CORE Badger

When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Here’s why you can trust our tests and our affiliate partner.

Filter Products
Core Badger - CORE Badger

Whilst CORE kites is based on Fehrman island in the Baltic sea which isn’t renowned for world-class wave conditions, their team riders and R&D team are well traveled and far reaching, with most of the c(C)ore team spending generous time in Mauritius, Namibia and many other key wave-kiting locations, and as a consequence their attention to the noble surfboard discipline is razor sharp. The Badger arrives in three sizes, 4’11, 5’2 and 5’5, catering for a comprehensive range of weights and heights, and is aimed at smaller waves and freestyle riding. Perhaps they’ve designed a new board for home shores.

In terms of shape, we’re looking at a compact fishy outline with a modernistic squared off take on a traditional fish tail. The rocker line is relatively flat in the rear two thirds of the board and the base contours are well conceived with a cheeky spine in the nose area, fading into a smooth double concave sculpted into the rear. Like most fish, the widest part of the board sits more or less under where your front foot naturally sits, amplifying that stable planted feeling associated with the shape. Grab rails have been added for those with strapless freestyle inclinations, and with a compact shape and light weight like this it does an admirable job, playing a close second fiddle to its CORE 720 stable mate.

Construction is carried out in Portugal and has Ecoboard Level One approval. Tough glass cloth elegantly encapsulates an XPS core with strategically placed carbon areas in the tail, and the board is vacuum infused for a super consistent and tough lamination. A hexagonal Soric layer on the deck means it won’t heal dent easily and is definitely kite tough. The fin setup is all based around the well-proven tool-less FCS2 system, with a well-placed thruster setup providing a great balance of grip and release that is loose enough to whack the tail out into a reverse when necessary.

In the water the Badger immediately provides smooth, balanced and reassuringly planted rail-to-rail transitions, letting you scribble lines on the face precisely where you want to. For battering onshore wind swell or more disturbed sea states you’d struggle to find a board with a more entertaining ride. Our normal criticism of a fish-shape board is its handling at high speed, where the flatter hulls tend to get a little fidgety, particularly in chop. But even testing in Cape Town’s often wind-blown hell conditions, with the clever hull shape the Badger seems to plough through at some impressive board speed and the construction dampens vibration well. It’s an ultra-forgiving board, feeling solid and composed underfoot at such a broad speed range, it enables you to take risks on wave position that you’d previously perhaps thought twice about. It provides snappy skatey turns, whether you’re bashing Baltic mushburgers or in something far steeper and more consequential.

The Badger is a board that exudes playful mischief and will snuffle around a multitude of wave conditions with extreme dexterity.  However, don’t underestimate the Badger when it comes to the crunch. Far from being confined to the onshore undergrowth, it’ll take on some serious surf terrain if required and is able to provide a stable platform for all aspiring wave hunters to progress on.

57 COBs  01CORE Badger - CORE Badger
Visit Website
Subscribe Today