TABOU ROCKET+ CIF 123 2020 TEST REVIEW
A real all-rounder, the 123 is a blasting marvel, seamlessly traversing the impossible tightrope between truly accessible performance and impeccable control. With enough life and response to satisfy even the most demanding pilot, it is also both capable and versatile in foiling mode. An ode to just what can be expected of the modern hybrid machine.
The Rocket Plus was introduced to the Tabou fold in 2019, fulfilling the role of both the Rocket Wide and freerace Speedster of year’s past, whilst also being ‘foil ready’ in the three larger sizes. The designs in the range remain the same for 2020, but the construction options see an update, with a new ‘Carbon Flex’ technology coming in as the premium choice to compliment the more price-pointed LTD version. Both come supplied with Tabou’s familiar Freeride wet-layup high performance fin. Looking at the 123’s shape in more detail, it echoes many of Fabien Vollenweider’s trademark features, with pronounced double concaves in the front of the hull, becoming mono-concave under the rider’s feet, before finishing in a complex tail design with intricate cutouts. The rails have a hard edge along their length and the deckpads under the straps are some of the thinnest around, giving some hint and indication of the Rocket Plus’s riding character. With plenty of inboard and outboard strap options to choose from and Tabou’s excellent Velcro straps supplied, it was time to get it on the water, to see if the 123 would do justice to its heritage.
A maximum in speed and performance has never been as accessible as it is now. The Rocket Plus brings the best in performance freeriding and convertible windfoiling into one board, which accelerates your windsurfing session.
We tested the Rocket Plus 113 in last year’s test and were impressed with its high performance, both with a fin and a foil. And we’re pleased to report this 123 comes from a similar mould. Feeling relatively small and compact underfoot at rest, it responds quickly and enthusiastically to a proactive riding style, accelerating crisply as it is turned off the wind. Using the fin supplied and the footstraps in their outboard positions, the Rocket Plus is a stunning board to use; fast on all points of sail and achieving just the right balance of loose response and control. Speed comes easy and it’s a captivating board to be on, soaking up all the power generated by an efficient sail and showing real willingness to keep accelerating. It’s looseness and liveliness might intimidate the novice rider, yet use the inboard straps in partner with a more forward mast foot position and the ride can be tempered. But we feel the 123 will find particular favour with more active or experienced riders, flying high on its fin yet remaining planted and stable on the mono-concave between the straps, bestowing the confidence in the rider to keep pushing. The bottom shape also plays a part in the Tabou’s gybing prowess, the thin rails gripping supremely well, their traction allowing the rider to vary the turn’s radius at will mid-transition. We tried the 123 with a high performance fin, which furthered its straight line speed and control marginally, yet actually highlighted that the supplied fin worked extremely well. Swapping it for a foil though and the Rocket Plus yet again exhibits the credentials of a true hybrid board. The plugs of the back straps run parallel with the fin box and provide a clear method of tuning the board according to the foil used. The outboard straps are particularly outboard, so if you’re struggling to access them, opt for the inboard plugs, to help your back heel remain connected with the deck. Tried with both low and high aspect foils, it works admirably with all the foils we tried, demonstrating the scope and true versatility of the modern blasting platform.
Volume (Quoted): 123L
Length: 237 cm
Width: 77 cm
1ft off: 50.8 cm
Bottom shape: Vee with double concave in the nose, the concaves becoming incredibly pronounced by the shoulders and taking over completely by the front straps. With mono concave between the straps, and vee past the finbox.
Weight (‘Naked’): 7.49 kg
Fins: Tabou Freeride 42 cm (Deep Tuttle)
Sail Size: 6.5-9.0m
Sizes Available: 103, 113, 123, 133
PRICE LTD: £1799.00 CIF: £2099.00
TABOU ROCKET+ CIF 123 2020 TEST REVIEW
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