A few of us decided to grab some of the industry leading surfers and give you a little inside look and share our thoughts. Our main goal is obvious…we just want to ride behind our Nautique Boats G21 w/ NSS as much as humanly possible every week. We loaded the boat full of boards from Hyperlite, Slingshot, Ronix, Liquid Force, Byerly, and Inland Surfer. We even have a little sneak peak with a 2016 Slingshot that you’re sure to love!
*** Videos require buffering so just press play…wait till it’s fully buffered then press play again.
This was my first time riding one of Hyperlite’s Dura-Shell construction boards. The Dura-Shell construction really adds some needed durability to the surfer and also sheds a TON of weight off the board.A few things I noticed when picking up the board for the first time was the overall weight. Sucker is LIGHT. I also really liked that the board had a hard edge profile that ran tip to tail. For a skim-style board, this is essential since this style of board is typically pretty loose on the water. Finally, the fins. This surfer does not come with a traditional surf (fish-shaped) fin, instead it comes with 3 – 0.8” P-Wings that provide just enough grip while allowing you to free up the board easily for spins and shuv’s.
After my set on the board, I had to really adjust to how loose it was. I ran it with two of the 0.8” P-Wing fins in the outside positions. Centered up on the board it had just enough edge-hold to carve around without any worries, but if you started to cheat your feet towards either side of the board to gain more edge hold the board did free up unexpectedly causing me to slip out several times. Stay centered on the board and you’ll be able to cruise in the pocket, drift back, and set up for tricks very easily. Next time, I will try it with one center fin in the back to see if I like it better.
Overall, the Hi-Fi wasn’t my favorite ride ever since I tend to like surf-style boards over skim-style. But, if you’re into skim-style boards this one is going to be your jam! Pick one up and give it a shot…the 2015 Hyperlite Hi-Fi won’t disappoint.
The Ronix Koal Powertail was a good time after a bit of getting used too. At first, I kept slipping out on my toes at the top of the wave unexpectedly. It felt solid and stable at the bottom of the wave but as soon as I got to the top I would get sent to my face. Super weird, but it could’ve just been the fact that I haven’t ridden a different board in awhile. Other than that, I liked the big shape, it really added some stability and drive and with some time I think I’d really like it. I’ll give her another shot for sure!
The word “skim” usually denotes a board that is super loose on the surface of the water. Skim style wakesurfers are typically made for more advanced wakesurfers that want to be able to whip surface 360s, boost airs, and pop shuvits. And, although the Liquid Force TC Custom Skim is built for that, I was pleasantly surprised by how stable the board was. The board has a more locked in rail-to-rail feel that can be utilized when performing more surf style tricks. And, the board can easily be broken free when attempting skim style tricks. It’s a great all around board for both approaches.
I would recommend this board for riders that are looking for a more user-friendly skim style surfer or anyone that wants the best of both skim style and surf style worlds.
2015 Byerly Buzz / 2016 Slingshot Cobra Cat XR – Cole
Slingshot- The Slingshot Cobra Cat XR is a very responsive board. The deep channels along the edge of the board make for very quick turns from edge to edge. The wider squash tail gives it a lot of speed when pumping the wave and also makes for easy releases when trying airs. This board is great for someone who is looking to take there surf style riding to the next level! Byerly Buzz – The Byerly Buzz is by far the most easy riding surf style board out there. It’s shaped by the surfing legend himself, Scott Bouchard and you can tell cause it has those true surfy characteristics that you want in a board. The pin tail makes it very responsive when making quick turns and cuts at the wave. I rode with all 3 fins and it gave me plenty of drive to build speed but also was able to make the board release with ease. This board is a all around great surfer for anyone to ride.
For me…wakesurfing is about having fun and trying to capture the feel of riding a real surfboard on a real wave…and I get that when I’m on the Byerly Hazard. In my estimation, Butch is one of two true shapers in wake (the other being Jimmy Redmon). Butch’s serious ability as a shaper shows through in the Hazard. It’s highly maneuverable, it stays in the pocket well, it’s fast when you want it to be, you can stall it when you need to, and the surfer never wants to dive or pearl like some of the others I’ve ridden. The Hazard can be used in a variety of fin configurations. I like riding it as a quad.
My dark horse is defiantly the Blue Lake by Inland Surfer. Coming in at 8 pounds and 5’4″ it was the biggest and heaviest board in the group that we had and I thought no way this would be fun. After a few carves in I really enjoyed how responsive it was. I was able to throw it around and move towards and away from the boat with ease. The Blue Lake’s size is ideal for beginners to advanced riders no doubt and would make for a great wakesurfer that anyone can ride if you had to choose just one for the boat. My personal favorite and one you need to keep an eye out for is the 2016 Slingshot Cobra Cat XR. I was floored when it arrived just looking at it. The details are overly impressive like the Carbon Innegra Rails, traditional surf-style nose, and my new personal favorite FCSII fins. FCSII is designed for quick, easy and toolless fin customization which comes straight from the Surf Industry. Slingshot basically sent me a surf board from the future and I couldn’t wait to surf it. My first few rides I used the stock FCSII blue glassflex fins and I liked how the board performed. I felt in control and really enjoyed the speed and how the board reacted. The boys over at Alliance Wakesurf put me in contact with Matt Jones from Surf Hardware International and he sent me the new FCSII Neoglass fiberglass mold injected fins to try out with the board.
Upgraded FCSII Fins
FCSII Fins standard
So what’s the difference you ask? Tons of performance! The fins are a little stiffer and shaped thinner in profile which really made the board light and lively under my feet. If you want you can see the endless amount of options with FCSII fins…from injected to Carbon Fiber fins your options of riding feel are endless. I’m defiantly going to be putting some hours into the 2016 Slingshot Cobra Cat XR. This is one of those surfers that you can relax and ride or kickstart the accelerated rocker line and charge up and down the wave for a wicked expression session. Keep an eye out for this wakesurf board soon!