Behind the Board – 2018 Refraction

BEHIND THE BOARD – 2018 Refraction

The Refraction has quickly become one of our most popular boards. Known as a solid all-around board designed to shred every condition on the planet, and take a major beating in the process, we understand why it’s popularity continues to grow. Developed under the close and inspectful eye of Sam Light, we wanted to catch up with Sam and ask him what goes on behind the board. Continue reading below to find out some of the inspiration for graphics, insight to the name Refraction, and why this year’s Refraction just might be the best one yet!

Sam Light Interview.

Alex Fox: How does the 2018 Refraction differ from the 2017?

Sam Light: The new Refraction is fire! We have kept the outline and bottom shape as I can’t fault it. It ticks all the boxes for me; loads of pop, soft landings, smooth through the water, the unique ‘nana tech’ channels work great in the park and don’t catch on rails. The main difference is the weight, we have lost a few pounds with new construction methods. It also has a slightly flatter rocker line making it faster through the water.

For me it’s the perfect combination of the 2016 and 2017 models combined. In 2017 we added the bombproof grind base, it was indestructible. However, this added a bit of weight (which didn’t bother me) but a few people mentioned it. We worked with the factory using new technology we were able to keep the grind base while shedding a few pounds so I couldn’t be more stoked! We have really hit the jackpot!

AF: Other than construction what about the graphic? What was our inspiration behind this?

SL: The graphic is beautiful. Honestly every year I’m blown away, Fox killed it! I’m lucky enough to have one of my best friends design the graphic. Some riders don’t have that much input into their pro models but as we are such good friends we keep an open dialogue throughout the year. We always send each other inspiration in the form of photos, album covers, snowboards to skateboards. Anything that we think is cool, we send, so that we are always on the same page. Fox actually came up with the name ‘Refraction’ originally too. That name couldn’t be more perfect. Obviously it goes along with my surname, and the board itself ties in all my favorite features and riding styles combined into one. Plus there’s endless inspiration of light refractions, as they just look proper cool!

sam and his board

2018 Refraction and the man who made it.

2018 board under water

2018 Refraction Over Under.

AF: For me it seems similar to what we have done in the past but obviously way cleaner…

SL: I really like the cleaner look this year! It is refreshing to mix it up. Without change from the norm you can’t move forward. It is amazing to see the evolution of the graphic. I’m really lucky to have someone so talented working on my board. Lots of boards have a completely different graphics each year and I think its more meaningful  to have story and background with it. All the refractions have followed that theme, yet each year we figure out a way to change it up and push the envelope in different ways.

AF: We always talk about how a board looks when its spinning and flipping, i think this is one of the cooler boards yet. 

SL: Yeah I noticed that too, the lines create a sort of optical illusion. It really looks crazy in clips since the graphic is asymmetrical. It looks sharp hahah. I am really hyped on it.

AF: It looks sick in photos too. That was the first thing I noticed. 

SL: Yeah the blues really make it pop. When I first saw the new board in Cozumel for the dealer meeting it was so vivid. It is such departure from last years graphic as it was pretty monotone. This is cool to implement some color and see the response. I always dislike color on boards because other companies go so crazy and they end up looking like Walmart adverts. This is tasteful.

the 2017 board

The 2017 Refraction.

all three of the board.

The Evolution of the Refraction.

AF: You bought a film camera! You’re insane. I can’t believe how sick some of the photos came out to be honest. I loved giving you shit in Puerto Rico asking to see the image after you took it. 

SL: Hahahaha. Well, I had some prize money burning a hole in my pocket. I like to ‘re-invest’ in a piece of camera gear each year to keep it fresh and new as so much of my work is content production. Everybody has mirrorless Sonys and drones so I thought I would try something different. I have been taking photos for so long with my 7D and I have lost some of the motivation to take it out with me on the daily. I’m still really pleased with it and I like the patience and surprise you get. When you get the photos developed its nice to keep something physical. So many of my photos just disappear into a black hole on my computer never to be seen again. Now I’ve started making photo albums so I have something to look through in years to come.

Times Square NYC – Sam Light Photo

Sam and his board.

Sam Light & The 2018 Refraction – Shot on film

AF: How are the cats? When you aren’t on the road your like a little domesticated cat dad….

SL: We just got a 2nd cat! I’ve realized I have a crazy cat lady for a girlfriend! Haha no but really I actually love having them around. I’ve always wanted pets and my parents were never into them. I only just moved out from my parents house 6 months ago so I’m still just loving having my own space!

AF: I miss listening to music on a boat, drinking beers with you. You think one day we can get our missus’ to live in the same place. Amalfi Coast?

SL: I know, I’m so keen. Its tricky now you live in New York and you have far too much on your plate. I’m down to take some of your load then we can see each other more? My girlfriend is ready to pack up and move somewhere hot but I actually really like living in the UK. I think it is because I have the best of both worlds. I get to travel 4-5 months of the year and base myself in the UK. The more I travel the more I realize home is where your family and friends are so I’d move to Australia if I could take some family and friends with me.

For more information on the 2018 Refraction:

To get your hands on Sam Light’s Board: