Program: Freestyle Surf
The 2018 AXIS Climax surfboard is really aimed at the strapless rider who wants to have a great time at any spot they go to. AXIS’ new surfboard designer, Sebastian Sponholtz has been using this board for the past few months and it has been his go-to board for anything from flat water Sherman Island to firing Cloudbreak.
Sebastian designed the board to have 2 different modes. He realized that when kiting, he is either really far forward on the board for going upwind fast or he is all the way back on the board for smacking lip. The wide point of this board is slightly more forward than usual and what this does is allow the rider to have a stance that is more centered on the board. He found that having a centered stance really helps to keep the board on his feet because of rotating around the halfway mark of the board rather than having a lot more nose volume to swing around.
The rails on the back half of the board are fairly parallel which makes lightwind kiting and going upwind easier as well as gives the board a lot of drive to power through chop. Sebastian kept the tail pretty narrow instead of keeping it wide like a lot of the modern plaining hull designs nowadays. Having a narrow tail is crucial for wave kiting because it allows the rider to stall the board and stay in the pocket of the wave. With kiting as opposed to surfing, there are so many more forces involved. When you are kiting and you drop into a wave your apparent wind effecting the kite dramatically increases due the increased velocity gained form the wave. So really if it is blowing 20knts a lot of the time it feels like you are overpowered when on the wave because your apparent wind is more like 30knts over the kite. So by keeping the tail of the board narrow, this allows the rider to step on the tail, stall the board and achieve a more manageable apparent wind.
So much went into nailing down the construction of this board. We are very picky about having a board that is light and flexy enough for airs because if it is too heavy or stiff we won’t be able to land a lot of the tricks. Something Sebastian thinks it is necessary in a strapless board to have a light foam under your feet. The light foam compresses perfectly, and seems to keep the board on your feet. The issue is that with light foam come weaker more fragile boards. The bank is a light EPS foam with 2 strips of high density foam running all along the stringer. This construction provides the positive attributes of light EPS and takes the advantage of the deck shape in order to maximize breaking resistance.
The deck has pre-shaped heel dents which not only are insane for keeping the board on your feet in the air but really allow the impact forces to be channeled through the stringers and fibers rather than compressing the foam and buckling the board. It as the hammock concept; with this deck shape there are 2 hammocks of fiber that your heels land into and absorb the force evenly throughout the fibers. The layup on the Climax is fiberglass and InnegraTech cloth. The Innegra is awesome because it is super flexy and really increases the breaking resistance of the fiberglass. They actually use Innegra in applications like riot shields.
We decided to use the AXIS 2018 surf honeycomb fins. They are made differently than your regular fins and feel awesome.
The AXIS Climax works well for the kind of riding we do because of its ability to excel in all conditions. AXIS has designed dedicated strapless freestyle boards and wave boards but Sebastian still finds himself taking the Climax out in all conditions. It seems to be one of those boards that you get used to and don’t think about riding anything else.