If you're used to riding wakeboards you would love this board, however for most people, it will be just a bit too different from the kiteboards they're used to riding. It's a pulley bar, grinding-hard kind-of-board where you want stiff pop to get round and then deal with coming in hot. That's where the channels come in and do it well. If you're not good enough for it you won't get the pop you want. If you are, you will, and then some.
Moehau Goold is renowned for powered wake-style moves, (and as such his signature model board wasn't the most perfectly matched kiteboard for this intermediate test). Shaper Jimmy Redmond believes the Element 134 not only rides well if you're a pro, it also works well for the rest of us and will elevate your riding. Technology-wise there's a high strength foam core, scalloped swallow tail for a lower swing-weight and increased pop, rounded rails for smooth edging, a deep concave on the bottom for smooth transitions and a fourchannelled nose and tail for hold and drive.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
NEAL: You immediately recognise it's blatantly wakeboard construction with those massive channels, and I was surprised to see it in the test. It's stiffer than other kiteboards which is why you see the team's riders getting so much pop, but you do have to overload the board to get it, and know what you're doing.
GEORGE: I loved the heel strap for the binding feeling.
NEAL: It's certainly strong and the fittings and everything are all good. The pads and straps are insane with the air soles.
GEORGE: Felt small, but nice and wide too, and got going quickly. The fins are really small, but I guess that's why it spins so easily.
NEAL: Feels really smooth and skatey and might not throw you off when learning to go toeside as much as some other boards. It's quite an honest sort of board, it tells you how it is. If you're not good enough for it you won't get the pop you want. If you are, you will, and then some.
GEORGE: Forgiving on your landings, but as you say, to get the most pop from it in the first place you really have to know what you're doing. In spite of its size it's quick to plane and you can ride a wakeboard a bit slower than a kiteboard.
NEAL: Struggles to provide the grip and directional stability you need to go upwind easily when you're starting out.
This test is in issue #16