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Review: 2015 Windsurf Boards

2015 BW High-Wind Board Test

In the Gorge, 70-80-liter boards aren’t a pipe dream. They’re a staple. So we tested some over lunch … A long lunch. One not-so-happy boss later, here’s our take on the latest quad, thruster and single-fin shapes available here at Big Winds.

Lunch Test Crew:

Matt Morrow

Matt Morrow. Click to enlarge.

Matt Morrow: 180 lbs, 19 years windsurfing, loves swell slashing upwind of Doug’s.

Mark Ames

Mark Ames. Click to enlarge.

Mark Ames: 170 lbs, 32 years of sailing, loves all windsurfing!

Eddy Patricelli

Eddy Patricelli. Click to enlarge.

Eddy Patricelli: 185 lbs, 22 years on the water, former WindSurfing mag board test editor.

Lunch Test SessionFirst impressions matter. That’s what’s at play below: results assembled from three Big Winds staffers rifling through the shop’s demo fleet of 70-80 liter boards over a lunch break that lasted (ahem) 2.5 hours. Of course, one session in 20-30 mph winds off the Hood River Waterfront Park is not a conclusive test. It’s a starting point to help you find your perfect board. More lunch test sessions are to come. Shorter ones. Till then, try these rides for yourself. Two days of board demos ($80) can be applied to a board’s purchase.

GOYA CUSTOM QUAD 78

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78 liters, 223 X 56 cm, 15.5 lbs. (w/ straps + four fins): MSRP: $2,295

Matt – Planing: It surprised me. It’s the only quad in this test and its planing performance hung in there with the fleet. Riding: Its bottom shape has so much vee I expected a radical ride. Instead, it was easy to sail. It tracked well and was exceptionally behaved. Not the fastest of the bunch, but fast enough. Turning: This board shined in the turns, begged to be spun around and to be put on a true wave. Best Suits: Advanced riders under 190 lbs. who want an amazing wave board that’s also suitable for freestyle in high winds.

Eddy – Planing: Not the earliest to plane. Not far off the others, but my 185 pounds felt wind lulls a bit more on this board. Riding: It’s friendly and controlled over chop. Fast too, thanks to its forgiving ride, which inspired me to keep the pedal down. If anything, I’m anxious to try the Goya Custom Quad’s larger sibling, the 84-liter model. My hunch is this quad can be ridden a size up when matched with heavier sailors. Turning: On edge, it had no rivals. Hands-down winner for swell riding and carving fun. Best Suits: Intermediate to experts looking for a fun ride that prioritizes maneuverability; anyone headed for Punta San Carlos.

JP FREESTYLE WAVE 77 (PRO EDITION)

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77 liters (93 pictured) 228 X 56 cm, 14.25 lbs. (w/ straps + thrusters) MSRP: $2,455

Matt – I’ll break form and cut to the chase: This was my favorite board. It planed quickly, was fast and lively, yet it stuck to the water when I wanted it to. In short, the board made me feel like a hero. I planed out of my turns, jumped higher than I thought I would, and was lightning fast on a reach. I did notice the carbon construction’s stiffness in the chop, but the board was just so much fun to sail otherwise that I could not wipe the smile off my face. I would recommend this board to anyone that wants to put it in my car and get me on it again.

Eddy – Planing: It would’ve taken the top spot in planing performance if not for the Starboard Kode Freewave 81, which has a slight size advantage. Regardless, this JP had me hustling for the foot straps for the right reasons. Riding: The thruster fin setup offered what felt like all-wheel drive underfoot. On this board (and the Naish Global S) I never spun out, nor topped out — great for jumping. Turning: Good in the corners, but not quite as agile as the Goya Custom Quad or Quatro Mono, perhaps because it felt like I was entering turns with exception speed. Best Suits: Virtually everyone, with the exception of novice high-wind sailors. This model’s Pro Edition carbon construction favors experience.

