At A Glance
Now for something completely different! We’ve been hearing rumours about these for some time now, and there are a few boutique brands out there with similar concepts. The premise of the Split Board is simple; it splits in half so you don’t have to take a kiteboard bag onto the plane when travelling. You can pack this board into a regular split-roller style bag, chuck in some kites and clothes and you’re good to go! With airlines getting harsher and harsher on excess baggage charges as the cost of fuel rises, this neat idea will certainly save you a few quid. Perfect for that weekend trip to Tarifa, or perhaps a week in the Caribbean. The shape is aimed as an all-conditions freestyle machine, offering good pop and a smooth ride through the chop with its soft flex characteristics. Nobile reckon the Split Board is 20% softer than their standard construction, which is actually pretty impressive when you consider it splits in two! The board features an asymmetrical outline, which gives you a longer heel edge and also a reasonably sized concave in the hull. The straps and pads are fantastic, firm favourites amongst the test team they are really comfortable and very easy to put on the board. This year Nobile are shipping all their boards with both 5.5cm fins and an additional set of 4cm fins giving you the option to choose the perfect size for your style of riding. The fins are fitted using their “click and go” tool free mounting system which works really well. They are constructed using a 33% glass reinforced Polyamide, which they say has the same durability as G10 whilst being much lighter. Being bright orange they certainly help you spot your board when you lose it too!
On The Water
Before we get the board wet, lets look at how it works in terms of taking it apart. We recommend watching the video for more details, but ultimately the system is very simple. Under the rubber guards you will find a stainless steel rod that flips up and pulls to the side. The rod can’t be pulled too far, so no danger of losing it, and it is reasonably easy to pull it out and put it back in again. With the rod engaged on both sides, you cannot pull the board apart, but with it disengaged the board comes apart with ease. It’s a very simple and effective system, once you get used to it you can dismantle the board in seconds and there are no parts that could fall out or get lost. A longer test with more prolonged use will see if the parts and fittings wear over time, but after a couple of weeks on the water we could see no signs of damage at all to any of the movable parts.
In terms of the ride, it’s comfortable and the soft flex eats up chop like a seagull eating hot chips. Upwind is excellent especially with the 5.5cm fins fitted, the sharp rails help to give the board plenty of grip in this respect too. There is no “movement” of the board where the split is and it feels very solid in that area. The pop is good, but obviously not being as stiff as a normal board it isn’t explosive. The Split Board is great fun and easy to ride though, lending itself well to the purpose it was designed for it can handle just about any condition you throw at it. We’re pleased they put the concave in the bottom, it must have been reasonably hard to do considering the tolerances of a design like this, and no doubt easier to have given it a flat bottom. Yet the concave helps the board upwind, adds grip and also smooth out the landings a little. If you have a small car, want to pack just the one bag on your kite trips, or fancy something novel for those last minute weekends away the Split Board is certainly the answer!
A clever design that has stood up to the test well, we were surprised by just how well the board performed in terms of the ride and amount of pop it delivered. It’s not the stiffest board on the market, far from it, but it does pack down the smallest and it works brilliantly! Well done Nobile!
This review was in Issue 42 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Nobile Kiteboarding
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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!