, bringing new performance to kiteboarding.
First a bit of history, Waterboards is the creation of Lloyd T. Northup III, or Lloyd
. Lloyd has been into
board sports since age 7 when his brother gave him his first long surfboard in Newport, RI. He moved
on to snowboarding in about 1973 using a Snurfer (a 4 inch wide plank with a nose rope!). Lloyd was into
snowboard prototyping even then. Stuff with sophisticated bindings too, like inner tube rubber nailed to boards
or uh the deck, surgical tubing, etc.. He even went through bans and certification, e.g. Killington kicked the
boarders out in his fourth season. Lloyd got his first fiberglass board in 1980 made by Steve Derrah, a
true Pre-Jake Burton snowboarding pioneer. Lloyd used to be a team rider for Derrah. Lloyd even got his
picture in a national snowboarding magazine in 1983 (to appear on here soon).
Lloyd poses with his board design.
Some of the unusual performance qualities of the board are tied to the tappered flex tips. I understand that
Waterboards has had only one broken board in the last 50, despite the light appearence of the design.
Checkout the bend in the board. This is an important aspect that creates a lot of the intriguing handling properties
of the board.
Some early impressions about comparative performance follow after some limited sessions on Waterboards:
1. Landings are softer with the cushioning effect of the flip tips.
2. Edging requires less exertion against a building gust.
3. It is easier to land hot on the water.
4. A reduced tendency to skip or judder on marginal impacts or when fairly overpowered as compared to a normal rigid board.
5. It rides well to windward.
I would like to spend more time on the boards in varied conditions to better develop these impressions.
What have other folks experienced out there with Waterboards?
Waterboards can incorporate some pretty intriguing graphics.
Pending hearing about that, here's a blast from the past.
This is a 25 year old fiberglass wakeboard fabricated by Lloyd well before the thin twintip design so popular today.
Lloyd wants to try this puppy out with a kite, retro-gear here we come! Hey I want Max Headroom on my board too.
Another old wakeboard creation of Lloyd. It looks like a tow-in board, hmmm so this is where they got the
idea from!? Lloyd next moved on to fabricating much thinner compression molded boards. He
then went heavily into construction for quite a while. Guess what? Lloyd's back!
He first noticed kiteboarders on the ocean in 1998 and started to pay attention to the sport. He took the
jump into the sport in 2001 with a 23 m inflatable as a starter kite?
He has refined compression molded fabrication of kiteboards with a Divincell core and some intriguing
flex tips or as he likes to call them, "beavertails." A BIG feature are custom board graphics, YOUR
graphics to be specific. If you have an image of something, Lloyd can place it on your board. Guys have
been working up some pretty interesting (bizarre) graphics too.
Lloyd tells me the flextips deliver softer landings, better pop in jumps, more effective bleeding off of power
and better carving. They come out of the vacuum apparatus at about 4 to 5 lbs. in weight.
Waterboards has been preparing and DONATING these excellent trophies to various kiteboarding competitions,
e.g. the Bahamas Crossing, Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion, Tampa Boardercross, etc.. Waterboards also
donated a board to the recent Kiteforum 300,000 Messages Contest.
Teamriders for Waterboards have been doing well including Alex winning the first ever boardercross competition
in Florida held in Tampa. Ray Leroy won the second boarder cross comp. held in Tampa bay. Mike Bradley
came in third in the boardercross comp. held in Miami. Pretty good for a new kiteboard works! I hope we
can hear from these three guys in posts to this thread with their impressions about Waterboards.
Waterboards visits the Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion.
Waterboards has the ability to place almost any image you can dream up on your board for a nominal cost
(and on the board bag provided).
An example of a board bag.
I asked Lloyd where is was going in development currently. He said he is working on some hybrid, directional
boards for wave riding and downwinders. He is also working on a full concave board for faster riding.
Sounds real interesting, looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.
The Waterboards price for standard graphics on a premade board is currently about $550. USD. Custom
graphics are only $75. extra. Boards can also be made within a length and width range. Waterboards is
in effect a custom board boutique complete with unique graphics.
Lloyd is currently looking for teamriders both in the USA and abroad. They will get boards below retail
and will receive 10% off for any board they sell.
and ... for something a little different.
I was helping Amaila with some photos to suppliment her acting & modeling portfolio. Something new for me
as I usually shoot riders on the water, fish & reef and snow, in no particularly order (or at the same time).
She said she liked surfing. So, I handed her a board and said "hold this."
Looking good Amaila! I understand that she recently negotiated key singing roles in a few movies while
working on an Architectural degree. She is always on the lookout for good acting, modeling and singing
More Waterboards info and images of boards at waterboards.net.