Words: Mic Brignall
Pics: Lawrence Sinclair
With the 120 version of RRD’s Firemove featured in the summer 2017 issue of Windsurfing UK Mic Brignall checks out the 100 E-Tech type. Over to Mic for more.
Manufactured with a Polysterene middle, glass fibre second layer and an Epoxy outer skin RRD’s Firemove 100 is durable and eye catching in equal measure. Easy to repair (should it ding), but the heavier construction, it’s a board that as part of a centre’s fleet (Mic is an instructor working for Neilson Holidays – ed) stands up to knocks and shrugs off scrapes.
With ample width (236 x 68 cm) for its size it treats you well. Uphauling is easy, even in confused waters, and getting going isn’t hard work provided you’re powered up. Once planing it feels lively and ready for action.
On the water
RRD’s Firemove 100 is part of their flagship freemove range and manages to do everything your everyday sailor could want. It is a well rounded, early planing, easy to use board which just does what it’s told to, with minimal faff. RRD say it’s part of their ‘magic board program’; the perfect formula of ease and simplicity.
We found that the best performance was when the scale tipped towards powered up conditions. Getting planing is a doddle, simply drop into the harness and go, and when basting the Firemove skips along nicely, riding efficiently off the fin. The fin is substantial – 38cm – which provides plenty of lift, also more resistance for the bigger sails and extra power. The recommended sail size – 5.2 to 7.2m – provides a range suitable for all levels and scenarios. Some boards are very limited in this respect, but not this one. Even sails outside of this bracket felt manageable.
The Firemove 100 rides in a planted fashion and therefore is sublime on flat to moderately choppy water. It’s very smooth and will surprise you by the speeds it can reach. With larger chop in the mix your legs will become more suspension orientated. Considering these types of thinned out board are designed to be ridden one or two sizes down from larger siblings water states should reflect.
For those who fancy popping some air time the board’s wide surface was a dream when the windward rail was lifted. Riders will then need to control lift and not come down too nose heavy. The large fin does help get big air, more so when the straps are outboard. When the straps were mounted inboard a smaller fin yields better results and even allows for a few more advanced moves, showing the FM’s versatility when tuned properly.
Old school carving manoeuvres are its real forte, however. Everything from downwind 360’s to conca tacks felt smooth and stable, thanks to the FM’s width and rounded rails that made carving dreamy. The board was a Scaletrix car in this guise, its carve as predictable as the track, which allowed focus on the technical part of each move. For those simply wanting to blast and gybe the right gust will allow a planing exit. It’s a good one for learning gybing fundamentals though – especially for progressing lighter weights.
The sails that felt best were between 5.4m up to 6m. Bigger sails tended to push it around a bit too much, and anything smaller felt a bit twitchy. 100L is a medium sized board for most of us, so it has been tuned to mid-sized rigs, above marginal conditions but also certainly not for those nuclear days. A pleasant 5-6bft best suited the Firemove.
A lot of individual, specific points have been mentioned here, but that doesn’t capture the board as a whole. Its best used to flatter water and is aimed at those who will be happily blasting along that maybe chucking in the odd move. It gybes well, is wide enough to easily uphaul and tack, and can provide some entertainment in the air when it gets choppier. This means the Firemove 100 is great for learning how to sail stronger winds and smaller boards. It would be perfect as a middle board in a blasting quiver.