The Airush FS Pro is defined as a new generation of dedicated freestyle twin-tip; a culmination of every freestyle shape Colin McCulloch has ever designed in one contest-winning, ego-boosting machine for the new breed of hardened move-popping maniacs. The stiffest flex curve in the Airush range comes with an outline optimised for maximum drive in powered moves. The unique core profiling on the FS meant hours on the CNC machine for Mr McC just to get the 3-D core taper perfect. The multi-zone biotech core is then combined with quad carbon cross-bracing and Airush's custom- woven tri-axial laminate for instant response and bombproof performance. Pads look as lush as last year too.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Once again the Airush FS Pro is a really nicely shaped twin-tip from Airush and looks like it wants to be ridden hard. It's one of the cleanest and most slick looking kiteboards we've seen in classic, simple white. The Airush FS Pro has slightly narrower tips than some freestyle shapes we've seen recently - for a freestyle board it hasn’t got big bell bottoms! But that's not to say this isn't a snappy dresser, indeed it's well decked out, good looking with clean lines and a good outline, not so extreme meaning it’s going to be useless in anything but flat water. Feels well made in your hands with this biocarbon textured finish and, as we've come to expect from Airush, the pads look and feel good. Stiff, rigid and locked in they give great under-the-foot comfort – just enough to get good feel from the board but loads of good, soft absorption. Pads are important but they can be too much. They should compliment the board and these do.
The kiteboard itself is quite stiff with a flat rocker as you'd expect from a board with freestyle aspirations and this is definitely for the more aggressive rider, much more so than the Protoy which feels like you're riding on air. The feeling on the FS is really direct, you can change direction well and it gouges and digs in with impressive reassurance. Again, the stiffness makes it quick and gives good upwind performance – both so important in a freestyle twin-tip as you lose a lot of ground doing tricks and need the quick speed for pop. Moving onto pop, there's heaps – again you can load this with everything you've got and it does everything it should do. The control is very precise, meaning the board reacts very quickly to rider input. An intermediate might find it a little too performance orientated, but anybody with good, all-round board skills will relish the responsiveness the board offers. Although it is very freestyle driven, it does cope with chop as the outline isn't the most aggressive and it can happily cruise along comfortably, allowing you to grow into it.
The Airush FS Pro is has very direct handling and really drives forward. The stiffness gives the FS Pro great freestyle prowess but also doesn't take away from good levels of comfort. Tough to pick a winner between this and the Brunotti.
Great traction, drive, grip and pop.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Add a little more forgiveness, but then you'd take away some of its animal instincts.
138 x 40cm and 132 x 39cm
This test is in issue #37