AXIS Vanguard 135 (2014)

Axis Vanguard 135 2014 twin tip

THE HYPE:
The Vanguard is the freestyle option for intermediate / advanced riders with a powerful outline and medium flex with carbon specific reinforcements. Featuring the centre spine with a quad concave concentrated towards the rails, it’s longer for the width than last year, the stance is also slightly wider and is compatible with straps and boots. Softer flex, more curved outline and with a new rocker, expect smoother, ‘drier’, more fun and a greater ease of use. Axis Vanguard 135 2014 twin tip TEST TEAM NOTES:
In comparison to the NuSkool, the Vanguard is much more subtle in its design. Very neat and tidy looking there is however a lot more going on in the underneath of the board with the quad concave. The result is a smoother ride than the NuSkool, it’s kinder on the knees and a bit slower. It’s definitely still playful and very easy to throw around as it’s also very light. Switching from heel-to-toe and sliding 180 is very easy, there’s no awkwardness with the fins getting in the way and it’s definitely looser than the NuSkool.

The Vanguard has everything you’d be looking for in an intermediate and above freeride board and for looking towards freestyle. Feeling very smooth and in control, it’s just more laid back and not quite as eager as the NuSkool. Speed is perfectly adequate, it’s not going to run away with you but there is still plenty of energy and stiffness there for good pop. The light weight helps when you want to pull your knees up for a bit of steez, but we did find that in really strong winds that we’d like a bit more reassurance from a little extra swing weight. But for throwing stuff in most regular conditions it was great fun and has lots of energy. If you’re more of a shape maker and more aggressive, the NuSkool would suit you better, it’s more suited to ripping round a race track. The Vanguard is more like riding around on a cushion of air, breaking all the nastiness in the water up nicely.

Axis Traction Pro system 2014

AXIS Traction Pro system on the Vanguard

SUMMARY:
The Vanguard is a superb board for riders looking for a super smooth, comfortable and yet capable ride but with enough pop performance for when you want to turn up the heat on your riding. Not as bitey as the NuSkool, the Vanguard is a joy for changing direction and carving and the light weight quality energises your tricks. Solid build, good buy.

KW LIKED:
Sitting at the performance end of silky smooth freeride, the Vanguard’s ride quality is top end.

KW WOULD CHANGE:
We actually prefer the most simple foot strap and pad system that we tested on the NuSkool, so would recommend those for most comfort as there was more support on the side of the foot.

SIZES: 148 x 45.5, 143 x 43.5, 139 x 4.5, 137 x 42, 135 x 41.5, 132 x 40.5 and 129 x 39cm

More info on the current AXIS range at: www.AXISkiteboarding.com

Official AXIS Vanguard product video:

AXIS VANGUARD 2014 Product from AXIS Kiteboarding on Vimeo.

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