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The Freedom Foil Boards (FFB) Fusion board is one of the latest additions to the FFB lineup. Designed to bridge the gap between surfing and foiling, the Fusion has a longer, narrower outline with the wide point forward of center, near the shoulder of the board. Tapering back to a round tail, the Fusion is capable of handling large open face carves, and big boosts off the lip. With a variety of sizes ranging from 4’/28L to 5’/41L, there is a board for almost every rider.
The attention to detail from the FFB team is apparent right out of the box, all packaging is plastic free and carefully thought out to mitigate the chance of any shipping damage. Fresh out the box the Fusion has a noticeable gap in the rear tail pad, this is where FFB has provided riders an option to customize their traction to meet their personal preferences. There are two filler options provided with the Fusion, one is a flat traction, and the other is the ‘Pump Bump’. Riders who use footstraps or prefer lots of back foot movement may prefer the flat option, whereas strapless riders that pump with their back foot farther forward may find advantage with the Pump Bump.
In lieu of the traditional deck mount leash plug location, the Fusion has the leash plug installed on the bottom tail kick which helps keep the rail saver and leash away from the back foot. A one-way vent is located on the deck in the traditional leash plug location. This vent helps the board breathe and mitigates the chance of damage due to temperature or elevation changes. FFB provides clearly marked instructions on how to tighten this plug prior to the first session.
The Fusion is equipped with footstrap inserts set on center for the back foot and spaced for both goofy and regular foot riders to have an angled front foot. The deck pad cleanly cuts out around the inserts so strap installation is quick and easy.
FFB has a new footstrap, the Freedom Air strap. These footstraps are purpose designed for prone foiling, with a very soft and flexible profile that is comfortable to lay on, yet immediately pops up to the open position for quick and easy entry. Included in the strap package are washers and screws for seamless integration into almost any board with footstrap inserts. The Freedom Air straps have multiple mounting options to match your personal strap preferences. Consistent with almost all footstraps of this flexible design, the Freedom Air straps do sacrifice some of the security offered with a traditional plastic reinforced molded strap, however this comes at a significant gain in paddling comfortability and positioning on the board. There was no chest pain/soreness after several hours of paddling on top of the Freedom Air strap, and, over time, confidence in the security was developed.
The Fusion and the Freedom Air straps were put through a rigorous test capturing all aspects of foiling, prone, tow, and wing foiling with a variety of foils ranging from 800 surf foils to 1125 HA foils. Wave conditions ranged from 1-2′ to 6-8′. The board tested is 4’6 x 19.7 x 3 @ 34.6L, rider is 6’4, 170lb.
Freedom Foil Boards markets the Fusion as a do-it-all board designed to handle almost all riding styles and conditions. This was truly put to the test and the Fusion was a standout performer. Having the wide point pushed up towards the shoulder of the board puts a bit more foam under the rider's chest. This translates into outstanding paddle power and easy entry into waves. The Fusion excels at catching waves early, allowing plenty of time to get into the footstraps and set up for your wave. The double concave bottom that runs from the nose to the foil tracks helps keep the nose of the board tracking while paddling, almost completely eliminating any yaw around the mast that is common with flat-bottom boards. The full carbon construction means the Fusion is incredibly stiff so every pump is hyper efficient, and riders will have confidence to send airs as big as possible.
The light weight of the Fusion provides excellent feel and mobility when up on foil. Even at top end speed and towing larger waves, the Fusion was controllable and consistent. Touchdowns at speed were easy to recover from, the board would bounce off the water in a predictable way that allows for easy recovery. Experienced wingfoilers will appreciate the reduced tail volume, as this allows for an easy sinker or knee start as the Fusion naturally wants to sit “nose high” in the water.
The track and footstrap positioning is dialed in and able to accept foils of all ranges and sizes. Smaller tow/wing foils rode further forward in the box, where larger HA foils sat towards the rear.
In summary, if you are looking for a one-board quiver, the Fusion is an excellent contender. The design and construction allow the Fusion to handle small 1-2′ chop, or overhead rollers, strapless carving or strapped boosting. Prone foilers, towers, and wingers will all appreciate what the Fusion has to offer. ST