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Tabou Rocket

Note: This post seems to be very popular. As such, i have added videos from youtube and vimeo at the end of it :) ENJOY



Since I have an evaluation of the Rocket compared to the Fanatic Ray and Hawk, I have moved this post back to the top of this blog/website ...see the followup section further down if you have already seen the "intro".
btw i am surprised how many people were interested by this post as it was !!

Well, I wrote to the infamous Matt Pritchard and yes, he would be able to supply a Rocket 125 directly to Canada. This is just amazing in terms of accessibility from an average joe windsurfer. If you are interested in purchasing a Rocket and live in North America , I suggest you contact Matt at this e-mail: matt@pritchardwindsurfing.com



Model        Volume      Length     Width    Weight     Box              Fin         Sails Size
Rocket 125     125            250          69            7.8     Power Box     FR 44         5.5 - 8.5


Why do I consider Tabou Rocket? Check out the mpora review:  http://boards.mpora.com/boards/freeride-boards-kit/tabou-rocket-125-gt-2008.html

and boardtests: http://boardtests.com/2011/03/tabou-rocket-125-ltd-preview-2011/

and here: http://www.boardseekermag.com/windsurfing-equipment-tests/clone-quotes/2010/tabou-rocket-125-2010.html


Here is the "teaser video" from Tabou in 2010. The 2011 version seems very muffled !!

Tabou Rocket 2010 from Tabou Boards on Vimeo.

In the 2011 WindsurfMag board tests one reviewer is quoted as saying of the Rocket 125: Sweet and very balanced performer! Great combination of comfort, speed, control, and ease of use. Felt very natural immediately with no need to "figure it out". Definitely a test favorite of mine in this size range. And James Douglass says: the Tabou Rockets 105, 125, and 145 get nearly unanimous praise.

 For those of you , who have not heard, Kevin Pritchard gave the kiters a piece of their own medicine when he sped past them recently in  a race where they offered to separate kiters n windsurfers and kiters said NON. Check his blog on my blog list at the right ...

Follow-up: One of the avid windsurfers with whom I "chat" quite a bit via e-mail was a big fan of Fanatic and Maui Sails. I purchased my TR-4 10-oh from him. He still is a big fan of Maui Sails. What was interesting was his evaluation of the Tabou Rocket 125 compared to some of his best Fanatic boards.

This is just one man's opinion, but it does make for interesting reading !!

There are always unwritten reasons for peoples opinions on boards and sails.  I have come to the opinion that a board/sail/fin/conditions/sailor weight/sailor skill/rigging setup/strap positions all have to be balanced to make a setup work for you.  no one can recommend sails and boards without knowing a lot of info about the sailor and conditions it will be used in.  I was finding that I was always using the ray 140 and the hawk 123 with my 7.5 switch in my given conditions.  I concluded that I needed the best 7.5 board I could find to fit my conditions and skills.  The ray was awesome but the sweet spot was an 8.5.  with the tr 8.4 and ray I was in love.  With the 7.5, I preferred to be on my hawk 123 (sweet spot is 7.0).  The hawk with the 7.5 was still a great board. The hawk with a 6.4 was a great board as well.  however, when I got 6.4 conditions, I wanted to be on a smaller board like my freewave.  There was to much overlap with the hawk and freewave.  The tabou kind of just fits my needs perfectly.  All boards have a sweet spot.  For the rocket 125 a 7.5 is the sweet spot.  My conditions here really are 7.5 (considered good wind for me) and 9.5 on the light winds days.  The drop from 9.5 to 7.5 is pretty easy.  I can plane the rocket/7.5 in 13 comfortably.  I can hold the 9.5 with gusts to 20 (averaging 15 or so).  This quiver just works.

