When it comes to high-performance surfboards, the best designs are often the product of collaborations with the best high-performance surfers. Julian Wilson has been one of the highest-flying talents over the past decade, and halfway through the 2018 season is leading the race for the world title. In other words, he needs the best possible equipment to support his radical approach. The AIR17 by JS Industries fits the bill, as it is one of the best shred sticks available on the market today.
The latest version of the AIR17 has been stepped down a touch from the original, to give it more maneuverability and spice in small, fun waves. Slightly wider, thicker, and flatter than the original, this board has a large sweet spot from adequate foam under the front foot, and forgiving rails to help turns stay on point, even though soft sections. A deep concave (single up front, then transitioning into double through the fins) maintains speed, and provides maneuverability without sacrificing too much control. Meanwhile, a late flip in the tail and nose rocker maintain drive through fat sections, making this board just as good for groveling as it is for shredding a head-high day.
The AIR17 comes standard as a thruster, in sizes ranging from 5'6" to 6'6" (Julian typically rides a 5'10"). Alternative fin setups are available via custom orders. The rails are medium full, helping the board to drive through turns and bumpy spots rather than bogging. The board comes standard in the HYFI materials, JS’s proprietary, game-changing epoxy construction that blends strength, light weight, and a lively feel to produce a versatile, durable board that springs out of turns.
As a staple of the JS Industries quiver, this board brings together many of the best aspects of Jason Stevenson’s design ideas to create a reliable, consistent, high-performance shortboard that elevates the average surfer’s performance while supporting world-title contenders like Julian Wilson.