LOCO EL DIABLO 7’9 WOOD EDITION TEST REVIEW
EL DIABLO 7’9 WOOD EDITION
The El Diablo by Loco is a purebred, shaped-to-shred, performance-shortboard-inspired SUP in two options of finishes for surf specific paddleboarding. The paddle out is made easy in standing position by sinking the tail to pop over whitewater. It won’t catch a rail during turns in those steeper sections either and just wants to be underneath you coming out of every turn. For most conditions the quad setup works incredibly well; however, there are provisions and fins supplied for a 2 + 1 setup which is well worth playing around with. The 2/3 deck grip covers everywhere you need it to and its soft finish means you can surf for hours without getting sole irritations.
The beautiful Bamboo finish certainly turns a few heads and just begs to be admired and caressed! Looking past the wood veneer, the board boasts proven shortboard characteristics up-scaled and tweaked for a performance surf SUP. From the high nose rocker, the buoyant soft 50/50 rails run down to a nicely pinched hard 80/20 tail for extra hold in steep faces. A subtle single concave runs steadily into a deeper double then into a V through the fins and out of the tail to enhance turning ability and speed. There is a nice “flick” in the back couple of inches of tail rocker that help get that tighter arc at the end of a turn. A deep handle seated on the centre of the deck makes handling out of the water a breeze. This is home to a very comfortable deck grip with integrated bridge to support the back foot through fast turns and airs. Excuse the stickers on the deck photo, but Jamie liked it so much he bought it.
The El Diablo has been gathering support from riders who appreciate a high performance paddle surfing outline over the last few seasons. Year on year we’ve made very subtle tweaks to the sizes, dims and volumes which has lead us to our new 2019 range of EDs. With sizes ranging from 80L to 140L we have pretty much every size rider covered.
Somewhere in the 7’ 9” x 27.7 x 3.8” shell is 94 litres of foam, it’s well-hidden but it is there and you feel it as soon as you climb aboard, there’s so much more primary balance than expected. Getting into waves is still straightforward and late drops taken at ease. Bottom turning is smooth and precise lining you up to attack the lip where and when you want. Getting the board back underneath you is not a problem either with tight turning ability and little-to-none of the dreaded nose burying tendencies that some surf shapes suffer from. Redirecting the board into the next turn is simple and controllable as the premium Loco fins engage on demand. This board has the stability of a bigger board with the wave riding performance of something much smaller. I’m keeping this one!