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Custom LE Q&A w/ Kite Designer, Damien Girardin

What inspired the design/concept?
The idea of the Custom LE came from the fact that more and more people were riding strapless…and when you say strapless, it’s pretty much like saying “surfing”. So we wanted to make a board that was a true surfboard in terms of look, shape and feel on the water. We started by getting in touch with some of Robby’s ASP pro surfer friends and got on some of their boards to test. From there, we developed our new shapes, which are very surf oriented.

How important is the Armor Frame Technology to this board?
In addition to working on the shape, we started working on some new construction. We knew we wanted a PU core/polyester resin construction to get the surfboard flex characteristics and feel on the water, but a pure surfboard construction is not strong enough. The Armor Frame Technology was the key to the success of the project; and after a few lab tests on it, we were definitely convinced.  The impact resistance was drastically improved using the Armor Frame, all without changing the overall feel of the board.

What type of rider is this board best suited for? Why?
The Custom LE targets a rider that wants to ride waves with no compromise.  It has a very direct response to feet input, creating a lot of drive on bottom turns, which then translates into amazing off-the-top turns.

Because this board has so much drive on bottom turns (thanks to a high tail kick rocker), it “sticks” to your feet really well when you push on the rail, allowing you to really focus on reading the wave and going exactly where you want on the wave without having to worry about face planting or having the rail catch. The high tail kick rocker provides great drive for side shore conditions with high-speed turns, and also allows for easy, quick and snappy turns in small onshore conditions. 

Is the end result everything you hoped for?
The Custom LE is absolutely perfect to me, and since the early prototypes it has been my board of choice no matter what conditions I have been riding in; from small onshore “wannabe waves” in South France to perfect, glassy, side shore Maui waves.

Any tips?
I recommend you move your back foot all the way to the back of the pad against the stomp pad when you engage in bottom turns. This is the perfect position to have the best control over the board when riding a wave.