RRD FIRESTORM 120L V2 LTD 2015 TEST REVIEW
Classed as RRD’s ‘Freeride Sport’ model, the Fire Storm comes in five sizes and two constructions for 2015, the 120 being the middle option and tested here in its dearer ‘Limited’ construction.
“The Fire Storm program has been redefined in technology and expanded with two new shapes. Based on the scoop rocker of the X-fire boards, the thinner volume configuration and the narrower tail allow these designs to be competitive boards with burning accelerations after gybes, but also great, pleasant comfortable freeriding machines! The real GranTurismo line of windsurfing! New sizes available 101L and 129L.”
On the water the Fire Storm 120 really comes into its own when the chips are down and the conditions are severe. It has a degree of balance and control that never falters, even in the harshest seas or most extreme gusts. The board hugs the water’s surface without feeling sluggish or draggy, cutting a smooth easy path, the deckpads and straps providing a secure, comfortable connection with the board. This silky, forgiving nature helps provide confidence to the rider to explore its performance … and there is plenty on tap, driving off the fin to point well and accelerating progressively in gusts to an impressive speed. It simply never misbehaves; even when the nose dances around seemingly hunting for the next gust and engaging the rider, the truth is that you’re nowhere near losing control. In marginal winds and partnered with a soft sail, the Fire Storm’s character could mean that it is perceived as a somewhat dull ride compared to others in the group, but strap in a crisp foil with a high centre of effort and the RRD has the control to ensure the sail never dominates or gets away from you. This balance and practicality also comes through in the gybe where the Fire Storm can be powered into an aggressive committed corner, or eased round a wider more relaxed arc. As the rider you are left in no doubt that you are in control and can sail the Fire Storm as you wish, happy to cruise at half-speed, or locked in and driven hard to enjoy its full potential.
With a simply stunning level of control, the Fire Storm can tame the most direct feeling sail or harshest sea states. Smooth, easy and practical, it was a joy to use in powered to over powered conditions.
Other sails in this test: