I recently had the opportunity to see some of the new 2019 Starboard Foil products about to hit stores worldwide.

Here were my thoughts on the boards , I had around a 2 hour session on the 7’2 x 27.5 

The blurb 

The combination of a short compact outline, distinct channel bottom and thick profile makes it a platform for entry-level learning to foil up to the world’s most progressive riders. Numerous test trips to Bali, Phuket, and continued testing in Hawaii have formed a range that excels in all types of conditions including flat-water pump foiling, wave riding and downwind racing.

See product page here: https://sup.star-board.com/products/hyper-foil/

The specific SUP foil board range encompasses 4 boards in the range 

6’4 x 25″

6’6 x 30″

7’2 x 27.5″ – Pictured and tested 

7’7 x 30″

The boards are well made as you would expect from any Starboard product and extensive research seems to have been done with SB pro riders.The board on test was stable and paddled well (foil attached).

The boxy rails with a slight chamfer in the forward section of the boards nose sit the board high out of the water giving stability for the size.

There is raised volume in the nose section of the board in front of where the deck pad ends. No foot strap inserts are offered on these foil specific models instead there is a small front foot marker which is to aid in helping front foot alignment. see below

 

The foil attachment boxes on the underside are offered as plate or Tuttle. This is a great consideration however the boxes were short 8″ on this pre production model , 10″ US boxes will be offered to on 2019 stock models allowing more adjustability of the foils placement allowing larger wings to be brought and mounted further forward.

The channels underneath whether they work or not do keep the board paddling straight. 

Once up On foil 

The channels are great in negotiating the yaw a short shape usually gives to the rider when paddling hard , but I found the board a bit sticky on takeoffs onto the foil compared to boards with more pronounced chamfered rails especially in the rear/tail section of the board. 

The raised Eva deckpad section (red area) over foil placement does aid in two functions :rotation of the shoulders when initiating a sweeping cutback and helping keep weight over the front foot without straining the lower back too much (your back does take a beating with all the bouncing onto the foil )

The ridge bar down the centre of the board does help in aiding whether you are off centre when paddling onto a wave  

 

Starboard are a little behind the the curve on foiling in my opinion even though they have pro riders who have been ‘foiling’ from the start of its latest conception. The boards albeit great quality don’t seem to have functional performance benefits which Foiling is generating from other brands. I suppose what i’m trying to get at is : considering the might of Starboard in the Paddle surfing world they have been late to the table with this offering, that is not to say the boards don’t work, they work very well but anything can work as long as you stand on it. I just feel as hydro foiling trickles into the mainstream water sports world, Starboards shapes have been signed off a little late and don’t offer the foiling finesse we’ve seen from other ‘foil only’ or fully committed brands. Maybe we can expect more from Starboard as foiling evolves?

That said it is still a comprehensive offering from Starboard …showing ‘foiling’ is most definitely here to stay. 

along with two new surf hydrofoils – reviewed soon 

Prone boards – Starboard are due to release some prone foil boards in 2019  but nothing is set in stone on these – sizes considered are as follows 

4’8 x 19″1/4

5’2 x 20″1/2

5’6 x 21″ 1/2

6’0 x 21″ 1/2

All thoughts and opinions are my own