That being said, the rocket is less lively than the hawk as the wind picks up.  The rocket is a lot more alive than the ray 140.  The rocket is so smooth that I get really comfortable and just have fun. The hawk had a tendency to get a little scary (for me and my skills) when the wind really got honking.  Some better riders may prefer the ride of the hawk.  I think the rocket 125 s the perfect blend of performance and easy sailing.  Not boring at all.  just easy to blast, easy to gybe.  The rocket is also super stable when not planing.  Probably closer to the stability of the ray then the hawk.  With the 7.5, the rocket planes almost as early as the ray with the 7.5.  it planes noticeably sooner than the hawk/7.5 combo.  The tabou is easier to pump onto plane.  It seems to glide better than the other two boards here.  The board is just perfect for me (and my skills, conditions, etc……………………..)

I was out last night on the rocket/switch 7.5 combo.  Winds were averaging 15/16 gust into the low/mid 20’s.  I could have easily planed up with a 6.4.  I never once considered coming in rig down.  The switch sails for me seem to have no upper limit.  They are steady as a rock and the center of effort never moves in the gusts at all.  I look forward to the gusts to just rip the board forward.  The rocket was just flying across the water with just the fin and a small piece of the tail in the water.  However, I was in total control.  The sail was stable.  The board was stable.  Everything just works with this setup.  The hawk would have been good as well.  just that the hawk would be more “alive” in these conditions.  I prefer the fun tabou to the more active hawk in these conditions. 

You read and read and read about opinions and conditions and size and weight, etc………………….
there is no perfect answer.   It has to fit the sailor.  
However, if you can get a ride on a new rocket, take it.  I really like it so far.


One other thing I forgot to mention about the boards.  Get the stiffest, lightest construction you can.  This has a lot of effect how a board feels.  The stiffer and lighter boards are easier to plane and ride than the heavier and slower reacting boards with the same shape. 

Cheers

Paul

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
in other words, get the LTD version of the board, IF you can AND IF you have the skills !!!
these versions are more $$$ and more sensitive ie may need a nose job sooner than you think if you are still catapaulting all over the place ...

After REDSURBUS' comment, we communicated via e-mail and:

The only reason I posted that was because I bought a mistral SL 95 RD, which is  full carbon and light as a feather (no joke.....I worry about it getting blown away even in a f4) but took me a lot of sessions to get used to. You feel every bit of chop, especially in the muscles on the front of your legs near the bottom (the ones engaged when lifting your toes). In big swell its not a problem as the water is generally smoother, but in offshore wind about 100m out where it goes boxy it is hard work at first until you learn how to drive the board rather than being a passenger.

To get comfy on a board you just need a week of sessions on it, without a break! Then you will start to really know the board and what is easy, what needs more 'finesse'. For example my kode is a very easy going board in wood/carbon, It is very light all the same but I can sail for hours on it without a break now. The mistral took me a good few months of sessions through the winter (gaps too big between each session), as soon as the air warmed up and I got out on it regularly I became comfy on it......and then moved down to a tabou 74l......which is 20l less than my weight so a big jump but an easy one after the mistral.
I am by no means an experienced or good windsurfer, I have just been out a lot in the past 2-3 years so have learnt quite a lot. Portland Harbour is windy quite often, really safe as well so I can take more risks in terms of learning.

Take Care
Redsurfbus
http://www.redsurfbus.com/ 

Before I forget ... end of August 2011 I spoke with a fellow who surfs California and Montreal. He had some experience with JP, Fanatic Hawks and AHD Rebound. He said .. the JPs were NOT worth the extra money, Hawks could jibe on a dime and the AHD ate chop. He did not have any experience with the Tabou unfortunately. 

Here is a youtube of a fellow test driving his Tabou Rocket 135 !! 

 

Tabou Rocket 105 & 125 from youtube 

 

Tabou Rocket 125 with Ezzy 6.5


Windsurf 19 Jan 09 from rotorhead guy on Vimeo.

boardtests.com on 2011 Rocket 125 w/ Tushingham 6-oh


Dani Sfeir seems to be a speed "freak" who likes GPS and freerace equipment. He gave the Rocket 115 a 7/10 and the Ray 115 a 9/10 in the comments section. He gave a video link that shows the TR7 8.4 and Ray more than the Rocket 145. I have added the video here cuz I am also a Maui Sails fan :) The TR-7 is the first year Barry Spanier and company are using the clew cutout and the 8.4 also only requires a 460 mast now. This should make for a really light feeling and FAST 8.4. On the MS forum people seem to be raving about it. For others it means purchasing a 460 - for people like me :( I would like to try a RAY, but the issue for purchasing one is my fins are all powerfins and NOT tuttle :( For me the battle is Hawk vs Rocket. One friend has a Hawk 135 and another the Rocket 125. Only time will tell. Have found a local Tabou rider who sells the Rocket 125 at a very decent price - not the GT version... In any case... here is Dani's vid:


MauiSail TR7 XT 8.4, Fanatic Ray 115 LTD. from Dani S. on Vimeo.



The riggeek also seems to love his Tabou Rocket 140 as seen here:
http://www.riggeek.com/gear-head/2011-04-19-1

Apparently windsurfing magazine screwed up in their recent evaluation of the Rocket 145 {amongst others !!}: http://boardsurfr.blogspot.com/2011/06/windsurfing-magazine-board-test.html

In case you did not know ... windsurfing-direct used to distribute Tabou boards. Windsurf Magazine wrote a BAD piece about the main dude @ the company and i predicted that Josh would go down for that. Ironically since then Windsurfing Magazine has STOPPED publication AND windsurfing-direct no longer purchases nor sells windsurf boards.  
IRONIC

7 comments :

  1. Not sure I agree that the lighter stiffer boards are easier to ride. They are a lot more tiring, less forgiving and in terms of freeracing they do not cope with the chop as well. I would say they take an extra couple of sessions to become comfy on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Joe!
    I have these 2 boards Fanatic 2011 Ray 115 LTD and Tabou 2009 Rocket 115.
    Ray: Can't beat this one in these category free ride and beginner slalom,
    you can use it with a race sail to a non camber sail, and the Choco fin come with it is not bad at all, lets not forget it is a fast board and jibe like a dream:-) full speed. i give it a 9.
    Rocket: It is a nice board for the money, easy to use, sail range is not bad on this one to, i like to use a pointer fin with this board did not like the fin it come with. Over all it's a good board i will give it a 7.
    Good sailing Dani.

    ReplyDelete
  3. /Users/danisfeir/Desktop/Ray 115 TR7 8.4 and a Rocket 145 eazy 9.5.mov

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Joe!
    This is the link for the115LTD and MS TR7 8.4 and a Rocket 145 Ezzy sail 9.5 in a 11 to 12 int wind.
    Dani.
    http://www.vimeo.com/28207811

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Joe!
    Nicely put together, thanks for posting my Video.
    By all mean i like the Tabou Rocket and i think the 125lt is an excellent board choice it has a good sail range, specially if it is at a discount price:-)
    Good sailing Dani.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Joe,
    I have been reading some of your posts since a discovered your Blog a few months ago! Lively, entertaining & helpful stuff you deliver. We owe you big for your time and devotion to our wonderful sport! I am a lover of Tabou's too, having started with them (150 & 125), back in 2009. I could not believe what a felt when a sailed the 150 the first time. Please keep sharing and if you visit LA, CA, you are more than welcome to our little corner of the ocean - Cabrillo Beach . Again many thanks and good sailing! Juan Yusti

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you Juan !!

    Cabrillo Beach looks like a WONDERFUL place to windsurf with a variety of conditions to boot. Funny that one place is called Captain Kirk :-)
    For now I am hoping to go to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina - perhaps in the spring.
    Enjoy LIFE, the WATER and WINDSURFING :-)
    Aloha
    joe windsurfer

    ReplyDelete

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