I promised to give some feedback on the Tabou boards we are currently interested in. I wrote in a previous post about the excellent blasting performance Andy was able to extract from his Tabou 3S 96 with two Select Eagle fins (29 and 31). Well he screwed a Select S12-33 onto the board and took his high wind performance up significantly. On this combination (with Gaastra Remedy 6.0) in strong wind, he is virtually unbeatable by any of the really hot local sailors.
I took the 96 out with the S12 fin and my Gaastra Cross 6.4 on a windy day in some quite big rolling chop and it cooked. The reason you can push the speed so high over rough water is its incredible comfort in these conditions. Comfort=confidence=speed. You still feel all the bumps but somehow you are able to maintain control where other boards would be losing it. I’m not as fast as Andy but on this combination in proper wind I am as fast as I can go with any board/sail combination I can think of. Very impressive and these revelations have caused me to re-think my ideal board quiver. I used to think that the Rocket 95 would be my high wind board but now I have no hesitation in recommending the 3S 96 for this slot. If you want to try a 3S 96 in this role remember to put a fast fin under it, attach all 4 straps as far back and as far out as possible. Your mast foot should be towards the front of the track. The plate of the mast foot should completely cover the front of the track.
I'm looking forward to trying the 2013 Rocket 105 with Select S12-35 soon and will report back if I get a chance. Fabien is one of the current board designers who is really getting his act together. He embodies the concept of continuous improvement in board design with his evolutionary approach. Nice work Fabien!