The Tabou Da Curve has been one of the reference wave boards on the market, for a long time. The 2020 model confirms the exceptional performances of this windsurf board, able to really entertain waveriding fans. In this article, we tell you our impressions about the 2020 88-liter model.
WINDSURFING, TEST: TABOU DA CURVE 88 2020
For some months now, I have been the happy owner of this board. I already own and use with satisfaction a Tabou Da Curve 2016, 80 liters, which was my faithful travel companion on trips to South Africa, Morocco, and Oman (read the review of this board).
However, I felt the need to have also a board with a few more liters, for spots and days with lighter or unstable wind. I had the opportunity to catch an offer on Easy Surf Shop, and I bought another board of this model, in 2020 edition.
I had some doubts whether to proceed with the purchase, as, notoriously, the Tabou Da Curve is considered a radical board, which requires good riding technique and good conditions, as models like the Quatro Pyramid, or the Goya Custom 4, for example. I had assumed to buy a Goya Custom 3, or a Fanatic Grip, renowned as tolerant and multipurpose boards.
After these months of testing, in which I had the opportunity to test the board both in Mediterranean and Oceanic conditions, I can say that the feeling was immediate, that the board fits me like a comfortable slipper, and that it has been confirmed as a radical board, but also with a much greater versatility than you can imagine. The Traversa - Vollenweider duo, once again, did a great job, and produced an excellent project.
First, let's see the board technical data :
Length: 227 cm
Width: 57.5 cm
Weight: 6.5 kg
Fins: Three slotboxes. Side fins: 2 x T lab New Carver 11; Central fin: 1 x T lab Zinger 18
Sail Range: 4.2 - 6.1 (honestly, I would never use this board with a 6.1 square meter sail ...).
Spot for tests: Albenga (Italy, Liguria); Viana do Castelo (Portugal); Playa San Xurxo and Playa Traba (Galicia, Spain). Choppy water surface, or waves up to 2.5 - 3 meters, both swell waves, glassy and regular, and more chaotic beach break; wind from 20 to 30 knots.
Already from a first visual examination, you can see that it is a wave board with a fairly classic shape, as I like it; that is, a long and narrow board. Rather straight rocker, short tail, and thin tail rails. Possibility to set it only as a trusther, a configuration that, personally, I definitely prefer (faster board).
The tests in the water have decreed that it is a thoroughbred horse that wants beautiful conditions to fully appreciate its qualities, and to fully enjoy the rider. In Albenga, with choppy and messy sea, on the occasion of the first session with this board I absolutely had no way to realize its excellent performances.
It is in Portugal and Galicia, with quality swells, a good wind, and a more tidy water surface between the waves, that I realized that I had a thoroughbred under my feet, which immediately gave me fantastic sensations, and I am immediately in love with this little baby.
First of all, it is a board that really glides quickly, and that has a very good top speed, for being a wave board. He starts planing early, holds the glide even in momentary wind drops, and runs a lot. The narrow shape means that it rides well through the rough sea, and, together with the remarkable speed, that it has a lot of reach. In the messy sea (that is, with chaotic chop), anyway it doesn't make miracles, and bounces, as most of the boards.
These characteristics are fundamental, to get well into the wind, in fast turns, with a lot of support in the bow in the tack change, and make the board come out of the bottom turn with so much speed and power to be exploited in the cut back.
Secondly, it is impressive how well the board can go upwind. In Viana do Castelo, in a few minutes, I went up from the downwind spot area, where I had gone to get the best waves, to the upwind one, about 500 meters, from where I had come out. This peculiarity, a distinctive element of the Da Curve, allows you to catch more waves, and, in general, to ride safely.
But it is in waveriding that the board really thrilled me. It is a board that goes wherever the rider wants. Draws tight and sharp, or wide, fast curves. Pushing well with your feet (first, the rear to make the rail bite, and then the front to maintain speed), you can make really fast bottom turns, reaching the cut back with the energy necessary to do what you want: impact the wall and the lip of the wave for a sustained cut back, for an aerials, or for a radical cut back, almost completely reversing the direction of travel, to return to the wind, on the wave and restart the game, and prolong the surfing as long as possible, wave characteristics permitting. This last aspect really struck me and made me have a lot of fun.
The length of the board also allows you to move and distribute the weight well in waveriding, with an adequate forward and backward movement of the body to change stance, and above all to be able to stay on the lip, shifting the weight forward, and recover the ride on the wave, when possible rider errors, or weak wind, risk making the wave pass under the board.
The board is also very easy and intuitive in the fundamentals (fast tack and jibe).
In short, I think we will have a long relationship together, and that it will become my travel companion, around the wave spots around the world.