Designed with progress in mind, the T5 has always been the best board for improving your riding skills. Easy to ride and extremely versatile, it has been created especially for intermediate riders. The all new 2012 T5 has undergone careful analysis of what's necessary to help you progress and the totally redesigned construction has helped develop a board tailored exactly to your needs. Nobile's unique Pre-Stress technology not only greatly improves the board's pop, but also increases the stability and edge grip. The soft flex pattern provides the ultimate in comfortable landings while the deeper rocker line completely eliminates the water spray. Whether you ride flat or choppy water, the new T5 is the best tool for the job - in a class of its own among the wide selection of boards now available.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
It's always interesting when a board turns up for test, all fresh and brand new, wrapped in plastic with just a hint of what's inside shining through. Unwrapping the T5 it's definitely a standout in looks and character. It also doesn't have a particularly laid back freeride outline, definitely leaning more towards a wider freestyle looking shape; with more width in the tips and through the middle of the board. What we were particularly impressed with, which we'd seen in September on demo at the Surf Expo trade show in Florida, was the footstrap and pad KISS screw in system that is also implemented on the fins. The screws for both the fin bolts and pad/strap bolts have a tab on top that's very easy to hand-tighten and then flips down to lock the system in place. Super easy to use, no need for a screw driver and takes seconds. There are other brands with similar systems on the market that you don't need a screwdriver for, which is a really good idea for a beach sport, and we were impressed with the strength and ease-of-use of this system from Nobile. The pads and straps themselves are big, comfortable and reassuringly firm. We were more than happy with them – there's a good toe-grip, plenty of fairly firm foam that doesn't detract from your feeling underfoot, and with average sized feet that board isn't easily coming off mid-trick. They aren't the most snug and cosy, but are still above average in terms of comfort and grip.
The fins are good quality epoxy designs and quite big for a freestyle board at 5.5cm, which is where the hints start to appear as to the T5s cross-over into the freeride territory. On first look at the board we thought it had classic freestyle tendencies, but in fact the T5 is incredibly easy to ride. Remember that on our tests in Cape Town, most of the time we were riding off the main beach in fairly demanding and choppy/wavy conditions, which is why a board like the T5 shone so well. What we needed was a board that is really easy to use, doesn't hook itself up, doesn't kick up loads of spray off chop, is responsive to being loaded up in an instant when a flat section appears and can handle itself landing jumps in and around waves and throwing the odd carve down a wave face. Fast, although not the fastest, the T5 has good speed and a solid amount of stiffness through the centre and gives you loads of energy and propulsion back through the board. Loading and popping is rewarding – although not as rock solid as more freestyle oriented shapes, it's easy to get good height and to soak up the landings without trashing your knees. There's a mild concave in the bottom and quite a lot of rocker and not once did we catch the tip in the rolling conditions. This is a good size too and when the wind drops there's plenty there to keep you planing through the lulls and on downwinders it just handles beautifully carving at full tilt.
The T5 has a really nice combination of comfort and performance without making it too technical to ride. We are really pleased to see more manufacturers putting more development into their intermediate range of boards; after all it's the level most people ride at and the T5 has bags and bags of room for you to progress with it. Early intermediates and advanced riders alike will love how easy it makes performing in really average conditions.
Size-wise this is just bang on for riders 75 – 85 kilos and we really liked the comfort mixed with its freestyle integrity.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Some freestyle riders will want a faster, harder board, but then you'd be sacrificing the T5's all-round ability, so it really depends on the conditions you're riding in a lot. Sometimes going for an easier-to-ride board over absolute performance will be a greater help to your progression.
140 x 44, 137 x 42, 134 x 41, 131 x 40 and 129 x 39cm
This test is in issue #57