Sizes Tested: 5’6” x 19.12” x 2.31”
While the test team has long been big fans of FCD’s Shrike model, this year we tested the Kite Boar which is a kitesurfing specific version of FCD’s popular Wild Boar surfboard. Built to tackle a wider range of conditions than the high-performance Shrike shape, the Kite Boar isn’t quite a true groveler because it still has precision performance that’s just a bit more lively for smaller mushier conditions.
Design and Features
Shaped out of Marko composite ‘iFoam,’ FCD has found an superb material that combines chop-dampening control, flex and maneuverability to meet the demands of kiteboarding while retaining that perfect blend of flex and stiffness. The Kite Boar features power rods routed into the bottom, which is basically a carbon rope that goes from the nose all the way down the rails and into finboxes which adds to the strength and durability while keeping the flex and the weight very reasonable. With a single concave down the center, the Kite Boar offers more width in the template in the front and mid-section compared to the Shrike and has slightly volume in the deck and rails for some extra float paired with a diamond tail and a five-fin Futures setup. We rode the Kite Boar as a quad setup with the Bureo’s F6 fins.
From the moment we jumped on the Kite Boar, it was easy to understand why many of FCD’s team riders have gravitated to this board in lighter wind and sub-standard waves. The Kite Boar feels really active and ready to slash turns in waves and chop of any size with super easy turn initiation. Compared to the Shrike, the template is a bit wider and this makes it feel a bit more poppy and active at slower speeds – more like a potato chip that loves to launch airs nimbly off any piece of chop. With a bit more volume in the rails, the Kite Boar feels like it has noticeably more volume underfoot which helps when you are riding with less power in your kite, or for riders who are a bit larger and need some extra float to get going.
The top speed of the Boar didn’t feel as fast as the Shrike’s performance template, but the Boar’s extra rocker makes the board feel more active. If the Shrike handles high speeds with lots of control yet can sometimes feel stiff in super small and mushy surf, the Kite Boar eats the mush up and allows you to slash and carve actively with style in sub-standard conditions. If felt like the Kite Boar provided a little extra glide out of its wider shape which is more forgiving to get around sections or help you skate through lulls or bad kite positioning and still connect with the lip. Like the other boards in the FCD lineup, the Kite Boar’s construction fixates on finding the right balance between flex and strength which lends to an active feel that doesn’t feel overly stiff or tinny as some epoxy boards tend to be.
In terms of strapless airs, the tail rocker allows for extremely easy load and pop that requires less finesse and energy to get a clean high-amplitude launch into the air. Because the iFoam construction and layup is impressively light, the Boar levitates against the wind on longer jumps and sticks to your feet through bigger jumps and rotations. When you couple the Boar’s punting skills with its light weight, it probably scores slightly higher for strapless tricks than the Shrike.
For those riders who wish to stay committed to a traditional surf outline, the Kite Boar is a wanted addition to the FCD lineup that leaves the Shrike dominating high-performance down the line waves, while the Kite Boar specializes in smaller to medium sized waves with slightly more user-friendly handling for aerials and tricks. Bigger riders who want a little more volume and earlier planing should think about demoing the Kite Boar and riders that spend more time in choppy river conditions or small to medium-sized beach break should seriously consider this great all-arounder that’s fun in just about every condition.
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