The Hardcore boards should not be confused with the ordinary Wave Cult boards which are all a little larger, wider tailed and with moderate vee rather than single concave. The Hardcores (in three sizes) are now into their second season but they hit the market a little late last year and thus missed our ’08 wave test. We did however do a ‘catch-up taster’ on the HC 75 which is why we chose to look at the 70 instead this time round.
On the water:
The 70 is actually extremely similar to the 75 in performance style and quality, but noticeably smaller. It’s uncomfortable with anything much bigger than 4.7m, since although it has quite a fast rocker for a small waveboard and accelerates very quickly when powered up it doesn’t release well if at all underpowered for its size. For this reason it will best suit either lighter sailors (up to about 68kg) or be the strong wind partner in a quiver for a medium weight sailor. Although only 230cm long it feels quite long and narrow but it is (and quite clearly feels like) a single concave board. You can’t push too hard on the back foot but it has the quick acceleration, slippery feel through the water and redirectibility of the single concave. It is very controllable and handles chop well, feeling smooth and fast. Jumping performance is good on nice waves, though it lacks a little nose rocker and grip to make the most of poorly formed waves. Being that bit smaller it needs power, either from the wind or wave to perform, and is more fast and loose than very tight and slashy. However, it is particularly fun when riding decent waves as it is fast, reliable and yet loose, never fixing you into one arc.
The pads and straps are comfortable. The fin is relatively small for a single concave board so it would be worth experimenting with a bigger one if you want to get better medium / moderate wind performance.
One of our team (78kg) bought a Hardcore 70 last season and has used it as his high wind board. He still loves it and finds it excellent with 4.7m and below. It is a good all-rounder, slightly biassed towards high powered riding but still very controllable in chop and a lot of fun on good jumping days as well. The 75 would be the better bet if you want to make more use of 5.0-5.2m sails.