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A mainstay in the CrazyFly range for the last five years, the Raptor is a top seller for Slovakia’s proudly European-manufactured kite brand. Identical to the standard Raptor LTD in its full carbon construction, the Neon version gets some bright and vigorous high visibility colors to help it stand out in darker water conditions which, let’s face it, is a practical choice. Judging from some of the photos we’ve seen of it, it also helps a camera find focus of an evening.
As with all things CrazyFly the attention to detail on the build side is very impressive. The finish on the board is quite special, with a unique-to-the-industry textured bottom coating they’ve coined the Nano Glide Skin which throttles the water along the board longitudinally, and as a bonus is a super tough, scratch-resistant surface, making it ultra-sleek through the water as well as practical.
The layup is a full 4T5 CompFlex carbon, which feels smoother through the chop and needs less epoxy to wet out, saving further weight on an already superlight deck. It avoids the sometimes chattery feedback from other full carbon boards we’ve tested, important for a freeride focused product that will be used in a variety of water states.
From a shape perspective, the outline is relatively squared off with the board carrying plenty of width into its tips over a gentle taper. The double V tip shape feels reassuringly grippy and takes its cues from the concaves and channeling, which is probably one of the most technical features of the board. This has been honed into a fairly subtle elliptical double concave with its deepest section in the center of the board, and gently fades shallower into the tips. Another nod to elegance is the rocker, which has a subtle curve in the center section which increases its gradient into the tips. Practically it strikes a good balance between planing early, lively upwind ability, and having enough here to land with speed downwind and not trip and edge. The step into the rail provides a nice thin squared edge with plenty of grip. The rail profile is thickest in the middle, sitting at about 7mm, and this fades down to 3.5mm in the tips. Weight on our 136cm test model was a respectably light 2.3kg for the deck.
Fixtures and fittings are of the usual high quality we’ve come to expect from CrazyFly, with the provided fins made of an injection-molded carbon, feeling light and sturdy as you’d expect. The Hexa V2 bindings are super comfortable and supportive, matching the overall high-end feel of the board well. They offer a huge amount of adjustability for wider and more awkward foot shapes.
It’s a board that is undoubtedly made from high-end materials and built to last, and backed by a reassuringly lengthy three-year warranty, you can’t argue with their commitment here. It’s a luxurious ride, a veritable Rolls Royce of freeride twintips, albeit with a loud paint job, and the Raptor LTD Neon should sit in every freerider’s board rack. It’s comfortable to ride, as well as extremely performant across a multitude of water states.