Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
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Starboard 2015 SUP Lineup

Starboard 2015
Myself my wife Abi and friend Bobby from THE SUP HUT were lucky enough to be invited to the 2014 Starboard dealer meeting in Costa Brava spain to check out the 2015 starboard SUP offering…..and boy were we treated.

Starboard has yet again stepped up and its hard not be be impressed by the quantity of boards produced for the Stand up paddle board market.
starboard 2015 boards
Over the Three days we were treated to a seemingly endless supply of new boards to try.The 2015 starboard range is as extensive as its ever been but there are a few hidden gems, we tried to spot these and here are Matt/Abi & Bobby notes taken after each day.
sup_dealer_meeting
Abi As I was 6 and a half month pregnant I couldn’t try the teeny 7’1 Pro I’ve had my eye on for a while but luckily starboard had their whole range of boards for us to try on the beach.

Starboard dealer notes

Touring boards

Interesting enough – Svein Rasmussen & Matthieu Rozier of Starboard International reckon especially in the US that Touring boards will become a large proportion of the market with 7 new models introduced.

Starboard Starshot 2015 Touring

Starboard Starshot 2015 Touring

Matt key words Stable – not much difference between wood and carbon in weight in my opinion but there must be a difference. The Starshot touring are heavy and hard to speed up so only really suitable in 9’6 models. The 11’6 seemed tippy to me, bobby thought 11’6 and 10’6 seemed very similar.
12’6 definitely fastest and most stable for touring two widths 30 & 31.5

 

 

 

The 10’6 tourer would be my favourite choice as you’ve got an extended waterline making it fast but easy to manage in and out of the water and to store!
The new super comfortable handle makes a huge difference to carry these boards
STARBOARD_TOURING_BOARDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these Touring boards track really we’ll even in the choppy conditions which we had . No slapping of noses like the free ride 12’2.

Wide tail and huge fin!

Wide tail and huge fin!

 

Abi I initially tried the 11’6 Tourer which felt incredibly stable and easy to get some speed up, I also caught a few little glides on my way back to shore. I was expecting the board to be unbearably heavy, but with the new ledge handle carrying it a short distance was fine. I wouldn’t want to carry it long distances though.

 

 

 

I then tried the 10’6 and was also surprised by how stable it felt, I think I would use this more than the 11’6 as it was a bit easier to transport and I felt that I had a lot of stability and glide with it.

Carbon version

Carbon version – down turn nose

 

 

Carbon construction

Carbon construction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could definitely imagine taking this for a Long paddle with a picnic on the front in the summer.
The Fins on these boards make a massive difference.

Starboard 2015 touring wood construction

Starboard 2015 touring wood construction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACE BOARDS

Starboard 2015 race sup boards

Starboard 2015 race sup boards

 

 

 

 

 

The best weight/ strength ratio = Starboard proven performance and cutting edge designs.

Matt 12’6 sprint tippy but very v fast .
I felt the Acceleration was fastest on the following sprint / race / all star.
The new Starboard Race was very tippy but fast – probably a good drafting board , felt tippy in side chop when waiting for waves where the Allstar would be better with a flatter bottom shape.
14 x 25 race tippy but wave rides well ,
12’6 x 25 allstar really nice but doesn’t feel as fast as other two models
17’4 ace GT glide extroidinaire / any lump or bump / hard to pivot turn
12’6 x 24 Allstar would be a safe bet for racers wanting to jump on and race without a learning curve which the new RACE might involve.

SURF & ALLROUND BOARDS

starboard carbon surf pro sups

starboard carbon surf pro sups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7’7 easy / 7’4 also do able for 12 stone

Airborne range – fantastic for those who prefer a wider more comfortable board but with performance!

Airborn 7'10x 30

Airborn 7’10 x 30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7’10 & 8’8 were the stand out boards

Abi with the 7'1 starboard pro

Abi with the 7’1 starboard pro

8’0 x 28 pro 105 litres – felt nice / flat rocker catches waves easily but tail rocker means this board will work better in larger waves. The performance model.
8’0 x 29 Pro – a little bit easier !
8’5 x 29 115 litres – A great all round board for all conditions / small or big – good control , my favourite at 80kg
8’8 x 31.5  Airborn – Probably one of the best Performance based boards for larger 90kg+ riders, with thinned out rails and 123litres.
10’5 x 32 Wide point easy wave catching / swing weight in nose noticeable for my weight but would be perfect for 95kg plus riders looking for stable flat water paddler and easy wave catching.
11’2 blend – ultimate all round glide
9’0 Hero beginner wave riding /junky waves – would not be suitable for better waves where the 9’5 or 10’5 widepoint would be a better choice .

 

10’0 nose rider – not as nice as the nut series – feels very voluminous in the nose and this is noticeable in the waves when turning, I also felt the wide nose catching when paddling out through the surf.

The new wood look is awesome !

 2015 Starboard noserider

2015 Starboard noserider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abi 9’0 converse
I spent a lot of time paddling this on the last day in costa brava, dodging the waves but doing some distance. It was again very stable, and had enough glide for flat water. It would be a great board for people getting in to sup and wanting a board they can enjoy on the flat water but also progress to waves.

The starboard widepoints never fail to deliver on stability , below the 8’2, 8’10 & 9’5 x 32 great for easy wave catching and flatwater tracking.

Bobby I found the 8’10” Wide Point (143 Litres) in Carbon or Wood an excellent board for my height 6ft and weight (just under 90Kgs) and surfing abilities. Coming from a Barker Paddle Surf Board 9’ 2” x 32” – I found the board just as stable and just as easy to catch the typical smaller sometimes mushy type of waves we get here in the UK, but fun all the same. On bigger waves the board handled very well, giving me enough manoeuvrability to work the wave and feel like a real paddle surfer!

