At a Glance
Kite Loose are pretty huge in Italy and their boards are used to great effect; Antoine Auriol of France has been winning events at the KPWT with these boards on his feet and this year they certainly look the part. The Essenz is an out and out freestyle machine that is aimed at not only giving the rider extreme pop, but also giving you easy landings. They use a special combination of flex to achieve this. The construction utilises the tried and tested wood core, there is even a clear laminate window that allows you to see what is going on inside. It comes equipped with G10 fins and some really comfy straps and pads that are easy to fit. There are cutaways in the tip and the board uses step cap construction at the tips. The rails are quite thin and the bottom is flat.
On the Water
The Essenz feels very smooth underfoot; the thin rails really cut through the chop and give the rider a balanced easy ride no matter what the water is up to. The flat bottom and rocker also combine to it give a fast paced ride and when you get this board in some flat buttery stuff it really shifts. Load up the edge and release to find an impressive amount of pop, which will propel you skywards with ease. The flex tips take out some of the harshness in the landings, but the tips aren’t as wide as on some boards so you will need to ensure you stick your landing as clean as you can, especially with the flat bottom shape that can bounce a little on heavy landings. Carving the Essenz is really smooth, helped by the curved outline to the rails in the waves you can really throw it about. That thin rail helps it to point high too and get upwind with ease.
Solid wood core construction with great fixtures and fittings. A well-finished board with great looks. Impressive on the water ability.
A little more shaping on the underside would help with heavy landings and bouncing out.
A great board from Kite Loose, good pop, easy to ride in chop and an excellent finish, if you want a board that will help you improve yet not hold you back at the top of the game then the Essenz will put a smile on your face.
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This review was in Issue 18 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Kiteloose
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By Rou ChaterRou 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!