Tabou Speedster 69 Ltd 108L 2014 Test Review
The Speedster 69 (108L) sits alongside the Thunder and Rocket freeride shapes and the all-out Manta PWA-registered slalom board (See test in May issue) in the Tabou range. The Speedster is their ‘de-tuned’ freerace model designed to offer near-race-speed performance in a more accessible and easier-to-sail package. The 69 is delivered with a 40-cm. T-Lab G10 Tuttle-box fin.
“When you want the best of both worlds, Speed and Freeride, look no further than the SPEEDSTER! The development of these boards comes right from the Manta range for speed and the Rocket range for manueverabilIty. You get it all in one great range of boards! A plethora of footstrap locations allow you to custom set up the board for your particular style and water condition. A perfect package for the fast free rider!” … “Ultra-fast and easy to handle make the Speedster shapes the perfect compromise to going fast and in control. If you are not racing in slalom events these boards are set up to have fast GPS times and give you an easy and controllable board. We have put together new outlines, new rocker lines all coming from what we have learned on the Manta boards.” (Sic.)
Mega comfort: Tabou always seem to go the extra mile to enhance their stance and ride. The Speedsters footpads make an instant impression with their nicely wedged-upward pads that eliminate the need to curl your toes and deliver an instant, low-energy, comfy connection with the board and allow positive drive through the legs. In general this size is very secure and copes with chop extremely well. The gybing is also remarkable – as soon as you’ve engaged the rail it stays steady and stable and grips easily though messy water. In the hellish windy (28 knots plus), rough water conditions on this trip we were all fighting over this board when testing sails as the control and comfort was beyond impressive and helped us feel out the harder-to-sail rigs easily while still being able to ‘let fly’ over chop and swell without undue panic! The general stance and sailing style is nice and modern and upright and incredibly confidence inspiring. Needless to say that, for mere mortal sailing abilities, this nugget was, nine times out of ten, faster than dedicated shapes in the most-challenging head-to-heads on both twin cams and specialized race sails. The natural acceleration is strong, but throw in a few sizes of carbon fin and you’ve got yourself a real winner here, especially if you don’t intend to race much or want a board that’s good for GPS or straight-reaching sessions rather than full-on, downwind ‘pain’ sailing in a racing environment. Also note that we came to these conclusions with a ‘soggy’ and hugely oversize-for-the-conditions G10 fin … so definitely a case for experimentation.
A real testers’ favourite. The Speedster 69 is an incredibly confidence-inspiring board with a huge, natural wind range that offers, in our opinion, the most accessible and exciting ride, easy gybing and the nearest to full-on racing shape performance of the bunch.
For more information on the
TABOU SPEEDSTER 69 LTD 108L 2014
go to www.tabou-boards.com
Other boards in this test: