TESTED: 2016 AXIS Vanguard

If you are a fan of the original Underground boards then look no further than AXIS’s very impressive range. We always expect high quality and innovative products from AXIS who are never afraid to push the envelope that little bit further, with their entire range of boards being designed by Adrian Roper, who has a wealth of knowledge and oversees the production process from start to finish.

The Vanguard sits in the freestyle/freeride category and has proved itself popular amongst the freestyle masses as it delivers comprehensively in all conditions and suits a wide range of riders. Compared to last year’s Vanguard, the 2016 model has stuck with the winning formula in terms of rocker, outline and the channel distribution. The board is available in seven different dimensions. There’s even a 148cm Tandem Vanguard for those who want to introduce non-kiting friends and family onto the water…

The main development has been in the rails and the arrival of the new FAT rail. Basically the mid-section between your feet has been fattened up then the width tapers out as you move towards the tips.

As soon as you get on the water you immediately feel the effect of this: the ride is very soft and smooth and it eats up chop – it feels more like riding a surfboard with a more rounded rail shape. The real joy is that the new rail shape had not dulled down the speed or significant pop of the new Vanguard – it is still a very responsive and well-tuned freestyle-loving machine with plenty of flexibility, and will keep everyone from timid beginner through to hardened pro happy. Ridden with boots, it was also a pleasure.

For us the graphics don’t have the same wow-factor that you get from, say, the Billy Pro or from the AXIS surfboard range for 2016, but with the new rail profile, riding this board is more like riding a magic carpet, so you’re probably not going to notice or care…

Just In...

CORE GTS6

The GTS6 is a true evolution of the model, perfect for extreme wind.

READ MORE

Naish Gecko S25

The Gecko gobbles up short chop for breakfast, much like its reptilian namesake devours mosquitoes.

READ MORE

Ocean Rodeo A-Series Roam

The solid performing Roam wave kite is now even better thanks to a new ALUULA airframe material.

READ MORE