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Tabou Freestyle 100 (2008)

15:55 28th April 2010 by Ed Davis
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One of four freestyle boards in the Tabou line and acclaimed as their “most popular”, the 100 has been beefed up for ’08 with extra volume in the rails and tail for “more pop” and given a “faster rockerline”.

On the water:

Tabou boards are always unusual and the 100 is no different. The sparkling graphics set it apart, as does the ‘double deck’ – an exaggerated gutter running round the board that keeps the rails thin but the centre thick. It’s also the only board featuring a classic fin box and one of only two to still sport a duck-tail. It has a very oblong shape, relatively narrow at max but very wide in the nose and tail, and if you subtract the 10cm duck-tail overhang from the tail of the board it’s by far the shortest. It isn’t the easiest to unstick in marginal winds but responds well to a couple of pumps and seems fast when planing. It has decent pop, slightly better than average spin with no propensity to catch, and a great deal of stability through moves. It isn’t the most freeride crossover of freestyles. The deck is fairly flat under the straps for blasting any distances and the board feels specialised. Nevertheless, it is fun and easy to sail. It gybes in a very tight and loose manner, not that predictably in a freeride sense as it is quite slidey but it can be fun to bang tight turns on. It can provide reasonable ‘stubby’ style wave performance although the very low nose is always a potential drawback.

Fittings:

This board demonstrated that classic finboxes do seem to prove useful for freestyle. Putting the fin at the front of the box added pop and spin and significantly aided freestyle. Putting it back aided carving and possibly early planing. The fin provided works well with the board in an all-round capability, but a smaller foil would be a wise investment for the committed freestyler. The gutter is quite strange. It keeps the rails thin but volume high and it probably stiffens the board as well, but it doesn’t leave much gybing room or standing room when off the plane, and surprisingly hasn’t been used at all to provide dome under the feet. The straps were disliked by everyone and Jono, who already owns a Tabou 100, has changed them.

Popularity:

A favourite for Annek and enjoyed by the others as well, although they took a while to get used to it.

Overall:

The Tabou is certainly a specialist freestyle board but has appeal both for limited riding and ordinary sailing beyond just new-school manoeuvres. It delivers very good aerial freestyle performance with excellent stability and slide. The look and fittings are unusual, and although the straps are a drawback many will see the classic box as a definite freestyle advantage.