At A Glance
The 2022 Airush Switch and Switch Team arrived at our doorstep on the same day, which was an exciting delivery as we love a good back-to-back test! If you haven't read our review of the Switch, that's a great place to start. The Switch is a phenomenal freeride board, but the Switch Team, even though it's the same shape, is stripped down and rebuilt with freestyle performance n mind.
The sleek, dark colourway still has the shadows of its Palownia core, though Designer Dave Kay made the Switch Team (aka the 'Switch Premium') using less fibreglass in the construction, taking out some of the weight. The board also has a carbon layup and unidirectional basalt i-beam between the feet. This is a board designed to have stiffer, poppier performance than the original Switch.
It's another aesthetically pleasing design, and we expect nothing less from the graphic designers at Airush, who continue to deliver with their consistently stunning graphics. Paired with the AK Ether footstraps, which are a minimalistic stick-on footpad, something we haven't seen in a while, it's a dark and stormy visual buffet. We couldn't wait to see if the board performs as well as it looks!
Sizes: 132x39, 135x40, 138x41, 141x42
On The Water
As mentioned before, we tested both the Switch and Switch Team together, in inconsistent 2-3 foot waves with mainly onshore wind. The differences were clear in the very first session, and this is a great lesson to those that are shopping for boards and only looking at the shape to determine the performance. It's not about the shape, which is clear here; it's about the build. We have two boards with the same outline that had noticeably different performances!
The unidirectional basalt i-beam, which you can see in the board, offers stiffness and strength that is needed for tricks with high-impact landings. We preferred the Switch Team for big air because it had more grip and pop on the take off, which resulted in higher, power powerful jumps.
On the Airush website, you can see that the Switch Team has improved freestyle performance but takes a minor loss in progression performance. We noticed that immediately. The Switch Team is stiff, pops, and offers that explosive feeling that helps you shoot off the water. That said, the stiffness makes the landing less comfortable, though it does displace the water like a king.
Technique is important when riding a board that is more performance-oriented. Because the board is less forgiving, and the landings can be a little harder, it's really important to use those knees as shock absorbers when you touch back down on the water.
We went back and forth between the Switch and Switch Team to get a real sense of the differences between the two and to try to pick a favourite. It's fair to say that these boards have different purposes, and while the Switch is a more pleasant all-around ride, the Switch Team had a big upgrade in terms of freestyle and big air performance.
The Switch Team is a freeride weapon with strong freestyle performance, stiff with solid pop. While we wouldn't suggest the Switch Team over the Switch for a beginner rider that is working on progression, it well suits an advanced rider or intermediate rider. If you want stiffness and know how to pop, you will appreciate what this board can offer. For a more freestyle orientated board, this is a winner in our opinion; it leaves nothing on the line.
This review was in Issue 90 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Airush