RRD FIRESTORM 111L LIMITED 2013 TEST REVIEW
Anyone seeking a race board that offers a little more in the way of manoeuvrability, likewise anyone who wants a faster freeride board. Basically it does exactly what we think a freerace board ought to do!
Under different types of sail the board can feel quite different so choose wisely. If you want speed make sure you have a speed-orientated sail and vice-versa for freeride/freestyle. At the higher end of the wind range it prefers squatter, draft-further-back, compact-type sails to even up the added foot pressure from the rear strap.
Described as “Power of Control. Going fast. The gran turismo line of windsurfing!” (sic) The Firestorm is RRD’s ‘freeride sport’ model. Either side of it sit the FireRace and the freeride FireMove – we only wish they did a beginner board called the [Twisted] FireStarter!
Outline: Fairly parallel outline with rounded/squash nose and tail
Deck: Recessed in front of forward-sloping mast track
Rail Profile: Boxy-looking, tucked rails and sharpening behind front straps.
Bottom Shape: Vee into double concave.
Rocker Line: Standard nose rocker with small tail kick.
Underfoot: The Firestorm feels smaller than 111 but lack of stability was never an issue even for the heavier sailors. Noticeably comfortable MFC straps.
Early Planing & Acceleration: Despite being the heaviest on test it was certainly one of the earliest to get going in strong winds. In lighter winds it needs some positive, immediate front foot pressure to get it planing really early.
Top Speed: Head-to-head there was almost nothing in it. The Firestorm feels fast and dragless on all points of sail. Super fun in strong winds whilst staying impeccably controllable.
Gybing & Manoeuvres: Very forgiving of sketchy footwork. Wide or tight, forceful or tentative, step gybe or strap-to-strap it will take you round and with more competent direction you can exit a gybe at almost the same speed as on entry.
Handling & Ride: The outboard straps encouraged a good slalom-style stance. Easy, uncomplicated and comfortable on all points of sail it copes equally well in all water states. And in the waves we swear we could hear it just begging to be jumped!
From 14 knots and flat water to 35 knots and waves, all of us agreed this is a superb board for both straight-line blasting and manoeuvres. A popular tester choice, the Firestorm truly offers something for everyone.
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