Shaped and tested by John Amundson on Oahu's North Shore, the 2008 Rocket Fish line is all about high performance, tight turns, top-to-bottom surfing and in-the-pocket snaps and gouges. A pulled-in tail outline and extra tail rocker drives you through the bottom turn and is incredibly snappy off-the-top. These designs turn very tightly and allow the rider to hit places on the wave they never could before. The 5’ 6 is developed for lighter riders, giving controlled, bounce free bottom turns and snappy cutbacks. The 5'9 is more suited to medium weight riders, working in everything from small to big surf. Great drive and control through the bottom turn allows you to get really vertical. The 6'0 is for the heavier riders, has the same snappy turns and high performance as the smaller boards but additional volume and planing surface provides more early planing and upwind performance. This board also works great as a light wind tool for lighter or medium weight riders.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
CHRIS: Another nice looking board with a flashy, sexy outline, quite thin rails, not a huge volume and funky looking deck pads and straps. It has quite a pulled-in tail outline and the standard three fin set-up.
NEAL: Looks lovely. Construction is perhaps a little light but really good straps and very comfortable pads. Shame they didn't add the usual high-quality fins as on their twin-tips – they’ve gone for bolt-throughs rather than FCS on this. The rear tail pad has a roller bar for unstrapped airs and tricks, but it's a really long way back, so you'd have to be a really aggressive rider to need that.
CHRIS: It's an aggressive board on and off the wave. It's a little rocket, feels really light and snappy. Bottom turns are fast with good drive, but sometimes I found myself making mistakes and over-pressurising the rail, carving too hard and slowing down, stalling the board, but it takes time to get used to a board and I'm sure with some more time I could really get this dialled. Good in all areas I reckon - you can really bury the tail, making rainbows and sprays with its excellent grip and it has a good, snappy turn.
NEAL: Really smooth on the water. Feels fast which might be an indication of it being narrower than some. Easy to get on and ride and on the wave it's equally smooth and it made the conditions seem a little friendlier than they were. The thick pads were a slight negative for me when really loading up a bottom turn as I felt I lost some direct contact, and perhaps contributed to a feeling that there was a limit to how hard you could drive this, although the fins may have had something to do with that. Beautifully smooth off-the-top and if you can get the bottom-turn speed to project you up the face with power, then big urns and aerials are on the cards.
SUMMARY: Overall the Rocket Fish 6' 0 is a good performer; fast and smooth and is stable and easy enough to gybe to tempt first timers onboard.
5' 6 x 16 ¾''
5' 9 x 17 ¼''
6' 0 x 17 ¾''
This test is in issue #33