2017 RRD C.O.T.A.N 5’2” review


We review RRD’s original ‘stubbie’ for real world conditions

This test first appeared in issue #86 in March, 2017




Coming from another large range of different board shapes, the RRD C.O.T.A.N V2 is designed to provide high performance in a compact shape. At 5’2” this model has plenty of go in it and just gets better and better the more of a natural wave face it can use for power. If you ride in inconsistent conditions that have moments of brilliance and also frequently sloppy conditions, too, a board like this makes the best of both worlds. Over the years we’ve tried RRD’s different constructions, from this classic PU, to wood, to their LTD EPS core with biaxial glass fibres and a carbon net over a bamboo stepping deck. Although this PU construction isn’t the strongest or lightest, we have actually preferred its natural flex that adds a lot of comfort, helps in chop and for burying a rail with more ease. 



Performance-wise the C.O.T.A.N lights up in an instant at the very sniff of a good wave face. The lift and drives is immediate and the board suddenly feels alive underfoot, requiring less pressure to turn as it hits optimum operating speed and feels very constant. What’s really important is that it then isn’t difficult to ride when you’re only powered by the kite. It’s steadier and needs more work, but it still offers rewarding turns.

The five fin box allows you to ride three fin thruster or four fin quad. For the sessions we’ve had with the C.O.T.A.N over the last two years, we’ve always preferred the more natural drive and bite that the four fin offers with this wider tail. The three fin is much looser. Stable but fluid the C.O.T.A.N is nicely responsive but not overly charged with too much high-performance. If you’re just starting out with surfboards then you may want a little more buoyancy in your slow speed gybes but these ‘Cut Off Tail And Nose’ boards provide a big step up in buoyancy for a small increase in size. If you’ve developed some board skills, you can get away with riding a small board and still get loads of drive. 




This 5’2” is fun in a range of conditions – particularly when it’s being fuelled by more power on the wave, but what’s great is it doesn’t need much wave power to ignite it, which is a real bonus for the real world. It’s not run-away-quick either.  



The feeling of stepping up in performance and building an understanding of how it feels to actually ride a wave, rather than do turns behind a kite. 



The C.O.T.A.N hits a bit of a ceiling in terms of its speed when cranking turns with lots of kite power, but it is has great wave progression up to that point. 



5’6” x 18 3/4” x 2 1/8” (28L volume) 

5’4” x 18 1/2” x 2 1/8” (27L volume)

5’2” x 18” x 2” (24L volume) 

5’0” x 17 1/2” x 2” (21L volume) 

4’10” x 17” x 2” (20L volume)


Here’s the official C.O.T.A.N V2 product video from RRD

RRD C.O.T.A.N. V2 from RRD International on Vimeo.


For more information on the C.O.T.A.N and RRD’s product range visit


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