At A Glance
If you take a product - any product - and add carbon to it, it immediately becomes better and faster; it’s basically a fact! While this is not, in fact, a fact, Lieuwe has taken the most popular board in their twintip range, the Shotgun, and created a carbon version. It’s the only carbon board in Lieuwe’s range, and oh, she is spicy!
Not to be confused with a full carbon construction that you can lift with your pinky finger, this is a wood core board lovingly swaddled in ultra-sleek carbon. You’ve still got the same solid interior that Lieuwe customers know and love, a medium flex ultra-light wood core. On the outside, however, a rock and roll outfit that will turn heads and get phone numbers at your local kite spot!
Made in the Netherlands and tested in some of the most challenging conditions in the world, it’s fairly safe to assume that this board has been put through the paces before being delivered to the public. It sits under the Big Air category on the Lieuwe website and is marketed as a Big Air and Pro Performance oriented board, designed to go big and ride fast on flat spots or clean waves. Sounds promising!
Let’s take a closer look. The first thing that captures the eye is the beautiful black and grey colour tone, and not just black, but blessed carbon!! Lieuwe is known for the exposed wood grain that is visible in all of their boards, but in this case, black is the new wood. It’s nice to see that carbon weave with a glossy finish complemented by the black Lieuwe footpads. It looks so good you could hang it on the wall! Better yet, ride it!
Taking a look at the top deck, there are enough inserts to allow total customisation of your pad setup, so you can really dial in comfort and make the board personal to your riding style. The bottom deck has beautifully defined channels, which should provide extra grip in any conditions, from chop and swell in Cape Town to butter flat in Brazil.
130 x 39cm, 133 x 40cm, 136 x 40.5cm, 138 x 41cm, 141 x 42cm
On The Water
As they say, the proof is in the pudding. We took this board out in less-than-lekker conditions on a grey, side-onshore (mostly onshore, unfortunately) day in Melkbosstrand, just down the road from the world famous Kite Beach in Cape Town. We went for a Big Air session with some lofty boosts and steezy rotations in an effort to test Lieuwe’s Big Air promises.
Much like the original Shotgun, our first impression was that the board felt quite slick and skatey, slightly more so than the original. This can be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for. In the waves, this is super fun. When it comes to landing a big jump, there’s an advantage to sliding out instead of getting stuck on the water and eating it. The pop was excellent, thanks to the extra stiffness of the board that the carbon layer adds.
There were 45mm fins on our demo board, which was ideal for the conditions we tested in. If this was a Brazilian lagoon and our knees were up for the challenge, we’d swap these out for 25 or 35mm fins. Unfortunately, we’re not in paradise, and the knees are not as springy as an 18-year-old’s!
We tested this board back to back with Lieuwe’s standard Shotgun without carbon and found that the Carbonara has less flex and more pop. While the Shotgun had balanced stiffness and flex, the Carbonara leans more to the stiffness side. If you want a stiff board, this is a solid option. If you don’t, we’d recommend taking a closer look at the Shotgun in the standard construction.
The Lieuwe Shotgun Carbonara didn’t disappoint! It’s a well-rounded board for those looking for less flex and more performance. This isn’t the friendliest freeride board out there, but it is purpose-built and is worth a closer look if you’re dreaming of achieving new heights in your Big Air sessions!
This review was in Issue 89 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Lieuwe Boards
By Crystal VenessEditor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.