"It’s an extremely light board, which is very noticeable when sailing it”
“One of the most exciting straight line rides and great for doing jumps on”
“Feels the smallest board underfoot, but not as tight turning as the multi-fins”
The Thommen MauiWave X is the one-range wave offering in the Thommen line-up and opts for a single-fin configuration. We haven’t tested a Thommen before, so weren’t exactly sure what to expect. The boards look very classy and extremely high quality in finish. They come complete with a great set of straps, a very high quality fin and a board bag, which is a nice touch indeed.
The weight is the first thing you notice about the board. It is unbelievably light. At 5.59kg (bare) it’s 0.68kg lighter than the next lightest board in this test and an incredible 1.22kg lighter than the heaviest. It’s the second longest board in the group (231cm) and the narrowest (55.5cm) with the second narrowest tail width to the Fanatic. This gives it a longer, gunnier appearance to most.
Underfoot the Thommen immediately feels very light and stiff, with a reactive, performance-orientated ride. It actually feels the smallest board in the group (next to the Tabou), which is probably accountable to the narrower width.
Considering it feels smaller underfoot, the Thommen does well to score (jointly) second best in the group for get up and go, and also has very good control at the top end. It is however more suited to smaller sails, with 4.2-5.0m being the optimum range. It starts to feel a little small in the tail for early planing with 5.3m sails and bigger.
For bump-&-jump sailing the Thommen scores jointly best in the group thanks to its great straight line performance. It rides off the tail of the board with good drive from the fin, while the nose sits low and gives good control. It works best in smoother / wavier water states, as the ride isn’t quite so smooth in choppier sea states where the nose and shoulders are a little lower than most. Jumping is very good thanks to that directional feel, longer profile and decent top speed. It has a fantastic light, crisp and reactive feel underfoot, which makes it great fun to burn around and get jumps on.
On the wave the Thommen is smooth, manoeuvrable and quite flowing for a single-fin, but does feel limited for advanced riders in how tight it can turn. Multi-fin boards really have opened up a new dimension of tight turning, particularly off the top. Single-fins are fine if you hit the white water, but if you try to carve your top turn on an open face or off a piece of swell, they just don’t turn with the same tightness and ease as multi-fins. What you do gain from the Thommen, however, is a smoothness and predictability, particularly through the bottom turn, where the board grips extremely well. Less experienced riders may find it slightly harder to hold speed through the turns (partly due to the smaller size underfoot) but will like the more predictable, slightly less nervous turning performance of a single-fin.
Backside riding is very good on the Thommen, where the narrower tail gives good manoeuvrability and the fin offers a lot of grip for those hard backside snaps.
Overall, compared to the other single-fin in this test (the RRD), the Thommen feels longer, narrower, lighter and with a more exciting straight line performance. The RRD feels more compact, softer in feel and a little looser on the wave face.
The Thommen is an exciting board to sail, feeling very light, stiff and directional underfoot. Thanks to this straight line performance it is jointly the best bump-&-jump board in the group, and has good jumping skills. It remains a fun board to waveride on, excelling particularly at backside riding, but is limited (as all single-fins are) by how tightly the board will turn on the wave face. It feels a little smaller than most for its quoted size, so expect an ideal sail range of around 4.2- 5.0m (for riders around 80-85kg).
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