The Kamikaze is your all-round freestyle, big-air machine. Dynamic tip flex ensures powerful loading for your big-air moves and softens the ride for ripping through the chop. A tapered 3-D CNC wood core makes this a nearly indestructible board for throwing down your biggest jumps with confidence. 50mm carbon fibre fins guarantee solid grip for normal and toe-side riding, locking in the power prior to going airborne. ABS rails finish off the edge, protecting your deck from unwanted dings. Whether you ride like a hardcore freestyle pro, or just enjoy going fast and big, the Kamikaze is your license to ride.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
As most boards are designed and developed in warm kiteboarding locations where designers' feet run free, the humble northern hemisphere winter warrior is usually left to awkwardly squeeze his booted feet into under-expanding foot straps. The Maelstorm foot straps can be adjusted to perfectly fit in your big cold season, booted feet! We had some great sessions on this as a result, without feeling like we only had our big toe getting any traction. If anything people with small feet could do with the straps tightening down a bit more in bare feet, but the pads are lovely, soft and grippy. Unique rising sun graphics look good and it's also well-equipped, with everything from ABS rails to carbon fins and the strengthening tab on top of the fins. The only budget looking element of the board is the big handle, but that's not a huge problem.
The Kamikaze has a good freestyle nature to its personality, with a relatively flat rocker, although not as flat as outand-out freestyle boards. The step down technology in the rail also makes the board slice beautifully through the water, providing comfort, speed, bite and loads of grip. The step-down means that they can design the board nice and thick in the middle for loads of support and strength where your weight is centred, but then tapers down to just three or four millimetres in the tips, where you want the board to bite and provide plenty of flex on release or landing. There is plenty of spring in the Kamikaze for pop; new school and powered, or old school and boosty, and at a lower level for intermediate riders it also releases very well for switching from heel to toe-side, or similar, if that's what you're looking to learn. Its looseness, flex and slight concave meant that for a stiff-ish freestyle board it wasn't bad in chop with good levels of comfort and softness.
This is the first board we've tested from Chinese production outfit, Maelstorm, who entered the market last year, and we were pleasantly surprised by the Kamikaze's prowess. While not setting the freestyle world alight, or being the perfect board for an early intermediate, there is more than enough performance for most average freestylers with ambition and it's easy to ride for those with more basic talents looking to progress. Built to last, the cash sensitive buyer could be tempted with a new purchase for all conditions...
KW LIKED: The combination of comfort and good freestyle attributes.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Make the straps smaller for people with small feet.
SIZES: 139 x 42, 134 x 41 and 129 x 39cm
This test is in issue #45