Exocet X wave 73 (2008)

Ed Davis

The X Wave takes over from the Exo Wave as the principal higher wind riding board in the Exocet line-up. The design is similar in many ways to last year’s Exo Wave, featuring considerable vee under the mast-track and a very similar compact and widetailed outline. Again like 2007′s board, the X Wave also features extremely unusually low amounts of tail rocker for a waveboard but this year the nose rocker starts much earlier (thus creating a shorter planing flat).

On the Water: Although it has quite a stubby outline, the XWave is unlike the majority of such boards due to its very different rocker and vee profile. It’s grippy, fast and dynamic rather than soft, loose and slidey.With such a short rocker flat it needs a bit of initial unsticking but basically planes early, and once up on the tail it accelerates very quickly, rides out lulls well and goes extremely quickly. It gives a smooth ride and carves very easily with excellent grip in the turn allowing it to carry high speed even into upwind jumps. Even with the relatively small fin it flies upwind and in gybes it carves easily and can keep unusually high exit speed for a waveboard. Frontside in waves it can carve hard and tight for exciting rides but needs to be mastered. It’s best in moderate wave conditions, as it needs ever more commitment if board speed gets high. Despite its plan shape it isn’t as naturally loose and turny as the other shorter, wider boards and will stall in onshore winds before many of the less grippy boards. It is, however, very dynamic for backside hits.

Fittings: The relatively domed deck and double density pads made it extremely comfortable for blasting and jumping. The fin works OK but the straps are a bit spongy and aren’t easily adjusted.

Popularity: It proved very popular with the guesters who used it and was well liked by the testers for jumping and high wind blasting.

Overall: It is both accessible and exciting and although it doesn’t make our favourites as a strictly riding board it offers abundant compensation with great onshore jumping and blasting performance, and high speed comfort and control. Undoubtedly it will prove popular with the majority of UK sailors in the majority of UK venues.

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