Despite the quoted 75L of volume the Custom Wave is actually a very small board which, as well as being the narrowest on test, also has by far the narrowest tail and high quantities of rocker. In essence it’s a small, single concave trad. For comparative sizing it would be better thought of as having 5L less than it quotes.
On theWater: Due to its size and rocker it is less suitable for heavy sailors and bigger sails than most of the competition.We would recommend it for use with sails no larger than 5.0m. That said, given enough wind it gets going reasonably easily and we found it easier to get tracking and accelerate out through the break than many of the more well-rockered or low grip bigger boards. It is a pretty easy board to sail once planing, cutting through the chop well, jumping beautifully (aided by its high nose rocker) and reacting well to back foot pressure. It has a very loose and turny feel and carves instantly when a rail is depressed, leading to very reactive gybing. It gives excellent bite and reliability in the turn but makes wider planing exits relatively technical to achieve. It should be a great riding board in bigger, more cross-off conditions as it feels very loose but grippy and, with its narrow, drawn out outline, can handle loads of speed and power through the turn. However, with our heavier team sailors (75-87kg) and in relatively onshore conditions it was a bit quick to stall.
Fittings: The G10 MFC fin seemed excellent for the board, and the straps and pads are very comfortable. The straps are slightly unusual in how far they extend in towards the foot and some sailors therefore find them too narrow as their feet wedge into them, however loose they’re set. The inserts are quite widely spaced so the board could easily be configured with replacement straps if this is a problem, but offsetting the inserts may not work as the gap between them for the front straps is quite large (2.5cm). If you have wide feet you would be well advised to consider this when you buy the board and trial the straps in the shop.
Popularity: Being considerably smaller than the other boards on test meant that most found it a bit twitchy and slow. However, the lighter sailors in the stronger winds really responded to it, finding it “compact and controllable" and it felt like a board that you would very much want to be on in strong or big conditions.
Overall: Although essentially a strong wind board (for average-weight sailors) and biassed towards high speeds and control by its relatively trad, narrow outline, the Custom 75 iswell balanced between the three essentials of going out, riding in and overall control. It is small, but it isn’t intrinsically difficult to sail and despite offering good control it still feels very loose on a wave.We would recommend it as a very good wave all-rounder for anyone between 60 and 70kg, or as a high wind board for middleweights (70-80kg).