Oct 9, 2009
The Windsport test crew was excited to get their hands on a first tri-fin board for 2010: the Exocet 3X 82. Unfortunately, there were no waves to be found at the AWSI industry demo event held in the Gorge... but at least we got to try it in some highwind and decent onshore swell!
Steve Gotlieb of Aerotech/Exocet gives us a rundown on this new shape:
The Exocet 3X range represents their foray into the realm of multi-fin waveboards. This "tri-fin" offering is intended to allow for fun and tight turning in a wide array of wave conditions. The 3 fin setup is meant to give the board optimal down-the-line performance with incredible grip and drive from the wave's bottom to top. However, remove the outer 2 thrusters and Exocet says this board will, "gain horsepower to get you on a plane, and with amazing top speed, ideal for crappy conditions, mushy waves, and sky high-jumps."
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS TEST BOARD:
First off, we have to mention that the actual board we are testing was used as a "plug" at the factory, meaning that it was used in the process of making the mold. Because of this it is actually a little heavier than the eventual production boards because not all the resins are able to be removed during the process. Very interesting...so the shape is the same but the true, end production Exocet 3X 82 will have slightly improved planing and a more "live" feel than this "plug" version.
The Exocet 3X 82 has a very controllable ride. It's pivoty feel makes it seem like you are always ready to carve/turn. Like most waveboards, the ride is not super-directional (doesn't lock it to a straight course) but not-so-much to make it diconcerting in bump-and-jump conditions. Although not the quickest to plane or best top-end speed, the 3X is very smooth over chop and exhibits great stability (somewhat similar to the Starboard Quad 76 that we also tested).
Tri or Single Fin Option:
Remove the thrusters and it's sort of like getting two-boards-in-one. We would recommend riding the 3X in single fin mode for onshore conditions as it offers less drag and more glide for straight forward jibing and carving on swells.
The 3X likes to be turned off the tail in more of a pivot, rather than a full agressive carve on the forward rail. We expect the normal production version will carry better speed through the turn than this "plug" model. It felt like the 3X would prefer to be ridden down-the-line in true wavesailing conditions compared to the onshore Gorge conditions we were testing it in.
Bells & Whistles:
Exocet offers comfort like no one else when it comes to the deck pads on a board! The DDSA (Dual Density Shock Absorbers) is super comfortable, however we recommend upgrading to some aftermarket straps.