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Armstrong are never a brand afraid to span into any of the foiling disciplines, and they’ve just released the WKT, standing for Wake, Kite, Tow, which comes in three sizes – 109, 122 and 137cm – sliding neatly into the minimal pocket board sector. Board size should be selected on your desired discipline and weight, and Armstrong have a comprehensive guide to choosing the correct weapon. We’ve seen Austin Tovey popping double backflips with it behind the boat, so were quite eager to get our hands on it.
First off, each board comes complete with a beautifully tailored padded bag, which is essential for keeping it safe, be it in a vehicle or on a boat. This has capacity for foil-on storage with a Velcro aperture at the tail end. The closure is formed from zips and a little Velcro tab locks these off neatly. They provide M6 316L bolts and M6 T30 Torx head size, with matching deck inserts which can be configured in a Y or straight configuration. Large titanium hexagonal washers are included for orienting the footstraps securely without twisting. Armstrong footstraps are provided, located neatly in a zip pocket on the side of the bag. These are pressed memory foam, and as well as being extremely comfortable, retain their shape after compression. A small toolkit is provided including a decent stainless Torx screwdriver and a spare Dyneema leash point which sits through the deck at the tail. The deck pad is relatively thin, giving you excellent grip and an extremely direct connection to the board, which is super noticeable when pumping. It strikes the balance between comfort and control well, and you gain an enormous amount of feedback from the foil through your feet, which is important when negotiating more tempestuous water states.
In terms of shape, the first thing to notice is the pronounced kick or rocker in the nose, which sits pleasantly in front of your leading foot placement giving you a sporting chance of salvaging aggressive touch downs, and the double concave with central spine displaces water well if it does slap the surface. It also has the added benefit of pulling the board to the surface well during a deep-water start where the angle of your board might not be quite right if your tow partner takes off a little eagerly. The double concave in the nose fades into a completely flat tail section where the foil box sits, promoting a clean and instant takeoff.
Although the deck is fairly concave, particularly around the front foot placement, the curvature is most prominent at the rails of the board, meaning the standing area is flat which I found felt extremely reassuring. The foil box itself, rather than the usual plastic affair, is a proprietary pre-preg carbon design from Armstrong. It’s going to suit the Armstrong foil system perfectly obviously, but the elongated forward geometry boxes will allow the flexibility to accommodate pretty much any foil system you decide to throw at it.
Particularly noticeable when under a kite, the WKT’s most standout attributes are its strength and the telepathic level of feedback you gain from the foil due to the stiffness. It almost feels as if the board is part of the foil rather than attached to it. The molded carbon construction is unapologetically tough, and the C beam construction eliminates flex. Aesthetically the attention to detail is clear, with the Armstrong logo present in the carbon top sheet. The underside sports a hard-wearing faired back brushed finish.
You’d be forgiven for assuming the pocket board concept would be a generally simple one; the devil is in the detail when it comes to these, and subtle design changes make huge differences to how they ride. In this case, Armstrong have ticked all the boxes, and perhaps even created a few new ones with a board that effortlessly transcends disciplines with no compromise, feels minimal and efficient, and lets you glide around as freely as an unincumbered seabird.