KITELEMENT RE VOLT 136 2015 TEST REVIEW
Split boards are increasing in popularity with more of us pushing those travelling limits in the face of the dreaded taxi, bus, train, airline faff and ridiculous short and longhaul baggage tariffs. With modern materials and large amounts of research and development, split boards can arguably offer similar performance to our standard everyday twin tip, and save the stress when travelling. TESTED AG/WK
The new A-lock system to attach the two halves of the board together is improved from previous years; all you need is 6 small screws and you’re ready to go. On first impression we were sceptical as to its strength but were impressed by its simplicity of assembly and were intrigued to feel the performance on the water. The board comes with the Kitelement re form foot straps; the pads themselves are made of memory foam with a non-slip top, which are extremely comfortable with an added toe ridge for extra control and support. With only 3 adjustment options it is kept basic but adjusts easily for a hassle free experience. Comes with 40mm fins and grab handle. KE have made no compromises in strengthening the board. They use a Paulownia wood core and hugely durable epoxy rails to avoid any issues of delaminating. There’s no argument the board is solid but does give it slightly more weight than some competing products. This model is the softer, slightly heavier non-carbon construction. The more expensive re solve is the stiffer full carbon version. The re volt has a medium rocker line to help with pop considering its fairly stiff flex. This comes in handy for any wakestylers as it is also fully compatible with bindings, although doesn’t yet include a grind base. On the bottom are dual channels and m-shaped tips to improve water flow, stability and soften landings.
With the scepticism left in the car, we found the re volt remained solid under foot and never felt weak in the middle. The board gets onto the plane easily and handles basic chop well with a good firm grip. The planing speed is controllable and had no issues getting up wind giving quite a comfortable ride. Even when pushed through carving turns and tail presses, it was barely noticeable that it wasn’t a solid construction. Jumping too was also a surprising pleasure. The board loaded its edge well and released with good amounts of pop; the extra weight was noticeable in the air when ridden side by side with carbon competitors but it didn’t take long to adjust to. Again on landings it seemed smooth and controlled without any worries over its core strength. You can definitely see and feel a little resistance from the join in the middle, but this spray was not intrusive and the drag factor did not slow the board down to a detrimental level. Refinement of the join line could enhance the board in future years however.
The re volt certainly makes a statement against split board pessimists and the aggressive red and black graphics backs it up. The market for split boards is increasing and it’s great to finally have a board you can fully enjoy on the water as well as in transit. The cheaper alternative to the carbon re solve, it does feel slightly heavy in the air, although this is a by-product of its improved strength. A good board regardless of its travel capabilities which is a definite result in terms of engineering, and will hopefully see more of us travelling further with more ease.