LOCO AZTEC PREMIUM TEST REVIEW
The Aztec is a stylish board packing premium features into its up-to-the-minute shape. Its loose, throw-around performance is easily unlocked in average surf and it continues to drive hard off the bottom in better conditions. Brings clear shorter board advantages – tighter turns, transporting – without sacrificing easy paddling and stability. A practical, easy-to-love board that will quickly reward you in typical UK waves.
This is a striking board that boldly declares what Loco sup surf boards are all about. Nestling next to the classic El Diablo and truncated El Toro short sup, the Aztec is distinct with its curved in (parabolic) rails and abbreviated diamond-point nose. The tail is broad to maintain the stubby outline. The deck grip stops short ahead of the five fin boxes, allowing the strong graphics to shine through under the wax job. The superb recessed handle and lightweight carbon /PVC construction make running to the beach completely painless.
The Aztec short sup is another world first for Loco. Taking its inspiration from some bleeding edge surf designs we’ve worked the concave rail idea you find in other sliding sports into a compact, progressive outline. The slightly flatter rocker gets these boards going in 1-2’ but has enough speed and carving ability to stroke into larger waves too.
We tested the Aztec in a variety of swells from tricky, confused, short punchy waves to more amenable glassy walls. The board’s stability quickly reassures and the slightly concaved deck gives a good base to lock the feet into; it surprised us how easily it climbs over white water on the paddle out. The Aztec does lose out on a touch of glide against the more classic El Diablo, but not much, and that wide nose calls you to step forward onto it for quicker wave catching (don’t forget to wax it). Added up, this yielded us a higher than expected wave count in tough conditions, which we really think is what this board is all about: transforming the mundane into something special. Manoeuvrability is central to the Aztec’s appeal. It feels light to turn, quickly noticed via nice, hooking slashes which finish with the board right underneath you, reverted, rather than projected out in front like stiffer models can do. So what about those squeezed in rails? You can feel these at work on the bottom turn as they work to offset that wide tail and the Aztec lets you get low, compressed, and driving hard to set up the rest of the wave. Surely a fundamental requirement of any surfboard but some stubby boards don’t manage it. The Aztec’s combo of stable handling in horrible seas, simple wave catching and quick handling should open up a lot more rideable days for surfers presented with fairly average conditions on a daily basis but want to get turns in rather than just cruise. Our 8’1 test model was so easy to handle, we’d encourage riders to try the Aztec with less volume than they’re used to for most satisfying progression. For someone after a first real surfboard or a bigger guy looking for a nimbler ride, the Aztec will be a practical choice. And when did you last see a carbon build for £1249?