Pics: James Jagger
We’re no strangers to the 3S concept having used a bunch of different types over the years. In fact, WSUK’s very own test editor’s wife used to own one. This is the first time we’ve actually tested a Tabou offering for WSUK though – in this instance it’s the super charged Tabou 3S+ 96L we’re putting under the microscope.
Whereas the original 3S is more of an all round freestyle wave, bump and jump board 2019’s 3S+ is a turbo’d wave sled that’s more in line with surf sailing environments. Although we should add Tabou state it can still be used on flat water.
Out of the box and we have to say that construction looks stunning. The Tabou’s lines are extremely pleasing with its vivd red livery ensuring it stands out at the beach. Diamond winger tail, 2+1 thruster fin config and domed deck with top drawer pads/straps complete this very refined design.
On the water the 3S+ feels compact and a tad smaller than its 96L volume would suggest. That said it responds instantly to gusts and takes off with ease. Riding in a very cushioned fashion across chop the word that springs to mind is ‘smooth’. For real world coastal sailors this’ll be a welcome trait as many spots can suffer chop at times.
From the straps the 3S+ 96L is fast. It has a decent amount of nose rocker which combined with its speed makes for fun jumping. Connect with steep lips for efficient boosting and you have a fulfilling ‘send it’ sled that suits aerial antics. It’s good for backies in particular allowing proper height for reverse apex rotations.
On a wave the 96L grips like stink, being much more drivey than its standard 3S sibling. Biting hard off the bottom, whether sailors are going front side or back side you’re all set for flat chat lip belts, fins out action, re-entry fulfilment or aerial launches.
As a new concept for 2019 Tabou’s 3S+ 96 delivers for wave heads/coastal sailors on many fronts. Efficiently booting around the break it’s a smooth riding sled that eats choppy conditions for breakfast. Its real magic is jumping and actual riding whereby it delivers a level of prowess that’d put many pure wave boards to shame. In fact, with versatile and user friendly wave toys like this riders won’t need to look anywhere else for a surf sailing tool that copes with both onshore and side shore wave sailing scenarios.
LTD version: £1,999
CED version: £1,759