NAISH GLOBAL SMALL

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78 liters, 222 cm X 57 cm, 15 lbs. (w/ straps + 3 fins) MSRP: $2,399

Matt – Planing: Super quick to plane. It’s a board that will get you on the water when most are stuck on the beach. Riding: Through the chop I noticed the extra tail width — it wasn’t the smoothest ride — but it would be a dream board for the light-medium size sailor on a wave at the coast. Turning: The unique tail shape allowed tight snappy turns. Best Suits: Beginner to advanced wave sailors tackling onshore conditions.

Eddy – Planing: This Naish rivaled the JP Freestyle Wave 78 and the Starboard Kode Freewave 81 in early planing, but it bettered them in its ability to hold a plane in the turns and through the lulls — an ideal attribute for back-foot-heavy sailors and real-world wave conditions. Riding: Tame, controlled for me, and plenty fast. Turning: It didn’t turn as tightly as the Goya Custom Quad or Quatro Mono Single, but it did carry speed on edge better than any board I can recall … ever. Best Suits: Those seeking one board for both bump-and-jump and wave sailing. East Coasters who want a powerful board for the imperfect conditions they face.

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78 liters, 240 X 55.8 cm, 15 lbs. (w/ straps & fin), MSRP: $1,995

QUATRO MONO SINGLE 78

MattPlaning: This single-fin model shot onto a plane (and shot upwind with speed ) like no other in the test. Riding: I felt dialed in instantly, and its straight-line performance was so good I began to worry it wouldn’t turn well. Turning: As soon as I put it on its rail the Mono responded. Not with a skatey type of turn. The Mono required me to commit, and get forward to utilize the whole rail. So much fun in swells. Best suits: Gorge sailors looking for a classic single-fin shape to blast around on, tear swells apart and fly past their friends.

Mark – Planing: It’s longer and narrower than others, but it planes just as quickly. Riding: Step on and go. This “modern classic” felt settled motoring through the rough stuff. Comfortable footstraps and pads soaked up the bumps. It has great straight line tracking stability, and feels engaged — eager for rider input. Did I mention it also jumps like a rocket? Turning: It’s a blast! Drawn out jibes are a dream, and snappy, rail-to-rail quickness is there as well. After riding multi-fin wave boards for the last 2 years, the Mono felt like reuniting with an old best friend. Best Suits: Experienced sailors who want a lively, fast, more traditional feeling wave/bump board.

Eddy – Planing: I expected this single-fin board to plane earlier than the fleet. And while it was near the top, I still gave a slight planing edge to its JP and Starboard rivals. Riding: There’s comfort in things you know. This old-school shape (longer, narrower) had that favorite-pair-of-jeans quality. Easiest of the fleet to sheet in and go. Turning: Against modern shapes, it surpassed all but the Goya Custom in carving prowess on my scorecard. Not bad for a “classic”. Best Suits: Sailors looking to keep it simple. A proven shape, a single fin — why complicate what works?

QUATRO SPHERE 75

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75 liters, 227 X 55.2 cm, 15 lbs. (w/ straps & three fins), MSRP: $2,335

Matt – Planing: It popped up onto a plane, and somehow felt like the whole board was up out of the water — almost like a hydrofoil. Riding: Control on the Sphere was unsurpassed. Its unique planing sensation translated into an extremely smooth ride. I was challenging mother nature to bring on the gusts. Turning: Turns were easy. The thruster fin setup handled tremendous amounts of pressure with no spinouts. Best Suits: This is a great board for intermediate sailors looking for fun and control, or advanced sailors looking to transition to a thruster from a single-fin background. I felt like this board was made for Gorge riding.

Mark – Planing: It’s a high-energy ride that’s quick to plane. Riding: This board really balances the characteristics of a single fin and multi-fin boards alike. Early planing and fast, but super quick rail to rail, with loads of grip in the turns. Best Suits: It’s a great choice for those who sail both coastal and inland locations, and seek a powerful, ultra-responsive wave board. 75-115 liter models offer a size for every sailor and condition.

