RRD X-FIRE LIMITED V6 114L 2014 TEST REVIEW REPORT
Back-to-back world titles and two in the top-5 in the past two seasons leave little to be explained on the pedigree of the winning RRD X-Fire line. Sitting atop the Firerace freerace and Firestorm ‘freeride sport’ and alongside the X-Fire light wind boards, RRD have a full-bore flat-water programme.
‘The next step….we are in it to win it! Building on the world title design framework from last season and also leading the PWA 2013 World Cup standing in 1st and 3rd overall, RRD continues their market reference dominance with a clear leap forward in the form of the 2014 V6 series… The new X-Fire V6 is the result of 5 hard working years of constant research and development and this is our best work yet without question.’ (Sic.)
We remember the previous version of the slimline X-Fire being electrifying in flat water – well, terrifying really in terms of speed. So it was with some trepidation that we first launched in Tenerife in nearly 30 knots with 40-centimetre fins and 7.8s. However, what we found was a nice and pinned-down and planted, controlled and secure hull that behaved very well indeed, sailing smoothly above the chop and swell that would otherwise make the going a lot tougher. The sailing sensation is unique. There’s a strange, but nice, feel of crisp/lightweight, sucky, downforcey behaviour that really lends confidence as you approach the limit of speed and concentration. The nose stays down beautifully and never felt like it would take-off when fully lit. The general ride and stance is nicely balanced between the front and back foot and, although smaller testers found it a little unstable at times (bear in mind it was howling!), we mostly found the lateral stability at speed excellent. We remember the X-Fire being super easy to gybe in flat water in Egypt, but of course this time it was certainly more demanding of technique, but definitely dependent on what sails it’s paired with. For sure it likes sails more bagged out and over-powered, but those are also tricky beasts to handle approaching turns, so bear in mind what types of rig you’d use if you opted for this board. Our suggestion would be to go for a crafty, full-on sail, but start with a smaller – say 36 cm., but still stiff and high-acceleration – fin at first and then grow into the combination and increase fin size as you go. On that note, this board is insanely fast and does possess super acceleration, but how this is amplified is massively influenced by what fin you’d pair with it.
The X-Fire is still the reference board in terms of speed and acceleration and for really attacking swell and chop. On this rough water test the handing was certainly challenged, but the 114 is not out of range for the committed and will< be a joy in smoother water. Wise fin choice will be highly rewarded – go smaller at first if you’re nervous of the power!
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