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Kampus Swing Series ReviewReviewed by: Dave Barousse
Kampus Wakeskates recently introduced the Swing Series wakeskates with some unique new features. The decks are not the normal shape seen these days, use a different kind of grip and have down-turned rails. Interesting huh? Well there is more. The board is available in two different thicknesses and also has a concave, contoured top. If you don't want one just yet, read some more and you may change your mind.
The Kampus Swing Series is currently available in a 41.5 length. You are probably thinking that there should be more than one length in order for Kampus to call these boards the Swing Series. Well, you are correct and there is an answer for this. The decks are available in different thicknesses. There is a 7-ply board and a 9-ply board for when you really want to get down.
The Swing Series has a shape that is little different than most of the skates out today. Kampus decided to round the tip and tail of this board. In doing so, it looks more like a giant skateboard rather than the typical wakeskate. This should make any skateboarder turned wakeskater feel right at home. The concave, contoured top also makes the board feel and ride more like a skateboard would.
One thing about the Swing series that sets it apart is the fact that it has down-turned rails and a V transfer bottom. This gives the bottom of the board a very unusual shape that is not seen on most wakeskates. The bottom is v-shaped, but it is not a drastic v-shape like a boat. It is very smooth and subtle and is most notice when the fins are off and the board is on a flat surface.
Kampus went a different rout with the grip on the Swing Series. Instead of using a grip tape on the top of the board, they basically made the grip into the top of the deck. It is as if sand was thrown on the board with a layer of wet glue under it. In reality, the Super Stick grip surface is an applied sand grit mix to poly-clear sealant. The grip definitely does it's job and is very "grippy" when riding the board. This grip is similar to grip tape, but it may have grounds for adding a new category to the classic "grip tape vs. foam" battle constantly happening in the discussion forum. We aren't sure how you would go about adding new grip to this deck once the original has completely worn off, but it seems as though it would take a while for that to actually happen. The grip is clear and if you aren't close enough, it looks as though there is no grip at all on the top of the deck.
The swing series is also available with a Soft Stick grip surface. The Soft Stick grip is a rubberized grip tape that is soft to the skin when grazed.
As mentioned above, the Swing Series is available in a 7-ply and a 9-ply laminate. It does also feature a concave, contoured top and allows you maximum pop off of the wake with a progressive (1 5/8") 3 stage rocker.
The ride of the Swing Series was definitely a surprise. The turned downed rails and V transfer bottom gives the board a different feel on the water. It reacts to the water differently than the more common flat wakeskate bottom. When riding, you can tell that the board is fast and is capable of holding a solid edge all the way into and up the wake. The V transfer bottom does take some getting used to, but after riding it a few times, it will not be as noticeable.
I found the board responded very well on tech tricks. Ollies and shuvits were performed with minimal effort. The skateboard shape of the deck made me feel right at home, as if I were riding a line across an empty parking lot. I didn't feel as comfortable on wake to wake tricks in the beginning, but after getting used to the board, things started coming together. I definitely preferred the Swing for tech tricks rather than going big off of the wakes.
In conclusion, the Swing series from Kampus is a fun board to ride and in my opinion is geared more towards advanced wakeskaters. I wouldn't suggest this board to a beginner, but I would highly recommend an avid wakeskater to take it for a test run. It is a lot of fun to ride and brings a different feel to the sport. If you are wanting to try something new and different, then try this deck. If you are into doing technical tricks in the flats, such as shuvits and flip tricks, then this is a board for you.
Suggested retail price on the Kampus Swing Series is $199.99.
For more information about Kampus Wakeskates and the Swing Series, you van visit them online at Kampuswakesk8.com.
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