TABOU POCKET WAVE 87L 2018 TEST REVIEW
We tested the Pocket 87 last year from Tabou and were impressed with its speed and ease of use, giving it the ability to make the most of any wave environment. It is the only board in this 2018 test whose design has remain unchanged, save for slight refinement to the channel in the tail and a new paint job, sporting Tabou’s new logo. With its wingered squashed tail, complex bottom shape and chunky rails, it looks every bit the extreme design as it did last season and remains one of the shortest in the group. The tail is thin and narrow, made even more so by the deep chiselled channel that extends from the thruster fins to the rear. The internal channel shape has now been made flatter in the last 20cm of the board, for quicker release and more instant response. The rider’s stance is also positioned right back on the board, the double screw back strap easily the furthest back on the Pocket than on any other board in the group. Solely available in the brand’s FlexLight Carbon Innegra sandwich technology, it comes complete with Tabou’s trusty Velcro straps, thick dual density deckpads with their familiar cubed surface and MFC thruster fin set, the middle fin being G10. For 2018, the Pocket and Da Curve are also joined in the Tabou range by the ‘Da Bomb’ – a further development from the Pocket’s concept said to provide yet more speed and early planing prowess.
“Compact, fast, easy to turn, and great for wave tricks, the Pocket offers progressive new-school wave-riding in waves up to mast-high and in side-shore to onshore winds.”
With the ‘compact’ wave board design coming of age in such a short time frame, the Pocket’s extreme design has become quite polarised in relation to the others in the group. We stand by the statement that it is easy to use, yet does require input from the rider to stuff it off the wind, keeping it tracking straight and releasing onto the plane. Once going it has quite a unique stance, its wide nose and chunky shoulders sitting high on the water, whilst the rider’s stance is placed right at the rear of the board, on a relatively narrow, thin tail. As such, if you are underpowered or try to drive upwind too hard through the back foot, the Pocket doesn’t really respond positively, particularly if you are used to a wide riding stance. Instead we found the board worked best when comfortably powered and using a narrower stance, even moving the straps forward in their settings. Corky and loose, it is nonetheless fast and responsive when comfortably powered. It reminded some of the team of a freestyle-specialist board, such is its high-nose stance … and even proved capable when thrown into some new-school trickery! Spend time getting used to the Pocket and it can be used to great effect, particularly in a clean wave environment. The raised heel bumpers in the back deckpad provide useful purchase when driving upwind, yet really come into their own in transition, offering instant rail to rail response. The Pocket thrives on being turned on its tail and can be slammed on its axis, to make the tightest section. Its combination of speed and response make it a lot of fun when used on a smooth face, from cross-on to cross offshore. As the conditions become severe, the Pocket demands a strong hand to keep it behaving and focussed. As compact design has moved on, it is shown the Pocket to be more niche than we perhaps appreciated last year, but in the right conditions it is a stunning performer.
The Pocket has a fast, high-riding and responsive nature, which comes into its own in powered conditions and clean waves. Spend time experimenting with the stance and you will be rewarded with a rapid, fluid rail-to-rail response.
Other sails in this test: