Designed for intermediate to pro riders, the Laluz 2011 is Xenon's high-performance freestyle board designed for a modern versatile style of riding. A proven outline with wide tip/tail combined with a high, continuous rocker-line, deep single concave and balanced flex results in outstanding performance. Comparing to last year's model the 2011 version is a bit more skatey, lively and responsive with an extra wide stance option on the 132 and 135 for taller riders and new school lovers. The board comes with completely new, moulded EVA pads that have a bi-directional pattern, fully adjustable, easy-mount foot straps, new 50mm G10 fins and a white ergonomic handle.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Xenon is definitely an athletic, exciting and youthful looking board; kind of like a nice pair of trainers, all in bright white and with a good looking splash of cool colours and lines. The pads and straps are that modern, trainerstyle; a padded soft mould and the straps are adjustable and accommodating, easily taking a wetsuit boot, but also tightening up for bare feet. Incredibly light, the Laluz has a lovely looking outline.
The rails are very parallel, the tips are nice and wide and the board has a longer look than square. It's also very flexible, seemingly throughout the board when you pick it up and give it a press in the middle. It is very flexible in the tips. What does all that mean? Well, somehow they've made it really soft, but it holds speed beautifully and bombs upwind with lots of energy and feel at your back foot. We tested this board over two sessions; once in regular coastal chop and once in super flat freestyle heaven. In the crucial chop test, jumping on this after trying a few stiffer boards and this really does make sense. Fast but controlled, the suspension works really well, pushing back to allow you to hold your pace without the board tripping or catching a rail/the nose.
As it's got plenty of rocker you don't have to ride with too much pressure on your back foot, but can instead relax with a balanced stance as the board soaks up and blasts over the choppy ups and downs. Nice and direct in feel, the Laluz has a progressive edge and you can throw the board around easily, without it biting really hard and becoming hard work. It's rewarding and going from one rail to the other is very easy and doesn't require much thought as the board is comfortable and with ample grip, but isn't a really aggressive locked-in ride. It has all the comfort of a lovely freeride board but has plenty else going on in its character.
If we said this has a slightly retro feel that's not doing a dis-service to its modern freestyle qualities; it just means that we all used to really enjoy riding a comfortable, fast board that could do so much more than just be a pop machine, and made us feel like better riders. Sometimes there can be such a focus placed on everyone becoming an unhooked wake-style pop machine, that often the all-round cruising characteristics get forgotten. They don't on this but it will also give you all the performance ambitious intermediates and good advanced riders need in varied conditions.
Beautiful comfort and lively performance in a lightweight, good looking package.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The lightweight construction might not be as bombproof as some other boards, but Xenon have really impressed us for the second year running.
SIZES: 135 x 42, 132 x 40 and 129 x 39
This test is in issue #51