There’s been quite the buzz surrounding the release of Kelly Slater’s “Slater Designs” label. And the majority of that buzz seems to have hovered around one specific board of the three models that were released in the brand’s initial launch. Say hello to the Slater Designs Sci-Fi. You may have already seen this board under the feet of shaper Daniel Thomson, 2016 Quik Pro Snapper standout Stu Kennedy, or Slater himself. The unique curves and proven performance of the Sci-Fi were exactly what drew us here at SURFING to want to give it a go for ourselves in the latest Field Test.
Test Pilot: SURFING Magazine editors Dayton Silva (H. 5’7″ W. 150) and Zander Morton (H. 5’9″ W. 160)
Location: Seaside Reef and Keramas
Board: Slater Designs Sci-Fi
Dimensions: 5'6" 18 1/2 2 5/16 (Zander misspoke when he said it was 5’7″. Silly Zander.)
Fin Setup: Futures F6 Generation Series (Ride Number: 7.2)
Traction Pad: Pro-Lite Mitch Crews Signature Series
Leash: Pro-Lite, Mitch Crews Signature
Wax: Sex Wax, 2X Extra Soft
They say: “The Sci-Fi is a mashup of classic curves and modern rocker served with a futuristic twist of fluid dynamic principles likely found in the design archives of Bruce Wayne. Expect seemingly unnatural acceleration, instantaneous response and an all around level performance that can only be described as electric. The Sci-Fi is a high performance all-rounder with impressive range (1-8ft ) with usability for intermediate to advanced surfers. 5-fin Option.”
Strength: Loose and lively while still being able to withstand a hard rail turn.
Surprise: The Sci-Fi held in overhead, hollow Keramas. Which comes as a surprise due to the fact that is is 2-3 inches shorter than what our normal shortboards. The channel bottom and hard edges in the tail helped it grip the wave.
The cure for: The monotony of your standard shortboard. The Sci-Fi is boldly different than all that is “average”, and the same can be said about how it performs.
What else?: The Sci-Fi was a completely new feeling for me – and I mean that in the most positive way possible. It’s unique curves and modern design delivered an unmatched feeling of drive and responsiveness. This board is fast, and it took me a few session to really learn how to harness it – which, of course, is a rich man’s problem when it comes to surfboards.
The impressive range and durable construction of the Sci-Fi in Firewire’s LFT tech would prove to be a solid choice for an alternative all-rounder.
The Sci-Fi is currently available online and in stores pretty much everywhere surfboards are sold. So go check one out for yourself, or see here for more info.