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81 liters, 231 X 57.5 cm, 16 lbs. (w/ straps + 3 fins) MSRP: $1,999

STARBOARD KODE FREEWAVE 81 (TECHNORA)

Matt – Planing: It offers a lively, engaging ride, and it was easy to get planing. Riding: I was impressed by it’s smooth and controlled ride, probably due to the comfiest foot straps and pads that I’ve ever slipped my feet into. I did, however, have a few spinouts, but I sail with a lot of back foot pressure. Turning: For me, this was the easiest board to jibe of the test. It also carried speed through turns like no other. Best Suits: It’s a perfect high-wind board for an intermediate sailor to master their jibes or advanced sailors looking for a smooth riding bump and jump board.

Mark – Planing: The Kode Freewaves have a reputation for early planing. No exception here. This board jumped up to speed. Riding: The combination of a nicely domed deck, and the most most comfortable foot straps and deck pads I’ve ever used provided a very connected feel. The board was incredibly stable through chop. Very confidence inspiring. Turning: One of the easiest jibing boards I’ve sailed in a while. Carries speed through carves as if on autopilot, while the thruster fin setup offers a loose, playful feel. Best Suits: It’s such a comfortable, rewarding board to sail, it’ll deliver for a wide range of sailors.

Eddy – Planing: This board planed the earliest of all of ‘em for me. So early, I had to check that it was the Technora (read: not carbon) model. Riding: The low-profile nose provided a controlled, nose-down ride that kept me on the gas in the gusts. Also, the word “range” haunted my session on this board. It planed early, was the biggest board in this fleet, and somehow felt the most well-behaved when I was overpowered. That’s a big claim. Turning: Solid performance here too. Best Suits: Anyone who wants a board with an unrivaled wind range and an exceptionally smooth ride; one-board quiver seekers.

Goya Boards
Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

2015 Performance Race Board Test

Types of SUPs:
Starboard All Star
Bark D2
Naish Javelin LE
Infinity Blackfish
SIC X-14 Pro Lite
SIC X-14 Pro

Test team:
Steve Gates: 65 years old, 5’9”, 150 lbs.
TJ Gulizia: 39 years old, 5’10”, 165 lbs.
Jon Davies: 39 years old, 6’0”, 190 lbs.
MacRae Wylde: 51 years old, 5’10”, 170 lbs.
Ford Huntington: 17 years old, 5’11”, 175 lbs.
Don Wiley: 53 years old, 5’9”, 152 lbs.

Conditions:
Smooth water with a light breeze

A few words about our Test Team:

“With an amazing array of new 2015 high performance race boards in our shop, I wanted to get the best read possible on how these boards compare. I rounded up a very experienced group of guys with plenty of SUP races under their belts over the past decade. Among the group we have multiple wins and podiums all over the U.S., including Battle of the Paddle, Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, Oregon Open Ocean Classic, Round the Rock, Willamette Cup, Carolina Cup and more. We have all paddled a ton of boards over the years and were stoked to get together and chase each other around on some of the fastest fourteens on the planet. As you can see from our comments we have varying impressions of the boards. This is good and as it should be. ” -Steve Gates

 

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Starboard All Star 14′ x 25” Custom Carbon 269 L. 25 lbs $3399:

