The range of wave boards is getting wider and wider, with lots of thruster and quad boards, and with shapes suitable for different sea and wind conditions, as well as for riders of different level. Once again, with the help of the French magazine Windmag, we briefly review the 2017 models of major brands, and some custom boards too.
Windsurf test: Wave Boards 2017
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 ones, which have already been successful, dedicated to 2017 freewave boards and sails, and 2017 freeride boards.
The models tested by the magazine are the following (between 75 to 85 liters):
1) AHD DG Wave 83
2) Black Local Classik 86
3) Fanatic Quad TE 75
4) Fanatic Stubby TE 77
5) Goya Custom Quad MB 80
6) JP Radical Thruster Quad 83
7) JP Thruster Quad 76
8) Naish Global 78
9) Naish Hardline Carbon Pro 89
10) Patrik Campello 81
11) Quatro Cube 85
12) Quatro Super Mini 78
13) RRD Hardcore Wave LTD V6 78
14) Simmer Quantum 85
15) Starboard reactor 76
16) Starboard Ultrakode 80
17) Tabou da Curve 80
18) Tabou Pocket 77
Let's see which are the test results in short.
The AHD DG Wave (Diony Guadagnino model) has moved to a quad set, but with rather close side fins. It has a carbon / kevlar construction. It is equipped with Select fins, and MFC straps. It early gets planing. The quad set assures a good grip in the riding, which allows you to explore the water surface well, to go for jumping, and to position yourself in the best way on the next wave. Good both in the bottom turn and in the top turn. It gives a bit the feeling of riding a trifin, with a natural rail to rail passage. It is a polyvalent wave board, suitable for all conditions, with suggested sails between 4.0 and 5.4.
The Black Local is a custom board made in France (Shaper Sergio Munari) with sandwich construction, compact shape, a wide nose, and very thin rails. Trifin trim (MFC fins, a little fragile), and Dakine straps. In demanding onshore conditions, it is a board that gets planing easily, and that rides very well upwind, giving the support needed to overcome the foams. Even in strong windy conditions, you appreciate its control. While surfing, it gets good speed, stays in control, with rails that cut the water well. To make the most of it, you need to carry the weight back and forth depending on the waveriding phase. It is polyvalent and effective in all conditions, so that you can use it as a single board, with sails between 4.0 and 5.3.
Fanatic quad 2017 is identical to 2016 (except for a color change) when it has been redesigned, under the influence of the Stubby model development. Equipped with Chocofins slot box. Despite its 75 liters, it floats well, and it does not look as extreme as you might think, if you are used to surfing on 80-liter waveboards. Good early planing (though worse than boards with more volume). It is also able to perform very high jumps. If the sail has power, the ability of the board to ride up to the wind is good. It can also handle medium conditions, but is among the big waves, and the strong wind that it gives the best of it: exceptional control at high speed surf. Equally optimal the ability to turn at the end of the bottom-turn, where it shows a lot of reactivity and grip. Also in the cut back, the rails make a great hold. Magazine testers recommend using sails less than 4.7-5.0.
Fanatic Stubby debuted in 2015, surprising everyone with its length of only 212 cm, and parallel rails. Since then, it has inspired many other brands. The version of this year is unchanged, apart from a different design, and still has a double diamond tail and a specially worked hull underneath the back feet. It's a Trifin. The planing start of this board does not fear comparison with any other equivalent volume model. Equally valid are the ability to ride up to the wind, and the top end speed. In surfing, the board accelerates on waves even of low slope, and long rails ensure good grip even at reduced speeds (less speed, greater diving of rails). The concentrated volume under the feet ensures good tolerance in positioning on the wave. These features (and in particular the effectiveness of the rails) allow for tight, dynamic and fluid curves, which are the trademark of this model. It is a board that transforms sessions in medium waves, in funny sessions, full of sensations. Recommended sails from 3.7 to 5.0.
