on the beach
The Fast X is Thommen’s fast freeride board. It sits in the range between their slalom boards and Cross X freewave / manoeuvre freeride boards
Despite boasting the highest quoted volume of 117L (although it feels a little smaller than that), the Thommen is the narrowest board in test at 63.5cm and also the longest at 247.5cm.
On the water we expected the longer more drawn-out profile to give a less stable and more active ride, but we were wrong! In fact, the Thommen is one of the most controlled, easy to sail boards in the test. It feels very stable when blasting, particularly from rail to rail – where many boards get levered up and down on the fin in gusts and chop, the Thommen stays super-flat. It has a longer, narrower nose, which gives it a safer, more controlled feel in chop.
On flat water it was pretty quick, but had to be well powered up to compete with the fastest. When less powered it seems to accelerate well, but needs some power to get it to top speed. It was in the lulls when the Thommen lost out. It just seemed to slow down a bit quicker when the power started dropping out of the rig – probably a result of the narrower width.
In chop the Thommen had good control, but when it got airborne it didn’t seem to stay as well trimmed as some of the other boards. It had a tendency for the tail to drop, which would slow it down a little. Again, for best speed you need to be fairly well powered up on this board.
The construction feels very stiff, which – combined with the very firm pads, stiffer straps and longer, narrower profile – really does lead you into believing the board is going to be much harder to sail than it really is. It’s actually one of the most easygoing and settled boards on the water, and despite being fairly quick (especially when well powered) it doesn’t give the same raw speed sensation that some of the more lively boards offer.
Upwind the Thommen tracks well and seems to have incredible grip and control from the fin. No matter how hard we pushed we couldn’t force it to spin-out. What the board loses in early planing from being narrower with one of the smallest fins, it makes up for to some extent with the good grip and stable, easy transition into the straps.
For gybing the Thommen scored middle of the group. There really is nothing bad about the gybing style – it just doesn’t grip and turn quite as tightly as some of the other boards. Yet again, however, it’s the ease of turning that leaves an impression.
Thommen recommend a sail range of 5.5-8.5m sails for this board, and from our experience we’d be happy to agree. We did find ourselves bringing the mast-track a bit behind middle (particularly on our 5.8 quiver sails) just to get a bit more feel out of the board.
Price: £1749 (with boardbag & 3-year warranty)
Weight (bare): 7.43kg
Range sizes: 117, 127, 137
There is something about classy, white-looking boards that catches the eye, and the Thommen was certainly a headturner on the beach. Despite looking like an aggressive racing machine, the Fast X is actually one of the most controlled, easy to sail boards of the group. It has a good turn of speed, but needs power to get the best out of it.