The Tabou Pocket is the windsurf board for medium-small waves of the well-known French brand, which remained in the catalog of this manufacturer until 2018. In this article, we illustrate the test results of the 2016 version, 94 liters.
Windsurfing, boards test: Tabou Pocket 94 2016
Volume: 94 liters
Length: 233 cm
Width: 61 cm
Weight: 6.9 kg
Box and Fins: 1x US Box 2x Slotbox; T-Lab Zinger 2x 11 + 1x 18
Sails range: 4.2 - 6.1 m2
2018 was the last year of this model production. Since 2019, it has been replaced by the Da Bomb, and also, in part, by a more wave-oriented versions of the Tabou 3S (which from 2019, is also available in the trifin version). The Pocket 2016 model remained unchanged, as shape, in 2017 in the so-called "Vintage" version, which was also joined by a new shape. This is because, clearly, it was a rather popular model.
The brand claims
The Pocket Wave is your “hidden joker”. This range of Pocket boards will bring the best out of anyone’s sailing, no matter their level. Forgiving yet responsive, this board offers security to push you to your limits even in the most challenging conditions. Easy and early to plane, the Pocket gets you up and going through the waves, allowing you to pick the ramp of your choosing and
fly into the air with solid pop. The compact outline delivers excellent control in the jumps.
On the wave, the rocker-line and outline ensure smooth bottom turns with excellent drive for either front or back foot turning. The thruster setup offers a surfy feel with slashy turns, and you have the option to ride a single fin if you want more drive for flat water blasting or bump and jumping on the river swells!
Double winger swallowtail
- allows for a wider center area to improve acceleration while still having a narrow tail for loose turns
- keeps speed on the flat of the wave
- gives the rider more control
Forward fin positions
- make the the board easier to turn
- better for sailing upwind
- more forgiving in the surf
- less drag
Results of the test in the water
The board was tested both in bump and jump conditions, at Prà de la Fam, Lake Garda, with strong Peler, or at Lake Como, with equally strong Foehn wind (matched with a 3.7!), and in Cannes Palm Beach, France, with east wind, and waves about 2 meters high.
As regards the session at the Prà (read report), the board was matched with the Ezzy Elite 4.2, with Peler wind conditions over 30 knots (I was slightly overpowered), and a fairly choppy water level. The Tabou Pocket 94, in these conditions, was not fully comfortable, mainly due to the too big volume. Anyway, I immediately got some useful impressions: it is an easy board, which gets gliding almost immediately both for the rather flat scoop-rocker line, and for its width, significant both in the center of the board, and (as mentioned, thanks to the swallow tail) at the bow and stern (almost a freestyle, in some ways, as for the shape, which shrinks drastically only at the last, especially at the stern). It is a stable, and very fast board, which keeps planing, during jibe, in an excellent way, and which also has a lot of headway, in fast tack entrance. With the somewhat messy and choppy surface, that characterized the session - probably, more than anything else, due to the considerable riders traffic in the water - the board suffered a bit, jerking more than necessary. During the session, the mast foot was placed in a relatively froward position (see subsequent comments, on the advisability of this setting). To complete the test, it was necessary to try it again in its conditions: with wind no more than 30 knots at the lake, or at the sea with small wave conditions. These first impressions, on the occasion of the aforementioned session, have already made me doubt, that, at this point, it could replace my Tabou 3s 106 (read review), perhaps setting it as single fin for the lightest wind conditions, in flat water. For this purpose, I have already taken a 23 cm MFC freewave 2020 fin to match with the board in such conditions.
As for the Cannes session (read report), the board was still paired with the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2017 (with a slightly fat profile), with wind around 30 knots (something more on the gusts). The Tabou Pocket 94 2016, in Cannes, has been set up with some "trick". In Cannes, in fact, I had the right intuitions to make sure that the board could give me some good satisfactions.
First of all, I put the mast foot further back (almost in the center of the box). Until that session, I had used the board with a rather forward mast foot position. That session confirmed to me that the board does not need such a forward position, because, thanks to a rather flat rocker, and a relatively generous width at the center, it enters planing very fast, almost sailing upwind. Instead, the mast foot too forward, makes the board bounce too much in the choppy or wavy water level, a board behavior for me (and my knees) very annoying. With the most backward mast foot (at least in the middle), however, the board was perfect, flying flawlessly over the water (even if Cannes water surface, smooth in the through between the waves, is much more regular than Lake Garda one).
In addition, I set the board as a thruster, with the standard fins. I chose a rather advanced side fins position, and placed the central fin slightly backward, obtaining a board with very good upwind performance, and with the right compromise between drive and looseness, when required in the waves.
The session also confirmed that the Pocket is a very mobile board and at ease among the "soft" waves, that is not too large, among which it allows rapid direction changes. Thanks to its speed, it also allows you to better explore the spot, and to position yourself where you want in the chosen waves, for waveride beginning.
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This is a video presentation of the board