The 83 is a new shape that slots into the existing Global “versatile waveboard” range and stays true to the early planing character of the board from last season. The Global features a very fast rocker for a ‘wave’ board, which is why we have placed it in this test.
On the Water:
It does indeed plane very early indeed for a waveboard, and although the relatively narrow tail and small fin supplied mean a bit more work to unstick and get tracking, speed and acceleration once under way is very good. The ride is fast and quite exciting, with good grip and speed offering good jumping. It’s light and lively, although quite a few sailors commented that it felt a bit more clattery and harder work on the ankles in chop than many others. Although it isn’t the loosest-feeling of waveboards, feeling a bit stiff on the wave, it’s nippy and agile enough to get you round the break quickly, and we had some nice rides in onshore conditions when it proved sharp and precise and kept good speed through the turn. It is fast and fun and responsive to gybe and carve.
The pads are nicely comfy while the straps are comfortable but firm. The classic box moulded fin is relatively small at 23cm, so it would be worth investing also in something a little more powerful for more positive performance in moderate conditions.
Popularity: Not challenging for the top spots, but mostly enjoyed.
It is pretty much a synthesis of waveboard and fast-tail all-rounder, feeling quite small, narrow tailed and lively in waveboard fashion, but with most of the early planing and speed of the fast-tail. Though not quite as comfortable or positive as the better blasting boards or quite as loose and turny as the waveboard name might suggest, it is a lot of fun to blast and gybe around on and pretty happy in the waves as well. All-in-all a very nippy coastal freeride / wave that will suit competent sailors for use with 5.0-5.8m sails.