RRD’s Lightwind / Stubby Surfboard Review
This test first appeared in KW #100 in July 2019
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The first thing I’ll say about this board is that, visually, it really jumps out at you. It’s a totally different shape to the Nugget, compact but with a classic outline and much of the width is under the front foot, with plenty of volume for light wind riding. Although its dimensions aren’t too dissimilar to the Nugget that I tested, the RRD has substantially more volume and there was zero bogging down or sinking when the wind got really marginal. Although the rails are less parallel, there’s still plenty of edge to lean on when beating upwind and the shallow rocker line gets you up on the plane quickly. There’s no wasted momentum when you’re working for power, either.
On a wave the Ace feels very different to the Nugget, and that underlines just how varied a riding experience these light wind shapes can deliver. The Nugget has a more ‘skatey’, looser feel, while the RRD is more locked-in, with the grip and drive through the turn reminding me of the stunning, liquid-smooth feel of a Maquina – one of RRD’s performance waveboards.
The Ace obviously isn’t as rapid or responsive as the Maquina, but it has a very engaging feel and you can fully haul it into a bottom turn and it won’t slip out and leave you sprawling in the shore break.
Off the top, it doesn’t release its tail as readily as the Nugget, but it does feel a bit faster and I can imagine this being better suited to being ridden in straps. Also, I think the slightly more pulled-in tail would make it much grippier if you rode it in strong winds.
RRD offer the choice of three different constructions, each making a real difference to how the board feels on the water. We’ve tested a number of different surfboard layups from RRD over the years, but for this review we opted for the classic LTE construction with an EPS core, which gives the most surfboard-like feel in our experience.
The UC (United Cores) construction is lighter and has thin carbon stringers for durability and increased stiffness. Then there’s the even more Gucci BLKRBN construction, which is lighter and built using aerospace-grade carbon, so as not to lose any robustness.
SUMMARY: The ACE V1 is an engaging, classic surf shape with enough volume and width to get you up and riding in light wind, but with drive and responsiveness for committed wave riding.
KW LIKED: Sharp graphics and good light wind ability from a board that won’t become too skittish if you ride it in stronger (but not nuking!) winds.
KW WOULD CHANGE: We sometimes like a little more looseness from light wind / small wave boards, but that’s down to personal preference.
SIZES: 5’2’’ x 21’’ (volume: 30L)
More at: www.robertoriccidesigns.com