So, I'm pretty keen to get a 100lt Manta 65...I'm doing my research* right now. I'm a freshwater blaster of about 85kegs, I'd credit myself as a reasonably competent sailor.
Anyone got any stories from the trenches?
*and preparing a bulletproof business case to put to my Minister of Fun and Finance.
ive got a manta 67 (100 lt) that was owned by a old grandma who only ever drove it on lake bonney on sundays! Its good in chop and gybes very well. I havent ridden any other 100 lts slalom boards in a while so hard to compare it to.. feels like if floats over the chop better than my starboard & carbon art..
I bought Manta 98L about 6 months ago.
+ pretty quick (with the right fin 32-5.8m, 38-7.0m), as it was said above, handles the chop well, very light, actually turns (much better than i-sonics), and feels loose - not like a slalom board (JP or i-sonic), not a quick starter (super sport start better) but when it is going (espesially in windy conditions) it is quite fast.
- very hard to find the right position of the foot straps (had to replace the originals with Starboards - they were very stiff), front foot all the time finds its way out of the strap (until you find the correct position of the foot straps), the board goes very good & comfy upwind and downwind, but the stance becomes uncomfortable going crosswind, a bit harder to water start as it tends to turn upwind as soon as you put your foot on the deck.
Overall: Happy with the board, need to sail more and get used to it.
Hope it helps.
Have ridden this years 75cm a few times, feels very slippery on the water, takes of nicely and gybes well.
I had the same issue with foot straps being to hard for my delicate little footsies, but that's a minor ripple in the cess pool of life
Can't comment on the Tabou but I took a Fanatic 100L Ray(team edition) for a spin the other day with a 6.7 hellcat, Wow...super sweet. It's fast, you don't feel the chop, the straps are comfy and in the right spots and it turns like it's on rails. I've got a soft spot for my JP's but this almost made me switch back to Fanatic.
I know it's not what you asked but when your on a good thing(Fanatic) stick with it, Try and demo a Ray I don't think you'll be sorry.
good to hear from you, hope your new postcode is delivering plenty of wind. i'm certainly getting a lot more time on water since i returned back south.
Fanatics are the board we see the most of where I sail...some very quick Falcons around. for me my prime driver is control in chop, which unfortunately is not the Hawk's strong point (i concede it is probably better in smaller litreages than my current ride). but i am seduced by tabou's excellent reputation in chop. i'm pretty much sold...it's just coming down to how many litres is right for my weight at the moment.
I currently race on the 75 team and the 65 std, changed over from Fanatic Falcons of similar sizing last year. The tabou's are much better in real world sailing / slalom than the fanatics IMO. They handle chop with such ease, and hold the rail in the gybe like a dream. They are also far less fin sensitive than the fanatics, and for my style work well with techtonics talon fins 38 cm for powered 7m and 36 for overpowered. No need to run any smaller, you might use a 40 if you were trying to exploit say a 7.5 or 8.0 on the board in lighter wind.
I've never felt them to be slow, but then again i race slalom and have no interest in flat water GPS. I have always had good board speed in the pack and around the marks where it counts. I've never found the boards slow onto the plane, they are in fact faster onto the plane than the falcons i used.
Of all the slalom boards i've used these are by far the most user friendly and comfortably fast boards to race.
I bought a 2009 120l hawk in Canberra which has notoriously fickle winds and very little chop. the extra literage worked a treat for early planing in marginal conditions, plus i'd had experience holding down bigger boards so it was a good fit.
but now back in my home state, the conditions are much more consistent and early planing is not an issue; so it's not that the hawk is a bad board (i love it and wont sell it), it's just that it's too big for where i now sail (for my weight)
i'm sure a ~100l hawk would be a different kettle altogether, but i had my eye on tabou for a while after hearing so many good things about them, so i'm going to try it out.
Bit surprised that you would choose a Tabou Manta over a Rocket considering the Rocket is more of a 'detuned' slalom/race board (much like your current Hawk) with an excellent reputation for being quite fast as well as smooth riding in nasty chop.
Suggest you read interesting comments on iWindsurf forum re Rocket vs Manta vs Hawk vs other contenders in the 100-125L range:
Try these as well, assuming you haven't already done so:
I weigh 78 kg and just recently purchased a Starboard Carve 121 litre. I've sailed it a few times down Semaphore in reasonable chop and down North Haven. Pretty quick and extremely good to carve gybe. Handles very well and suspect it would be awesome at Boggy Lake. Here's some reviews on the Free ride range.
They're currently going pretty cheap at Auswind.
Just to add to your choice dilema, another board top consider is the Exocet RS Slalom. Smooth in chop, very user friendly and good all round performance.
Update: my Manta arrived this week, and of course the wind shows no sign of returning soon. hopefully the wind kicks in sometime soon and i get a maiden voyage.
i see what people mean by the inflexible straps potentially causing a problem. they were really tough to install - fighting me all the way. they feel a touch uncomfortable for starters, but i'm hoping they wear in and loosen up. so most people don't keep the manufacturer straps?
For what its worth the straps on my Rocket and 3s are very comfy.
Ill see ya Sunday with any luck and you can compare if you like.