"Turns incredibly tightly when snapped off the back foot”
“Feels small, compact and great fun in less than ideal wave conditions”
“Using a single-fin setup should boost the ‘get up and go’ and straight line performance of the Pocket”
The Pocket sits in the Tabou wave range alongside the DaCurve (single-fin) and DaCurve Team (quad-fin). This is the first year the Pocket has been offered as a thruster, and Tabou claim one of the main benefits is that you can use a smaller centre fin, which really helps loosen the board up.
At 80 litres the Tabou was the smallest board in the group, and it certainly feels its size underfoot. It’s also the shortest board in test (225.5cm) and the second narrowest (56.5cm). Surprisingly the tail width (36cm) is proportionally bigger than most and is the third widest of this group.
In a straight line the Tabou is very comfortable and controlled. The smaller board size, smaller fins and a slightly more planted feel don’t give the Pocket the best get up and go of the group, but the reward is found at the top end, where the Tabou had the best control (jointly with Quatro). On the wave the Pocket seems to have two turning styles. If you turn leaning forward and using the rail of the board, the Pocket is smooth and safe 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 of the board, the Pocket has incredibly tight turning potential and is really fun to waveride. This tight turning potential and smaller, more nimble feel helps the board to excel for both intermediate and advanced riders in cross-on conditions.
Novice / intermediate riders may find the Tabou a little harder to keep speed on through the turns, and will probably take more naturally to the first style of riding described above. You should definitely err towards a larger size if you are hesitant about your riding technique, as the Pocket does feel smaller underfoot.
For cross-shore riding the Pocket is very good, but as the name suggests it works best with shorter, snappier turns in the pocket / steeper part of the wave rather than longer, faster, drawn-out arcs.
As a bump-&-jump board we think the Tabou would work better as a single-fin (although we didn’t get a chance to try this). The thruster setup, while comfortable and controlled in a straight line, doesn’t give the same drive and directional ride as some of the other boards in this test. Nevertheless, the Pocket is still very controlled, compact and manoeuvrable in feel when in thruster mode.
At the bottom end of the wind spectrum, the Tabou felt happiest taking no more than a 5.3m sail, particularly in cross-onshore conditions. It actually felt most at home with sails of between 4.5-5.0m, and could even be used happily with a 4.0-4.2m if necessary at the top end.
The Tabou Pocket is a fun board to sail in all conditions, but excels mostly when waveriding in smaller, mushier wave conditions. It feels compact, extremely tight turning and snappy on the wave, particularly when used with a more back-footed turning style. Taking into account its smaller size within this group, the Pocket errs more towards comfort and control in a straight line rather than early planing and top speed, although using it as a single-fin may address this to some degree. Overall it’s a really fun feeling yet easy-riding waveboard that’s best suited to snappy turning in smaller waves.
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