The 8’ 2” Wide Point (123 Litres) in Carbon was lighter obviously than the wood construction. I found this the  perfect “next level” board for me, given my size & weight it was still stable in choppy conditions. However it would take a little getting used to such a short board and how it paddles. On clean days you would really benefit from the shorter length and increased manoeuvrability to surf waves like they were mean’t to be surfed!

The other option for a similar sized rider would be the 8’8” x 31.5” Airborn which has thiner rails, more aggressive lines, but offers the stability that is needed in choppy conditions.

The carbon boards are not for the budget minded customer – but for those that weight is an important issue in carrying and also performance in the water.

accessible widepoints

accessible widepoints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STAND OUT SUPS for 2015 line – The Starboard NUT series 3 sizes 9’0 x 28, 9’5 x 29 11’2 x 30

The starboard Nut

The starboard Nut

starboard_9'5_nut

9’5 x 29 NUT

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starboard 9’5 Nut has great wave catching ability and smooth surfing It transitions rail to rail really well.
The 11’2 is similar in shape but needs to be trimmed more like any big board in waves.
Both models seem stable ,feeling grounded underfoot not tippy.

9'5 x 29 NUT

9’5 x 29 NUT

The concept of the Starboard Nut is a amalgamation of longboard stability in the nose and Pro series performance and tail shape.
Abi The 11’2 Nut
There was a lot of excitement to try this board, but mainly the shorter versions. I paddled this for 15 minutes and it took a bit of getting used to, with the wider nose and pulled in middle and tail , once you had the sweet spot it was easier to paddle once I had stopped expecting it to be super stable. The guys surfed the shorter version and raved about its performance in the surf!

 

 

 

What starboard say…..

ASTRO Inflatables
The new Inflatable boards from Starboard in 2015 will represent VALUE with a new ergonomic pump and carry bag, the range is split between the budget Zen range and the deluxe which has a new stiffening strip down the centre of the boards.

astro_converse_deluxe

Deluxe version

9'0 converse astro

Zen astro version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9’0 converse – Great in waves and does not feel like an inflatable.

The 8’2 widepoint with a designated quad fin setup felt really manoeuvrable and stable but there was not enough power in the waves we had to make it my favourite.
 I preferred the Astro 9’0 Converse when trying all the inflatables in the small 1-2ft waves.
As a personal choice I find that inflatables in the surf need a bigger back fin so that you can really crank and generate speed off a larger central fin as the rails are usually so fat and hard to turn off for this  reason my 20 minute session on the 9’0 converse stood out as all 2015 models are 4″ thick.
The 2015 range in either astro converse ‘deluxe’ or widepoint ‘Zen’ are  all 4″ thick – they have a center composite stringer and the Yarns within the board are shorter therefore achieving a thinner board … pretty cool !
( if considering either model make sure its the Deluxe model as these have the composite stringer)
Astro composite stringer

Astro composite stringer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An interesting fact is all the 2015 Starboard Astro range have velcro paddle holders in front of the inflatation point which double up as good handles when managing the board in the water.

10′ Astro whopper – super stable for small waves.

11’2 x 40 Astro Yoga – for those Yoga fans 405 Litres of stability and a handy shoulder carry strap !

11'2 x 40 Astro Yoga

11’2 x 40 Astro Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9’6 Stream The White water Inflatable developed in collaboration with Dan Gavere.

9’6 Stream

9’6 Stream

It felt solid and robust in the pool ! definitely a board to try in 2015.

starboard_astro_converse

Astro 9’0 converse

2015 Astro touring inflatable

2015 Astro touring inflatable

 

 

 

 

 

ASTRO TOURING FIN

ASTRO TOURING FIN

Starboard 2015 inflatable fin boxes

Starboard 2015 inflatable fin boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the kids

ASAP KIDS SUP 7'4

ASAP KIDS SUP 7’4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7’4 x 25.5 Pro ASAP – great for kids or even adults wanting a small performance board at a fantastic price
10’6 x 24 Allstar JR – Small & Fast , I took this board out for a surf , I loved it – like a mini race board – I want one – don’t know why !? This board is just Fantastic…buy one for your aspiring paddleboarding kids…but find yourself loving paddling it , 150 litres at 80kg it was fun!

 

And finally…. the yet to be named Giant Inflatable – which easily paddled 8 of us

starboard giant sup inflatable

starboard giant sup inflatable

 

Starboard Mega inflatable

Starboard Mega inflatable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions on the 2015 Starboard boards range – We pretty much tried every board – so get in touch if you’re confused and considering buying a 2015 STARBOARD SUP  from us especially ! Be sure to Check our specials page for discounted Carbon Starboards. 

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2 Comments
  1. Hi looks like starboard never stop for a minute with their development in their board range. I own a 12.6 astro touring for distance paddling and have found it just as fast as many dedicated race boards. I also own a 7.4 pod for wave riding I have had it about 3 years and still love it. I would love to have a go on the new nut though. To see if it delivers the performance of a short board with long board stability and glide.

    Massive line up of boards

    Barry

  2. those new boards look sick and fum! I have 3 starboards:my fave is my 7″8 X 30 Airborn. I also have the 7’4 X26 pro which is nice in bigger clean waves-tough in chop, and the 8’2 wide point!

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Phone: 01792 446511
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Here at SUP Gower We offer SUP Lessons, Hire & Clinics. Our showroom is stocked with boards, paddles, and all the gear you need to get on the water. Starboard, Fanatic, Jp Australia, Naish, Red Paddle Co, NSP , BIC & much more.
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