We’ve watched UK SUP brand Loco evolve from the very early days and have been lucky enough to test a raft of their equipment during this process. For 2016 the brand has switched up its aesthetics and performance across the whole surf SUP range has been dialled up.
Graphics are indeed stylistically individual and we approve (although we appreciate not everyone will) – having a unique identity is certainly key to standing out. Loco’s El Diablo 8.9ft is also lightweight and naked i.e. no deck pad. Taking notes from the surfing industry Loco has always promoted its kit is about wave riding vehicles – hence no full EVA.
With its 30” width and 125L we were unsure how the 8.9ft’s manoeuvrability would translate. Hopping aboard the El Diablo it’s a lively feeling sled and quad fins increase its loose and playful, yet stable, nature. Full power sessions certainly seem on the cards with the ED.
At 8.9ft in length glide and tracking is efficient, picking off waves without hassle – big or small. We doff our caps to how well the Loco eats up small swells – gutless wonders are fair game. And when conditions improve it’s all systems go for maximum surf stoke. In fact, bigger surf really allowed the 8.9ft to shine – experienced SUPers will be rewarded with fast flowing turns (the board’s speed alone should be acknowledged).
Lacking a deck pad doesn’t do any harm when slicing the tops off swells. In fact, for those that appreciate a waxed deck, more feedback is the reward. Supplied fins should also be commended. Loco’s Pro range of skegs really are top shelf – having the option to switch between thruster and quad configurations will suit those who like to tinker. Adding the third (bigger) foil improves stability a tad – something heavy weights will appreciate.
Loco’s El Diablo traditional shape fits a power surfing style of riding, although it’s possible to squirt the tail with technique – we loved the ED’s range of use . Top to bottom hits is where the 8.9ft excels, however, with not much rider input needed to keep speed going between turns – unusual for a traditional shape. (You can’t argue with the ED’s user friendly nature though). We’d also see the El Diablo working as bigger wave machine for those wanting to charge a few bombies.
The 8.9ft ED is certainly a step up in terms of the brand’s traditional performance surf range. Feeling loose and lively under foot it’s a board that works in gutless slop and only gets better as conditions ramp up. Heavy weights will find it a great rip stick that keeps 85kg+ riders afloat without too many dunkings. Middle weights and nervous lighter paddlers will appreciate the 8.9ft’s loose riding nature. As a one board (or travel SUP) you can’t knock the El Diablo 8.9ft. A solid surf riding stick which could be partnered with a smaller version for even more versatility. The ED range runs all the way from 7.2ft (80L) to 9.2ft (140L) so simply match your size to rider weight/style/conditions. All Locos are also customisable if pre-ordering meaning there’s a palette scheme for everyone.