TABOU MANTA 106L PRO TEAM EDITION 2013 TEST REVIEW
Aspiring racers who want the thrill of pro-level speed with the added convenience of a board that will let them get away with the occasional badly placed foot.
A race-orientated or lower centre of gravity sail will help you milk the most from it.
‘More acceleration, higher top end speeds and easier turns guarantee your place on the podium. Comfort is also a top priority…’ The Speedster is the true freerace model (due to stock availability this featured in our slalom test a couple of months ago instead) and the Rocket is their freeride model.
Outline:The shortest board on test it has a parallel outline, with a wide then aggressively drawn-in tail
Deck: Notably recessed in front of mast track (sloping forward and down)
Rail Profile: Fairly sharp, boxy rails with volume concentrated in tail.
Bottom Shape: Aggressive vee to more subtle rolled tail vee/double concave.
Rocker Line: Some nose rocker, flat under straps with a small amount of tail kick.
Underfoot: Looking short on the water the volume appears to be distributed around the front straps and out towards the rails which, combined with the width, gives a small but perfectly stable feel. The width is advantageous for tacking and when not planing.
Early Planing & Acceleration: Unremarkable in its get-up-and-go but once you’re planing it accelerates amazingly and feels like it always has a little bit more to give.
Top Speed: Off the wind the Manta is ridiculously fast! We didn’t ever feel we had reached its top speed and, whilst feeling scarily quick, it also felt controllable and very comfortable.
Gybing & Manoeuvres: It took us a while to get the best of it through the gybes. It will turn however you want it to but once you’ve initiated the turn, full commitment’s required, although the width does provide a little forgiveness.
Handling & Ride: Reacts quickly to heel and toe pressure for a smooth sailing line. Skips over chop with no difficulty and copes well in swell with a nice planted position. Also controllable in the air whether intentional or accidental!
A super-fast board with plenty of excess acceleration and speed in the bag. Despite being Tabou’s full-on slalom board, the Manta is not to be feared. If you show it who’s boss it’s forgiving to carve and easy control.
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