06/05/2010 | 2 comments
Design: The X 97 is a relatively long and narrow board, particularly narrow in the tail. The rocker is fast with minimal tail rocker and a longish planing flat and the board has moderate vee.
On the water: Although it lacks a little lift on the narrow tail the Cross X is no slouch and planes earlier than average in this group. Once up and running the long flat and easy trim make it very comfortable to sail fast and it is happy in all water states, riding well through chop and feeling comfortable underfoot. The big fin and long waterline allow it to point high and fast upwind. Whilst not the most lively in feel it is very controllable and predictable, gybing cleanly and fast, jumping nicely and handling harsh conditions.
In the waves it is not the most loose and manoeuvrable but still carves well, gripping securely and feeling agile on its narrow tail, and it can certainly ride to a good level. Its strengths are its easy blasting and pleasant feel and versatility in all conditions. Freestyle is limited due to the outline and long fin but it can still perform.
Fittings: The straps are excellent and the pads and doming were considered comfortable. The fin is quite long and freeride-biased, having a relatively narrow chord and being quite stiff. The board features a breathable valve that doesn’t require removing for heat or travel.
Overall: While a lot of fun for jumping and general use in coastal conditions the Thommen is best for blasting and gybing and handles a very wide range of winds and water states. We would strongly recommend it for both advancing intermediates and advanced sailors in coastal or sheltered waters wanting a non-specific board that can do a bit of everything but is above all just a nice, easy, fast board to sail.
We found it worked well with a 6.5m sail and could handle bigger, but was equally at home with much smaller sails in strong winds.