The Goya remains unchanged compared to 2016, with subparallel rails, and a wide swallowtail stern. This pro model of the Marcilio Browne rider is rather short, and has volumes and straps rather in back position. MFC straps and fins (mini tuttle front, and US Box rear). It is characterized by great control, and excellent precision in carving; relative to its volume, it has also good early planing and acceleration, as well as the ability to do good jumps, and riding up towards the wind. It is the modern and multifunctional wave board, with the nervousness and dynamism needed to surf in all the world's wave spots.
For the third consecutive year, the shape of the JP Radical Thruster Quad does not change, with its typical tapering from the rear straps. It is still proposed with 5 boxes, and equipped with Quad set, by default. It is a very reactive board, which starts planing very early, and responds with a strong acceleration to the minimum burst. It is therefore ideal for jumping, but not in terms of comfort and control. In surfing, it requires technique to take speed, having to use every slight slope, and making you pay for every small mistake due to the reduced back width. Once the speed is reached, then the behavior is good, the board is responsive and capable of sudden changes of direction. Less comfortable in long curves in the foams, especially if overpowered. A radical board for all conditions, and for technical and trained riders. Recommended with sails from 4.2 to 5.3.
The JP Thruster Quad, for the second year, keeps the same shape, but changes the fins that become less deep. By default, it is equipped as Trifin, but it has 5 boxes to be set as Quad. It has a classic shape, with a moderate length, and tapered ends. It does not have particular problems to be launched into planing. It is not reactive as the Radical model, but it is still good in the carving. It requires loading on the front part, to get grip in the bottom, and is a technique board in the cut back, to make the rail work for all their lenght. In lower waves, it is more technical than the more compact models, to make it reach speed and turn at low speeds. A performing board, in side or side on conditions, recommended with sails less than 4.7.
The Naish Global has been completely revised this year, with a more modern shape (shorter outline, truncated bow, and parallel rails.) It is a trifin (US Box). It is a compact, directional board that allows good mobility and dynamism In water, among the waves. It is effective in onshore conditions, but also for use in bump and jump conditions. Its volume distribution allows for good speed among the small waves, and makes it quite tolerable if the rider's technique is not so good. This is an multipurpose board, suitable for European spots with relatively small waves.
Naish Hardline is the new range of radical Naish waveboards, the result of collaboration with Kai Lenny and Bernd Roediger. It is a rather light board, narrow towards the stern. The start on planing is a little less rapid than other boards, but the top speed is very good. It is better in wave serious conditions, and it is a rather technical board, which requires the ability to know how to position well on the wave, managing your weight not to lose too much speed in the bottom turn. The curves are precise. It is less comfortable in the average conditions. Preferably, it is a board to be used in side, side/offshore conditions, to be used well powered. Recommended sails from 4.7 to 5.7 under side off conditions; from 4.2 to 5.3, under side on conditions.
The Patrik Campello has classic dimensions (227 x 55.5 cm, the 81 liters), but it is slightly thicker than the average. It has all 4 US Boxes, which are, therefore, a bit uncomfortable. It is an easy board to be launched into planing, and it keeps a good speed once it plans. In surfing, it is a multi-purpose model, which has good grip and carves well in the bottom (although it loses a bit of control at high-speed), but that draws powerful cut-backs. It is a board suitable for trained riders who want to surf every wave radically.
The Quatro Cube 2017 is unchanged compared to 2016. The shape is therefore very compact, with straps quite backwards and a comfortable rear width. It floats well, and it is balanced when it is not in planing, despite its reduced length. This helps to overcome the shorebreak when the wind is whimsical, and allows it to be easily launched into planing. It has excellent carving skills: there is only to choose the bend radius, and the Cube will design it accurately. You can push firmly on the board, that does not lose control (it is a both a pivoting and carving board). Recommended sails from 5.4 / 5.7 to 4.2.
The Quatro Super Mini has a compact shape, parallel rails, a rounded bow, and a large diamond tail. It's a thruster. With such a short shape, it is not the most stable board, before planing, and it requires a lot of concentration in maneuver. However, it quickly gets planing, and this soon let you forget these aspects. It rides upwind very well. It is lively under your feet in the waves, and it prefers side wind conditions. Curves can be tight, and projection in aerials is quite good; so, it's a funny board. Down the line, control and stability at high speed are not as good as with the Cube or the Pyramid.