Steve: This All Star is very fast and slippery feeling. Not the most stable, but the glide and acceleration are excellent. It would be best-suited for advanced and expert paddlers up to +/- 185 lbs. who want a fast board in a wide variety of conditions.
TJ: Fast! This board speaks to me. The one characteristic that stands out is the flex pattern. Positive and negative “yaw” allowing the board to get to maximum speed from a dead start. Not the lightest, but certainly one of the fastest. Best for paddlers who want to excel in a variety of conditions – very versatile.
Jon: Nice water release, glides well. I like the new deck height. Fairly stable, great top end speed. This was my favorite board of the test. Best for a flat-water race.
Macrae: This is the go-to, all around board. It has the ability to perform in any conditions. No matter who was on it, it seemed to perform, and it had the fastest GPS time of any test. It’s a little taller than last year’s, and has a distinct, stiff feel when you get on it. Very stable and tracks well. Best for a medium-to-large person who expects to paddle in many different conditions. My favorite.
Don: This and the Bark were my favorites. When the All Star got up to speed it had a balanced and consistent feeling in all directions relative to the light wind and chop from other boards. Tracking didn’t seem to be affected by the wind. It would be a great race or all-around board for someone my weight or above.
Ford: Incredibly fast and responsive board. It really cuts through the water with ease. Fast acceleration and is able to hold a steady, fast pace. It’s best suited for anyone looking to really bring their overall athletic ability up. Whether you’re working out or racing, the All Star doesn’t disappoint in any areas. I’d say you need relatively good balance to paddle a board like this. If you like recessed decks (some people don’t) then this is the board for you.

 

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Bark D2 14’ x 26” Pro Elite 238 L. 27 lbs. $2449

Steve: This board has characteristically smooth Joe Bark feel. Effortless and quick, it’s fast, stable, and easy to turn. It would be best for intermediate to expert paddlers +/- 180 lbs. who want a fast, stable board in even bumpy conditions.
TJ: A great addition to the Bark line-up. The D2 is as fast as any of the 14’ x 26” boards tested, the low profile shape is great in crosswind conditions, and it doesn’t get pushed around. The tray (standing area) is comfortable with contours under foot, allowing the paddler to feel their position on the deck. Best for paddlers up to 185 lbs., looking for a fast 14’ race board that excels in dead flat to crosswind.
Jon: Nice mix of stability and speed. Loved the extended flat deck surface. The long, narrow nose seemed to cut the water well without inhibiting turning. Broad tail should allow for some downwind ability. While it may not be the absolute fastest, it was really easy to paddle. Best for a mid-sized paddler in flat to moderate conditions.
MacRae: Fast, comfortable board. There will not be any tricks in learning how to ride it. It is quiet and slices through the water with ease. The top-end speed was great, it was easy to sit in the draft train. It’s quite stable and tracks well. The best part of this board is there’s nothing wrong with it! Would work well for medium-to-large people looking for a race board that’s easy to paddle.
Don: This board stood out for me. It had a light, agile, close-to-water feeling that I didn’t quite get with other 14-footers. Very stable for its width, easy to sink for pivot turns, still quite secure. The nose buried in chop a few times when I moved towards the front of the deck pad, but I couldn’t tell at all by feeling. The white bottom paint is a bonus for someone whose board spends a lot of time on the roof of a car. It would be a great race or all-around board for light paddlers. I think it would be fine for down to 130 lbs. or so.
Ford: The D2 was as stable as a 26” with the responsiveness of a board much narrower. Felt solid underfoot, and turned extremely fast. Best suited for anyone. I’d say it would be a great first race board or a board for someone who’s been racing for years.

 

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Naish Javelin LE 14’ x 26” L. 20 lbs. $3999

