RRD FIRESTORM LTD V2 129L 2014 TEST REVIEW
The Firestorm sits alongside the Firerace (freerace) and the Firemove (freemove) at the heart of the RRD freeride collection. This newly added 129 comes with an MFC 44-cm. RC 2 CNC-foiled G10, Powerbox fin. Available in either LTD. or wood constructions.
“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. Each board has different length and width to accommodate the appropriate balance of the average rigs you are going to use on them. Simple V with double concave bottom and a slight flat vee tail release bottom simplify the water dynamics and create a very effective, sharp feeling of compact and fast boards in any conditions.”. (Sic.)
If you’re a regular reader of our tests you may have noticed we’ve loved the Firestorm in the past couple of seasons – namely the smaller 111L version (as tested in the June 2014 and July 2013 issues.) So, after frothing on the universal ‘wave-slalom’ nature of the 111, we were really interested to see how the 129 would cope on our first outing in very challenging, hectic conditions in Tenerife. The smooth, easy ride characteristic is still there and very similar to the little brother, but with added glide in the lulls. All of the boards in this test planed pretty early in the rare lighter wind sessions, but it was the acceleration of the 129 that stood out. We’re always saying it, but the RRD boards all seem to have a super-positive, ‘up-on-your-toes’ stance characteristic – and this larger model is noticeably easy to get into the straps early as well. In the rough water, even with 7.8s and up to 30 knots of wind, we felt completely at ease – as did various guesters of intermediate ability – which is a testament to how this hull performs. But it’s the carving nature that’s the most special and it’s amazing the variation of arc you can achieve with both the sizes of Firestorm we’ve tried. It really is incredible for being able to suddenly change the radius and hook or widen turns without losing much speed at all. Although this board will deliver excitement to more accomplished sailors – as well as be a viable freerace option – the Firestorm 129 would also make a great match for improvers looking for some growing room as they progress. Well done RRD.
A smooth, easy, modern-stanced ride with outstanding gybing qualities, the Firestorm 129 will appeal to entry-level freeriders and more advanced sailors alike. Lightning-quick acceleration and superb glide add to the stress-free fun and performance. Suitable for all sail types.
Other boards in this test: