Ask any EFPT rider which are the best freestyle boards on tour and you will find the RRD Twin Tip near the top of their lists. For 2009 the board has undergone only minor changes, which include a more rounded outline at the front and a narrower tail to increase top speed and jumping performance on flat water.
The Twin Tip is offered in three sizes; 90, 100 and 110 and in just one construction, RRD’s lightweight LTD construction. This test looks at the 100 litre model.
"The TwinTip keeps redefining the “status quo” of freestyle board designs. A few new details on an already world class proven shape has made, what are considered, the best performance freestyle boards just far and beyond better than anything else on the market." – RRD website
The RRD achieved a GOLD Quality rating with the following scores:
We are impressed that RRD supply their freestyle board with a proper freestyle fin. Now this may seem a daft thing to say, but in the interests of improving speed and early planing performance, every other brand has ‘cheated’ to some extent by supplying their board with a bigger more freeride orientated design.
The footstraps are made by DaKine and as we have found in our wave board tests, are extremely comfortable. Whilst in wave sailing it is nice to have a soft, forgiving strap, some freestylers may prefer something a little stiffer to improve the response between foot and board in spinning manoeuvres.
The RRD is a compact board. It is the second shortest board in the group and jointly the widest (together with the Goya) at 65cm.
It also sports one of the widest tail widths of 42cm (measured 30cm from the tail). Board weight (bare hull) is 6.26kg putting it second heaviest to the Goya, but still a respectable weight for a board of this size.
There is no question that the RRD is the top of this group for new school freestyle. Its just that bit easier to make your moves on! It has a lower top speed than the other boards, which makes you feel a bit safer when entering the move. It has good pop and once sliding, is extremely stable and controllable. In spinning manoeuvres some boards can spin too quickly, whilst others require too much effort to get them to spin. The RRD seems to get this balance just right. It can spin quick enough for more dynamic moves but is also slow enough to be controllable even when overpowered.
For advanced new school moves such as shakas, ponches, double moves and switch stance, the RRD suffers a little against the Mistral due to its lack of speed and less responsive performance. However, some riders may be happy to offset the lack of ‘friskiness’ for the extra stability and security that the RRD offers.
The Twin Tip is not a great carving board. It does carve but is noticeably the worst in the group when it comes to performance rankings.
It really doesn’t like to be banked into a hard turn. It has one arc that it likes to turn through (a wide one!) and if you try and turn any tighter, expect the board to throw a tantrum.
If you are aiming to crack carving moves like 360s or even do the odd bit of light wind wave riding on this board, you should probably look at RRD’s Freestyle/Wave range instead.
The RRD is a red-hot freestyle board and by that we mean ‘new school’ freestyle; vulcans, spocks, grubbies etc. Whilst some boards in this group are pretty good bump & jump/ freeride options, we would not include the Twin Tip 100 within this list.
In a straight line it is the slowest board in the group. On flat water, with good technique, you might just keep up, but as soon as the chop picks up you won't.
Whilst the RRD is very comfy to sail in a straight line, there is a definite top speed to the design. This is a great asset for freestyle moves as it allows a safe entry speed but if you are looking for a fast ride, you won't get it here.
Underfoot the RRD feels wide and short – which it is! It has a nice soft ride, partly due to the shape and partly due to the great pads and straps.
When travelling in a straight line the board makes you feel poised ready for a move rather than committed to a blasting stance.
The standard 20cm MFC fin is perfect for the board. If you are very good at freestyle you will probably want to put a slightly smaller fin in but otherwise it’s a great match.
The recommended sail range for the board is 4.5-6.2m sails and we wouldn’t argue with that. In choppy conditions the board will feel big with a 4.5 but has the control to cope (just). It feels one of the bigger boards in this group and will cope with a 6.2m no problem.
Mast track position worked well at mid point and slightly further back (about 1cm) with smaller sails eg 5.0m and below.
The Twin Tip is the ultimate freestyle board for learning new school freestyle (Vulcans, spocks, grubbies etc). If that’s your priority (and you don’t mind missing out on some straight line and carving performance) you are likely to learn quicker and pull your moves off with more consistency on this board.