The X-Wave is unchanged from the board that we tested last year, although we did notice slight differences in the distribution of the rocker and vee, no doubt due to moulding and production variation over time.
On the water:
Being relatively narrow at max width and fairly low in volume, it takes a bit of unsticking for heavier sailors. However, being relatively wide and flat rockered through the tail (for a waveboard), it is quick once going and keeps planing very easily. It is noticeably easy and controllable at speed, handling chop very well, keeping flat and composed with a slight feel of softness and suspension, possibly partly occasioned by the double density heel pads. It is a board on which you can get a lot of action in a short time as it is quick to accelerate, easy to jump and easy to carve whilst maintaining speed. Indeed, jumping is a particular strength due to the wide tail, short length and positive grip of the vee in the water as you push for take-off. It is also very easy to take upwind. Although very much a riding capable waveboard that gave us some fun frontside riding it feels a bit stiffer than most of the current crop of waveboards that are now so very riding oriented. This won’t affect those who are mainly looking for backside riding or a good combination of riding and jumping, but will slightly diminish its appeal to pure frontside junkies.
The relatively domed deck and double density pads made it extremely comfortable for blasting and jumping. The straps are a bit spongy and aren’t easily adjusted, but neverthelss comfortable, and the fin works well.
Grippy, fast and dynamic, the Exocet is a lovely high wind all-round board that should prove extremely relevant for the majority of British coastal sailors. Although more wave oriented than most freestyle-wave boards it is not dissimilar in purpose as it is small (short and low volumed) for manoeuvrability and control but fast and wide tailed for speed and easy planing. This gives it a potentially very big wind and usage range for average to advanced ability sailors of between about 65 and 80kg looking for a small fun chuckabout toy that majors on jumping but can certainly be thrown around on the wave face too. New for ’09 is the super-light pro model version.