After an extra long day and a half of waiting for even a trace of wind (but happily surfing head high groundswell in the meantime), I finally got a chance to try out my new Tabou Freestyle 100! I’ll tell ya, that was a long 44 hours, staring at that beautiful beast, waiting to get some breeze…
The wind was super light, so it wasn’t the most appropriate testing conditions, but I just had to get out there and see what it was capable of. The meter was reading avg 13, lull 11, and short lived gusts to 17 or 18 mph. I was definitely milking it with a 5.7… But here are my initial reactions anyway:
Once out of my living room and onto the beach, the board looked a lot smaller than I initially thought it was. That held true for feel under foot once in the water. Don’t get me wrong, it was exceptionally stable, but underway it had the twitchyness and responsiveness of a much smaller board. The step rail really made the tail feel narrow and responsive underfoot, especially when comparing it to other flat decked freestyle boards.
Even though the board felt small underfoot, it still “planed up on a fart” (to borrow a phrase from Andy Brandt). With virtually zero sail power, the board still just wants to get up and moving. So that’s a pretty rad combination of characteristics- ultra maneuverable, responsive, and light, but planes up as early as boards that feel much bigger and relatively “dead” underfoot.
How does it slide? Well, my first attempts were a bit ugly, but once I got used to how little energy it takes to pop the board, I slid through a perfect 540, one handed spock, and even attempted a halfway decent grubby. This is all under super light sail power, mind you.
I can’t wait to get this board out in some real wind!!