Speed: 8/10
In the interest of getting a wide range of perspectives, the sizes of our testers ranged from 5’6” and 125 pounds to 5’11” and 215 pounds, with a preferred volume anywhere from 24 to 33 L. That said, all four agreed the “El Bandido” carried plenty of speed, especially for a fairly traditional thruster that isn’t specifically designed to coast through flat spots, with their speed score averaging out at 8. The lowest score for speed was a 7 from Tester #2 (5’11”, 215 lbs.), who rode the “Bandido” in 6’2” 20.5” x 2.5” 36 L and still thought it had plenty of glide. “I really liked the fact that I was riding a 6’2”, but it felt like a 6’0”. That little extra length helped me pretty much get any wave I wanted. It was really user friendly on the pop up and allowed me to kinda just cruise and link together [turns].”

"El Bandido" by RS Surf Co.

Photo Credit: Grant Ellis

“El Bandido” by RS Surf Co.

Frontside Maneuverability: 7.3/10
“The width being forward, I personally didn’t like that,” said Tester #4 (5’6”, 125 lbs.), a light-footed ripper whose comfort zone is at or above the lip. “I felt like when I was bottom turning, it would get a little stuck.” While Tester #4 wasn’t feeling the foam distribution, and gave it a low score of 5 for frontside maneuverability, the two heaviest surfers thought it excelled in this category, giving it an 8 and a 9.

Backside Maneuverability: 7.5/10
Most surfers rate themselves as better surfers going frontside, but not Tester #1 (5’9”, 150 lbs.) who rode this model in 5’8” x 19.25″ x 2.38″ 27.57 L. “I always judge a board by its performance on my backhand, because I suck going right [laughs].” After a couple of backhand cracks on back-to-back shoulder-high lefts, Tester #1 came in singing the “El Bandido’s” praises. “I felt like I could come off the bottom backside and whip this board into the lip without a second thought.”

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