Carved offers three boards in its lineup but don’t let that fool you. Customization is the specialty of this 30-year-old, high performance carbon board maker based out of Germany where attention to detail is king and every board is painstakingly finished by hand. What makes a Carved board so special? Phil Janke tells us why he thinks you should check out Carved.
CARVED HAS BUILT UP QUITE A FOLLOWING OF LOYAL RIDERS WHO RAVE ABOUT THE UNIQUENESS OF THE FEEL OF A CARVED BOARD. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE MAKES A CARVED BOARD STANDOUT AGAINST THE COMPETITORS?
Look under the hood of our latest masterpiece, the Imperator 6, and you’ll find 30 years of R&D. Yes, 30 years! We’ve experimented with just about every production method and material out there to improve our boards and when we couldn’t procure the best materials, we had it made just for us. We’ve concluded that one cannot mass produce an engineering marvel like our Imperator 6. Our Cartan® Carbon, unibody boards are built by hand in small numbers—some of them even feature personalized dimensions, colors and other features tailored to the owner’s unique riding preferences. What else makes us unique, you ask? We could go on for hours, so let’s focus on our proprietary materials, our innovative unibody design, and our custom sizing.
Carved Customs’ success has a lot to do with the company’s endless search for the finest materials and processes available. For example, we’ve tested just about every known carbon fiber cloth. Not satisfied with the performance from off-the-shelf cloth, we had carbon fiber cloth made to our specifications. We call it Cartan® Carbon. Our proprietary, tight weave, low resin, 30° biaxial carbon (in contrast to traditional 90°) fiber weave optimizes board torsion and dynamic longitudinal flex in a way traditional cloth cannot. And it’s partly responsible for those endless smiles and overwhelmingly positive test results.
Nothing polarizes opinion like board weight. Especially here in Germany where kiteboarders often discount important characteristics like durability and comfort. Any shaper will tell you it’s easy to build a light board. But will a lightweight board be durable and comfortable to ride? Could this contradiction be reconciled? “Absolutely,” suggests Bernd Hiss, our founder. Under his direction, we developed a unique production method eight years ago called vacuum infusion. It involves a carbon fiber lamination process that feeds a hardened resin mixture through pressurized hoses which is later suctioned away in a vacuum. The unique Cartan® Carbon unibody construction method is a masterstroke in production technology and another example of our relentless innovation.
We’ve covered a couple of reasons why we feel our products are so popular. But for some customers, their perfect board may be a half size smaller. Fortunately, at Carved Customs, anything can be modified. Just order a custom tailored board and in six weeks, your ‘forever’ board arrives at your door in your favorite size and color.
ALL CARVED BOARDS ARE CUSTOM FINISHED. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT QUALITY CONTROL IN RELATION TO YOUR CUSTOMERS GETTING BOARDS WITH A CONSISTENT FEEL AND PERFORMANCE?
We carefully control build quality throughout the entire process with multiple checks by experienced hands to create works of performance art. For example, one of the first steps in our manufacturing process is to examine the hand-selected Paulownia wood planks for grain purity and imperfections. The wood must then pass a moisture content measurement before it is milled. We prefer the accuracy of CNC milling over simple pressing of the wood. The finished wood core receives a thorough inspection before the pad, fin and grab handle inserts are mounted. And a final check is performed before the carbon fiber layup to ensure no splinter, rough edge, or milling byproduct interferes with the next stage of assembly.
In one of the last steps of our building process, we sand the unique rails of the Imperator 6 by hand. No machine could possibly match the precise sanding pattern along a curved edge with varying thickness. The Imperator 6’s new hard rail design releases water better at speed thereby reducing drag. We do it with a ‘round edge with a corner’ that leverages the Coandă effect—a rounded rail helps riders carve buttery smooth turns. Control mechanisms, measurements, and inspections continue through the entire building process ending in a final inspection by our production managers to verify that the final shape and quality corresponds to our customer’s data sheet. What few of our competitors may know, there is no way to build bespoke kiteboarding equipment without a comprehensive inspection and QC program as we have at Carved Customs to ensure dimensional perfection. THERE’S A LIGHT WIND MODEL IN THE LINE CALLED THE IMPERATOR LW. WHAT ARE THE DESIGN SPECS THAT MAKE THIS BOARD SUCH A GREAT OPTION ON LOWER WIND DAYS?
