Longboards: boring sleds for windsurfers who are past it and just want to pootle… Not that there’s anything wrong with this. Who doesn’t like a pootle from time to time? But that isn’t what the Exocet X-Longboard 11’5’s all about. Proving once again that longboards have a legitimate place in our everyday windsurfing lives and why here at WSUK we’re still featuring them.
Exocet’s X-11’5 is certainly the most high performance longboard we’ve tested to date. With planing performance firmly on the cards this beast comes at the windsurfing version of longboarding from a more surfing orientated stance. As such, the X-11’5 is a longboard wave board as well as blaster!
There’s nothing new about step tails (or duck tails) but it’s still an eye catching design trait. Created to increase the board’s waterline at rest, and reduce it upon lifting/planing essentially you almost get two boards in one. We should also note the fin set up which features two configurations: one setting for manoeuvrability and onshore riding with the other more for side shore and blasting. And Exocet do a great thing in providing both types of fin for each job – BIG plus there!
The brushed blue carbon of the X-11’5 ensures it stands out with good looks whilst its ample nose rocker also sets it apart. During our time testing there was all manner of interest from windies and non-sailors alike. Tells you something…
In terms of performance there’s a defined feel to the X-Longboard 11’5. It doesn’t quite release and plane as your standard FSW board does. Due to that nose rocker you need to point it well off the wind to get going – just like a shorter wave board then. That said it ramps up to speed efficiently even in marginal conditions.
Once speeding you’d think that additional nose area would make it all slappy. Having tested it in typical south coast chop this isn’t the case. There’s a subtle concave upfront which channels air and allows the X-11’5 to enjoy a cushioned ride.
From the straps it’s pretty quick. And for anyone who fancies punting air time then this is doable. There’s not as much control issue as we thought – boosting is actually fun. As far as manoeuvrability goes it’s loosey goosey through gybes. We didn’t get much chance to chuck it at a wave but can feel it’d be an efficient carver in this environment – bring on the surf!
We’ll not lie: Exocet’s X-Longboard 11’5 will be Marmite for some with its unique feel. For our money it’s an example of a different kind of windy board that delivers big on the smile factor. Take it for a bump ‘n’ jump blast; sling it at a wave or two or even go for a light wind paddle in SUP mode (which is excellent). Definitely worth checking out before passing judgement.