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Simmer Style – Frugal Review 11/11/2013   Simmer Style is pushing out a whole new style of sailboards for 2014. Much shorter than before (210cm for a 77 litre), these boards look like something between a surfboard fish and a Starboard Evo. The Frugal, meaning among other things un-wasteful, is indeed a nice looking board full with promise, but is it a board that excels only in small waves like a fish, or can it also handle bigger down the line waves? I was the lucky person to be one of the first to have a crack on the Frugal in West OZ. Being much smaller than my good old Evo, this board should turn a lot tighter. The first day was a small Spot X day. With the quad set up and back fins all the way to the front, the Frugal really came alive. The board planed easy despite it???s size, especially if you move your weight a bit backwards towards the tail. The turns are sharp and the board quickly snaps around without losing too much speed. In matter of fact, the drive on this board is awesome, perhaps due to its wider outline (56.5cm) and tail. The result of lots of drive, sharp turns and quad like looseness made me very excited and keen for more. However, on the other hand it also made me a bit concerned. How does a lively board with lots of drive handles bigger and hollow waves? So a few days later, and 700 km further north I was ready to find out. A medium size swell was grinding down the reef with waves up to loco high on offer. Before going out, I moved the back fins slightly backwards for increased control. The first few waves I avoided putting too much pressure on the rail, just to make sure that the board was holding the line. However very soon I realised that this was not necessarily as the Frugal was holding the turn beautifully without having to nurse it, despite the slightly choppy conditions due to the new swell and on-shores from the day before.  The next day brought glassier conditions and I really started to get used to the feel and capabilities of the board. The on tap acceleration by moving your weight combined with the tighter turns due to its size and swing ratio for quick top releases made the Frugal a joy to ride, something that did not stay unnoticed by the usual crew hanging out at the car park.

Conclusion: Simmer Frugal could well be the stick to have this summer. It turns tighter than any other board I have ridden and gives a great feeling at top turn release. Go for the 77 if you usually ride a 70 litre. Have a go swapping and moving the fins around to learn the capabilities of this extremely reactive board, especially on more full on days. Finally, get used to getting more out of the wave than ever before, due to its tighter turning circle! Oh and yes, make sure you pick up a wider board bag when you pick up your new stick at your local board shop. For more information check out:    The writer, Mick Steffan does not have any financial interest in Simmer Style or the Frugal. He is however a Severne team rider and used to be sponsored by Simmer Style between 1992-1996 before moving on to Tiga, F2, Blue Juice and Starboard.