What inspired the new refinements on the 2014 Skater?
The main inspiration for the 2014 Skater was the feedback from our team riders. We were looking for a board that would excel in small onshore surf and flat water, with or without straps.
How does the Skater adjust to both riding styles (strapped & strapless)?
With just the right balance of outline curve, lots of tail kick, and fairly full rails, the Skater provides stability and a lively, loose feel for lower speed strapless riding while still holding in at speed and when pushed hard off the rails when riding with straps. It can be tricky to have a board that is “snappy” and “loose” at low speeds while not becoming bouncy or hard to control in bigger surf, stronger winds or when riding fast and powered up as one normally does during strapped riding. With the Skater, we have found a really good balance. These boards are comfortable to ride no matter how you choose to ride them, though the majority of Skater riders seem to prefer riding strapless most of the time…
The inserts are positioned to place your foot straps where your feet would normally be when you’re riding strapless, allowing the board to perform in a similar way with or without straps.
You increased the tail kick in the rocker even more this year – why this decision and how much of a difference does it make from last year’s model?
The increased tail kick allows for better response to rider’s input. It allows for really “snappy” small radius turns off the fins, which is what you want to do in small waves and onshore conditions. You can really “drive” off your back foot, allowing for very vertical bottom turns as well as releasing the tail when coming off the top of the wave, allowing for very tight rotations off the lip, even at pretty high speeds.
Is the end result everything you hoped for?
Yes the board is definitely an amazing all round wave board for small to medium size wave and onshore conditions. The Skater is an awesome choice for riders that are experienced waveriders or are new to directional kiteboarding.