TABOU DA CURVE 86L 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Da Curve is classed by Tabou as their go everywhere board for the “new school wave rider”. Whilst dropping the 69L board from the line-up, the other designs remain unchanged for the new season, and retain their ‘Quadster’ title despite being supplied with only a thruster fin setup. Perhaps there’s a clue there…? Looking at the 86 in detail, it has many interesting features, from the even dome throughout the deck, countered by the thick dual density deckpads, making the deck shape flat under the back foot. The rails are really tapered, particularly in the squashed tail, yet the edge is noticeably hard in the rear, becoming tucked early and very soft and rounded in the nose. The fittings are well thought out, with the option to change the angle of the front strap and double screws to stop twisting in the back strap. It was also very evident that the five lightweight slot boxes are placed well forward in the tail, more than any other board in the group.
“The professionals ask for two things in a wave board: to go fast and turn easily. Last year, we started from zero to create a brand new DaCurve that is fast enough to rip in onshore winds and mushy waves but also manoeuvrable enough to carve at Ho’okipa. This DaCurve is the board that Thomas Traversa used to win the PWA World Title.”
The overriding feedback from the testers, as soon as they stepped off the Da Curve, was that they loved using the board on its rails. It is a true carving machine, really sensing the bite and grip provided and instilling the confidence to push harder and drive through both feet for a tighter turn. Conventional and easy underfoot from the off, it planes early and accelerates smoothly, feeling crisp and loose, yet easy to control in chop. As with the Pocket tested earlier this year, the Da Curve benefits from the dual density deckpad, enabling the rider to move their back foot outboard and drive off the raised edge of the deckpad. Setting up for a wave ride though, you move your back foot deep into the back strap, the deckpad making for a flat deck shape and instant rail-to-rail response. Using the thruster set up provided, the 86 was a match for all the conditions we tried it in, from logo-high cross-off to chunky cross-onshore conditions. It was fast and agile around the break, feeling light in the air during aerial manoeuvres and composed underfoot when the conditions became severe. It really seemed to thrive when the conditions turned on and the waves became more powerful. There is just so much feel and feedback provided by the rails of the Tabou, as if you’re connected directly to the wave. We did get a chance to try the 86 in quad set up briefly and although it seemed to temper the board’s speed and looseness, it served to amplify the drive and grip for an even tighter more aggressive redirection up the wave face.
A true wave board in every sense, the Da Curve can be tuned to suit any wave riding style, offering a beautifully connected carving sensation.
Other sails in this test: