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Test Review - 24/05/2014

RRD Freestyle Wave 106 V3

 RRD Freestyle Wave 106lt V3 2014 Ltd £1599.00 (Wood £1399.00)
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Daryl is 6ft 1", weighs in at 13 stone (82KG) and  has been windsurfing for approx. twenty years... so he has ridden a few boards in his time! :)

Note. Updated with an Addendum from Daryl 24 05 2014 after another sail at Daymer Bay.

Hi James and Danny.,
Just dropping you a line to give you my 1st impressions of the RRD Freestyle Wave 106 V3 (comparing it to my previous 2007 RRD FSW102)
 Of course since buying the board it's been wave board rather than FSW weather ! 

So my first ride was at Daymer Bay, having spent a morning on my RRD Wave Cult in well powered 5.0m conditions I thought I'd test the 106's high wind capabilities.
To be fair it really wasn't the sort of day you would normally take a board of this size out but as I had not been too sure whether to go for the 100lt version or the 106lt, I had a concern that the 106lt might be a bit too big so I was curious to see what it was like in  overpowered conditions.

Actually  the board was pretty easy to sail in those conditions which ranged from big Atlantic rollers to short tidal chop. The 106lt  was quite manageable which I really didn’t expect , even though I did run it with a 29cm fin instead of the standard 32cm ,  which would have been way to big for a 5.0m!
 The ride was fast and  the board quick to plane in the whitewater but never really felt overpowered or out of control. Gybing I would  say that in those conditions needed some commitment to keep it from bouncing out of the turn,  but that said  I think in those conditions my 102 would also have been a bit of a handful.

I sailed over to the opposite side of the bay to see how it would manage in some of the big  waves rolling in from the Atlantic.  It was possible to be in amongst the waves but really too fast in those winds and not really loose enough to ride anything properly. The 106 behaved well through the waves getting out though  and didn't seem to get blown or knocked around too much,  which for such a wide board (compared to a wave board) surprised me as again,  it was not really this boards intended environment ! All I can say is I got in there and I got back out in relative comfort, which has to be a positive point.
I primarily got the 106 for marginal to medium winds when I couldn't be on my wave board so as a cross over going up from the wave board ( if the wind gets flukey)  it would do the job on a 5.0/5.2m but not anything smaller for someone of my size.
So,  at the complete other end of the scale…yesterday was marginal force 4, occasionally 5 , so I plugged in my 6.5m Ezzy Wave and the 106 jumped onto the plane early and was fast, fun and easy to sail. Gybing still felt like it needed some commitment to stop it bouncing out of the turn as opposed to my old 102 which just went round with fairly  light pressure in the turn, but I think that is due to the short wide and thick shape which I guess I need  to get used to. That shape however does make it pretty stable at low speed, so it's really easy to tack.  

In summary … The boards early planning ability (my reason for choosing the 106 ) in dodgy winds is really good it planes through lulls well  and I like its controllability (for a board of this size) when the wind gets up or the sea gets rough, so I guess on that basis its ticked the boxes of my brief !

Addendum 24 05 2014

Hi Danny , James ,

Just an addendum to the review I sent you ,
I took the 106 out this evening with 5.8 and the 32cm fin again at daymer ,
Now I've got used to the short fat shape this thing gybes really nicely especially off waves (smaller ones than last time !)
I'm really impressed how this board behaves in all conditions , a brief sniff of a gust and it powers up and away , even slogging in non planning conditions its comfortable !
This would be a great first time small board for an improver / intermediate. For the more experienced sailor its just fun charging around looking for things to play on when everyone else is standing on the beach or mucking around with lines and kites !




Reviewed by Daryl Matthews

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