I recently lashed out and bought myself (75kg, 185cm tall been wave sailing for around 5 years) a new board so here are my opinions: The RRD Hardcore Wave Ltd V5 78L 227x55.5cm was what I settled on after trying numerous boards, from 75l to 90l, over the past few years. The first thing that lead me to this board was the basic shaping appears to be very good for a windsurfer, all the lines flowed and I think general if a board doesn’t look right it won’t work. It’s not the lightest board on the market at 6.5kg but its rock solid with a carbon Kevlar layup, I have given it a few beatings and no damage yet.
I also liked that this board isn’t too radical in design, it’s not super wide like many new style boards at 55.5cm. This helps it stay down when it’s really windy, I’ve had it out in 40knots with no problems, but doesn’t seem to affect low wind stability thanks to the flat deck which makes it easier to keep the board flat when not in the straps, handles gusty 10 knots no worries. As the Hardcore is the dedicated “good waves” board I was expecting it to be a little slow to plane but I have no problems getting it going even when under powered. It’s one of the best turning boards I have ever used so they have managed to find the prefect compromise between planning and turning. Maybe not the tightest bottom turn but can carry a lot of speed allowing you to take a slightly bigger arch and still get vertical, with plenty of speed to line up a second turn after coming off the top. I’ve had this board in everything in WA from onshore Scarborough mush to cross-off Esperance perfection and it handles everything with ease.
It comes with 5 fin boxes for use as a quad or thruster. Generally I don’t like this option as the fin location is considerably different from thruster to quad but having used it extensively as both I can’t fault either. As a quad (I used the supplied 9/15cm RRD fins) its very locked in and drives from the fins whereas as a thruster( I used FCS GX-Q 10cm and Chocco 16cm) it holds on the rail driving off the front foot through the bottom. In both set ups it’s easy to get vertical and releases nicely off the lip.
Overall one of the best boards I have ridden, many boards have their niche conditions where they can’t be beaten but this is just a great all-rounder. A board I would recommend as your go too board with a RRP of $2700, while most other brands being $3600 this year, I don’t think you can go wrong!