2011 Compact | New School Wave
Airush International caught up with designer Clinton Filen to get the lowdown on the new Compact prior to the 2011 launch.
What is the lowdown on theCompact?
It’s a new “compact” shape in 5’2” and 5’6” that suits higher wind, bigger surf or powered and strapped riding.
How would you compare the feel and performance to a more classic shape such as the Converse?
In bigger surf it draws an easier straight line and more stable bottom turn, and off the top the tail sits deeper allowing you to snap even with a lot of speed and power. Basically, it’s designed for going fast and driving powerful turns.
What are the key characteristics in the shape that give it the distinct feel over something like the Converse?
At 18 ½” (47cm) wide you would compare the 5’6” Compact to a 6’1” Converse.
You can look at the outline in three key areas: the straighter hip section and narrower tail keeps the board stable at speed and allows you to drive a fast turn, the fuller nose keeps area in front of the rider, so you can drive off your front foot on the bottom turn, and the rounded pin and overall compact outline help the board snap off the top.
The rocker is flatter than the converse as this helps the rider to keep speed through the bottom turn and up the wave face.
A spiral V bottom shape gives the Compact the “rail to rail”, allowing the rider to maintain pressure and drive when rolling forward into the bottom turn – a critical point in bigger surf or choppier conditions.
The rails remain relatively full, specifically due to the shorter nose. A fuller rail allows you to drive forward, without pushing the nose too deep into the water, which could slow you down.
How did the idea evolve?
The idea was a synergy of quite a few people defining how they wanted to ride in a variety of conditions around the world.
In its simplest form, Mark Pattison (our kite designer) spends most of his time in smaller surf and high wind. He wanted a board that fit in the back of his car, and he considered cutting the nose off his Converse. But more seriously, Jim Gaunt mentioned a growing crop of south coast riders in the UK riding strapped and powered, basically going against the whole classic “surf” style of strapless and unhooked.
At the same time, two of our key testers, Kyle Flower (in Hawaii) and Brad Shrimpton (in Cape Town), both spend most of their time riding small kites in medium size surf in the summer, often with quite bumpy conditions, and were instrumental in testing the boards in those conditions. We found that what worked well in high speed windy conditions had a tendency to work well in bigger surf, with all the improvements in control, the strapless performance is also a great asset. The outcome is an interesting evolution in surf style boards.
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