Boards

It seems pretty clear that since the change in the PWA competition format, freestyle boards have become shorter, faster, quicker to plane, more responsive and easier to pop into the air. They’ve also become more comfortable to sail (with their domed decks), and this has all got to be very good news for anyone considering buying one. And that shouldn’t just be the domain of bendy-limbed Venezuelan teenagers. These boards are very stable platforms for learning all types of manoeuvres, from the basic carve gybe right up to new-school wave moves and the freestyle moves that I won’t even begin to try and spell. Modern freestyle boards really do have a huge range of use and if you haven’t considered one before, perhaps it’s time you did.

Enthused by this debate, our Clone test team decided to get hold of the latest offerings from the key brands and put them through their paces in Dahab.

When it comes to freestyle, the name says it all. Style is what these boards are about, and style dictates which one will suit. So rather than analyse the intricate details of these boards with a fine toothcomb, we decided to present a comprehensive overview of what our test Clones thought characterised the different styles between them. They are all great freestyle boards, and each one has its own unique style and characteristics, so read through our Clone quotes and see which one will suit you the best!

The Clones would like to thank the Harry Nass centre and the Dahab Coralia Hotel for taking care of them while in Egypt.

STARBOARD FLARE 98

Volume: 98l Length: 235cm Width: 63cm
Weight: 6.29kg Fin: 24cm Price: £1499

Summary

Really good for getting into freestyle and for older school carving manoeuvres. One of the fastest, most comfortable freestyle boards in a straight line.

JP FREESTYLE 98

Volume: 98l Length: 235.5cm Width: 64.5cm
Weight: 6.12kg Fin: 22cm Price: £1449

Summary

Impressively light and really forgiving and controllable to sail. Great for spocks, grubbies, flakas, etc, but a little too long for the really new-school moves. The deck shape is very extreme and won't be to all tastes.

TABOU TWISTER 100 TWIN FIN

Volume: 100l Length: 229.5cm Width: 62cm
Weight: 6.61kg Fin: 2 x 16cm Price: £1450

Summary

A real favourite amongst our Clones. An all-round really nice board – just feels a bit smaller than the others.

FANATIC SKATE 100

Volume: 100l Length: 232.5cm Width: 63.5cm
Weight: 6.48kg Fin: 22cm Price: £1489

Summary

The Fanatic is arguably the fastest board in test, but also one of the best all-round boards. Suitable for the extreme freestyler and average sailor alike. Gollito won the Freestyle World Championship with this board.

GOYA X1 105

Volume: 105l Length: 233.5cm Width: 65cm
Weight: 6.48kg Fin: 20cm Price: £1224.51

Summary

A really nice all-rounder and great for carving and basic freestyle moves such as spocks and grubbies, etc. Not such a dedicated freestyle board as some of the others.

RRD TWIN TIP 100

Volume: 100l Length: 232.5cm Width: 64cm
Weight: 6.76kg Fin: 20cm Price: £1329

Summary

Feels one of the biggest boards underfoot. Great for sliding moves and has amazing pop, but carving and straight-line performance wasn’t as engaging as some of the others.

MISTRAL JOKER 98

Volume: 98l Length: 230cm Width: 63.5cm
Weight: 7.19kg Fin: 20cm Price: £1349

Summary

A great board for entry level freestyle and carving, and very forgiving overall. However early planing and pop are slightly compromised by the marginally higher weight.