RRD Freestyle Wave

Adrian Jones and his Clones test out the next board in the 2013 freewave test, the RRD Freestyle Wave.

RRD Freestyle Wave
RRD Freestyle Wave
RRD Freestyle Wave
RRD Freestyle Wave

The RRD comes from a long and very successful heritage of freestyle wave designs.  They have always been renowned for blending a decent amount of comfort and ease of use with good performance.

RRD chose to supply us with their 90 litre version, making it the smallest in test as they feel that the width was more comparable to the rest of the group.  At 61cm wide it was in fact one of the wider boards, but the tail width was the second narrowest.  It was also the second shortest in test.

The Freestyle Wave is designed as a single fin and comes complete with great quality detailing and accessories.  The pads in particular were extremely soft and comfortable.

On the water, the narrower tail width and lower volume make the RRD feel smaller underfoot than most of the other boards in this group.  However, the relatively high maximum width does make it a fairly stable and secure platform when not planing.  As the wind increases, the larger single fin set-up of the RRD makes it relatively easy to get planing on from a technique perspective.  It wasn’t the quickest of the group to get planing, but the smaller size of the board may have contributed to this.

As a classic single fin Freestyle Wave, it’s manoeuvrable enough on the wave and requires minimal technique to get it to turn.

RRD Freestyle Wave
RRD Freestyle Wave

Once shifting, the RRD is all about ease and comfort.  It scores as the most ‘passive’ board in the group, because it is very settled and requires minimal technique to get the best from it.  It isn’t as fast as the other boards in the group for raw speed, but the ease and control may mean the end result is on par, particularly in rougher conditions where the control is a noticeable asset.  For a single fin, the RRD actually has quite a planted feel to the way it rides, which keeps the board locked down but at the same time, offers a slightly less engaging ride than some of the more lively boards.  If you are looking for a comfortable cruiser, they don’t come much more comfortable than this.

Very comfortable ride in the chop when it’s super windy, which gives it a bit of speed because you can lock it down.

On the wave, the RRD gives an impression of being very easy and smooth to turn, which it is for the initiation and early part of the turn.  For novice and less aggressive wave riders, there is plenty of performance on tap to develop the basics of front side and backside wave riding with a very ‘easy riding’ feel to the way the board turns.  More skilled riders who are looking to push harder, may find that the performance isn’t as agile as some of the more cutting edge tri-fin set-ups are able to offer.   Again, the RRD is all geared towards ease of use and makes the performance accessible to even the least skilled of riders.

Feels like an arm chair cruiser with lots of control.  Works well at the top end, but makes it less engaging to ride at the bottom end.

The RRD Freestyle Wave, single fin set-up.
RRD Freestyle Wave
RRD Freestyle Wave, great for freestyle too.


The RRD Freestyle Wave is a classically designed Freestyle Wave board.  It has all the usual ‘easy riding’ traits that we now associate with RRD boards, particularly the freestyle wave models and offers a huge amount of control at the top end, and in rougher/choppier conditions.  It isn’t as agile on the wave as the multi-fins, nor as lively underfoot as some of the other boards within this group, but RRD’s forte is control, comfort and ease of use and to this extent the RRD hits the nail on the head.

Check out the rest of the Freewave testing series:

  1. Adrian Jones

    Jay, if you have a 115 Rocket, and you are 80kg’s, I would be tempted to go for the 84. That would certainly be my choice. Then when you get more confident, aim fro a 75-80 liter wave board and you will have a nice quiver. And the 84 looks prettier ;-)
    Good luck with it!

  2. Adrian Jones

    Hi Jay, it would help to know your body weight as I think you could argue this either way. I am 80kg’s and personally I found the 90 starting to get too big for me once I was well powered on a 5.3 and would rather have been on an 84. with your 4.5 I am sure the 90 will be feeling pretty big – unless you are well over 90kgs in body weight and even then, you would probably have more fun on the 84. The 84 will work fine with a 5.6, but it is a real crossover size, where the 90 will also be pretty good. The 90 will plane easier, hold its speed more and probably be a bit easier going for blasting back and forth on. The 84 will be more maneuverable (particularly on the wave) and more agile/ exciting in choppier conditions….. Once you get to your 6.0m the 84 will work fine, but the 90 will be better. Personally I would probably opt for the 84 overall, but it depends upon your skill and weight. Let me know if you need more help.

    1. jay

      Hello Adrian,

      thanx so much for your reply!!! Okay, so my weight is indeed 80 kilos. My skill is intermediate. I can waterstart pretty okay, but jibing I still have to learn. Can’t do it, yet… I have a bigger freerider board of 115 liters (Tabou Rocket) and I am looking for a 2nd higher wind board for anything 18 knots+. I would use it on mainly on lakes but also at sea 50/50%. I would use it with a 6.0, 5.6, 5.0 sails mostly. (Perhaps a 4.5 but they would be rare). Like when my 6.0/115 is getting too big I would go to my RRD with the 6.0, 5.6 being the sweet sail spot…

      So what do you think now? (I actually really like the looks of the “12 RRD FSW 84, and do NOT like the looks of the 90 liter version. I saw a 2nd hand 2008 RRD FSW 90 liters version which I also like but that one is also 59 cm wide if I am correct… So what do you think fits me bettter?

      The “12 84 liters, or the “08 90 liters, both around 59 cm wide… Or would in fact the ugly “12 90 liters at 61 cm wide be the best?

      Looking forward to your reply and thanx so much in advance!!!

    2. jay

      Oh yeah, I might later on opt for an extra wave board around 75 liters… But that will taje a couple of years of practice before I can use that….

    3. jay
  3. jay

    One month later, still no answer… Weird. You guys so busy in the winter? A quick answer, takes only 2 minutes… C’mon guys…

    1. Amy Carter - Editor

      Hi Jay, sorry for the late response I’ve just seen your post and will get a response from the testers for you. Thanks, Amy

  4. Jay

    Hey guys,

    what I do miss from this test is the recommended sailsaize… I am so doubting between a 90 vs 84 liters RRD FSW, and my main sail sizes will be between 6.0 to 4.5 with my main sail being a 5.6… Which size I should pick doesnt get any clearer because you’re test says nothing about sail sizes…



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