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I had considered an LMG board for some time, but the board I was riding, a custom LabRat 140 proto, that I was stoked on seemed to be holding up OK. What I liked about the LabRat proto was that it could be rode very powered up, was super light, was great in chop and was fast. Unfortunately, as a result of it's lightweight divinycell and fiberglass construction it had a finite lifespan and hard Bay and Delta riding eventually got the better of this board.
I thought about what I liked about this board and what else I wanted to have in a board to make it even better. A slightly wider design for more planing ability, increased tail volume for more pop and reverse rails for a cleaner release seemed to be what was missing.
I approached Greg Boyington, maker of LMG kiteboards, with my ideas and asked if he'd be willing to make me a board with those specs. What I described was very similiar to a board he had already made, so we modified a few details and within two weeks the board was done.
Specs are 141cm overall length, 127cm planing surface, 35.5cm wide, concave bottom, carbon-reinforced flip tips, divinycell core with a carbon/kevlar wrap, top grip rails, reverse rails, and a wide 23" on-center stance. In this case I supplied the Slingshot pads, NSI straps and Best 2" fins, although Greg usually supplies and installs these items himself.
It did occur to me while it was being built, "What if i don't like it?" You never know, sometimes as good as something is, it just doesn't suit you. After I got my first ride on it, all worries were dispelled as it performed well and wasn't radically different from what I was used to. Just better.
My first ride was at a launch were instant upwind attitude is required and I was not dissappointed. Right away I noticed that the board rode upwind well, as good as my previous board, but then with a little extra heel pressure noticeably pointed upwind very well. Upwindability is very strong in this design.
Riding fast in chop is a breeze. The outline, rocker, concave bottom and flip tips combine to make this a fast board with quite a bit of directional stability that is not hindered by excessive chop. Smooth and fast.
Bottom turns are solid with a lot of grip, and catching fins during transitions are not a problem, although the board doesn't have the skatey feel you'd find in a wider, shorter board with a bit less rocker. The board definetely has more pop than my previous board did, making low-altitude wake-style moves easier and more powerful. As you can hold a lot of kite and edge hard, my jumps have been a bit higher as well. Not hugely higher, but there's a difference. Nice amount of flex, not too much, just enough.
I'd expect the board to hold up well with the carbon/kevlar wrap and carbon-reinforced tips. For comparison, my previous board was also built around a divinycell core, but was all fiberglass and epoxy, certainly light, but not as strong as this one. Note the trick foam spacers in the grab rail in between the footpads and deck. My toes fit perfectly into the front grab rail when in the "Sending!", or "Oh Shit!" situations. The foam grab rail is a nice touch as well.
In summary, the board has met and exceeded my expectations and is a killer stick. I'm glad I went for it and got one. If you've ridden many boards you've liked, but were lacking in certain areas, and you know what you want, this is the way to go for you. You will get exactly what you want.
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
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