The Evo needs little introduction. It would appear that only details have been changed from the board that we tested last year.
On the Water:
For a relatively low volume board it offers a lot of float as the wide point is so far back and the width extends so far forward. It is therefore quite accommodating of relatively heavy sailors, feels buoyant and will stay planing at relatively slow speeds. However, the high level of rocker means that is quite power hungry and needs good power and plenty of bearing away to get going.
Once planing it gives a smooth ride, feeling very lively and manoeuvrable with good lift and pop over the white water. It remains controllable in high winds although the generous width, particularly in the nose, is a bit susceptible to slap and pitch in chop.
Going out through the waves it does feel very loose and pivotal and isn't the easiest board to bear away onto a reach and keep tracking at speed into the ramps and it's not the quickest to make ground with upwind.
It is extremely easy to gybe, with turns tending to be very snappy and pivotal. No other boards feel quite as directionally unstable as the Evos, and the advantage of this is felt when riding when they feel almost disc-like.They have an extraordinary ability to pivot when flat or carve when they're put on a rail, and they aren't too fussy about how they are carved, turning smoothly and tight however much rail is buried. The width under the sailor allows them to stay planing at low speeds in the bottom turn and the wide nose always seems to get projected clear of the white water which is why they have become famous for easy riding. Although the 70 is not the easiest board to generate high speed with when bearing away, it's also by no means limited to slower, onshore conditions and holds in very well too in bigger waves and fast turns.
-The G10 fin works well and the double density shock-absorbed pads are very comfortable. The straps too are fine, but the degree of adjustment is not that great and they tend to set quite low, wide and flat for those that like high arched straps with a degree of pinch to wedge the foot.
Very popular as a riding board with those capable and keen to concentrate on going frontside in the onshore conditions.
The Evo 70 is heavily biassed towards waveriding, but not too particular about what kind of waves it rides. Providing the sailor isn't too heavy it's very happy to exploit small onshore waves and almost equally capable of providing excellent riding in bigger cleaner waves. It provides excellent flow as well as very smooth but dynamic carving and has a very appealing and unique style, particularly when coming off the top. Although it is perfectly adequate for going out and jumping as well we wouldn't classify it as an all-rounder. It is very well suited to those whose priorities lie in frontside waveriding, either as a 'one only board' for light/ medium-weight sailors (65-75kg) or smaller of two for medium-weights (75-90kg).
With very few other waveboards now available for less than a grand, the Evos in the Cheaper Technora construction do now look very appetising for the less well heeled.
Starboard EVO XTV 75, Boards UK, October 2007
The '08 Evo 75 appears to have been subtly changed from the board we tested last year, with slightly increased tail vee and seemingly a slightly flattened rockerline. Although there's little doubt that the 75 does have the advertised extra 5L over the Evo 70, the outline dimensions are extremely similar for a step up in board size. The tail widths are the same and we could only find about 6mm difference in overall width. The 75 is very slightly flatter-rockered through the tail and is 3cm longer, but otherwise the two shapes are extremely similar.
On the Water:
The 75 is very similar in performance to the 70, so these comments should be read in conjunction with the comments on the 70. Although clearly sitting a bit higher in the water and being a bit easier to get going than the 70, the 75 is also quite a power-hungry board but it too feels extremely buoyant and stable and therefore not difficult to get planing. In fact its strengths and weaknesses are almost identical although there is a small but clear difference in their moderate wind and weight carrying abilities where the 75 is superior and their susceptibility to chop where it becomes bouncy significantly earlier.
Their style and performance when waveriding is also almost identical, though again the extra size and volume of the 75 means that it has better speed and flow at slower boardspeeds in less ideal conditions and becomes bouncy a bit earlier in high speed conditions.
As for the Evo 70.
The popularity of both boards was similar. although the 75 had the edge as it was usually better suited to the conditions and sailor weights (mostly between 75 and 87 kg).
Whether due to the changes made this season or the slightly more cross-shore angle of the wind at this year's venue, the 75 seemed significantly quicker and easier than the '07 version, making it a more all-round board. However, like the 70, it is still clearly biassed in favour of frontside riding, a speciality that it still excels at. Like the 70 it is very well suited to those who prioritise waveriding, most likely as a 'one only board' for medium to heavier-weight sailors (c.75-85kg) but also quite possibly as a moderate wind rider for medium to lighter sailors (65-80ka).