Mistral Red Dot 76 (2008)

Ed Davis

This year the Red Dot (RD) boards replace the long-running Beast range. Traditionally the Beast waveboards were very easy boards to sail but that changed a bit last year with a much more radical, higher-rockered design with single concave forward of the back straps.This year’s RD boards have reverted to an ‘easier’ more traditional Mistral wave rockerline with a longish planing flat but kept the single concave hull shape, tempered by relatively high vee in the tail.

On the Water:

The board still has a basically ‘trad’ feel to it, feeling quite long and despite the single concave the relatively narrow tail, tail vee and large fin give plenty of grip for easy tracking and control. It planes averagely early and is one of the easier boards to get planing due to the easy tracking and low pitch that isn’t very demanding of technical input. The abiding characteristic of the RD is its ease of sailing. It’s very smooth when blasting, feels reliable and dependable in very difficult conditions and always allows you to either keep out of trouble or else pull jumps and turns to order.Whilst neither aspirationally slashy or nippy it is nevertheless pleasingly loose yet very predictable and controlled on a wave, allowing involving frontside riding even in smallish onshore conditions. Although probably best in slightly bigger, faster conditions it is still very suitable for UK waves.

Fittings:

The relatively large 24cm G10 fin is of high quality and seems to suit the board well, and the straps are excellent. The pads, while much less hard than last year’s, are more about direct feel than ultimate comfort.

Popularity:

The RD is much more a board that quietly grows on you rather than reaching out and grabbing you, and it was doing that most convincingly. It was in the top half of just about everybody’s list by the end and probably still rising.

Overall:

Dependable and versatile rather than exciting, which is probably why we think that it’s such a relevant board for so many UK sailors. It is equally good whether you want decent waveriding, good jumping or just an easy board to sail and control in high winds. Better still, its riding style is neither noticeably biassed towards either small mushy waves or clean offshore faces – it can do it all. It mixes the accessibility and reliability in all conditions of the pre ’07 Beasts but adds in a more versatile and modern planshape and a much looser, more UK-friendly riding style.

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