The Brunotti S-Brymm – Kiteboarding’s first ‘Soft Top’
TEST TEAM NOTES: Part of the S-Tech (soft tech) range, this S-Brymm 5’4’’ sits in the middle of the range, between the S-Bryck 4’10’’ and the S-Byron 5’10’’.
This is the first time we’ve ridden a soft top board for kiting. Although many a seasoned surfer will scoff at the idea of a soft top, it has so many benefits! The key elements of difference to note early on are of course the soft top, the robust plastic base and the super flexible fins.
The S-Brymm is a quad fin, snubbed nose foam decked, fairly wide shape with a generously wide tail, too. Incredibly stable, it ’s not tippy at all and you can virtually walk all over it without being thrown off too often. The comfort levels underfoot are insane too with the specially developed SG tech durable, grippy surface.
We rode the S-Brymm over a few summer sessions in the lagoon and in the small waist-high waves out the back at Hayling. We also had a hard time prizing it away from Bully’s instructors’ hands who were having a lot of fun attempting strapless tricks that they’d been seeing all summer done by Airton, Matchu and co.
If you’re thinking about buying your first surfboard, you should seriously consider a board like this. If you can get over the beginner-like image that soft tops carry over from surfing, you’ll learn a lot on it. There’s loads of stability but that looseness in the fins also makes it easy to ride. A gunny surfboard with lots of rear grip can be too technical to ride when you’re used to a twin-tip. You can edge this board more like a regular twin-tip and that looseness in the back let’s you get away with being unruly and gives you a better chance of staying onboard.
The S-Brymm is a bit more skimmy on top of the water than a traditional board, but in a nice way. Instead of opting to buy a cheap old surfboard because you’re not ready to fully commit financially to wave board riding, this offers a much more rewarding experience. The stability offered by this board means that keen riders could be nailing gybes within their first session or two. Not to mention the durability benefits. There’s no need to get a bag for this board and be really precious over it. It ’s not going to ding and it ’s not going to suffer if you scuff it on the beach or ride the fins into the sand.
Even Bully who has been riding for 15 years had a better time on this than a high-performance surfboard in the basic conditions we rode it in. It ’s so easy and playful. As the board is so soft and won’t smash your shins, and as it ’s so stable, you immediately have the confidence to try things with it. The flat rocker gets up to speed quickly and it ’s very easy to pop off the water without sticking at all. If anything we’d like to see a grab rail introduced as it is quite fat in your hands, but for airs it ’s awesome. Stomp down on your back foot and, as long as you get your front foot up, it ’s easy to get this board off the water. The soft deck for shuvits and the grip underfoot when you land back down really helps, too. If you land off centre, the board isn’t going to bite aggressively either, it ’s more forgiving, isn’t going to twist your ankle and offers more allowance for mistakes.
SUMMARY: Don’t expect to use it as a weapon at One Eye. Although you can snap a top turn reasonably well, there’s not much drive in the bottom turns. It ’s good enough for throwing around and smacking the faces of reasonable waves, but in essence it ’s for putting a big smile on your face in general everyday conditions. All our regular surfboards need repairs after a while. You could drop this out of the car, it will bounce and be fine. Bonus!
SIZES: 5’10’’, 5’4’’ and 4’10’’ rdp.brunotti.com