At A Glance
The new Black label from Fluid Kiteboarding is their big air/freestyle crossover board, the latest iteration of this series which started in 2018, that was marketed as the first crossover kiteboard. Fluid kiteboarding, established in 2013 by Gilion Goveia (a professional big-air kiteboarder), has a quality over quantity ethos. It is very evident that this board is a rider-driven product.
The construction of the board is a pioneering full basalt fibre, wood core design. It also has eight channels which allow excellent grip and an aggressive rocker that causes a great pop. Like the other boards in the lineup, the black label is U.V. protected, which extends the life of the board! Additionally, the board has boots-proof inserts so that the board can be ridden with straps or boots.
Once again, Fluid lands the mark in terms of the design of their boards, with the Black label consisting of a sleek black design with real gold flakes scattered around the board. The design certainly turns heads when you are on the water! Another unique characteristic is that only 100 boards are being made, which means that each board has a unique code and makes the board extremely limited edition.
Sizes: 134x 40.5cm, 137x41cm, 141x42cm
On The Water
Right off the bat, the most immediate thing you feel when riding the Black label is the massive amount of grip that the eight channels give the board. I found that when going out in strong, gusty conditions, I could hold the kite down well. Also, when loading up the board for a pop, the grip allowed me to carry more speed and, therefore, a bigger jump. When coming down from the jumps, the board displaces the water very well, allowing a super smooth landing. When coming down from big jumps way downwind, you need a board that cruises upwind without much effort to get back to the boosting area. Well, the Black label is that board! I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly the board took me upwind! The 3.5 cm G10 Asymmetrical cupped fins I used on the Black label complimented the way the board is shaped and work well together with the board to maximise grip and upwind ability. Another great feature of these bindings is the double Velcro strap on top of the foot strap that allows seamless and quick-adjusting when you are out on the water.
On another day of testing, the wind dropped off a bit, so I did some freestyle. The board gave excellent feedback, so that popping was extremely easy. Furthermore, the grip that the board gives the rider on landing is exceptional. This means that when coming down from a trick slightly out of place, the board makes it easy to ride out from these errors. The board is also simple to use for beginners due to the medium flex of it and how well it goes back upwind; the pronounced sharp rails really send the board upwind.
One of the concerns that some people may have with this board is that when you have a crash, you can’t find it due to the black colour scheme. However, I can tell you that even on a dark stormy day, the gold segments created a large contrast against the water, making it easy to find, which was no harder than any other board that I have used. The see-through rail is also another awesome feature that lights up when riding in the sun: another reason why you stand out on the water.
The M.A.X. gold (L.T.D.) foot straps were super comfortable, easy to set up and felt in place with the sleek, polished look of the Black label. They also offered great shock absorption and extremely good grip made by the diamond pattern on the heel and toe.
The Black label is a very well built board that offers awesome big air and freestyle capabilities. The board a pleasure to ride, not being too stiff but offering the ability to be more advanced when you want it. This board could be the answer to a one board quiver for both big air and freestyle!For more information visit Fluid Kiteboarding