DUOTONE Whip SLS 5’3 2021 Kitesurfing Review

DUOTONE Whip SLS 5’3 2021

Reviews / Surfboards

DUOTONE 98,981

At A Glance

The Whip has been a massive favourite in the Duotone line up for many years, equally happy slaying waves as it is flying through the air, it's the board to buy if you want to ride strapless freestyle and wave ride with one board. The cut off nose and tail shape also means you can pack a lot into a small shape like this 5'3" so it's also an excellent choice for the travelling wave rider too.

This year we see a switch to the SLS construction, the big news here is the full wrap Innegra shield which will ensure durability and reduce dings and damage throughout the season. In addition to this, there is a large cork shock absorber across the deck and further heel reinforcements too.

A thruster design it's a now-familiar shape that many modern boards emulate. The advantage of the cut off nose and tail is the parallel rails; these give you lots of grip from a smaller shape. Essentially, you can ride a smaller, lighter board that fits in the pocket better. It's easier to jump as there is no windage on the nose and it feels more chuckable on the wave too.

Sizes: 4'9", 4'11", 5'1", 5'3" and 5'5"

On The Water

I have long been a fan of the Whip, I like the compact shape for travelling, and I find it an excellent allrounder that has a dynamic riding style which suits how I want to ride on the wave. This year the construction saves about 100g over the previous Pro construction, that makes a difference when you start getting air, and the board has incredible pop, it feels lively underfoot and is fun to flick around.

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On the wave the Whip SLS impresses once again, I did find the fins a little large for my taste and had a few moments where the bottom turn was a little skittish, running some smaller fins solved that issue right away though, and the board was behaving as I expected it too. What I love about the Whip SLS is its ability to perform in a huge variety of waves and perform well. You can snap it vertically in the critical section with a hugely satisfying kapow.

Equally, you can draw out bigger turns on larger waves too. On really big steep dumpy waves you do sometimes bury the nose, something you can avoid by hitting the section earlier or leaning back and holding on. That's its only downside though, and it's a product of why it is so good in the first place, so I'm not complaining or calling it out.

This board is all about versatility, and it handles that with aplomb, it's exceedingly capable while being reasonably easy to ride too. Strapless freestyle, small waves, medium waves, mushy waves, the Whip is right at home and will allow you to have a very vertical attack on the wave. When it comes to spray, this boards got more game than Banksy, and let's be honest, sending Neptune back whence he came is the only reason we are out there in the waves anyway.

Overall

If you love a strapless front roll as much as you do a solid backside hack the Whip SLS is the board for you. Capable of so much, it has a lot to offer a multitude of riders, and it has buckets of performance.

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!

Tried this? What did you think?