The RRD proposes the V6 version of the Hardcore. The relationship with the previous version is tight, but RRD announces a semi-custom construction in Carbon Innegra. It is proposed with 5 boxes, but with a Trifin configuration, by default, with MFC fins, of which the central one in G10. It confirms the excellent feelings of the V5. It starts planing early, and it offers good accelerations, despite being a rather radical board; this makes it a multi-purpose board, for all conditions. Among the waves, it requires some pressure with the forward foot at the mast foot, to make the rail bite the water in the bottom turn. Great in the down the line, in which it requires only to let it to slip, to perform the aerials. It is a very directional board, but, in any case, reactive. It also offers good rotation capability on its stern (pivot), to stop the bottom, or to make a 360.
The Simmer Quantum has a very classic line. It is rather wide (59.4 cm for 85), and not too much light, despite its carbon sandwich construction. 5 boxes (quad set by default). It is not a nervous board, and has no particular weak points. Among the waves, it gives a soft ride, and does not show any surprises. If the sail gives power, or if the wave slope is good, it does not have special control problems in the bottom, having effective grip on the rails. The rail to rail passage could be more responsive, but once on the new rail, the grip for the cut-back is again found. For the inexperienced, it is a bit more technical in pivot rotation, due to the fin configuration.
The Starboard Reactor, in its second version, has been redesigned (rocker, and more backwards straps). The fins boxes are marked out by the Starbox attack system. It is much more lively under the feet than last year's version. It easily starts planing, if the mast foot is positioned a little further (1-2 cm) than the recommended intermediate position. Among the waves, it is reactive and always in control, showing to be a carving machine. It draws superb curves, with much of the length of the rails that work, allowing you to push well, and to get good grip. It is also valid in cut-backs. It is a very amusing board, effective even in marginal conditions.
The Starboard Ultrakode (also equipped with 5 Starbox boxes) proves to be smaller and lighter under your feet, but more versatile than previous versions of the same volume. You will not feel the fins so much while riding, under your feet, and you wil feel free to ride everywhere during surfing. It has the grip needed to not systematically derail, even if you can break the curve in the top turn. It is characterized by a soft penetration of the rails in the water in the bottom turn, and it remains in control, the more the speed increases. It's pretty fast on the straight rides. It is a lively board, but, at the same time, a multi-purpose board, exploitable in many wave spots. The testers recommend using sails from 3.7 to 5.0, or even 5.3.
The Tabou Da Curve is unchanged in shape this year, and has only a different design. Equipped with 5 boxes, it is set as trifin, by default. It has an impressive early planing, especially with small sails. Once it gets planing, it does not stop, not even in the wind lulls. Mobility on water is therefore excellent, without the board being nervous or uncontrollable. Among the waves, its radical nature comes out with a manageability and a responsiveness in the rail to rail passage, far above, the average. Carves well in the bottom; does not like to sail overpowered. It is, according to magazine reviewers, the most funny and most powerful wave board in all types of conditions, and it is ideal for technically and sporty riders. To be used with sails from 3.7 to 5.0.
The Tabou Pocket is the last board reviewed. After years of development, Tabou comes out this year with a new version, very compact and modern, featuring stern narrowings, and a double diamond stern. The volume is concentrated under the feet, and the board, so, floats well. The planing starting is good (but not as good as one of the Da Curve); the upwind riding is really good. It is comfortable in the passage of foams (clapot). Its rear width allows it to be effective in jumps, even with onshore wind. In surfing, the Pocket loves soft waves that allow you to keep a bit of speed to draw more or less wide curves. It allows you to pivot well on the back, to create modern tricks. It shows, however, its limits in high-speed surfing when it becomes more technical, and needs to carve with strength to have control and precision. Ultimately, it is a funny board in medium wave conditions, especially with wind side/onshore, not overpowered (sails recommended from 4.0 to 5.0).
For further information, buy Windmag! If you want, add your impressions in the comments at the end of the article.
Hang loose. Fabio
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Are you a passionate windsurfer? Do you want to collaborate with us? Read here, then!