Sparrow said :

“The Sparrow Shapes Air Assault  is your perfect step down that can be ridden in mushy to good conditions with ease. Perfect for punting and new school surfing without riding a fish. This model is very user friendly and has a very balanced feel to it.

We said :

Let’s get one thing straight. Even though the board is called the ‘Air Assault’ this board under my feet was never going to get into the air. Unfortunately I am just not an ‘air guy’ not even as a junior did I aim for the stars on many occasions. You see my inspirations where the likes of Pancho Sullivan and Taylor Knox.

The model I rode wasn’t exactly stock dims, as Lincoln is a little chubby right now and had started working with Sparrow on something called ‘Gentleman Specs’, and so I rode a 5’11 x 20 x 2 5/8 (32.9L). I ran a FCS setup with either the MF or Mayhem Templates.

Sparrow Surfboards Air Assault


The board has curves.

At first glance it looks like it will most definitely turn in the tight sucky pockets that you want it to. Add the curves to knifey rails and medium entry rocker, you have a very high performance craft. The most interesting part of the boards shape however is the beef under the chest.

The Sparrow Shapes Air Assault is a board for the people, you don’t need to be Slater or Mick. You can be you and you’ll enjoy the board in the right conditions. The outline is a little fuller through the nose and a slight hip in the tail. It’s running a medium-low rocker, meaning it should accelerate easily enough on its own accord and won’t leave hungry for drive like an over rockered board might. If you’ve ridden an OG Flyer, then you’ll know what I’m talking about…

On the bottom you’ll find a single to double concave (standard bottom contour these days) and a thruster setup. I’m sure if you ask Sparrow could throw five fin boxes in there so you could switch between quad and thruster. The model we rode was a traditional PU blank with 4×4 glassing and reinforced tail patches.

This board in particular with SP’s new gentlemen** dims (5’11 20 2 ⅝) had plenty of beef under the chest meaning paddling into waves was a dream. Even though when you first pick it up it feels as though it may struggle in that department.

**I’m not sure how far along Sparrow has gotten to releasing the actual Gentlemen Specs, but if you’re after something that floats you a little more just ask him and he’ll have it sorted. Email Sparrow here.


As the name suggests this is a high performance surfboard so naturally your first thought is that this board goes best in good waves. To see how it goes you only have to watch clips of Vasa out at Snapper (here, here and here) to see the waves it really goes nuts in. The challenge you might have is that you’re not Vasa…

It’s a board that is meant to go best in ‘mushy to good conditions’ but I found that the better the waves were the better the board felt. So while the board struggles a bit to get moving in poor waves and pivots in funny places when the waves aren’t cooperating, once you get it into good waves the board really shines and exceeds expectation. It fits into places that you wouldn’t expect to fit the board and it accelerates through turns in the bowliest sections. Definitely adds a couple of points to your confidence and approach in better waves once you’re used to it. 

Overall Best Conditions:
3-5ft well shaped waves or waves with push – again just refer to Mr Vasicek here –  will really have you unleashing the potential this board has. Snapper Rocks, Duranbah, Hossegor. Sucky shallow sand bottom beach breaks and points is where this board will succeed.


Stats were:
12 sessions
75 waves
Top Speed of 29km/h (Burleigh)
Longest ride was 75m (Burleigh)

If you’re riding a ‘performance’ step down or a hybrid type of board that goes really well in sub par waves but limits your ability in better waves. The Sparrow Shapes Air Assault will be a welcome addition to your quiver.

If you’re sick and tired of nose diving on a sucky section after a top turn or even on a late drop. The Sparrow Shapes Air Assault will be a welcome addition to your quiver.

The Air Assault has the ability to still paddle into waves with ease but then turn into a Ferrari on the face and let you shred. It’s quite remarkable actually, and for me who doesn’t surf at the highest of high performance crafts it was a pleasant surprise.


The Sparrow Shapes Air Assault, in my mind, is a keeper. I’m lucky enough to have a few boards in my quiver and it fits in perfectly for me living on the Gold Coast. You may not have that fortune to have a multi board quiver, and if that’s the case buying this board might be harder choice.

But, what I’ll say is, as part of a two board quiver – one board for shitty waves, and this board for good waves – you’re on a winning combination. From 2ft up to – pushing it – 6ft surf, you’ll be able to wrangle this board in most conditions. Like we’ve mentioned, it’ll shine for you when it’s cooking and/or just good waves. But it will also get you through some junky days too, and the more you ride it the more you’ll learn and get used to understanding where the wins are with it.

And for $750 you’re getting a pretty damn good deal considering the cost of other HP boards out in the market right now. So definitely consider this as we’re coming into the good waves period of the year here in Australia.

The Wins:
*Plenty of beef under the chest to get you into waves early.
*Curves in all the right places
*That Ferrari feeling

The Challenges:
*Low knifey rails give you no forgiveness. You gotta be on son.
*Very niche wave type for it to really get going.
*Funny pivot points on flatter faces.

You can also watch a review on the Air Assault from the good guys over at Tracks who reviewed it a while back with Liam O’Brien. If you’re not quite sold on the Sparrow Shapes Air Assault but are interested in getting a high performance craft, some alternatives include the OG Flyer from Channel Islands, the Monsta 2020 from JS or even something like the Hot Knife from Chilli Surfboards

Sparrow Surfboards Air Assault

The Sparrow Shapes Air Assault isn’t widely available globally, yet, so the best place to get one is via their website or DM their IG and speak to Sparrow directly. Need to know the closest? Hit up their retailer page for more info.

Price wise you’re looking at around $750 AUD, which ain’t too bad considering the prices of the more known surfboard labels out there. And make sure you spare enough cash to grab a set of MF Large Fins or Mayhem Large Fins, both which were ridden while testing the board (and worked well).

If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including the most recent review of the Channel Islands Fishbeard (in Spinetek) along with buyers guides of Springsuits and Boardcovers. We’ll have more Surfboard reviews (Next up is a NPJ Duo and Chilli Sugar) coming soon.

Again, if you’re interested in buying a Sparrow Shapes Air Assault you can order is via their website or DM their IG. Need to know the closest retailer? Hit up their retailer page for more info.