TABOU POCKET 94L 2016 TEST REVIEW
The second largest in a five-board line-up, the 94 is unchanged for 2016 (bar the graphics), its most distinctive and interesting design feature being its double wingered swallow tail, said to provide more control as well as “speed on the flat of the wave.” The thruster set up is moved further forward in the board than most, designed to make the board easier to turn. Produced in Tabou’s Wave Flexlight carbon / innegra sandwich, it comes supplied with T-Lab G10 fins, Tabou branded Cobra footstraps and some of the most comfortable deckpads on the market.
“The Pocket Wave is your “hidden joker”. This range of Pocket boards will bring the best out of anyone’s sailing, no matter their level. Forgiving yet responsive, this board offers security to push you to your limits even in the most challenging conditions. Easy and early to plane, the Pocket gets you up and going through the waves, allowing you to pick the ramp of your choosing and fly into the air with solid pop. The compact outline delivers excellent control in the jumps. On the wave, the rocker-line and outline ensure smooth bottom turns with excellent drive for either front or back foot turning. The thruster setup offers a surfy feel with slashy turns, and you have the option to ride a single fin if you want more drive for flat water blasting or bump and jumping on the river swells!”
Being one of the widest in the group, the Pocket carries weight well, the wide point well forward and the deck flat, making it particularly stable. It does plane early, but takes a bit of figuring out to make the most of its abilities. With the natural stance being quite far forward on the board and the fins placed further forward, yet particularly sharp rails in the tail, all the way up to the board’s mid-section, we found the best way to release the board early was to step back on the board earlier than you would normally anticipate doing so. Once on the plane, it gathers pace well and cuts an efficient path through the water, the vee in the nose ironing out heavy impacts, whilst seeming to glide through lulls unaffected. The wide flat deck in the nose of the board is also particularly noticeable in the tack, providing ample stability and forgiving any clumsy weight movement. But it’s the Pocket’s lively and playful nature that will endear it to most who use it. It is easy to use and can be turned on the front or back foot, biting into the turn and using its full rail before carving hard on the tail. As with most thrusters, it has more of a smooth carving nature rather than slashing or sliding, the width and volume in the nose enabling it to redirect purposefully off any white water, whilst the increased tuck in the nose stops the board stalling at the top of the turn.
A fantastically fun, playful board, the Pocket’s stance takes a bit of time to adapt to initially, but once understood provides masses of user appeal for use in any coastal environment.
Other sails in this test: