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Thread: First Impressions: RRD Firemove
12th November 2012, 10:40 AM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
First Impressions: RRD Firemove
The RRD Firemove has been creating quite a storm over the past year. Adrian Jones and his test Clones decided it was time to check one out. *Here are their first impressions…
The RRD Firemove in action. Image credit Nic Botha.
The Clone getting down to business!
Despite what some sceptics say, there is no doubt that windsurfing equipment continues to improve for the better.* Having tested my fair share of boards over the years, I will happily admit that most years progress is small and occasionally static or simply a sidestep into another direction, but I can guarantee that when you take a snapshot of say a five year period, you will see marked improvements wherever you look.
Most changes are evolutionary; small and incremental.* Sometimes however they are more dramatic.* Multi-fin wave boards would be a fine example of where within one product release, the turning performance of wave boards made a huge leap forward.
As with most developments however, there are usually associated drawbacks.* Multi-fin boards may have improved the turning capabilities of wave boards overnight, but five years later and they still canít really match the straight-line performance and excitement factor of a single fin.* Itís referred to as a trade-off; and almost all design developments have trade-offs.
Within the freeride board market, the last major step forward was arguably the concept of more compact, wider and shorter boards.* Now RRD have introduced their Firemove, which pumps up the width even further, but more notably thins the board down, giving less volume and size to the rails.
RRD Firemove, one of the easiest boards to gybe of it's size!
They claim the result is a board that can plane quickly, even with a wave rig on it, manoeuvre like a freestyle-wave board and still match freeride boards for speed and upwind pointing.* Oh and they also mention that itís Ďthe ultimate carve gybe platformí!* Thatís a tall order to live up to, so we decided to get hold of one and see what all the fuss is about.
The Firemove is offered in five sizes 100, 110, 120, 130, 140 and three construction options to suit your budget/ requirements.* We were supplied with the 110 Ltd, which is 236cm long, weighs 7.58kg and measures a whopping 75cm wide (10cm wider than many boards of this size).* It comes as standard with a 36cm fin and is recommended for 6-8m sail sizes.* Because of the extra width, the board sails bigger than its volume would suggest, making it more comparable to say a 120 litre board. Although itís worth bearing in mind that volume is still critical when it comes to uphauling.
We tested the Firemove with a 7.3m no-cam sail in a range of conditions from shoulder high chop to flat water and also underpowered right through to overpowered, so managed to get a fairly good handle on its performance range.
The first thing you notice is how easy the board is to plane.* Not only does it plane early, but perhaps more importantly, it planes easily.* You donít have to bear off the wind much to get it going, the width gives great stability and the short length means that reaching the footstraps is simple.* Once in the straps, you will appreciate the very soft, comfortable feel of the pads and straps, which really match the character of this board.
Acceleration is good and once up to speed the board has a very comfortable trim and stance.* It has a stable feel to it at speed and rides comfortably off the tail, yet with the nose remaining locked down and in check when flying over pieces of chop.* Short, wide boards have proven themselves for blasting performance and ease of speed, but can often lack a bit of excitement, with their less responsive characteristics making the rider feel a bit like a passenger on a skim board.* Iím pleased to report that the Firemove has managed to keep agreat balance of comfort and excitement.* This*could really have been the make or break of this board.
Boards of this nature should be fun to sail and itís a credit to RRD*that they have managed to retain this fun, lively sensation within such a wide shape, yet still kept just the right amount of control to make its full performance attainable for most abilities.
Point the board upwind and it flies, as you would expect from such a wide shape.* The 36cm fin suits the board well for all-round performance, but if you want even better planing and upwind performance then you could definitely go bigger.* As conditions get rougher the control is pretty good with the board staying trimmed down in the gusts and chop.* However, as with all boards of this style (wide), when they do eventually lift i.e. the wind gets under them, they do it very suddenly and you have to react quickly to bring them back into line. *When you point the board right off the wind for a full speed run, the width does start to become a bit more noticeable making the board harder to ride right off the tail keeping the nose high.* To be fair, this is only really noticeable when well powered up, pointing right off the wind and in chop.* But in these conditions, you may notice the shoulders catching a little when going over the backs of waves.* We found that the mast track worked best a little behind middle, which helped keep the shoulders riding high.
When it comes to gybing, the Firemove is arguably the best gybing board we have ever sailed of this size.* You can bank the board really hard in to the turn with no risk of catching.* Most impressively however, where many boards of this size tend to set a line and turn on it, the Firemove remains manoeuvrable and can be banked in even tighter at any point through the turn.* Itís no wonder that there are claims about this boards wave riding potential as it really does turn unbelievably well for a board of this size.
So, here we have a new style of freeride board, which planes early, goes upwind well, is comfortable and easy to sail at speed, doesnít take an experienced rider to get the best from and gybes fantastically.* Of course as we discussed above, there are always trade-offís and in this case itís mostly to do with absolute top end control in chop. But the truth is that the gains on offer from the Firemove and the style of board that this model has brought to the freeride market, far outweigh the drawbacks and from where I am sitting thatís called progress. The Firemove has created quite a following over the past 12 months or so and having now sailed it, I can definitely see why.* Give one a try!
For more on the RRD Firemove and other RRD products head to the RRD website here or the home of the British importers for RRD, Seasprite, here.
Read the full article - First Impressions: RRD Firemove
10th June 2013, 12:39 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Plane only at broad reach
I've the E-tech 110l that comes with stock MFC 40cm fin.
I find that I have to be on the broad reach before I start to plane in 10-12 knots wind.
Any suggestions on how to plane at a less wide angle?
1. mast foot at 130 mark
2. 7.5 Ezzy Cheetah sail
3. weight: 62kg
10th June 2013, 01:29 PM #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
Can I just say first that you are unlikely to get much response to a question in this section of the Forum as it's the dumping ground for advertorial pieces and doesn't come up on the main forum when we search via recent posts or active topics.
You are also asking a technique question (I think), so this would be more readily answered in the technique section or maybe in the equipment section in a thread for this board.
I'll try and answer but haven't sailed the board in question.
What you say seems to contradict the article (above) where the testers say the board not only planes early but is easy to get planing. All relative of course.
I'd say that in 10-12knots of wind conditions are very marginal for a 110litre board – even with your light weight and with a 7.5 sail – and so technique is everything.
In light winds we get planing by pumping the sail and by ouching the board so that it is 'popped' to come unstuck from displacement speeds. Often this involves bearing away a little as we pump, and with a push downwards on the hull with your body weight the board should release onto the plane. (Other people might suggest pushing sideways against the fin with your back foot).
Either way, as you then gain speed you get increased 'apparent wind' over the sail and can immediately head up onto a tighter reach to maximise the effect of this.
You mention mast foot position and 130 seems a bit far forward – try setting the mast foot in the middle of the track. Having it further back can help with a better railing effect over the fin. Having it set too far forwards rakes the mast and can put you in a bad stance where your bodyweight is sat over the tail of the board.
With your sail, check you haven't over-downhauled it, instead bagging it out a bit for maximum lightwind power. It the wind is very light then you don't need a very floppy leach.
Last edited by basher; 10th June 2013 at 01:57 PM.Marginal wind in Southeast Saturday afternoon? Better wind across north Wales and for Scotland.
10th June 2013, 04:51 PM #4
11th June 2013, 12:49 PM #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Moved post to thread in Techniques forum.
Last edited by lightunup; 11th June 2013 at 12:51 PM.