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Based in Hawaii, Keith Teboul, a former windsurf and surf legend, and renowned board and fin shaper for Quattro and MFC Hawaii, launched KT surfing in 2012 with the goal of designing and manufacturing the most advanced surfboards on the market. He then applied the technology to kite and now foilboards. With Kai Lenny generally seen riding his boards, they clearly come with plenty of kudos too. The Drifter is a compact foilboard, designed to provide loads of speed for paddling, and the earliest take off ability with a highly responsive compact shape. It is available in three sizes, 4’8, 4’10 and 5’0. We had the 4’10 on test. This has 35 liters of volume and I am 186cm and 86 kilos. The tests were conducted in 2-5ft waves paired with the MFC hydrofoil, 1250 and 1400.
The Drifter is built in an ultralight, super rigid EPS/epoxy construction with integrated double stringer system and reinforced with a carbon exoskeleton. The board feels amazingly light and balanced in your hands. The volume distribution, outline, deep-bevel rails, concaves and recessed deck leaves no doubt: you have in your hands a state-of-the-art, computer designed piece of foiling artwork.The shape is relatively rounded and designed to be comfortable and fast at paddling with a recessed deck and a lot of volume on the tail to push the board on the earliest take off in the smallest wave possible. The ultra-lightweight construction gives the board an impressive response and acceleration at paddling. It builds speeds instantly and allows you to catch any wave, even if you change your mind last minute to turn and go. The handling in the water is easy, it is super easy to duckdive, and the volume distribution and rocker allows you to press the board down to build speed without nosediving. The board is light, responsive and feels solid in your hands and you can hold it with maximum finger pressure without feeling like you are going to pressure ding it.
The board glides really well through the water and feels like you are paddling a much bigger board. The recessed deck allows you to naturally position yourself in the sweet spot of the board and the deep-beveled rails help the board to drift sideways and be ultra-forgiving in the take-off. You feel like you control the foil instinctively and the board never locks in tracking. As soon as it bounces on a wave the take-off is ultra-smooth. You can take your time and adjust your trajectory with the board still on the water before the flight. You decide if you want to jump early or either stay down to adjust and take your time, the board will fly through the water really efficiently. It feels really comfortable and as soon as your feet are on the board, the recessed concave deck helps to find the perfect stance.
When touching the water in a carve the board bounces and brings you back in flight without any disturbance. On a stall/breach nosedive, the board will bounce off the water in a second without losing any speed and will allow you to recover from many mistakes that any other board wouldn’t allow. Once you have kicked out of a wave, pumping comes naturally and board inertia is nonexistent, you don´t have to adjust your foot position and feel in total control at any speed.
For non-prone foiling applications – on a tow or when kitesurfing the board for example – it is really easy to turn on the rail in the water and helps you with a quick and natural waterstart. The 4’10 is definitively a weapon of choice for an all condition surf foil board, but also as a kitefoil board and tow-in for an intermediate to expert foil rider between 75 to 90 kilos and an expert wing-foiling rider who knows how to sink-in waterstart. The easy paddling features makes it perfect to charge any type of waves relating to your skill level. Overall, the KT Drifter fits exactly in its designed purpose and description: it is an ultra-responsive, easy-paddling, ultra-stiff piece of high-performance foilboarding perfection.