Steve: Deceptively fast, very smooth and quite stable. As a wider board, it’s more stable, but it’s also the lightest and really responsive to each paddle stroke. Turns easily. It would be best for intermediate to expert paddlers up to 200 lbs. that want a single board for a wide range of conditions.
TJ: Very stable, comfortable standing area, and light! One of the lightest constructions offered at only 21 lbs. I like the flat deck, no water pools, and it’s easy to run around on. Best for anyone looking to compete at the highest level and stand atop the podium!
Jon: Nice flat deck with a great traction pad. Seems plenty fast but position on the board is critical. I really like everything about it except the low-pointed nose, which tends to dig into the water if you’re not careful. Seems best for larger paddlers, flat water only.
MacRae: This board is super stable. It feels wider than 26” but paddles well in flat water. It seems like the nose is designed to go over the water rather than a wave piercing through the water – to make this work you have to stand a bit further back than on other boards. It can catch in a draft train, but once you find the sweet spot it tracks well and is fast. This board can support anyone, but it might feel big for a small person, and a larger person would be rewarded for testing different fore and aft positions.
Don: Unfortunately I didn’t give the Javelin a fair chance – I found it kind of squirrely and had a tough time staying in a draft train. In hindsight, I was standing way too far forward, this was putting the nose too deep in the water and causing it to wander from side to side. Next time I’ll stand a little behind the paddle. This board would’ve been fine (maybe ideal) for my weight if I’d stood farther back.
Ford: Naish always makes a solid board. And the 2015 Javelin still holds that same standard Naish is known for. Fast and stable in all conditions, his board is great for anyone over 150 lbs. It’s also a great board for some of the bigger guys looking for stability without compromising their speed.

 

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Infinity Blackfish ST 14’ x 26” Custom Carbon 22 lbs.

Steve: This board is an attention getter with a custom carbon look and three-fin configuration. It’s light, fast, and moves well in smooth water. The lifted nose allows for excellent control in rough conditions. Best for: advanced to expert paddlers up to 190 lbs. wanting a downwind capable, all-conditions race board.
TJ: This custom board is different than any other SUP I’ve paddled. It is by far the most stable 25” board I’ve ever paddled. The three-fin configuration is interesting, effective for stability, tracking and speed. It feels light and nimble, but the water that “whiskers” off the nose is different than boards with a piercing nose. Excels in bumpy water, and will get you to the front of the pack at “moto-cross” mass start races. Best suited for anyone looking for stability in a narrow width. Versatile for bumps and downwind runs too!
Jon: Very stable and easy to paddle. It has a curious but pleasant water release. The unique fin setup is intriguing. Not sure who it would best be suited for.
MacRae: Just looking at the board you can’t help but think wow – that is different! The narrow nose, wide and thick tail, and three fins is certainly a different configuration from what we’re used to seeing. Rides well over water, made the most splash of the test. Speed-wise, it was right there with all the others. Because of the big tail, this board seemed really stable. Easy turns. It seemed to come out of the water with each stroke – it surged ahead. My impression was that a bigger paddler with a powerful stroke would be best for this board, but the volume and stability could support anyone.
Don: Hmm. It had a different feel but I’m not sure why – probably because I was psyched out by thrusters on a race board. It hung in the draft train well and responded well to sweep turns. Pivot turns took a little more effort than the others. I felt like I was a little too light for this one – maybe best for 160 lbs. and up.
Ford: Interesting board. At first I wasn’t sure what I thought of it but it definitely grew on me. The Blackfish seemed very rigid in the water. Kick turns were very comfortable on this board, most likely because of the tri-fin setup. If you like a board that can hold its speed and accelerate when you need it to, this is for you. It’s very different from any board I’ve ever been on, but I could see anyone looking for something different really enjoying it.

 

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SIC X-14 Pro Lite 14’ x 24” 253 L. 23 lbs. $2799

Steve: The Pro Lite is fast and sleek. The glide and acceleration are impressive, as well as the speed. This was the narrowest board, but didn’t lack for stability. Very fun and very fast, this board would be best for advanced to expert paddlers under 180 lbs. looking for an elite-level race board.
TJ: Speed over stability, but manageable for only 24”! It gets to speed quick and stays there. The standing area is slightly recessed, allowing the side of your foot to find a wall to brace off when stepping back for a pivot turn. Best for light-weight riders (175 lbs. and under) looking for a fast board that will keep speed with little effort in strength, but willing to be challenged in bumpier waters.
Jon: Really more stable than you would guess for a board of this width. It’s too small for me but for someone less than 170 it would be a good alternative. Best suited for flat-water racing.
MacRae: Looks fast, was fast. This board slid through the water with ease. What I really liked was there was almost no slowing or drag as you finished your stroke. Even at speed, the board seemed to hold its momentum, and was the smallest board in the test. It’s easy to paddle. Would best suit smaller to medium paddlers, and larger paddlers with good agility. I think it would be best for someone with an efficient stroke over a power stroke.
Ford: One of my new favorite boards. Feels just like the X-14 Pro, just narrower. Has that kind of responsiveness that a skateboard or a short board surfboard does despite being 14 feet. This is the perfect board for someone my size. Best for: someone who is very confident with their balance. It’s not for anyone – it’s an extremely high performance board made for the paddler who is relatively advanced in their stroke and overall technique.

