No-one can guarantee wind or waves, but for 2020, Duotone’s got the tools to make sure that when they do show up, you’ll have the perfect session time after time. The passion and precision poured into this year’s line of kite-surf boards by Sky Solbach has got their wave riders chomping at the bit and beyond stoked. Six phone calls later and all of them filled with excitement for the range, here’s what these absolute shredders had to say.
“SKY HAS DELIVERED A PURE, STRAPLESS FREESTYLE BOARD THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE AND OPENED DOORS FOR MY OWN PROGRESS AND PERFORMANCE, SWELL AS ANYONE LOOKING TO RIDE THIS STYLE.”
‘The PRO VOKE was introduced as we grew the kite-surf strapless freestyle discipline. I always knew that I could bring the twin tip trick-list to surfboards. The new construction and updated design features are amazing. The Responsive Flex construction is powerful, agile and versatile. The channels slice through the water and the speed vs control ratio is balanced. It’s perfect for me and anyone looking to get into strapless freestyle.
‘When it comes to wave riding the PRO SESSION 5’8” is my board of choice. It took me to the top in Mauritius and can handle my input in critical situations. It sticks through the power bottom turns and attacks the lip. The redefined outline and construction this year is great in strong winds and can handle the chop that big waves bring.’
‘THE 2020 PRO WAM IS THE FERRARI OF THE KITE-SURF WORLD. IT’S A CLASSIC SURF SHAPE THAT I CAN POP, GET THE FINS OUT AND SPIN 360 IN THE AIR.’
The PRO WAM 5’7” is the first big board I’ve chosen to use. It’s a Ferrari. You can take it anywhere, to any wave and it delivers what I want even in the most critical sections. It’s as good in strapless freestyle as it is in the waves and I can even paddle surf with it. It’s a classic surf shape that I can pop, get the fins out and spin 360 in the air.
It’s a completely new shape this year. Sky has moved the widest point forwards and it never catches a rail. The bottom part is narrow for carves, turns and fins out.
The widest part is super cool for two things; support and speed. If I need to advance and reach the next section of the wave all I have to do it push down on my front foot to gain speed. Then when I want to perform I put my weight back on the tail and make my moves.
The squash tail is super effective, it really follows my lead. I can go vertical, carve tight bottom turns and when there’s turbulence on the wave the board is very stable.
Second to the PRO WAM is the PRO WHIP, perfect for small to medium waves and great for strapless freestyle. The PRO WAM is more of a performance wave riding board where I can really be critical and aggressive in my riding. It can also hold bigger sized waves and has lot of drive in the tail. The PRO WHIP, is fun, forgiving and all better in light wind and smaller waves.
‘THE PRO SESSION IS MY GO-TO BOARD WHEN THE WAVES GET OVERHEAD’
‘The PRO SESSION is a really good board for big, fast and hollow waves, handling choppy conditions really well. For 2020, the rocker line is a bit flatter and rails quite a bit straighter, both features the keep you super connected to the wave face. This year we decided to add a bite more curve in the rail near the nose to make turns easier. We also added quad fins which give the board more stability at high speeds and faster in general. The PRO SESSION is my go-to board when the waves get over head. When the waves are a bit smaller I’d switch to the PRO WAM which is lighter and a big more agile’
‘THE PRO FISH IS AS CLOSE TO SURFING YOU’LL EVER GET ON A KITE.’
The PRO FISH is pure surfing in light wind and small waves. There’s so much volume that makes every ride effortless. Its ‘fish’ shape makes it loose, surf-like and perfect if you’re starting out in strapless.
When waves are still small but I’m overpowered, I use the 5’2” WHIP in the standard Bamboo Tech construction. Less volume than the PRO version, the bamboo makes it stiffer and therefore easier to engage the edge in the bottom turn.
‘THE 5’7” PRO WAM IS THE SAME SIZE AND SHAPE AS MY PADDLE SURFBOARD. I CAN TRANSFER MY SURFING TO KITESURFING, I LOVE HOW IT BRIDGES THAT GAP FOR ME.’
‘I COME FROM SURFING BACKGROUND SO I REALLY LIKE HOW THE PRO WHIP IS STABLE UNDER MY FEET, ESPECIALLY FOR STRAPLESS FREESTYLE; IT’S ALSO A LITTLE RIPPER IN THE WAVES WITH A LOT OF KICK TO IT.’
“The PRO WHIP is our jumping board in the range but also perfect for those who want to ride waves. Awesome for strapless freestyle because it has the cut-off nose, more surface area than and traditional surfboard so it stays stuck to your feet through all the tricks. It’s also a little ripper in the waves with a lot of kick to it. It’s super fun in small waves. Short punchy sessions, that’s what it’s about. I come from surfing background so I really like something that’s stable under my feet in strapless freestyle, but I love getting in the waves to kick a little shred session. I love that little board.
I’m pretty tough on my gear as I land hard and I’m quite a bit bigger than other people. The extra rocker really helps cut to the water when you land, which is important for my style. I like to put a lot of pressure through the rails on the wave and through the turns and the PRO WHIP holds well and doesn’t skip out. When competing in Mauritius, the PRO WHIP was really fun, super technical and my board of choice in under head high. When the waves got overhead I rode the WAM, for more rail and support underfoot. But generally I’d stick with the PRO WHIP as you can pretty much do anything you want that board.”
This article first appeared on Duotone’s website here.