RRD HARDCORE WAVE V6 LTD 88L 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Hardcore Wave is classed by RRD as their ‘Sideshore Wave Pro’ board, championed by Alex Mussolini. Now in its sixth generation, it has been refreshed for 2017 and comes in four sizes, each produced in Ltd construction only, using Innegra carbon technology. This 88 is the second largest and has quite a distinctive outline – wide in the nose, with parallel rails in the midsection and easily the narrowest tail in the group here. With a flat, voluminous deck shape through the middle of the board, from the track to the straps, it tapers quickly to the rails, which in turn have a tucked hard edge throughout their length. Coming complete with MFC fins, Da Kine straps and 8mm dual density deckpads, the HCW has a classy look about it, with a clean ‘less is more’ graphic and eye-catching pattern in the deck’s non-slip.
“The Hardcore Wave V6 are the most versatile Hardcore wave boards ever build since their introduction in our collection. 4 Shapes with 10lt of difference from 98 all the way down to 68 all equipped with 5 Fins slot box to be able to switch from a thruster to a quad setup depending on your style. We have worked on getting these well proven shapes lighter, in order to improve their performance level in every detail.”
Taking the Hardcore onto the water, the first thing that was noticed was its unique volume distribution. One of the widest amongst this group, it is not unstable at any stage and can easily handle a 5.3m sail; yet the board is very chunky through its mid-section, tapering quickly to thin rails and a particularly thin tail. As such it took a little while for us to get used to its balance, keeping our stance forward on the board, to drive it onto the plane. Once going, the HCW feels crisp and precise underfoot, its ride quite sharp and engaging. It is certainly fast, sitting high and dancing over the water’s surface, ready to punch off any ramp that raises its head. Used in cross-onshore conditions, it did feel somewhat out of place and a little stiff, demanding to be pushed hard through the bottom turn and fully committed from rail to rail. That said, it has a distinctly back-foot biased riding style, which, with time spent adjusting to, can be used to good effect. This becomes far more apparent in cross-offshore conditions, where the true qualities of the HCW began to shine through. Fast and spirited, it can fly down the line at full tilt, the pilot in full confidence the board will not skip out or trip a rail. Pushed into a bottom turn, the HCW’s narrow tail pierces the water so precisely that the board seems to pivot and redirect in an instant. The bigger the conditions, the more the 88 seems at home. In fact, we soon realised it was a bit of a secret weapon for aerials on the wave, with its speed and immediate response complimented by its easy release from the water. Far from sticky, its wide shoulders and chunky mid-section seemed to be able to project effortlessly off anything, even broken white water. Get your timing right and you’ll be coming back for more, looking for aerials on every ride.
Requiring more technical input from the rider, but rewarding commitment in spades, the Hardcore thrives in cross to cross-offshore conditions and provides the confidence to go bigger as the conditions turn on.
Other sails in this test: