Commendably now into its third season in the range with no shape change and in no way showing signs of age. The name says it all from a marketing point of view, although it does slightly underplay the strong freeride aspect of this board’s performance, particularly for lighter sailors.
Design: We would describe the 77 as a classic ‘fast-tail’ freestyle-wave design, with a slightly longer than average planing flat (i.e. a relatively far forward 2cm point), but also very slightly higher than average tail rocker. It has considerable vee in the underside, a noticeably rounded planshape (narrow nose and tail) and plenty of dome in the deck.
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 ride of all the boards. This makes it very easy to adapt to, and gives very secure tracking and good control heading out through waves, leading to good and easy jumping. It also makes it one of the most satisfying boards for flat water and chop.
The rounded planshape makes it feel very throwabout, but its manoeuvrability is relatively carving-orientated. With a long waterline length and relatively low nose it stays very attached to the water. It waverides nicely, but is a fraction less loose and slashy than some of the other FSWs.
Fittings: The 23cm G10 fin seems excellent and the Powerbox fitting makes it very easy to remove. The insert spread on the footstraps is just 14cm which means the straps grip the feet and can be a very tight fit in boots (see section on ‘insert spread’). Otherwise the straps are very nice. The pads are well domed and very comfortable but some noted that they are also quite smooth allowing feet to slide a little.
Overall: The 77 will happily take up to a 5.8m sail but is best suited with 4.7-5.5m. It is equally well suited to flat water and wave use so is properly versatile from that point of view. It stays in control well in flatter water in very strong winds but will start to feel a little big in waves with small sails.
It is a fast board with a light and quite dynamic feel. It is best suited to easy blasting, powerful jumping and fast, secure gybing. However, it is also pretty good at riding and quite capable of freestyle. It proved particularly popular with Helen, our advanced lightweight, but was versatile enough to also please Paul (86kg) for 5.4m jumping.
We would strongly recommend it for all-round coastal use for 60-70kg sailors of intermediate to expert standard for making the most of moderate and medium winds and scrappy conditions. It could also be much appreciated by slightly less than expert 70-80kg sailors as an easy coastal board for medium to stronger winds.