Most common question asked by those have eyes on Infinity boards.
I’m lucky to say that from end of 2016 season to middle of the 2017 season I have acquired both boards and able to test it out. Also I’m including the Probox Fin System/Larry Alison fin in the article since I ran both boards with it’s setups.
Let’s roll out the time line and spec of these two boards
2016 Infinity Whiplash (purchased 2016 Oct)
- 12.6×24 Custom
- Probox Fin System (Ventral Assist 4fin setup)
- Dave Boehne’s personal board
2016 Infinity Blackfish (purchased 2017 June)
- 12.6×25.5 Custom
- Probox Fin System (Ventral Assist 4fin setup)
- Wendy Trout (Slater Trout design special board)
Probox Fin System/Larry Alisson Fin
- Small Ventral Assist Fin (Both boards)
- Stealth Twin-Small (Whiplash) – S 4H 9B 19′
- Medium Twin (Blackfish)- B 4H 91/2B 29′
- Stinger Kicker (Both boards) – S 6H 7B 32′
- Thresher Kicker (Both boards but primary for Whiplash)- X 51/2H 6B xx’
Now you have all the spec let’s talk about these boards. First of all Whiplash is displacement haul and Blackfish is planning haul. So what is the difference? In simple terms displacement board is gear towards fresh water (flat, river , lake condtion) and planning haul is for open water (Ocean, rough, choppy condtions). Then usually next questions is can it both boards crossover use on the conditions each other? Answer is “Yes” and I’m not Candice Appleby or Slater Trout so good paddler can handle any conditions if you have skill and the knowledge. Blackfish under flat water condition do need added higher stroke rate to keep up the speed.
Candice Appleby has been a Whiplash rider for few years and 2015/2016 PPG she raced the Whiplash. We all know 2015 she took 1st place in PPG. In 2017 PPG she paddle believe to be 2018 Blackfish shape. All Team riders and Candice raced Blackfish all year around from what I can see from Candice and Infinity’s instagram. Blackfish design was started between the Dave Boehne and Slater Tout.
2015 was the year both boards went through face lift and board shapes has changed. Since 2015, Blackfish has changed its shapes involving crossing over design making capable of paddling on flat water conditions. Whiplash also received minor shape changes but between 2016 and 2017 but it was minimal changes while Blackfish continue to changes each year with noticeable change. 2017 Blackfish has more rounded rails compare to year before. We all know 2018 for both boards went through totally radical changes. I have seen 2018 Blackfish at Chattajack this year and looking great. Concave right front of the cockpit to middle of the nose and also tail got narrower.
Let’s get back to the main story. Initially when my Whiplash got delivered last year (2016) board came with triple setup. I was already interested to have Ventral assist but that didn’t happen at that time. During the winter training and towards Carolin Cup I trained with single fin using Gladiator Pro (Carbon version) and at times Gladiator Fury (Carbon version). Coming from Boadworks Eradicator (Hybrid) 12.6x 26 board, 24″ wide and high volume Whiplash was screaming with the speed. I mostly train at fresh water lake 1-2miles away from my house and it can be bumpy and choppy but nothing like open water. Whiplash cut through like knife what Dave calls it “Karate Chop”. Been displacement board you will be cutting through the those rough bumps. Tip is to water pass through 2-3″ from the nose.
Few weeks before the Carolina Cup I finally got hands on Larry Allison’s Fins. I still did not had Ventral assist fin box at front but I started to ride in triple just to see how it handles. You take Gladiator fin out replacing with Stealth Twin and Stinger Kicker (center fin) you know right away the stability of the boards. Larry will say that is not how you ride Probox Fins system. All 4 fins or just single fin. Unfortunately I had hard time installing the probox for ventral assist so I went Carolina Cup with triple setup. I took this Whiplash 12.6×24 with triple on Grave Yard for the first time ever at Carolina Cup. Coming from over 98% flat water training it was brutal and experience the ride. I fall enough that I stop counting till I hit north inlet. Once made it to the harbor side Whiplash start to scream but It was mostly on me who had hard time riding tough open water condition we had. I think board was doing okay but I just didn’t know how to ride the wave correctly.
I was riding my triple setup until May when I met Tony lives in Nashville, TN who can install the Probox Fin Systems (Front ventral box). After the race in Chattanooga on the way home to KY I spend 3-5hrs at Tony’s house and got Probox installed. I had to drive home Saturday night once epoxy has cured enough to drive home. On Sunday I had to do some sanding so that I can train on Monday.
So along way since 2016 December I met up with Wendy Trout visiting KY to see her dad. Trout!.. She is Slater Trout’s Aunt. Small world to know someone related to Slater. We had some great casual ride in Barren Lake in Glasgow, KY. Almost all lake in KY drains the water during the winter so we had limited paddle area but we had fun. At this time I found out her new 2016 Blackfish is ready to be sold. She had only few rides in when this board was custom made in 2016 Oct. It was till around June of 2017 I purchased from Wendy purpose for using in two races; OABI (Detroit, MI) and ChattaJack31 (Chattanooga, TN)
Board arrived close to end of June to do some testing. You may have heard about riding style of the Blackfish for your deck postion. Surprisingly to find out that you will notice find some speed issues. So what is the standing position that made your board slower on flat water? Just like most of us heard that water should shed out around past first stripes. That is almost 1foot and half from the nose. This may well work in open water, choppy, and rough condition but not for the most common lake’s rough conditions. Most effective standing position I found to be most effective is where water sheds out about 6″ to 7″ from the nose ( around Infinity logo of N area).
I have been drafting this for awhile and forgot now it’s 2018. I better get this finish because I get so many facebook messages about Infinity board. I think you can safely say that my social media expose clearly show my love affair with Infinity boards.
In middle of December Infinity finally release the 2018 catalog and you will find huge changes in volume and size availability. In production board 24″ is no longer offered in both boards. Dave said “24” is so 2017″. You can now get both flat deck and dugout in whiplash model. You may find that flat deck has more volume then ever. That goes same with Blackfish as well. I think 2018 model will be very investing shape ever.
So the bottom line….Blackfish will outperform or perform well in flats? Time will tell but I honestly I think you as buyer you need to figure our your ration between fresh water vs open water and/or flatter/midle choppy condtion vs open water , rough condtion , rough fresh water condition. If you live in mostly in flat condition and race over 90% in fresh water then Whiplash is your best choice still. With even higher volume on 2018 Whiplash I think open water is still capable of handling the conditions.