For those who ride spots where thermal breezes prevail, and do not want to evolve to much more technical slalom boards, freeride boards are a great solution that provides easy fun without too much thought.
Windsurf tests: 2017 freeride boards
Once again, we provide a brief summary of the tests results of this category of boards made by the well-known French magazine Windmag (March-April 2017 issue, dedicated to tests), which we invite you to buy for further insights. This article follows those, which have already been successful, dedicated to 2017 freewave boards and sails.
We focus on 2017 Freeride Boards test results, with volume around 110 liters, which is ideal for mid-sized surfers, weighing between 65 and 80 kgs.
The models considered by the French magazine are:
Exocet X-Move's scoop of the three sizes produced has been redesigned with a banana-like nose, and a larger bow. The hull has a distinct V, and two long stitch incisions that affine its wet stern surface. The fin has the tuttle attack (the only model in the category). It is a board planned to high performances, under strong wind conditions. It's a real high wind freeride, to remain in full control, when riding with strong wind.
The Fanatic Gecko is available in two versions, as for construction concerns: LTD and HRS. The LTD has shifted from the Innegra carbon to a fiberglass composition, whose properties offer a combination of weight / rigidity / flexibility more consistent with the freeride. Gecko LTD is destined to experienced clients, as it requires a good riding tecnique to tame its liveliness. In this 112-liter size, planned for strong wind, the HRS version, more docile, will be more suitable for mid-level riders, to enjoy the delight of the planing offered by this dynamic shape. The LTD, on the other hand, is in the range of technical boards.
The Goya Volar is a new Goya model designed to follow the rider's progress. This size (115) is devoted to strong wind conditions. It has a narrow profile, and is designed to keep planing off-shore, under difficult sea conditions. Goya seduces with the quality of its planing and the reactions guaranteed by its structure. The volar is characterized by a relatively dynamic riding; it manages a wide range of situations, but its strength is in harsh conditions.
The Jp Magic Ride is available in 7 sizes and three types of construction. The sweetness of the curves characterizes this board, which has rounded rails, which get sharper to the stern. Three positions for footstraps. It is an affordable board that guarantees a reassuring approach to freeriding. The planing sensations are moderate, but funny. This model is thought for a rider who wants to enjoy the pleasure of mastering a modern shape, with a quiet behavior.
The 99novenove has a shape that stands out for its remarkable width just below your feet, although it deeply reduces from the front straps. The rails are well rounded. Two positions for the straps. Three volumes available. It is not at all an aggressive board, with a formidable early planing, which is naturally acquired. A sahpe tolerant and easy to control. It targets an audience wishing to progress, or simply to plan without too much effort.
The third version of RRD Firemove has a more forward volume distribution. The rails keeps almost parallel. The width reduces drastically from the front straps. The Firemove 110 is a board for an intermidiate wind range. Heavy riders will appreciate it for the help it offers. The stability of the board makes it a model that combines control and accessibility. Nevertheless, it is a board that guarantees a good reactivity and an appreciable planing.
Atomiq distinguishes for its thin line, typical of Starboard, and adopts the new Carbon Ultracore structure. This technology allows 30% more rigidity and 10% less weight. Thanks to the shape / construction / fin combination, Atomiq proves to be a reactive board, which prefers sustained wind range, to release on its stern, shaped with lateral cuts. Atomiq is a mix of genres, is very reactive, and docile at the same time. The pads are extremely comfortable. The Atomiq is a good choice for a rider who loves sensations under his feet, but who cares about his well-being.
The Rocket Wide has been completely redesigned, and shows an aggressive racing horse look. It features a rocker that allows for increased acceleration at low speeds. The deck is rounded to allow for greater feet comfort. Back cuts under the stern have been reduced to ensure better control, and the concavity of the hull has been enhanced to ensure good riding in the chop. The more aggressive riders will appreciate it, the others will be prefer to sail with the more classic Rocket Standard shape, or opt for the Rocket Wide CED, to exploit the aggressive shape, but with a construction that will give the riders smoother reactions. The LTD make you want to play hard, and it must be associated with a non-cambered, high performance sail, with medium to strong wind.
- Novenove and RRD have higher volumes, than the average, and are suitable for heavy riders, or those who typically go out with moderate breezes, guaranteeing an early planing. The Novenove is quieter, the RRD is lively. The JP does not shy away from these two models, and is the perfect example, of a freeride board, suitable for a large audience.
- Goya distinguishes for its ability to adapt to multiple conditions of water surface.
- Fanatic and Tabou Rocket Wide are more technical. Fanatic excels on flat waters, where it displays excellent planing qualities. The Tabou is practically a freerace board.
- Exocet shines for its power control; Starboard combines reactivity and comfort.
For further information, buy Windmag! If you want, add your impressions in the comments at the end of the article.
Hang loose. Fabio