Kode FreeWave 94 Wood Reflex, PlancheMag (France), September 2015

The new Kode FreeWaves are the fast and versatile boards for a broad range of conditions, from flat water, to chop or waves.

The new rocker, thin rails and thruster setup come together to boost the board’s wave performance without sacrifices on top speed and traction. The bigger models also come with a single fin and plugs for even more versatility.

The following test was featured in the September edition of Planche Mag.

Starboard Kode FreeWave 94 Wood Reflex: “Truly complete”


Find out everything there is to know about the Kode FreeWave here!

Length: 234 cm
Width: 61.5 cm
Tail Width: 38.0 cm
Weight: 6.60 kg
Volume: 94 liters
Thickness: 11.6 cm
Fins: 2 x Drake Natural Wave 11 + MFC TF 20 + Plugs (US Box + 2 x Slot Box 10)
Additional Fin: Drake FreeWave 28
Sail range: 4.5m² – 6.5m²

Shape:

The new Kode FreeWave range has been completely renewed and re-engineered in their shapes. They are now all available as thrusters and allow you to switch between single fin and the new thruster mode. We tested the Wood Reflex version, a full PVC sandwich with a beautiful wood finish.

Performance:

Sharp to accelerate on to the plane (especially in single fin mode), the Kode FreeWave 94 is fast, accelerates even faster and it won’t slow down like wave boards do when the wind drops a notch. Yet it remains efficient on the upwind reach. Even though it’s not quite as explosive in a tri-fin set up as in single fin mode, it’s still very good. You feel a bit less traction in the straight line and of course, it’s a tad slower.

But what you get is a board that becomes more maneuverable and playful, a board that turns and reacts instantaneously, producing tighter and more spontaneous turns with less toe pressure required. The tri-fin set up gives it a real advantage in the surf thanks to reduced inertia when changing trajectories, a lighter feel under your feet and also more grip when carving radical turns. It is clearly much better.

In bump and jump conditions, we preferred the single fin option. The board rides higher on the water, it’s more stable and it’s faster. You get more traction and support when taking-off ramps for jumps. The heavier you are, the more you will feel the difference between the single and thruster fin setups.

Where are its limitations then? In hard choppy water, the Kode FreeWave we tested doesn’t have the soft comfort of an Exocet, Tabou or RRD as it was missing its signature Sponge pads. As a result, you don’t have the soft cushioning effect. We prefer this board in on-shore conditions or conditions where the swell is well-formed, giving you flatter spots between waves compared to harder choppy conditions.

In the jibe, we easily kept speed, even more than on a wave board, and with an even better and faster exit.

Verdict:

Truly complete – more so than even in the past – thanks to a good balance between top performance and maneuverability, this new Kode FreeWave offers a real plus in the surf thanks to its ability to connect tight and fast turns, more fluidly and in more radical fashion. It’s an excellent wave board for heavyweights who would otherwise lack performance on a traditional banana-rockered wave board, with sails in the 4.7m² to 6.2m² range.

And for more test reviews, just head over to Magazine Test page, with more than 200 reviews going back to 2006!