Review: 2014 Starboard Astro Stream 9’6 x 36″ Whitewater SUP

Big Winds is stoked to be representing one of the most highly anticipated whitewater inflatable SUPs on the market, the 2014 Starboard Astro Stream 9’6 x 36″. After a very successful season with the 2013 Astro Whopper, Starboard Team rider and three time whitewater champion, Dan Gavere helped design a board that is ultra-durable and super stable. At 36″ wide, the widest point of the Stream is in front of your feet yet it retains a generous width all the way back to the tail. This allows you to really get into an aggressive stance and maintain your balance when your back foot is nearing the tail. It’s great for punching through the holes and waves. With a volume of 387 liters, the new Astro Stream has nearly 100 liters more than the 2013 Whopper Deluxe and almost 200 liters more than the Whopper Fun 4″ thick version. The Stream has 6″ of thickness but is solid as an oak tree with a double layer of 1.8 mm PVC around the rail. Extra stiffness and extreme impact strength are a couple of new features we noticed right away. When you have this board inflated to 18 psi, the rail feels as solid as steel. The new Astro boxes have also been upgraded with a thicker wall and made to take a hit without cracking. The new Astro white water 2.5″ fins are soft and shallow, providing a little more traction than running the board without any fins (something we practiced quite a bit with last year’s Whopper). The front fin placement is right behind your feet, which is much better than the traditional “surfboard” thrusters that are so far back.

 

Dan Gavere on the Astro Stream

Dan Gavere on the Astro Stream

Here in the Northwest, the rivers flow year round. But the summer months can be pretty shallow on our local Hood and White Salmon rivers, so the short fins are really going to be nice to navigate the low volume rivers and creeks. Lastly, the addition of extra handles both at the nose of the board and on the sides are a nice new feature, especially for the rapids that may be a bit difficult to navigate standing up. Dropping down to your knees and having a place to grab is essential. The new Starboard Astro Stream 9’6″ is a great choice for beginner through advanced paddlers looking for the ultimate in compact whitewater performance. Please feel free to give us a call to place your order today, toll free: 1-888-509-4210.

www.bigwinds.com