on the beach
The Pocket sits in the Tabou wave range alongside the Da Curve (single-fin / quad). This is the second year that the Pocket has been offered as a thruster (although the whole range has been redesigned for 2012 with new rockerlines and rails), and Tabou claim that one of the main benefits is that you can use a smaller central fin, which really helps loosen the board up. You can also use it as a single fin for extra speed and straight line performance.
Quoted at 93L, underfoot the Tabou felt like the biggest board on test. It was certainly the widest with a max width of 61cm and a tail width of 38.8cm (the widest of the group).
The effect of this size is excellent get-up-and-go – the best of the group in fact. It accelerates rapidly, and while probably not the fastest board here, it has a comfortable trim at speed and feels quite ‘free’ and exciting to sail. The only niggle is a slight lack of fin grip when pushing hard at speed. After discussing this with Tabou, they have explained that a bigger central fin will help this (at the expense of some manoeuvrability). However, they made the decision to supply the smaller (18cm) fin as standard because they know these would be difficult to purchase afterwards, whereas there are plenty of 20-23cm fins on the market if you want more drive. Makes sense to us! The deckpads are extremely soft and cushioned, which divided opinion amongst our Clones. Some loved the soft, comfortable ride, while others found the extra thickness a little too much, particularly under the heels. The sheer size of the board and the livelier ride do limit the top end control a bit.
For jumping the board was really good thanks to the acceleration, pop and lift that is generated. Combine this with its already praised get-up-and-go and straight line abilities, and you end up with a great bump-and-jump board for all types of choppy coastal sailing.
On the wave, the Pocket seems to have two turning styles. This is actually a characteristic we’ve found with all the tri-fins / thrusters we’ve used so far. If you turn leaning forward using the rail of the board, the Pocket is smooth but not very tight turning. But if you sail a bit more off your back foot and try to crank your top and bottom turns more off the tail, the Pocket has incredibly tight turning potential and is really fun to waveride. This tight turning potential helps the board to excel for both intermediate and advanced riders in cross-on conditions, but you need to have the technique dialled. If you try to crank a hard turn with your weight leaning forward the rail can catch and the board is susceptible to ‘straight lining’ on you. Most intermediate riders turn more off their back foot anyway, so probably won’t even encounter this trait, but advanced riders may have to adapt their technique a little to suit.
For cross-shore riding the Pocket (as the name suggests) works best with shorter, snappier turns in the pocket / steeper part of the wave rather than longer, faster, drawn-out arcs. However, it is its size and speed that are ultimately the limiting factors for the Pocket in these conditions.
Weight (bare): 7.04kg
Weight (complete): 7.88kg
Fins: 3 – 18cm & 11cm
Range sizes: 69, 75, 80, 85, 93
The Tabou Pocket was most notable for its ease of planing and get-up-and-go. Feeling like the biggest board underfoot, it would make an obvious choice for a true heavyweight rider. It’s an excellent bump-andjump board (with an extremely comfortable ride), and also pretty handy on a wave with the correct technique – particularly in smaller, softer conditions.