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It’s Y26 and the RRD Beluga is now in its second year with a whole array of smaller sizes added to the range for the building market of more advanced or smaller wing enthusiasts. At 55 liters, the 150 is going to be a sinker for the majority of users. In the hands, the LTE construction feels tough, and the matte finish doesn’t seem too sensitive to the usual scrapes from day to day use. A well placed and sensible thickness EVA pad gives you great grip and a decent connection to the board; the rear pad kick is also very useful for your rear foot placement, which works well with the relative position of foil track. From a practical perspective, the rear-mounted handle makes it easy to negotiate shore break and long walk ins.
Sensible footstrap placements mean that when adequately powered, the deep-water start is as easy as it gets; we managed to knee-start strapless with it in windy conditions without much hassle, as the buoyancy in the board is so evenly positioned and the concave deck sits well around your knees meaning it’s easy to perch on whilst it’s under the surface. It sits well underneath you even in fairly rough sea conditions.
The pronounced double concave in the nose with aggressive central spine runs over the first two thirds of the board, and means if the board lands hard from a jump, it displaces water with a minimum of fuss. In a wave scenario, the low swing weight also shines, and if you make any pitch misjudgments and nose dives, the board bounces out and recovers in a similarly dignified fashion, helping you avoid some big stacks. When throwing a rotation, the board pivots quickly and easily without having to skew the foil upwind too much on takeoff.
In a surf scenario the Beluga in this size feels dainty and agile, every small movement is translated down to the foil, making for instant pitch adjustment, and a nice lack of aerial drag and windage. The relatively narrow width means you can make a carve of consequence without clipping the rail.
The Beluga 150 packs plenty of volume into a minimal length, and is friendly enough to serve as a perfect first sinker board, particularly for a rider that has ambitions of learning freestyle, with its low rotational swing weight and ultra-forgiving bottom shape. It’s going to suit being paired with faster and more efficient hydrofoils to get the most from it, and for a lot of people will make for a sensible step down from a full flotation board.