Keith Teboul talks KT foil boards at the AWSI

Foiling Magazine's Contributing Editor Steve Sjuggerud talks with legendary shaper Keith Teboul from KT boards at the AWSI event in Hood River.

For the full interview transcript, see below.


 

Steve:

Hey, I'm Steve with Foiling Magazine here at AWSI 2022, and here with Keith Teboul, a legendary shaper and windsurfer, and all around watermen from Maui, and Keith, how many years have you been actually shaping boards?

Keith Teboul:

I think it's been at least 25 years.

Steve:

25 years. And I've got to confess as a big guy, Keith has built me some custom boards that have just been amazing. So, I'm excited to hear. But it's not just me you build boards for, of course, there's guys like Kai Lenny for example. As a windsurf competitor that you've been, a world class windsurfer and then building windsurf boards, SUP boards, short boards for professional surfers. Building everything, is kind of natural for Kai to want to work with you, plus you guys are both in Maui. Any thoughts on that?

Keith Teboul:

Yeah, yeah. So it makes it easy for Kai to just come to me. One, it's the technology of the build.

Steve:

Absolutely.

Keith Teboul:

Two, we're involved in all these different sports, so it's great. And then three, we're all passionate about what we do. So the innovation just kind of comes naturally.

Steve:

What I thinks kind of neat, is that it doesn't seem like you ever tried to push yourself or promote KT, you let Kai do his thing, and Kai blew up big and now people are probably saying, wow, who's this KT.

Keith Teboul:

For sure. I think it originally started with surfing KT, and then we've segued into the foiling, because we felt like foiling is definitely a lot like surfing. The energy that you get from the swell, down winding or prone paddling or whatever it is. So it was very natural for us to bring foiling into KT. And working with Kai, all the athletes really, but Kai especially, he's so forward thinking, and thinking outside the box, and he's a very good tester and a very good person to have new ideas.

Steve:

Awesome. I think that's a great segue to potentially what's laying here, right here. Is this the Ginxu?

Keith Teboul:

So this is the Ginxu, it's a new concept of board, that actually I developed originally with Elliot Leboe.

Steve:

Oh, right.

Keith Teboul:

So he came to me with the idea of trying to get the boards more sensitive, so in effect wanted to get closer to the foil. So that was the first thing we did. We just cut the tail, brought the foil closer to your foot so you have more sensitivity. The first time I rode the board, I realized, first wave that you actually lift off quicker. So basically the foil starts, you start moving forward, you get a little lift and basically there's nothing back here that's going to touch, so you just-

Steve:

The wetted surface area just becomes-

Keith Teboul:

Shorter. And so you lift off way quicker. And then we started realizing the other benefits as we did different prototyping and all this. And you have to understand too, that when we were doing all this prototyping, we didn't want anybody to see it, because this is a very different idea and it's hard on Maui. So keeping it in a bag, go to different spots. Use the jet ski. So that was a pretty cool, little kind of fun little experience for sure. And so we found all this benefits and the touchdowns are really effortless. The balancing is a little different and that just takes some getting used to, but it's a quick transition.

Steve:

So I actually saw this tail in action, that there's a new clip, it's September of 2022 here, and there's a new clip out from Kai in Mexico and he's carving on this prone foil board. And you can see this tail is not touching, very close.

Keith Teboul:

Yeah. Again, that's another one of the design aspects is that when you are turning, there is less area back here to actually touch and slow you down. So he loves it. He loves every aspect of it. He loves the lift off. The way it, actually when you land, also you have more volume in your front foot. So when you're landing jumps, it doesn't dive in as much and pops out sooner. And he likes just the little, like the seesaw action that this creates. And this design is actually patented. Oh wow. So we have a patent, a worldwide patent on this. So we're pretty stoked. It was something that we thought was valuable enough to put a little effort into patenting it.

Steve:

Nice. Now another question. You legendary for your construction, all these windsurfers over all these years, detonating flat landings in [inaudible].

Keith Teboul:

Yeah, for sure.

Steve:

So was designing this tail a challenge to be strong enough?

Keith Teboul:

Super challenging. I mean, in the beginning we broke some, It's normal. We didn't really break the bigger sizes.

Steve:

You don't have to give me the secrets, I just want to-

Keith Teboul:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean-

Steve:

You're confident in this tail?

Keith Teboul:

Yeah, I'm confident in this tail, in the construction and yes, our background is really helped. And yes, we had to put a lot of thought into it because it is a full on stress point.

Steve:

So these boards are good for Kai Lenny, but are they good for the average surfer?

Keith Teboul:

Definitely. I think this board is, I can't say it's for beginners.

Steve:

Right.

Keith Teboul:

If you're a small beginner, you could take the 120 and just do just fine. But I'd say it's more intermediate advanced. And it might take a day to get used to or a session just because of the different balance, but it's completely for anybody, intermediate to advanced.

Steve:

And then what's the size range on these? I mean are these prone all the way up or is it-

Keith Teboul:

Is it, Yeah, it goes from 26 all the way to 120 liters.

Steve:

Fantastic.

Keith Teboul:

So the smaller ones are good for wake, behind a boat or prone. And then as you just as it progresses, just, I mean I even use the 32 to wing, when it's windy. If it's windy. So I'm on a 3L. So that was our ideas to make it, that was you were able to do everything on. I feel good about where we're at with that.

Steve:

Awesome man. I know you hooked up with Jason Diffin as well who's-

Keith Teboul:

Jason Diffin.

Steve:

People don't know, but tell his background if you would?

Keith Teboul:

Jason Diffin has been designing sails for Goya sails for many years now. And just as we developed our whole product line, we were able to just incorporate the wings. And so we have a full range of wings from 2-0 to 6-0. It took us two years to get them to where we like them. And I feel really good about where we're at. And I feel like there's like we have a good team that puts a lot of thought into everything we do, and it's just getting better. And so it was time for us to introduce something that we love to do.

Steve:

Awesome, man. Well this is all exciting stuff. Thanks Keith. Thanks for taking the time.

Keith Teboul:

Yeah.

Steve:

Absolutely.

Keith Teboul:

Thank you for taking the time too. Appreciate it. Thanks everyone.

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