TABOU SPEEDSTER 75 LTD 2015 TEST REVIEW
Remaining current from 2014, the Speedster 75 is the third smallest in a six-board line-up, each model available in either standard CED construction, or Ltd as tested here. It comes supplied with a 44cm T-Lab fin and multiple footstrap options.
“When you want the best of both worlds, top speed and freeride easiness, look no further than the Speedster! The development of these boards comes right from the Manta range for speed, and the Rocket range for manoeuvrability. On these boards we worked on outline, rocker, bottom shape and foil section. The outlines are inspired from the Manta but with a much narrower tail and totally new cut-out that reduces the drag. It stays wide very far back and then suddenly gets narrow with this special tail. This gives a lot of acceleration in the front part and good top speed when fully on the tail. The rocker-lines are similar to the Mantas but with a longer flat section to increase stability.”
The widest yet shortest in the group, the Speedster carries weight and large sails with ease, translating any power given effortlessly into early planing potential and acceleration. It rises out of the water and sits high on the surface, providing feedback to the rider directly from the fin. It has a distinctly efficient feel underfoot, accelerating instantly in gusts and gliding through lulls as if impervious to any drop in power. Loose and alert, it is certainly exciting if not quite technical to ride and seems to squeeze every last drop of power from the sail, translating it into straight-line speed. The fin supplied compliments the Speedster well, and enables you to punch upwind at an impressive angle. If it does slip or spin out, it is quite easy to pull the board back underfoot, the pinched tail and more inset back strap positions imparting the control and influence to do so. The deckpad of the front straps is also contoured with an extra wedge of EVA under the rider’s toes, to increase comfort and control. In the gybe, such is the Speedster’s fast, loose nature, that it does need to be dominated and driven into the turn with conviction. But do this and the returns are worth every kJ of energy expended, biting beautifully and catapulting you out of the turn with more speed than you went in! In harsh seas the Speedster undoubtedly benefited from being partnered with a sail providing a soft easy power delivery, allowing the rider to concentrate on retaining their stance and board trim, channelling the power correctly and keeping it charging forwards.
Offering near slalom capabilities, the Speedster absorbs all the power given to it and has a seemingly limitless top speed. One of the more technical in the group to master, it rewards those keen for the challenge with an electric performance.
Other sails in this test: