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Freeride

Tabou Rocket 115/64 (2009)

Marketed as a fast, fun and easy freeride with perfect rails, the Rocket 115 is the third smallest in this six-board range. It is available in three different constructions and has apparently been improved in many ways for 2009 by having a wider outline, a more compact platform, increased double concave in the nose and the widest-point further forward.

Design: At 239cm it has the shortest overall length in this test, but it also has the longest planing flat, with the 2cm point being at 156. It has no tail rocker and quite a bit of vee. It also has a slightly larger tail width than the other freeride on test and a much larger nose width, giving the board a short and squat appearance on the beach.

On the water: It is one of the quickest boards to plane and certainly one of the easiest, giving perhaps the most easy and comfortable rides of all of the boards. This makes it very easy to adapt to; it’d be perfect for someone moving down to this size for the first time. It’s also easy to gybe and very forgiving, meaning those first gybing attempts will have a higher success rate. It felt slightly slower in comparison with the other boards, but this didn’t prevent it from winning some of our figure-of-eight slalom races because it accelerates away so easily and doesn’t need to be borne off the wind so far.

Fittings: The 38cm fin seemed quite thin and long for freeride but the Powerbox fitting makes it easy to remove and gives the recreational sailor a better choice as they will probably already own other fins with the same fitting. The strap positions were well thought out and there are plenty of options, giving the board a huge potential market. The straps are very nice, and the pads very comfortable.

Overall: The 115 was an extremely comfortable board to sail and tracked upwind very well. Although not as lively as the other freeride on test, it gets planing early and is a pleasure to sail. Great for lighter wind freeride use, yet compact enough to have fun on when the wind is stronger. We would recommend it to intermediates looking to move down a board size or to more advanced sailors wanting something easy and undemanding.

Price: £975

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