Dubbed as the perfect board to use in anything from big hollow surf to small mushy waves, the Exocet would seem to cover all bases for UK waveriding. The U-Surf is said to deliver snappy turns with great manoeuvrability, supposedly shattering any myths that only narrow boards turn. It features a slightly squashed tail, is available in four sizes from 62L to 84L, and in two different constructions.
Design: With a maximum width of 56cm it’s actually one of the widest boards tested here, despite having a quoted volume of just 68L. It has very little tail rocker at 4mm, the second least of all of the boards in this group. It also has a 2cm point closer to the tail than any other board here at 129.9cm. The U-Surf has a fair amount of vee throughout, but its most notable design feature is the fact that it has a much thinner profile than anything else on test.
On the water: The first thing you notice about the U-Surf is that despite its relatively large max width, it feels pretty small. This feeling is just fleeting though, as it gets up and going relatively quickly due to that reasonably wide tail. And once planing, the board is an absolute joy – it’s fairly quick off the mark and has great speed to hit ramps on the way out. It feels comfortable to blast on and would make an ideal high wind bump-&-jump board. When you come to turn around it carves with ease and maintains speed. On the wave it is again effortless to carve and feels loose and lively whilst gripping well. Off the top it’s as snappy as anything else out there, and the extra width in the tail helps you to carry speed into your next turn.
Fittings: The board was supplied with a fairly stiff 20.5cm fin, the smallest on show here, in a comparatively long fin-box. The double density pads made it extremely comfortable for blasting and jumping. The straps were a bit spongy and not that easy to adjust, but nevertheless comfortable.
Overall: A great board for somewhere with consistent wind straight off the beach – if you’re over 80kg and it’s a bit iffy, you’ll find it a struggle to punch through the white water as you’ll more than likely be in submarine mode. That said, once up and planing you’ll love the awesome manoeuvrability and great carving and jumping characteristics this board has to offer. It’s a big board disguised as a small board, with the best traits of both.