 

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SIC X-14 Pro 14’ x 26” 253 L. 23 lbs. $2799

Steve: Stable and fast, bigger guys can take this board in almost any conditions and have a great time. A proven, competitive elite-level race board. Best suited for an intermediate to expert paddler up to 200 lbs. looking for a single board for many conditions.
TJ: I paddled the SIC X-14 all last season and loved it! The SCC construction puts it at one of the lightest options in its class at only 23 lbs.! The X-14 Pro seems to have a very efficient waterline that maxes out from nose to tail, and the low profile shape doesn’t get pushed around in cross winds. Best for someone looking for a fast 14’ elite class board, for coarse racing, sprints, and even mild downwind.
Jon: This board has rounded rails, which can leave the paddler feeling vulnerable at first. Once you realize it’s actually quite stable, you can settle down and pick up speed. It’s fast – great water release and it seemed to be the best gliding. Best suited for flat-water racing.
MacRae: This board is a flat-water machine. It’s very predictable, fast, and has a good glide. The board accelerated well and was not difficult to keep at a high rate of speed. It doesn’t feel wide, but it’s very stable. Best suited for small paddlers looking for a stable, fast board, or for medium and large paddlers looking for a fast flat-water board.
Don: Great glide and tracking, and very comfortable in the draft train. It seemed to take a little more effort to make small direction changes than the others. This board is fine for m weight, but for a one-board quiver I’d lean more towards the Bark, All Star, or Javelin.
Ford: This is one of the most solid boards out there. It just feels incredible to paddle. It’s the perfect combo between a board that is fast and a board that’s quick- it can accelerate really well, but can also hold a fast pace no problem. Great board. This is best for someone who’s really looking to get faster. Its stability will throw you off at first if you aren’t used to narrower boards, but once you get used to it, I don’t think you could go wrong.

Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

Starboard Astro Inflatables

Of the many disciplines one can pursue in Stand Up Paddling, the Touring Inflatable category has become an increasingly popular one. Using an inflatable SUP for touring has many advantages: easy to travel with, light weight, very durable and stow-able. Starboard has been offering two different touring sizes in their Astro line up, a 14′ and 12’6. These boards are stable and fast, allowing one to show up at any flat body of water, pump up, and go for a casual paddle or more.

Starboard Astro at Big WindsThe Astro Touring boards are a great choice for people who don’t have the space to store a long SUP or don’t have a rig to transport one. They’re for folks who are vacationing to far away places, where wave riding isn’t the primary goal. They’re for the adventurer who is hiking into a remote area for the solitude of paddling where people are few in numbers.

Starboard Astro at Big WindsThese boards are stiff enough to paddle with little to no bounce, when inflated to the recommended pressure of 18 psi. They have enough volume to accommodate any paddler weight, including your favorite SUP buddy or gear for self-support overnighters. I keep a couple of boards on hand in the RV at all times and forget they are even there. We have a 12’6 for my wife and a 14′ for me. We’ll stumble upon places we hadn’t even thought about paddling at and be ready at the drop of the hat. The idea of packing away a 12’6 board and 14′ board and completely forgetting that they are with you is great! They travel by air easily, too! Taking the 12’6 to the Caribbean for touring and snorkeling was one of the best trips I can remember.Starboard Astro at Big Winds

The 2014 Starboard Inflatables are still in stock, and we are closing out the 14′ and 12’6 models. When considering size, don’t let the 14′ fool you, it packs down almost as light and as small as the 12’6 and paddles faster, too. Give us a call if you are in the market for a new Touring board, as the inflatable options are better than ever.

