TABOU 3S+ 106 TEAM 2021 TEST REVIEW
A design that may be three seasons old, yet has lost none of its relevance and appeal. A true all-rounder, the 3S+ can be adapted to suit any riding style and perform in all sea states.
2021 marks the third season for the 3S+ in the Tabou lineup – a range of four boards stemming from 86 to 116 litres. They are the brand’s offering for the contemporary freewave rider, sitting alongside their trio of 3S Classic shapes (from 97 to 117 litres) for those that prefer the more traditional. The designs in the series haven’t changed since their introduction, this 106 remaining unaltered from when we tested it back in 2019. What has changed are the construction options now available, the LTD construction becoming the more price-pointed version, and the premium offering using Carbon Innegra Flex (CIF) technology now being branded as the TEAM edition. One of the longest and widest in the test group, it has a full, rounded outline, the only interruption in its rail line being the subtle ‘bump’ of its rounded wingers, tightening the angle to the swallowtail in the rear. The rails are sharp and defined in the tail, yet exhibit a good amount of tuck early on and soften quickly from the front straps forward. It’s easy on the eye, with an even volume distribution and somewhat conventional appearance at first glance, but look more closely to the rear and you can see a rather unique feature. In order to keep the domed deck and volume under the rider’s back foot, the 106 has a raised island, mushrooming up behind the back straps, before dropping and thinning quickly to the swallowtail. The idea is to improve manoeuvrability through the tail, its unorthodox appearance disguised well by the board’s attractive colour scheme and excellent fittings. Dual density diamond-grooved deck-pads sit underneath Tabou’s branded Velcro straps, which are some of the easiest here to enlarge properly to accommodate boots. Underneath it comes supplied with a stiff G10 MFC central fin and a couple of moulded MFC TF side fins.
“A combination of a modern tail and a more classic nose form the perfect mixture of early planing, speed control and manoeuvrability together with the medium high entry rocker.”
The first opportunity we had to get the 3S+ out on the water was in flat water conditions. There are plenty of footstrap options to choose from and the spread of the outboard back straps enables you to really wrap your back foot around the rail and push against the fin. The central Powerbox blesses the rider with the freedom to partner the 3S+ with an efficient upright fin and really explore its straight-line capabilities. And it is certainly no slouch. Plug in an efficient sail and the board thrives, pointing well and feeling alert yet easy underfoot. The dome in the deck makes the ride comfortable, the vee and double concave underneath absorbing much of the hard impact as you ride over the back of corrugated chop. A great ally for riders of any weight, the 3S+ really comes into its own when taken out into confused coastal conditions. In fact, the more challenging the seas, the more the Tabou’s calming temperament is realised and appreciated. Fitting the fins supplied and transferring the straps to their inboard positions, the 106 is as smooth and forgiving as we recall. It can adapt to any riding style, feeling passive and flattering for the more timid rider, yet ever willing for the more assertive. It certainly requires little encouragement for a fun playful nature in waves, capable of turning off both the front and back foot, carrying its ample speed effortlessly through even the most elongated turn, yet willing to turn tightly on its tail if asked. You can really feel its rails through the turn, encouraging you to push harder and use their full length in the next drop. Very popular amongst the team, it wouldn’t be out of place in most conditions, its balance, speed and glide through lulls making it a secret weapon in less than ideal surroundings.
Volume (Quoted): 106 L.
Length: 230 cm
Width: 64.5 cm
1ft off: 43.3 cm
Bottom shape: Flat vee in the nose, to vee with double concave, the vee reducing under the straps and returning in the tail.
Weight (‘Naked’): 7.15 kg
Fins: MFC TF FW 23 cm G10 (Powerbox) + 2 x MFC TF 12 cm (slot)
Sail Size: 4.5 – 7.0m
Sizes Available: 86, 96, 106, 116.
Price: LTD: £1849.00 CIF/TEAM: £2099.00
Other boards in this test.