The March-April issue of the well-known French magazine Windmag is devoted almost entirely to the results of new 2017 main brands boards and sails. It provides a very useful tool to guide our purchases. In this article, we sum up the tests results on freewave boards.
Windsurf tests: Freewave Boards, 2017
First of all, we strongly suggest you buy the magazine (with a few euros it is possible to have it shipped directly to your home), to deepen the many suugestings you can find in the complete tests. Here, we will summarize the evaluations carried out about the freewave boards, which many intermediate riders like, because they are looking for versatile boards to be used both in lakes, with strong winds, or at sea, in light wave conditions. Keep in mind, however, that no board can cover at the best all the possible conditions.
The following boards have been tested:
1) Exocet Cross 94 Carbone
2) Fanatic Freewave 96 TE
3) Fanatic Freewave STB 95 TE
4) JP Freestyle wave 93 Pro Edition
5) 99NoveNove Style wave 95 LTD
6) RRD Freestyle wave 96 LTD 96 LTD V4
7) Starboard Kode Freewave 94 Carbon Ultra Core
8) Tabou 3S 96 LTD
Exocet, in short, is considered a board suitable mainly for freeride (it can only be set up as a single fin, with a straight fin of 30 cm). Planing control guaranteed also with choppy conditions at sea. Ignore waveriding with this board.
The classic Fanatic freewave TE confirms as a reference in its category. It guarantees vivacity and precision among waves, and jumps, but allows comfortable sessions even on flat water. It can also be too lively for newcomers. Trifin up to 96, single fin 106 and 116.
The Fanatic Freewave STB has the new Stubby compact shape of wave boards. Fairly straight rails, wide nose and tail, with lateral fins (a thruster) rather back. This model reveals a surprise in the category, with a good polyvalence of use. Waveriding is its natural playground, but freeride remains possible, resulting a quickly tame board. Among the benefits, the balanced distribution of volumes, and the quality of the materials.
The Jp is equipped with a thruster fin set in the Pro version, and single fin in the FWS (Full Wood Sandwich) version. Although having a shape that seems to be extracted from wave models, it turns out to be a truly multifaceted, lively among waves, tempting if you want to try a bit of freestyle, but also ideal for planing rides offshore. A true mix of genres.
The 99Novenove Style Wave 95 LTD has classic lines, but a tri-fin configuration. It has a well-balanced volume distribution, with slightly advanced width to ensure better buoyancy. It is mainly a freeride board, very easy, and accessible for everyone, which enters in and easily holds planing, despite the three fins. It can be used by neophytes in the waves, to make the first experiences, resulting fluid and precise in the direction changes.
The RRD Freestyle Wave 96 LTD V4 has an RRD Wavecult like shape, with a truncated nose, and fine rails to the stern. The 96 is equipped with a single 30 cm fin, but it has side slots to set it as a thruster. It has excellent planing qualities, and it is shaped like a big wave board, suitable for heavy riders who like to get out among the waves, having a reactive board under their feet, which keeps planing constantly. Ideal for short rides, less for long rides offshore, as it forces you to hold a straight stance, a little tiring in long rides.
The Starboard Kode Freewave 94 Carbon Ultra Core is characterized by a new construction technology that makes it tougher, stiffer, and slightly lighter, and adopts the new rapid fastening system designed by Starboard. It is supplied with two sets of fins (both single fin and thruster), highlighting the polyvalence of the board. It is a tolerant board that opens the door to waveriding for beginners of this discipline, and that is comfortable in jumps (soft and thick pads). The board is also comfortable in flat waters (in single fin set). It can be the only board of intermediate level surfers.
The 3s 96 LTD has been radically revised in shape, with a reduced length of about 10 cm (224 cm), a truncated nose and wide stern with large and comfortable pads. It is a formidable board, specializing in freeride windsurfing with strong wind: the board is very fast, has a remarkable acceleration, runs well in choppy conditions, remaining in control. It is also fun in the bump and jump, while in the waves, with its 32 fin, it surrenders to the trifin boards listed above.
So, in few words:
- Exocet and 3s are more freeride oriented;
- Novenove e Kode (expecially the last one), are the most polyvalent in the category;
- JP, RRD, and both the two Fanatic are more Wave oriented.
For further details, buy Windmag! If you want, add your opinion in the comments at the end of the article.
Hang loose. Fabio
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