-TJ

Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

2014 Starboard Air Born 7’10 x 31.5″

We’ve now had the opportunity to give the 2014 Starboard Air Born a run for its money, and the consensus is in: this board RIPS!

At sub-100 liters, it doesn’t have the float that a traditional SUP Surf shape may have, but this is all part of the evolution. We have riders from 160 to 190 pounds riding the 7’10 x 31.5″ and so far, the performance on the wave outshines the difficulties of paddling it out in less than calm conditions. With your feet basically in the water, staying in a semi-aggressive surf stance is a must and weighting down one rail with a little extra back foot pressure alleviates the wobble one might get when paddling in a side by side stance. The Air Born is designed for smaller, mushy waves, and makes less than ideal conditions fun to surf.

Starboard Air Born 7'10 at Big WindsThe first thing we noticed on the wave is that the Air Born is fast, especially for a wider outline. The 5-fin box option allows one to set it up thruster or quad, and when set up quad, the board flies! The acceleration is so much quicker than any other 30+ wide board we’ve ridden.

For maneuverability, once on the wave we noticed the board very playful for its width. Don’t let the 31.5″ get in the way of making the decision to pull the trigger on this board, it’s as playful as most sub 30″ wide boards we’ve tested.

The Air Born in brushed carbon construction comes in at only 13 pounds, super light weight, making the swing weight feel like a standard surfboard. No deck pad included, but we find it plenty grippy with the Startouch texture (and a little wax if needed), keeping it ultra light.

These boards go unchanged for 2015 in shape, and with 2014 coming to an end, we are offering our last Air Born 7’10” x 31.5″ brushed carbon boards at a steal! Give us a call here at Big Winds for your best price on one of our favorite little rippers!

–TJ
Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com

2015 Starboard Kode FreeWave 86

When the Kode FreeWave was pulled out of the bag at Rowena the other evening it turned heads on the beach. I received comments on what an amazing looking board it was, the graphics really pop and the wood showing slightly through the bottom paint was “so cool”. I agreed. Starboard took a board that looked pretty darn good in 2014 and made it look red hot with updated graphics for 2015. Pictures don’t do it justice, this board needs to be seen in person.Kode Freewave at Big Winds
Graphics aren’t the only improvements that Starboard made, this year’s Kode 81, 86 and 94 include a new thruster fin setup and the Kode 86, 94 and 103 models have a thicker tail rail release edge for more float out of a turn, quicker acceleration and more pop. I basically ran the board to the water in excitement (and in wanting to get some runs in before the wind dropped out).

Kode Freewave at Big WindsWhen I slid my feet into the Kode’s contour-shaped sponge pads for the first time, I thought I had put on my morning Ugg boots; they were the most comfy pad and strap combo I have ever experienced. It is amazing how much good straps and pads can contribute to your overall enjoyment of the board. And enjoy I did. This board is smooth and easy to ride and felt perfectly matched to the 5.3 I was using. Even in the dying winds, I was able to experience the main strength of this board: versatility. It felt like it was a jack-of-all-trades: great turner, quick to plane, fun to turn and easy to ride. I envision this board working really well for the intermediate/advanced sailor looking for one board to do it all. It could also be an awesome light wind or big guy wave board. Really, no matter who slips their feet into the Kode 86, it will definitely put a smile on their face, this board rips and is one comfy ride.

–Matt Morrow

Click to go to bigwinds.com

 

 

 

Big Winds

207 Front Street

Hood River, OR 97031

888-509-4210

www.bigwinds.com