The master craftsmen from the island powerhouse of Fehmarn have raised the bar with the new LW edition which features similar advancements as the Imperator 6. Available in 145, 151 and 157cm, the new Imperator 6 LW editions will leave an impression. The smallest size will feel like a much smaller board given its super light weight. And the bigger size will get you planing on a ripple. With special outlines, super light unibody construction, hand-finished rails, and a few other tricks, the new LWs will transform a mild day into a memorable one.
WHAT ARE THE PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TANTRUM AND THE IMPERATOR 6? WHEN WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE TANTRUM OVER THE IMPERATOR?
The Tantrum 6 is Carved Customs’ latest handcrafted, carbon fiber masterpiece. A work of art and function that blends the finest carbon fiber—Cartan® Carbon—and the latest Unibody design into an ultralight, bulletproof wakestyle monster. Although pro wakestylers look for boards with serious load and pop, solid edging and naturally, reinforced boot inserts, they also have specific personal tastes—tastes as unique as their style. Carved Customs addresses this diversity with custom-fitted boards that harness the incredible energy wakestylers bring to their trade.
Over the last 15 years, the iconic Imperator has established its place in the twin tip market: bespoke (madeto- order) twin tips, a category reserved for ultra-premium, custom-made Cartan® Carbon twin tips for the discerning buyer. Carved Customs riders know the Imperator 6 stands for craftsmanship, rideability, and the performance you’d expect from a Carved Customs twin tip.
In comparison to the Imperator 6, the Tantrum 6 features sharper rails, a beefier Paulownia wood core, more parallel outlines and the Tantrum energy you’ve heard about. Both boards feature a distinctive hard keel that almost runs the full length of the board. It cuts through impossible chop and delivers unmatched comfort. Concaves straddle the hard keel on both boards and effectively generate additional grip when loading the edge. It’s a simple decision for discerning buyers. The Tantrum 6 if you use boots. Otherwise, stick with the iconic, all black Imperator 6.
THE BURNER IS YOUR FIRST DIRECTIONAL OFFERING. WHAT TYPE OF RIDER WILL GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS BOARD? CAN THIS BOARD ALSO BE CUSTOMIZED?
The Burner is Carved Custom’s directional, allrounder. It’s designed by our shapers in Fehmarn and built in Portugal. The board’s distinctive rocker and classic short board d
esign work equally well in chaotic wind-driven waves or butter smooth reef waves while its medium width smooths out the chop and cuts through rough shore break. The moderate tail rocker and slightly increased volume in both the nose and tail give the Burner its speed which it holds through the lulls. The rails are soft in the middle and sharper towards the tail for hard cutbacks and slashy turns. All Burner directional come with a FCS II fin set.
Like all Carved Customs boards, you can customize the Burner to your own specific needs which is unique for a directional board manufacturer.
CORE’S ULTRA FOOTSTRAPS AND PADS USE SNOWBOARD BINDING TECHNOLOGY WHICH MAKES ADJUSTING THEM ON THE FLY SUPER EASY AND EFFORTLESS. WHAT ELSE MAKES THIS SYSTEM STANDOUT AMONGST YOUR COMPETITORS?
Yes, the new Carved Ultra was the first binding to feature fingertip control with a snowboard inspired tongue and clickbuckle system for the ultimate in strap adjustability even ‘on the fly.’ The Ultra’s pad offers the comfort of your favorite pair of sneakers. Memory foam not only adjusts to your foot but supports it for more comfortable landings. The Ultra’s straps are also adjustable in both x and y-axis without tools. Want to move your straps closer to your toes? No problem, the easy to adjust tongues are accessible, even one-handed in the water. With two stance positions on the x-axis (board length), 11 angle options and six options in the y-axis (board width), we don’t think there is a pad system that’s more adjustable than the Ultra’s.