"It has a much wider nose than the other boards, giving it a less nimble but more forgiving feel”
“Really good for novice and intermediate waveriders as it combines a loose feel with ease of use”
“Surprisingly good straight line performance for a multi-fin, although the flat, wide shape isn’t as well suited to close chop”
The Exocet 3X Wave is a tri-fin waveboard (meaning all three fins are equal length), and sits alongside the new U-Surf (also tri-fin) and X Wave (single-fin) within the Exocet range. The 3X is described as the “latest and ultimate R&D project for waveriding” and offers easier riding than the U-Surf.
Looking at the measurements, the 3X is the longest board in test at 237cm. It’s also the second widest at 59cm and has the widest tail by quite a margin at 37.7cm. Visually the 3X has a longer, much wider and more rounded nose than any of the other boards here.
The finboxes are comparatively long, offering plenty of tuning and setup options. Thankfully Exocet have offered a helping hand by printing recommended settings for cross-shore and onshore conditions on the boxes. We actually found the board worked best with the fins right in the middle of these two recommendations. In some of the other settings we had issues with spinout in a straight line. The footstraps are unfortunately a real disappointment, and it’s something we keep finding issue with on Exocet boards. Luckily UK importer Surf Sales are offering a free upgrade to DaKine straps – take them!
On the water the 3X has quite a different feel to the other boards within this group. It’s very easy going and relaxed to sail. In a straight line it has decent speed but also good grip from the fins (so long as you get the positioning right). The extra length and wider nose makes the 3X great for punching out over white water, and generally the board is pretty quick to get planing and goes upwind reasonably well. Jumping is also good thanks to the board’s extra length, wide nose, good grip and speed.
On the wave, the feel of the 3X could be likened to that of a mini-Malibu surfboard. It’s certainly not radical and snappy, but it’s easier going than most of the boards in this group, which will really suit novice and intermediate waveriders. It feels quite flat and wide, catching waves easily and holding speed well on the wave. The bottom turn is safe and predictable, although advanced riders at higher speeds may find the shoulders a bit catchy. The 3X needs to be turned more from the back foot. The top turn is not quite as tight and snappy as the loosest twin-fins, but it’s plenty good enough for most riders and certainly better than a single-fin. The tri-fin setup gives good grip for backside turns, but the extra tail width does mean light riders will have to put a little more effort in to carve up into the wave.
Advanced riders will find that while the Exocet has a loose, playful feel on the wave, it feels a little slower and isn’t as responsive in the bottom turn as some of the more radical boards in this test. These characteristics do however make the 3X more forgiving, and combined with the board’s ability to hold speed through the turns, make it a great beginner to intermediate waveboard.
Despite looking sizeable for its quoted volume (due to the width and nose shape), the 3X isn’t actually as big underfoot as it appears. This 82L model worked well with sails from 4.2-5.3m, but could probably take up to a 5.7m for riders under 85kg.
The Exocet 3X is a unique board offering many potential combinations of fin setup. As a tri-fin it offers very easygoing characteristics that will flatter and assist the novice and intermediate wavesailor, particularly when it comes to frontside waveriding in cross and cross-on conditions. Advanced riders may find it relatively fun in small, cross-on conditions, but not fast or snappy enough to suit more challenging wave conditions.
Price: £1249 Weight (bare): 6.81kg Weight (complete): 7.76kg Length: 237cm Fins: 3x13.5cm Width: 59cm Volume: 82L Range sizes: 70, 82, 96
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