TABOU 3S 106L LIMITED 2014 TEST REVIEW
The new 3S 106 has a lot going on in the tail, with a lot of features crammed in aft! There’s a double tail cutout, double wingers and, why not, they’ve thrown in a swallowtail as well. Tabou are not really known for trying outrageous gimmicks for the sake of it and, being a rich mix of, largely, Franco-German collaboration tend to have some solid reasoning and comprehensive CAD data backup in their thinking as well as an element of flair. There’s also apparently a new rocker line on this range and the outline is relatively stretched – but the width overall is fairly corky at 64.5 cm. wide. Tabou have also chosen not to jump on the thruster bandwagon and have stuck with a Powerbox singlefin, with a whopping 32-cm. freeride foil that’s quite high aspect and upright in appearance in comparison to most of those delivered by its rivals here.
‘New Shapes in the 96 and 106 sizes are more wave orientated than ever, working perfect as light wind and big waveboards! Triple Fun best describes the 3S boards. You can free ride, bump and jump, bust out some freestyle and smack some lips on these boards and they just don’t care! Arguably one of the best all-round boards on the market, the 3S just gets better and better. The key word to describe these boards is “EASY”. The boards just do what you want them to do, you don’t have to work hard to make them turn, they know how to do it. They jump on a plane with ease and rocket to the moon on the jumps. One board, do what you want!’ (sic.)
You won’t be wanting for foam on this 106, but the outline does feel longer and straighter and less nosy up front due the balanced outline curve. The ride is, as always, nice and cushioned with the usual Tabou raised bumper pads and snug, narrow straps. There’s no drag or issues with getting planing early, but it’s acceleration once moving and the straight-line speed that’s most impressive. Just like the 2013 models, we found it best over rolling chop and sailed deep downwind, where the blade-like fin works well, providing lift and security the broader you dare to go. Overall the trim is excellently balanced over most water states, even with the track a little further back it allows you to load the rig without any unwanted nose lift or draggy, over-planted, pinning-down sensations. The extravagant outline is interesting around the bends. We found it gybed well with strong acceleration through the exit. The more front-heavy boards tend to ‘squirt’ differently and the 3S allows a lot more rail length to bite, yet the thin tail permits a nice hook, similar to something a little more tear-dropped but with the benefit of higher speed in the approach. (Potentially a bonus in the surf.) Jumping-wise there’s heaps of potential, but if freestyle’s your aim then it probably isn’t this board’s strongest suit. If waves are your thing then, we’d recommend trying one at your local dealer and experimenting with some smaller fins.
A strong option for those interested in what’s an excellent combination of a high-wind freeride board and marginal or fresh breeze wave shape.
For more information on the
TABOU 3S 106L LIMITED 2014
go to www.tabou-boards.com
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