TABOU POCKET WAVE 87L LIMITED 2017 TEST REVIEW
Tabou’s Pocket range is all new for 2017, re-defined as their compact wave-board offering, the old Pocket designs still available yet rebranded as the ‘Pocket Vintage’. Three sizes make up the new Pocket series, this 87 being the middle option, shouldered either side by siblings of 10L in size variation. They all sport a unique and complex tail shape, incorporating a double-diamond design leading to a straight edge before a stepped winger-esque wedge nigh on inline with the thruster fin’s trailing edge. The tail also boasts a deep sharp channel, extending from the wingered step to the board’s trailing edge and possesses a deep vee internally. Fittings have also been stepped up, with MFC fins provided (carbon moulded thrusters and G10 central) and Tabou’s signature straps complimented the heavily contoured dual density pads. It’s an attractive looking board – quite wedgy and angular in the tail, yet with a far more traditional looking nose shape.
“The new Pocket is a modern wave board that is the result of 4 years of testing compact shapes. Originally we designed the new Pocket for weaker, real-world waves, but our team riders love riding the Pocket at Ho’okipa too. Even though it is fast and easy to ride, when pressure is applied to the back-foot during wave riding, the new Pocket turns radically with lots of speed.”
Providing the float you’d expect of a board of 87L, the Pocket feels both conventional and easy underfoot, despite its short length, being balanced and tracking easily as soon as you step on. It also releases smoothly, requiring little thought or extra input from the rider. Its speed is good, perhaps not as fast or nervous as some in the group, yet the riding style of the Pocket helps to temper and retain control, particularly useful in severely choppy conditions. Similar to the bottom shape used by Tabou’s shaper Fabien Vollenweider in the Rocket Wide, the straight double underneath the front straps seems to provide stability and composure when other boards suffer control issues. The deckpads also help to provide traction and security, their raised heel pads enabling the rider to move their back-foot out onto the rail of the wide tail and give extra purchase to push and drive the board. It’s conventional nature and smooth ride make the Pocket both practical and easy to use, increasing its appeal, whilst its speed and compact outline make it a pleasure to use for charging around a break and boosting aerials on stunt ramps. And these pads come into play once more when coming back in on a wave-face. With the back foot wedged into the back strap for riding, the raised sections in the pad mean the foot is very flat, giving instant rail to rail response as weight is transferred from toe to heel. The fins provide excellent traction and feel, the Pocket keeping its speed through the turn to compensate for any poor technique. It’s a delight to use in both short tight turns, or more drawn-out powerful arcs, the response through the back foot allowing the board to transition in an instant and atone for any mistiming on the face.
Whilst maintaining a distinctly traditional wave-board character, the new Pocket marries some of the most desirable attributes of the compact generation, providing speed, ease of use and manners to make the most of any wave environment.
Other sails in this test: