentage of landings when touching down with the board a bit sideways.
The Legacy also carves wonderfully, especially in straps, and it’s noticeably fun turning on your toeside. You can draw relatively tight and wide turns without having to work your legs too hard at all. The 141 especially has plenty of float to carry you through a turn a little further than you might expect and you’re then able to smash any little wave faces as it feels light underfoot and smooth on its rail.
LF have launched a new pad and strap set-up for 2017 / 18 that is one of the softest strap systems we’ve tried. The pads are really comfortable with good grip contours while the straps offer good coverage over a wide portion of the foot with lots of adjustment. Some aggressive riders may however look for a bit more of a locked-in sensation and less forgiveness. It’s all personal preference when it comes to straps though, and Jim was really happy with the softness of these for his riding.
In terms of speed, the Legacy is a mid-paced board. Not being super quick and grippy, it always feels comfortable, capable and controlled, but athletic riders will need to use a bit more technique to really generate the huge levels of pop they want. Essentially, this board is as easy and comfortable as a boots / straps cross-over board gets and yet carries with it lots of character and wakestyle steezy heritage. It’s ideal for intermediates and above. Beginners and early intermediates will still like a little more locked-in directional feel.
Smooth control in all areas and comfortable flex on landings.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
All good really. Some people will want a more focused and locked-in, stiffer strap.
LEGACY BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8.5
Fixtures and fittings: 8
Slider proof: Occasional
Boots applicable: Yes
Ease of use: 8.5
SIZES: 143 x 43 and 136 x 41.7