John Akerman’s signature board - the Whip - has been a staple in the “Ultra-Team” line for quite some time and for good reason…the Whip rips! So much so that we decided to kick it up a notch for 2023 with some extra fine tuning to the Whip v2! John is always on the go and needs a board that can keep up with him and all of his travels. The Whip v2 incorporates all of our high-end build techniques so you know it’s built to stand any punishment thrown its way. What also separates the Whip v2 from other boards in the Zap line is its wider mid-section that goes into its unique rounded pin nose. This nose shape is 100% exclusive to the Whip v2 and allows the board to float much more than normal so it can keep the responsiveness of a traditional skim shape.
John Akerman is a dual threat on the board being a pro rider for not only Zap but for Phase 5 Wakesurfers as well so he needs to be confident in his equipment and know exactly how his board is going to ride. We caught up with John to chat about his new 2023 Whip v2. Check it out below and then take a look at the Whip v2 HERE!
Zap: What are some of your favorite features of the Whip v2?
John: So, I really enjoy the new nose shape on it. Since it’s a wider base, it makes it easier to slide through the flat sections to get through to the wave. Another great feature is the pulled in pin-tail which makes it very responsive in bigger waves. This board really has everything you need because it rips in small waves because of the wider nose and it can handle the bigger waves with the ⅝” thickness and pulled in pin-tail.
Zap: What did you change about the design for 2023?
John: We pretty much did a total redesign on the board. The nose and tail shape got tweaked as well as the thickness of the board. Aka my favorite features!
Zap: Why did you decide to change the outline of the Whip for this year?
John: I really wanted to push the limits and design something that could be awesome in every condition. I go to all sorts of different kinds of spots so I needed something that could handle anything I threw at it. By changing up the design, we revamped the board and gave it new life and now I feel comfortable in any condition on it!
Zap: Does your wake surfing style ever play a part in the design of your board?
John: Definitely! The Whip v2 has more rocker than it used to and that was inspired by my wakesurfing. The increase in rocker makes the board ride more consistently and allows you to transition from the sand to the water without worrying about catching an edge or anything like that.
Zap: Are there any other boards in the line-up that you would compare it to?
John: It’s very similar to the Fuse-X honestly in that it can slide very far, has an aggressive feel, and has a similar float on the wave.
Zap: What type of rider would you push towards the Whip v2?
John: Really, any rider that’s looking to push their riding into bigger waves. It’s solid in smaller stuff but the responsiveness of this board is made to be put out in some bigger swell.
Zap: What kind of tricks do you really love throwing on it?
John: It’s so good for airs! The rocker really helps in this aspect because I never have to worry about getting caught up on a wave as I’m airing out. Also, the new nose shape really helps with tech tricks (360 shuv-its, etc) because it makes the board that much more stable.