The board we tested here was actually an ’08 board from the OTC centre but as it missed our main test last year (getting tested later in a round-up feature) and the shape won’t be changed for this year we felt it deserved inclusion. It is however quite likely that the graphics will be different from those pictured here.
On the water: Although quoting only 75L of volume and being quite short the Rebel feels one of the bigger boards on test, as it’s above averagely wide in tail, nose and overall measurements. Despite substantial vee right at the tail the hull quickly flattens to become single concave by the straps which then continues forward, and the rocker profile is of average waveboard curvature. The result is a board that has a very floaty but relatively low grip feel. It is a good weight carrier, gets going quite easily and is acceptably fast but needs a slightly light touch on the back foot in marginal conditions. Once up to speed and settled it rides easily and has enough grip for good jumping. The forte of the board though is its riding, particularly in slower conditions when the wide tail and nose give it excellent flow through the bottom turn and power in the top turn, while the low grip hull keeps it from sticking and allows easy redirection. It is not as agile, snappy and grippy as the twinsers but keeps speed and flow much better in smaller, slower waves and is therefore generally better in the kind of onshore waveriding conditions prevalent off British coasts. The wide tail is more suited to a wider gybe arc, but the board is very pivotal and snappy for its size and very forgiving.
Fittings: Although there may be some changes to the ’09 fittings, the F2 straps and fin were both of extremely high quality in ’08. Our only comment is that the very wide spacing of the strap inserts (16cm) means that narrow feet without boots do rather float about in them. The ’08 fin is quite large (23.5cm) to suit it to lighter conditions and counteract the low grip hull. A smaller one for higher winds or faster waves could be a useful extra purchase.
Overall: The Rebel 75 is a popular onshore riding biased all-rounder. Relatively stubby and low grip in feel, it excels in onshore frontside riding in small to medium waves. It takes a 5.3m sail with ease and could take larger yet still maintains control well in strong conditions. As an all-rounder for a riding focused sailor looking for generous volume and width it is hard to beat.