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Freedom Foil Boards Nugget 4’7

Chris Sayer’s garage shaping bay and passion for foiling has now been backed by his old pals at Liquid Force and Freedom Foil Boards (FFB) and has morphed into something far more serious. Hailing from California, the crucible of US surfing, and now with the inclusion of the Hurley Brothers on the team, FFB are setting themselves to be a major player in the foil market across disciplines.

The Nugget is pitched as an unapologetic, no compromises, low-volume wing board designed for both wave and freestyle use. The build is high end and decadent, with a mixture of unidirectional carbon and S glass over a stringer-less EPS core and HD foam block beefing up the all-important track box area. A practical layer of E glass forms a final hard-wearing protective coating over the entire board. The proprietary foil box is 13” long, potentially accommodating a large range of foil ecosystems, and allowing you plenty of options to tune in your foot strap placements of which there are plenty of options. It’s also reassuring to see a pressure release valve for hotter conditions or air travel, a good move for a predominantly black board with an EPS core…

It’s Nugget by name and nugget by aesthetic, with the rear end of the board adorned proudly with gold. The shape is unique and interesting, with a teardrop lower hull shape, not unlike a mini downwind board, leading into the diamond tail rear end. The nose rocker is generous with a slight concave in the nose running through to a flat rear section and defined chines in the rail to aid tracking. Most of the volume in the board sits at the front, so when deep water starting it makes it easy to control below the surface as it always wants to come up forward. We alternated between a full ‘in the straps’ deep-water start, but there’s still enough width for a knee start if necessary in more challenging conditions, hooking your back foot into the strap for stability. For a relatively low volume board, particularly for a 90kg rider, once up at the surface the board’s shape tracks well in a straight line, and with power in the wing makes a good job of releasing fairly rapidly, providing you have power in the wing.

Riding a board this small and light feels electric underfoot, and the low swing weight and decent level of stiffness translates all feedback from the foil well. The slim rear end of the board allows you to go hard and aggressive into turns at more critical sections of the wave without risking catching a rail. When cranking upwind it feels sleek through the air with very little drag, which is noticeable when tipping into a wave with the wind offshore. The Nugget has a definite potential for crossover into prone use, with its design influences similar to an intermediate prone board, albeit with a little more width.

The Nugget is the perfect board for someone that wants to really push their winging to the next level with zero compromises. It likes to be combined with a stiff wing and generous power, and the low swing weight lends itself well to both aerial maneuvers and more extreme surf conditions alike. RB

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