Ok first I would like to thank Dave for providing a demo of boards at our local riding spot in Minnesota. I have to say I wasn’t in the market for a light wind board as I had the Spleene Door 164 for light winds along with a Cabrinha Plasma wide 146x46 that I used instead of the Door when I wanted to throw jumps and tricks in light wind without having such a big door on my feet. When the wind picks up I switch to my primary board which is a 136 Cabrinha Caliber. My point is, I really wasn’t looking for a light wind board option. I took Dave up on the demo of his carbon wing as the winds were very light and it saved me a hike back to the van to pick up the Door. It only took one ride out to understand this was a completely different ride, very flexible, nice pop, and light underfoot. This board easily replaced both my light wind boards and provided a big upgrade in the fun factor.
Rider Profile: 6 ft. 210 pounds
Light wind performance: The Carbon Wing provided about the same light wind performance as the 164 door in terms of being able to ride in the light winds, riding through the lulls and pointing upwind. That is where the similarities stop, add the wings unique shape, lightweight, thin profile and the lively flex that makes this ride so much more fun. The Door may be able to ride in a notch less wind due to the size, however the wing shape on the litewave does make up for most of the size difference so its very close.
Chop: The board flexes and rebound with the chop and the tip of the board with the wings easily ride above the water without overweighting the back foot. I did not expect this to be such a nice ride in heavy chop and so different from a stiff board driving through the chop. One of the lakes I ride is very shallow with allot of big boat traffic and cement seawalls, the combination results in what is referred to as washing machine chop. The board would flex with the chop and the wings rode over the top of most of the chop coming my way, if the wings did not ride over the top the thin profile drove through effortlessly. This by far was the most enjoyable light wind board I have been on in chop.
Overpowered: I wanted to know what this board would do in a overpowered situation, so on a day where everyone was on 12m kites and small twin tips, I put up a 14m kite and the 161 Carbon wing. My intention was to see how the board handled when letting the speed ramp a bit to see how difficult it would be to gain control again. I found the flex of the board made overpowered riding much more controllable than the stiff board attributes of the spleen door. Since I often ride out of a beach that has a large wind shadow, I need a board big enough to get me out to where the wind is blowing. Before having the wing I was never happy with riding the big Door out to the wind zone and then wishing I had my small twin tip. The Wing changed this completely as now I can still enjoy being overpowered on the wing just as on a small twin tip since the board has so much flex and overall feels much smaller.
Jumping: Overall the board feels smaller than its size while still being a great light wind solution, the connection to the board with the pads and straps is about as good as it gets. The flex allows for nice edging and carving action when initiating a jump, that combined with a board that feels smaller and is light made it a much more fun board to jump than my big door or my Plasma at 146x46. Solid landings were also a breeze with this big board.
Toe side: Amazingly well for a board that does not have fins on the topside edge, this is a similar configuration on the Door. While Toe side on the Spleen Door feels slippery, Toe side on the Carbon Wing felt locked in with a solid edge.
Carbon Wing vs. Wing: I can’t respond here as I haven’t been on the regular wing, Carbon tells me it’s going to be lighter, stronger and quicker rebound.
Summary: I would highly recommend the wing as the first board purchase for any new kite boarder’s in our area. From my experience, riding this board in all conditions it can easily serve and be enjoyed as a one board quiver until the draw comes for a smaller twin tip. The other big value add is anyone that plans a riding a wind shadowed lake where they need a big board to get out to the wind zone. This board will keep you happy in both light and heavy wind conditions. For the majority of the experienced kiters, the wing will offer a more fun, lively ride while providing a shorter feel making jumping and throwing tricks much more enjoyable. The price point is also much more attractive than the Spleen Door.
Im sure the newer lightwind boards have all come along way, this is the first lightwind board I have tried in about 5 years so my comparison might not be apples to apples with the new Door or any other light wind boards. I wanted to provide the review and will offer up some demo rides if your interested on those light wind days
Cabrinha Shop Rider / Lakawa Team Rider