RRD FIREMOVE V3 LTD 100L 2017 TEST REVIEW
Whilst arguably not the first to market, the original Firemoves were THE wide-and-thin freeride designs that really caught the attention of the industry and showed just what the concept was capable of. Fast-forward to today and the Firemove is now in its third incarnation, this 100 being the smallest available in the range, tested here in its elite LTD construction. Wide, round and thin, unlike others in the test group, it has plenty of curvature in its rocker-line, with kick in both its nose and tail. The rails are hard in the tail, yet become tucked early and are even rounded in the nose. The finish of the board is impressive – it’s a beautifully crafted stick, with a polished hull from the front straps forward, and intricate patterns in its deck’s non-slip. Supplied with thick dual-density deckpads, a quality MFC fin and a mass of footstrap options, the only niggle we have is the time it takes to adjust the size of the footstraps. Don’t get us wrong – the straps are made by Da Kine and are super comfortable once set, but in 2017 we feel that there are more user-friendly straps on the market, that are easier to adjust than the heavily Velcro’d ones supplied.
“All in all we have kept the same easy & accessible feel of this magic board program, boosting the performance level on every new shape we have re-designed from scratch. The footstraps inserts have kept the possibility to use a more inboard position for choppy water or more “freeride use”. These inserts also allow the rider to position themselves in a more outboard position for flat water or “top speed” sailing.”
On the water the Firemove is quite unique amongst this group, with a definite leaning towards a crossover / freemove role as opposed to a more straight-line blasting contender. Best partnered with a more user-friendly, manoeuvre-oriented rig, it is stable and easy at rest, rising up onto the plane progressively as power is applied. Even with the straps placed in their outboard positions, the Firemove encourages a more upright stance, cruising in a supremely comfortable manner over great distances and responding smoothly to any change in foot pressure. It was a dream to use in choppy real world sea states, feeling perfectly at home and encouraging the rider to explore even a bump and jump style of riding. And this is where we really feel the Firemove 100’s strengths lie. It didn’t seem at home when loaded on flat water – neither pointing as high, nor dealing with lulls as well as its peers. Push hard to get it flying on its fin and the 100 was susceptible to spin-outs. Instead, the board is a go anywhere companion for any sea state, coupled with a carving agility that can’t help but inspire. It carves as if on ‘rails’, providing smooth feedback and allowing you to really feel the rails and grip provided. It can be used to great advantage in volatile conditions, the shoulders sitting high and clear of any danger at all times. As such, the Firemove has evolved to become a freemove / crossover machine, with ease and versatility at its core.
The Firemove has a distinctly crossover nature, following a different path than others in this category. Offering an incredibly smooth and comfortable manoeuvre-oriented performance, it is a pleasure to use in any sea state.
Other sails in this test: