The 2017 Kode FreeWaves are our fast and versatile boards for a broad range of conditions: flat water, chop and waves. Everything is built around a fast rocker with a low nose angle to reduce drag, maximize control and top speed.
The following test report was featured in the Special Test 2017 edition of PlancheMag.
Volume: 86 liters
Length: 232 cm
Width: 59 cm
Tail Width: 38.3 cm
Thickness: 12.0 cm
Weight: 6.25 kg
Fins: MFC TF 19 Red + Drake Natural Wave 11 (US Box + 2 x StarBox)
Sail Range: 4.0 – 6.0m²
After testing the Kode FreeWave 94 last year, we chose to try the 86 liter model for 2017. Lighter than in 2016 thanks to Starboard’s new UltraCore technology construction, the benefits of this innovation on the Kode FreeWave 86 are obvious. Delivered with a set of thruster fins.
On the Water:
By far the most comfortable of this test group thanks to its footstrap/pad combo, its ergonomic deck and its soft touch in chops, the Kode FreeWave 86 can be completely forgotten about when riding over extremely choppy waters, providing a sense of security, as if nothing could go wrong. It is the most balanced among the tri-fin boards, providing great fin support without ever spinning out; it makes the session easier and more enjoyable. The more the conditions get rough and the more the Kode FreeWave stands out for its soft touch on the water.
On top of this comfort, the Kode FreeWave 86 is surprisingly efficient to get planing. It becomes one with your feet, offering a very natural and smooth drive forward. You can push as hard as you want on the fins, the board will grip without spinning out and will translate fin pressure into a very impressive top speed.
The air bubble effect is striking, the board rides high without hitting in the chop; flying over the water. The other strong suit of this Kode FreeWave is that it’s very maneuverable, allowing for tight jibes. In the waves, it accelerates strongly in the bottom while also being very stable when drawing longer lines. It isn’t as loose and radical as the best of this test group in the top turn though: it requires more pressure to turn but overall its ability in the surf remains excellent for this test group.
It is the most obvious choice, the easiest to control in stronger winds. You’d be forgiven for forgetting it’s a thruster as it’s safe and radical at the same time. An amazing compromise between speed and maneuverability to have fun for hours without getting tired and seriously get into the surf.