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RRD have slimmed down and evolved their surfboard range over the last few years and they are certainly a brand who are constantly innovating in terms of their approach to this side of the sport. With boards like the Rocket and the Spark designed to focus on ‘fun’ and the freestyle and freeride side of the sport, they recognize that a lot of kiters are happy just cruising around on their directionals, not having to worry about staying upwind, and looking to slash around in the windswell and pop the occasional jump. So they have that ‘real world’ element of the sport covered better than most other brands. When it comes to bigger waves though, they have given that some thought. This year saw the arrival of the quad finned Salerosa V4 which has received a lot of attention and we enjoyed testing in the high performance testing ground of One Eye, but there is another board which has been faithfully pulling its weight in the RRD line up for a number of years and shows no sign of letting up: the Maquina. This continues to be one of the most popular boards in the RRD line up and shows no sign of losing its popularity, and why? Because it is a surfboard! The outline, rocker line, squash tail and thruster set up mirror the classic surf shapes that you’ll see in the lineup of any classic surf break. The only real difference comes in volume, which RRD keep low in recognition of the fact that your kite is going to be doing some of the work for you.
The Maquina is available in Classic or in LTD construction. We rode the Classic in the 5’11 and 6’1 sizes and for us the use of a PU core really gives supreme comfort and a true surf feel. Even considering the fact that the Maquina is a relatively low volume board, it is still narrow (the 5’11 is 18¼ inches wide) so for cruising around and getting back upwind you still need a good amount of kite power. When it comes to riding a wave, in cross-off conditions the Maquina accelerates nicely and you can really feel it take off and engage with the wave. The skinny rails then offer plenty of grip and lock you in nicely to the face. For turns, the thruster set up and the relatively wide tail mean that the Maquina is a board that will reward solid carving surf lines, this is a board that you can really push and not worry about losing an edge or that will feel wobbly at speed. Where the Maquina offers more versatility than some other ‘quality wave’ boards is in the width that it has through the final third of the board, which means that in cross-onshore or in smaller conditions there is enough volume to really drive the board around without it getting ‘bogged down’. We would maybe add a little more volume to the bigger sizes so that heavier riders can make the most of the board on lighter days, but overall: if there are surfable waves, you can enjoy the Maquina…
In a sentence: The Maquina is a superb board for ‘prime’ conditions, but is also super-fun in onshore conditions where you can really throw it around: a classic.