DUOTONE Fish SLS 5’3 2020 Kitesurfing Review

DUOTONE Fish SLS 5’3 2020

Reviews / Surfboards

DUOTONE 102,889

At A Glance

The Duotone Fish SLS was first seen on the market last year, a bit of a change in direction from the previous Nugget design that had been aimed at light wind cruising and wave riding. By harking back to a different time, Sky Solbach the shaper has harnessed the flat rocker, forward wide point and fishtail that makes a fish, well a fish. Last year it was arguably the revelation in the surfboard line up, entertaining to ride and with plenty of low-end power and drive.

This year the shape has been tweaked with more tail rocker and a slightly more pulled in tail shape designed to make it even more fun on the water. It still has the classic features of last years board, including the channels that run through the bottom of the board towards the tail. The new SLS construction saves around 100grams on what was already a lightweight board last year. It also pledges to be stronger with the full Innegra Shield wrapping the entire board.

Under the deck, there is a cork shock absorber that covers the full deck plus further heel reinforcements under the feet. Overall it’s an incredibly professional-looking finish that is said to be even more durable than the previous version despite the low weight.

Sizes: 5’1”, 5’3”, 5’5”

On The Water

We really enjoyed riding the Fish last year, and perhaps while it isn’t a quiver killer, it was definitely a board that would excel in the majority of conditions found in Europe. This year we jumped at the chance to ride the new version, mostly as the wind wasn’t exactly pumping on our first go. It’s got just as much drive and forward speed as it had last year, despite the increase in the tail rocker. This is the board you want to have in marginal wind conditions; it’s a little like having an engine underneath you with the amount of drive the rocker line creates.

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While it is excellent for early planing and cruising, it’s on the waves where it really comes to life. Once you get your head around the flatter rocker, it’s easy to get caught out and bury the nose a few times when you first jump on; you’ll discover a gem of a board. It’s so much fun to ride aggressively on the wave, the board doesn’t skip a beat, and vertical top to bottom smashes come with ease.

For the more novice rider, there is still a lot to discover here. It’s an easy board to ride, once you get dialled in, that flat rocker takes a little getting used to. Once you have it on lock though it can be pushed to the absolute limit and it will come back frothing for more.

If you ride in onshore, mushy waves this board will make them so much more fun to ride. When the conditions get good, it will still hold its own, making it more than just a one-trick pony. It is however incredibly good at its main trick, which is early planing and delivering plenty of drive on the wave.

Overall

Light, strong, we are big fans of this new construction from Duotone, there is just enough flex to make the ride smooth, while still offering plenty of pop and performance on the wave. The drive generated by the Fish SLS is something to behold. If it’s a marginal wave day with light winds, this is the board I want to be riding. Equally, if the wind builds and the waves pick up, there is plenty of performance on tap to keep you entertained.

Videos

This review was in Issue 84 of IKSURFMAG.

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By Rou Chater
Rou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!

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