Haven't seen much info on this board so thought I'd knock together a review:
Rider name: Zac Andrews
Years kiting: 2 consistently on water, 7ish on land
Riding style: Wakestyle/boots
Water conditions: Flat, some choppier sessions
Wind conditions: 15-35ish knots
Board: Aboards X-series 137x42
I’ve been riding the 2010 aboards X-series for a few months so I think now is a good time to get a review up. I’ve had a load of sessions, varying from underpowered 12m weather in Portugal’s hairdryer wind, all the way through to nice powered winter 7m weather in horrible UK chop, and I have to say this board has handled all of these really well! It gets up on the plane early even with my boots adding a bit of extra weight to it, and when you’re powered it is super locked down, giving you the confidence to throw your tricks even in nasty conditions.
It’s a nice stiff board, and the pop is just insane. Even better than my old Naish thorn, and I thought that thing could never be outdone! However it still has enough rocker and flex to make landings comfortable on the knees, something my thorn really lacked. This makes riding in chop easy; for obvious reasons it isn’t going to be as comfortable as a free ride board, but being a free/wake style board you wouldn’t expect that to be the case. Booting massive powered airs off chop is super fun and the board provides such a nice stable platform that you have real confidence in stomping those landings. Also, the wide stance options and the extra inserts for boots make this board a really nice option for those like me who like that extra solidity.
I have to say in the flat is where this board really excels, when I first started riding it I was shocked a couple of times coming round on roll to reverts and front rolls and things just how high up I was! I ended up over rotating a lot of my attempts and so have had to slow down my rotations to stop maiming myself! The one thing you don’t need to worry about it catching an edge on this board when you land, the rounded corners really mean you would have to work hard to catch one on landing, and the supplied fins are only 4.5cm, so you don’t have great big dagger boards like certain other manufacturers seem obsessed with supplying!
Build quality of the board so far seems to be holding up excellently. Those people who know me will know I don’t treat my boards too well, I tend to ride them on the beach to put boots on/take boots off, and I’ve had this board a few times at the cable park hitting obstacles too! Apart from a few little knocks on the heel side edge and on the tips the board looks fine, the time on the obstacles is pretty much unnoticeable apart from a few tiny little brown marks on the base, and considering this is a bright white board I think that’s damn impressive! Obviously the snowboard construction and tough base are doing a good job, and I’m quite happy to continue as I have been treating it, I’m not worried about it breaking anytime soon.
If I had to change one thing on this board it would be just to give it a bit more rocker, but hopefully with the way kiteboard design is going at present that will be a feature of the 2011 X-series.
To conclude, if you are more of a free rider, take a look at the z series, still a good bit of pop but much more comfortable for riding distances in chop. However, freestylers looking for a bomb proof board with absolutely bags of pop look no further, this board is awesome
If anyone wants a go on one and you spot me at the beach (generally around Southampton but also in Wales during uni holidays) then please feel free to come and ask. That also counts for anyone wanting to try out boots, mine will fit up to a size 10/11 so feel free to ask
Drop me a pm if you want a go or if you want any more info
Alternatively for any aboards info (in the UK) check out Bracklesham Boardriders, Kitesurf and Kiteboarding Kites and Equipment in the UK! and the guys will sort you out with a demo. The aboards surf board is definitely on my most wanted list, it looks even nicer in the flesh than it does in pictures
If you're outside the UK check out www.aboards.eu