RRD Firestorm Ltd V2 111L 2014 Test Review
The Firestorm isn’t actually RRD’s stated freerace board, which is actually the Firerace. However we knew from previous experience the Firestorm would be more than competitive, so in the absence of the Firerace’s availability, happily green-lighted this fun shape into the selection. The Firestorm sits alongside the X-Fire, said Firerace and the Firemove at the heart of the RRD flat-water collection. This 111 comes with a 40-cm. CNC-foiled G10, powerbox fin.
“The firestorm program is been redefined in technology and expanded with two new shapes. Based on the scooprocker of the X-fire boards, the thinner volume configuration and the narrower tail allow these designs to be competitive boards with burning accelerations after jibes, but also great pleasant comfortable freeriding machines! The real GranTurismo line of windsurfing! New sizes available 101 and 129 lts.” (Sic.)
We were already familiar with this 111 – a real testers’ favourite – that’s unchanged since our July 2013 test, so it was interesting to see how it performed against the latest crop of rivals in what were pretty challenging conditions with rough seas of rolling swell mixed with death chop in 18-30 knots. First up the number one thing every tester comments on is the turning ability. Tight, hooked, long and wide, this board is so forgiving it seems to finish any kind of carve off for you. It also really holds its own against dedicated slalom boards, being fast, early planing and with what, we all pretty much agreed, is the most comfortable ‘on-your-toes’ stance. We handed it to some top PWA pros too who all commented that it’s very quick – and that the comfort adds to the speed factor in messy water. Is it the fastest? Well, to most it may be as it’s easy to control – but the speed potentials in this group are all close and all rival dedicated slalom boards we had to compare against. In flat water it’s probably not. Nevertheless, this is a freerace board – and more. It loves to be jumped and a small quiver of fins will deliver a super-wide scope of use and especially add appeal to wave sailors or freestyle-wave riders looking for a true ‘wave-slalom’ board. Our only wish is that, if RRD thought it was in their remit for this shape, a more outboard strap option would give an even wider range of use and help eek out some extra speed.
The most manoevrable board in this class, the Firestorm 111 also offers the widest range of use while being clearly the easiest to sail and control in rough going. We’d recommend this as the perfect board for first-time racers who also want a fun vehicle for all terrain sailing in the 11-27-knot range. Invest in a couple of fins (a smaller swept back number for ‘burn ‘n turn’ and a larger, more powerful carbon foil for the low-end) to make for the most perfect and versatile ‘wave-slalom’ design.
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RRD FIRESTORM LTD V2 111L 2014
Other boards in this test: