Design: Very middle of the road in design with a classic freestyle-wave rocker (half way between freeride and wave) and average widths throughout. It features a bit more than average vee.
On the water: With its relatively narrow nose and tail but decent width and volume in the middle the Freewave feels quite rounded and tubby, giving good support for the heavier sailors. It is not exceptionally early to plane but better than average with good acceleration, and will easily carry up to 6.5m in comfort.
The design offers a great compromise between easy blasting and manoeuvring. It stays flat and directional enough to be fast and easy to sail, cope with chop and get upwind fine, but still feels loose and manoeuvrable enough to be fun in the swell and waves. Although controllable it has quite a lively feel, not too lairy to upset intermediates but edgy enough to be quite exciting.
We found it lent itself well to jumping and to riding in moderate conditions, not exactly wave biased but nicely loose and with good positive connection for jumping.
The freestyle-competent testers found it one of the best for freestyle, with good pop and nicely centred buoyancy.
Fittings: The straps are excellent, although the inserts are quite closely spaced giving a relatively tight grip on the foot. The pads are thick and comfortable though were felt to be a little less grippy than some and with quite a high and abrupt rim where they meet the board. The fin is excellent for the majority of uses, unless you’re specifically wanting to access that good freestyle performance, in which case a smaller foil would be a good investment.
Overall: One of the favourite all-round freestyle-waves for the weight of sailor (78-87kg) most likely to be buying this size for all-round moderate to medium coastal performance. (The lighter sailors – below 73kg – found it a little tubby and bouncy so as always be sure to be buying the right size for your weight.) It is a very versatile board with above average performance for blasting, jumping, riding and freestyle. A great all-rounder with no obvious weaknesses.