Monday, March 15, 2010
2010 F2 Rodeo 98 review
First off, the board looks MUCH better in person. Well, as everyone that knows me will tell you, my current board of the 2009 Mistral Joker 99 has been my favorite board of all time. It impressed me more than any board in any category the first day I took it for a spin. That is, until today. The winds were extremely gusty, side offshore and choppy as hell. 4.2 was the call, and thanks to my buddy Kurt, a brand spankin new 2010 F2 Rodeo Air in the 98 ltr flavor was there for our enjoyment. Just to "test the waters" I took out the 4.2 with my Joker 99 first. I knew this board well and wanted to get a real idea of the conditions for a fair comparison. And conditions were crappy to say the least. about 40 knots in the gusts and 15 knots in the lulls. So on to my first impressions already.
As I schlogged off the beach in the wind shadow, I noticed it was very stable off a plane. As the first little puff came through, I popped right up onto a plane. It planed up just as early as the Joker, which is saying a lot. As I got up to speed the chop coming straight at me and the Rodeo was bouncing around a bit but considering what mother nature was throwing my way, it behaved very nicely. It definitely rode a little bigger than the Joker, and was very similar in feel to the Fanatic Skate. As I set up for a funnel, I noticed the board was a bit more stable than the Joker I was used to. After I was switch stance it also held it's speed up easier also. This thing is a really great board for the switch stance moves. It's got a nice flat deck, so you can really change up your stance easy. When it came time to pop, it was like the rodeo was pre-programmed to pop around all the moves. In this funnel, which was the first trick of the day on the board, it just popped right up. If I wanted the air funnel, I would have had it easy. You can just pop it and throw it around wherever you want it. It's so compact and well balanced in the air, rotating it is a no-brainer. just look where you want it to go and it's already there. On the way back in I was now heading straight off the backs of the chop. I really wanted to see how the Rodeo would handle a shaka, so I lined up the back of a 6 inch peice of chop and let loose. It popped higher than my Joker would with similar wind and chop. In the air, again, it just went where I wanted it. As he nose touched down there wasn't even a hint of stickiness that there used to be with the previous model, the Chilli. The Rodeo instead just spun around to complete the shaka just like I was used to with the Joker. I continued in and went for a flaka, which became an air flaka. the Rodeo handled it without a hitch. As I got closer to shore the wind was lightening up and I began to fall off a plane so I went for a spock 540 to head back out. Again the board popped with minimal effort and as the tail touched down it planed backwards sooooo easily and then slid into the spock needing very little input from me. Just pop and spin seemed to be what this board wants to do.
So all in all I spent about 1/2 hour on the board landing all sorts of tricks very easily in the very gusty conditions. This board would be great not only for the most advanced of freestylers out there, but also guys just getting into it. It's got everything you'd want in one board. Stability and a flat deck for the old school moves. Easy pop and sliding for when you want to learn your vulcans and spocks. Then when you're ready for Ponches, Shakas, Air Funnels and all the other New School radical tricks, the Rodeo will deliver on everything. If you're looking for a new freestyle board, the Rodeo should definitely be at the top of the list. Right now, it's on the top of mine.