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DESIGNER’S CORNER: Best KB Signature Board

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Product Name: KB Signature Pro Model
Product Category Women’s specific twintip.
Sizes Available: 130 x 40cm
Release Date: December 2010

The KB Signature Pro Model is Best Kiteboarding’s response to the requests of female riders for a board that is ideally suited to their size, shape, weight, and preferred styles of riding. It is a freeride/freestyle board with a strong focus on easy handling, precise control, and comfort. While many women’s boards are simply downsized versions of larger men’s boards, every part of the KB Signature has been considered with women in mind. Pro rider Kristin Boese unveils what other changes we can expect for her signature board, now in its second year.

What design characteristics are considered when making a board specifically for women?

When making a board for female riders we really have to consider every aspect of it. What you don’t want to do is just shrink a men’s board as things don’t scale the same way in three dimensions as they do in two. So we started with no preconceptions about how to make the board; each design choice was tested. We tested several different sizes and variations of width and length based around my signature model from last year. A selection of five different bottom shapes were made, and the fastest and easiest to ride shape was selected. We refined the layup to give a little more pop, testing several variations of biaxial and unidirectional glass to blend torsional and tip to tip strength and flex. We then refined the stance widths and heel offset positions for the inserts and finally had one last round of tweaking the rail shape and outline to bring everything together. During the development phase I was also lucky enough to get some great input from some of our KB4girls participants around the world who got to try different prototypes and also had some influence in the graphic design process.

Photo Gavin Butler

Is the footpad and strap system different from what is offered on the Armada twin tip boards?

The KB-Signature uses the same insert and pad/strap combo as the Armada V2, so you get the comfort of the double density pad with a full-width air sole heel and also the ease of use of the fit block attachment system. The straps can be adjusted for very small feet so they work well for girls and women. The stance widths are much smaller than the Armada, trimming 5 cm off the width and also offsetting it towards the heel rail more. Biasing the inserts towards the heel rail means you can edge the board with less strain on your calf and Achilles tendon, especially if your legs are not super strong.

What are the most significant changes to the 2011 KB Signature Pro Model board compared to the previous model?

For the 2011 KB model we completely changed the construction. It has gained the deep section ABS rail for added durability. There’s a new PVC core surround, which places high-density foam around the rail and tips protecting the wood core and reducing swing weight. The inserts are all A4 stainless steel this season; previously they were marinized brass which is a little softer. Finally the top and bottom sheets are new, with a thick, hard high-gloss top sheet revealing sections of the wood core, while the underside gained a matte finish to help reduce drag and make the board plane as early as possible.

Will this board have a limited run like the 2010 model?

The KB Signature model is slated for a full production run this year. It will be available all year round.

What level of rider and type of conditions is this board best suited for?

The board is designed primarily for intermediate and advanced riders. Beginners may prefer a slightly bigger board in the beginning but will feel comfortable on the KB Signature very quickly. It’s as suitable for freestyle as it is for freeride and it will be the board I compete on this year in any freestyle competition, no matter if it is big air, wakestyle, or even boarder cross.

2011 Best KB Signature

Is there any reason why a woman would want to consider the Armada board range instead of this one?

If you are over 5’9” and 160 lbs. then you might be better off with a larger board. The 134 Armada is as close as you will get to the KB Signature model in a larger board. It is all personal preference though and I would suggest to every girl to try the KB Signature model and make up her mind on the water.

Anything else you would like to say about this product?

Being able to develop a girl’s specific board and to do so with the input of so many other female kiters around the world has been an amazing process and experience for me, which I enjoyed very much. I have just as passionately worked on the KB Signature model as I have worked on setting up KB4girls and am very happy that Best is backing up my efforts to support female kiters around the world in such an awesome way.

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