TABOU ROCKET WIDE 128L LTD 2015 TEST REVIEW
The 128 is the second largest in Tabou’s Rocket Wide line-up and is tested here in the brand’s dearer LTD construction, supplied with a relatively swept-back 46cm freeride fin. It initially displays Tabou’s signature bottom shape, with a mix of pronounced double and vee in the shoulders, to straight double by the front straps, but breaking from tradition to exhibit a slight mono-concave in the tail of the board.
“We worked really hard on defining everything that made our classic Rocket such a success and packaging it all into a wider, thinner shape to achieve even better planing and wind range. This board has got it all for any keen freerider: very early planing, speed, acceleration and passing through lulls effortlessly. It has great control and on top of that a super easy gyber where you don’t lose any speed and come out as fast as you entered. This is the board that will help you pass to the next level.”
After testing the smallest Rocket Wide earlier in the year and being very taken by it, we were keen to see how this larger sibling stacked up against its rivals. Despite possessing the same width as others on test here, it is noticeably thinner and therefore true to its lower stated volume, requires more input than others in the group to unstick in the most marginal winds. Nevertheless, it responds well to pumping, the flat deck and wide tail enabling the rider to step back early as they push the board off the wind. It accelerates quickly and reaches a good top speed, lapping up all the power the sail can muster, whilst feeling incredibly easy and planted underfoot. As with the 108, it seems to ride over heavy confused seas as if impervious to any influence – a real asset to all sailor abilities, comforting the intermediate and enabling experienced riders to put the hammer down. One of the best performers in a straight-line here, it could be partnered with a fast freerace sail to really exploit its easily accessible top end potential. Around the corners, the 128’s wide tail is noticeable and demands a conscious step over with the back foot to get into a meaningful position, but let the rig pull you into the turn and the board responds with a beautifully smooth bite, the thin rails gripping and holding the 128 into the turn whilst losing little speed. It is easy to come out of the turn with speed on the Rocket Wide; how much will depend on your enthusiasm as you enter. But the sure, dependable grip, matched with the effortless glide the board has right through the turn, can’t help but inspire you to enter with more speed in your next transition.
Combining near freerace levels of performance with freeride ease and user-friendliness, the Rocket Wide 128 takes the wide-thin concept to new heights. A real head-turner, it was a favourite amongst the team.
Other sails in this test: