Editor's Pick: 2011 CWB xFaction Wakeboard

Words by Nick Weinacker

CWBs have always been great boards for riders who like to charge the wake but don’t want to end up in the flats by accident. In the past, however, I found all CWB shapes seemed to ride the same. The company’s traditional board shapes began to change with Andrew Adkison’s pro model, Transcend, which has a ton of rocker, and Trevor Hansen’s pro model, Marius, which stays super-wide through the tip and tail and convex between the fins.

The new xFaction’s big addition to CWB’s design repertoire occurs in the rail and part line. The rail along the belly of the board is really squared off, then it shaves down to a sharp edge in the tip and tail, creating better edge-to-edge transition and speed. The part line, where the deck and bottom graphics meet along the board’s edge, is the Achilles heel of many boards. Once the edge gets a little beat up from hitting rails and obstacles, the board’s strength is compromised, no matter what it’s made of. The xFaction edge has a slight bevel along the bottom of the board so it never makes contact when hitting structures. Plus, the part line is halfway up the edge of the xFaction, making it incredibly durable.

I went with a setup of 0.8-inch fins, recommended by Josh Palma, which gave the board great tracking and edge hold. Yet I also thought the xFaction was really easy to break loose for effortless release off the wake, easy ollieing onto rails and fierce photo shoot slayshes. The xFaction is the best CWB board I’ve ever ridden — hands down. It’s a board any rider can get on and have a good ride the very first time around. Its great, predictable pop is actually more poppy than a typical continuous rocker board. It was fun to do wake-to-wake tricks like backside 540s and mobes but easy to take into the flats and forgiving on big landings. I tested the 144 cm xFaction. It always seems like a board that big is going to be a struggle to ride, but the xFaction didn’t feel like a big board weight wise or on big landings.

Thanks to CWB’s durable Ti slider base and the aforementioned beveled edges, the xFaction is made to stand up to the high-frequency rail hits of a cable park. However, it does take a minute to get used to on rails. CWB’s traditional spin runs through the belly of the xFaction, which provides better edge-to-edge transition and smoother landings but is a little awkward at first on obstacles. As with every board, though, once you get used to how it behaves, you’re good to go.

The bottom line: I would put anyone at any level on the xFaction and feel confident they would have a great ride.

($350, ridecwb.com)