Liquid Force 2018/19 Season Preview
Liquid Force has become increasingly hard to pick because of the Australian market. Their boards are as quality as ever, not to mention in the US and amongst pro's and amateurs alike they are still great. So why is it hard to pick? some questionable decisions have been made for the "betterment" of the brand and innovation. Not to say that innovation is a bad thing, but certain innovations can scare people away. 4D boots for instance, this innovation for fit and movement has been great. The only downfall (and it's a big one), if you don't have Liquid Force's Flex Track boards (their pro models) then your out of luck. This also goes for putting them on other brand boards, no Liquid Force boots for you. This shouldn't affect the way you look at their boards, but it can and to a degree has had an affect on the way people weigh up buying boards. I'm here to tell you this shouldn't sway your decision. As I previously mentioned, Liquid Force boards are as strong and have as diverse a range as any. The top of the range is incredibly balanced from fast flowing boards right through to aggressive poppy shapes. And with that lets see which boards will stand the test of time and which ones are due for an upgrade. For boat boards let's go from the bottom to the top. The range is possibly the most straight forward to the point where it's easy to assume most boards may stay, but where would the fun in that be. The Trip has been a mainstay of the range for longer than I can remember and without a jump in beginner innovation should stay that way. The Classic is next, this is a candidate for change, it has been in and out of the range over the years and has been the premise for a lot of the current higher end boards, which puts its future up in the air. Though if it is gone or changed, don't be too shocked. Now to the top of the range, that was quick wasn't it? Going off the 3 year rule all of these boards are due or overdue for an overhaul. With how consistent the range is, this may not be the case though. With the Next, being the fast paced board of the range and the Remedy jammed up at the other end of the scale, if i had to say 2 boards were safe, it would be these. The one that could be most suited for change is the RDX. It sits smack bang in between the two and is smooth as hell to ride, but it has also been around for coming up on 5 years making it a prime candidate. Like I said Liquid Force is hard to read, so maybe this comes true, maybe it doesn't. They could completely turn the place on it's head and change all their mens boards, but we'll have to wait till October to know. For the women's things can be just as ambiguous. The Angel's future is attached to the Trip, and so for the moment we can be cautiously optimistic that this shape will be just a graphic update rather than a whole new board. The Jett I put on the chopping block every year, simply because it has been around since the early Amber Wing days and could do with an update. Every year this proves me wrong and reappears, none the less we could do with a new model at this point in their range, simply to spice things up and give us some more modern tech for it's middle range board. The ME as the high end board of the boat range is most likely safe. The pro model of Meagan Ethell shouldn't be going anywhere, purely because Liquid Force's first lady swears by it. When you get that type of endorsement for a women's board from the pro it's designed for, it would be a shock for it to be rejigged. Though it is not solely a boat board we will throw in there that the Melissa, a mainstay of the range for many years may finally have it's time called. With key new women's cable boards like the Vamp and Metric, and the great performance of the ME, There are only so many boards that can be produced and Melissa Marquardt's model may be the casualty. With that little detour into cable, we better cast our eye over the other side of wakeboarding. Liquid Force have an insane amount of boards in this range, a lot of which aren't that old. So do they stay or do they go? It's safe to say the handful of boards which have served the longest in the lineup are all up to be cut from the team. Boards like the Peak, FLX and Deluxe have all had long successful runs, but you can only carry so many boards in an industry that is only so big. The Timba and the Verse are relatively new and offer more affordable options to get into core cable riding, which is sorely needed (we can't all afford $900-$1000 for new cable boards), while high end pro models like the Tao, Eclipse and Raph are safe because, well, they're pro boards that are still proven performers. The Butterstick and Noodle are the experimental models of the cable range, making these hard to pinpoint what happens, so we'll sit on the fence. But personally I hope the Noodle stays, not for any particular reason, just because it looks ridiculous and fun. There are 2 boards I haven't mentioned for a reason, these are the Dose Watson and Shane. That reason being Shaun Watson and Shane Bonifay have been longstanding members of the wakeboard community and have been winding down their comp duties. Liquid Force mentioned the Dose range would most likely be the last pro model for these guys, and with the 2018/19 season being the 4th year of production, means it could be the last run of a phenomenal run of pro model boards. At one point Shaun Watson had 4 different pro models in the range, which is insane and unheard of, while Shane Bonifay has had pro models for every bit as long. They may be a pricey jump, but Watson and Bonifay have never steered wrong in designing a pro model and the Dose range was no different. So with that, we have rounded out the Liquid Force range, it is a little ambiguous, we don't hear as much out of them as what we used to, but there is potential for new models and older models to be moved on. So now buckle down until September when we land our first glimpses on the 2018/19 range and we can pass it on to you.