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2014 Buyer’s Guide: Xenon

Photo courtesy Xenon

Photo courtesy Xenon

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Get full 2014 gear info from 28 brands in the TKB 2014 Buyer’s Guide.

Xenon’s mission is to create an alternative that will satisfy the most demanding riders by providing boards that stand out in quality, comfort, and innovation. They only offer boards as they feel this allows them to completely focus on crafting outstanding products. For 2014 Xenon completely overhauled their twin tip models and added a new surfboard to the line. USA distributor Bill Repetto and Xenon’s new international sales manager Arek Jerzelkowski provided more detail on what is going on with Xenon for 2014.

The Rayo and Laluz twin tips now have new shapes featuring step-free construction. What does this mean?
The fundamental idea behind this concept is to eliminate weak points in the shape of the board. To achieve this we eliminated all of the thickness steps in the boards so that every transition from the thinnest to the thickest dimension is smooth and bump free unlike most of the boards on the market today. Engineering the shapes this way allowed us to reduce the overall thickness of the boards resulting in very light boards without compromising their strength.

Infra_01

Xenon’s flagship twin tip board, the Laluz, was completely redesigned for 2014. What changed and what differences will previous riders notice the most?
The 2014 Laluz has a completely new shape that features step-free construction, but the first thing you will notice is the weight. It’s significantly lighter than any previous Laluz. The updated model also has a new bottom contour with a single concave running through the middle that transitions to a double V in the tips with water outflow channels. The sidewalls are 50% thinner compared to the last model and we changed the core construction in the tips by adding a strip of high density IREX foam to our Paulownia wood core to improve flex.

What’s also very unique and important for the performance of this board is the fact that every single Laluz size has its own mold. Most board lines use a more traditional approach where all the sizes are scaled and built out of one mold. All the changes in the construction were made to achieve better performance and to keep as high a comfort level as possible. The feeling of this board on the water is really special and it’s hard to describe. It’s something that you just have to try for yourself!

Photo courtesy Xenon

Photo courtesy Xenon

How is the 2014 Rayo different from the Laluz? Why would you recommend this board for a rider over the Laluz?
We upgraded the new Rayo with most of the technical solutions from the new Laluz, so the 2014 Rayo is a completely new board as well. The two boards have different overall characteristics acquired by different flex patterns, outlines in the tip area, and fin sizes. The Rayo has softer flex, is offered in larger sizes, and has a mellower user-friendly ride compared to more aggressive Laluz. It’s a great choice for less experience riders and is also cheaper as the Rayo doesn’t feature carbon fiber in its construction.

Were any changes made to the Infra? Who is this board best suited for?
The most important changes to the Infra for 2014 are the flex pattern and the overall strength of this board. Based on feedback from team rider and former PKRA World Champion Andy Yates the Infra has been stiffened up by 50% compared to 2013 version. The amount of pop this board offers now is just ridiculous. It’s definitely not a board for beginners. The Infra is the right choice for new school freestyle riders.

Photo Dominik Sadowski

Photo Dominik Sadowski

Tell us about Xenon’s pad and strap system.
Our straps are super adjustable so even big footers with thick booties will find them very comfortable. We also added a slight toe grip and a small tail kick to improve grip and control. Our straps are 25% lighter and the pads are 40% lighter than previous years. We believe they are the lightest in the industry and they will not break down as quickly as some other designs.

Xenon also has two surf models, the Prisma and Vidra. Starting with the Prisma, what types of conditions will this board excel in?
The Prisma has been designed as an all-around kite surfboard for those looking for a one-does-all surfboard. Use it strapless or with straps for wave riding or freestyle tricks in flat water, messy waves, or proper swells. This board is just really easy to ride and control in all conditions. With five fin boxes the Prisma can be set up as a quad or thruster.

Prisma_top_complete

Why would a rider prefer the Vidra instead?
The Vidra should be the choice for those who are lucky enough to ride proper waves most of the time. This shape prefers big, fast, clean waves. It’s snappy, very fast rail to rail, and offers excellent vertical projection.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We will soon add a new board to our surf range designed to catch waves with our without a kite in average everyday conditions. Developed in cooperation with Semente Surfboards and shaped by Nick Uricchio, the Semente will come in one size (6’0” with 32.5 liters of volume). The Semente will feature the lightest construction in our entire surfboard range and is dedicated to strapless riding. Despite the fact that it’s a large board, it still rides and responds like a conventional short board with lots of control, even in strong wind conditions. This board has a very modern feel to it even though it is based on a classic surf look. Give it a try!

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