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Test Review - 23/12/2017

RRD Harcore Wave V5 98lt

 Reviewer: Jeff Cox. 85kg . A very experienced sailor. 
Board: RRD Hardcore Wave V5 98lt
RRP £1793.00 NOW £1099.00!

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Hi Guys,

Really enjoying the new board in the shape of a RRD Hardcorewave V5 98.  It has been marketed as a side-shore board for wave pro’s, so all too easy to dismiss it for a mere mortal sailing in cross-on South Coast conditions.   
Sizewise and for sail range, the 98 covers a huge range for me at 85kg from 15knots and under, to pretty full on 4.5 weather.  The length at 228 is compact but not going as extreme as the “stubby” trend.   It was a difficult decision to go for the 98, as the 88 could effectively be a one board quiver with 4.2-5.6. Ultimately having good performance in light/gusty winds was the deciding factor.
A small point, but a real stand-out is its balance, volume distribution and deck shape and the attention to that detail has really paid off.   It translates into super-easy slogging, or with a little extra wind, planing out of the footstraps or getting into the footstraps quickly. Having such a well-balanced board really helps getting out through white water and has also saved loads of transitions.  Coming out of tacks, if the nose goes underwater, it is not a drama.  It also makes the board very forgettable.
In a straight line it has very good speed and easy on the bumps and jumps.  Just to get used to the board, I tried it on a completely flat but breezy Hayling session with a 5.7 and left it in the quad setup and it performed brilliantly for early planing, speed and upwind ability.
For turning, many reviews of various boards seem to refer to whether or not a board is easy to vary the radius of the turn.  I have not really experienced that for myself until this board, where you can alter the angle, either subtly or sharply to give an extra “squirt” of power/turn. 
The shape seems to have been continued into the V6’s which come in a slightly lighter construction, with a plain paint scheme and a tri-fin set.  Personally I am happy with the very strong construction which at 6.9/7kgs for the 98l version seems light and strong and prefer the paint/artwork too. 
Overall, it seems to suit me and local conditions, easy to get out through surf, quick to plane, go upwind and fast, but with the ability to turn when conditions are right.
Haven't found any negatives yet and looking forward to trying out other fins set ups too. 
All the best for Christmas and a windy 2018. 

Reviewed by Jeff Cox

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