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Is Starboard really all that bad?
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joethewindsufa



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 183
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Is Starboard really all that bad? Reply with quote

In a recent post, someone criticized Starboard and I was surprised.

For me SB is infamous for MANY aspects of windsurfing.
Jim Drake was working with them just before he died this year.
And he is the grandfather of windsurfing, non ??
An easy one is the SB Formula - seems to be the standard...
The GO was the advent of the "wider board".
The Carve , Atom, Futura are all well known boards...
In the long board arena , the Phantom is well respected ...
The Gemini brought the fun of two(2) sailors on one board ...
The Serenity is like thinking outside the box...
The iSonic and UltraSonics are decent race boards ...

So, it is NOT all just marketing, butt also innovation and NOT afraid to try something different
that make StarBoard a special company.
I have heard of board issues, butt i am sure all board companies make the occasional lemon.
That may be the result of mass production.

Am I missing something or is there really an issue with SB product ??
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best company at marketeering.
H Y P E R S O N I C
The doggiest, slowest, board of all time, marketed at a fast freeride board.
They defended it, sold more, censored people who disagreed with the performance and concept, sold more, pushed it, and dropped it off the planet after what? 3-4 seasons unchanged.
Even their team riders would not race it.
But Ian Fox perpetuated it's reknown, and I doubt he would use it for free sailing.
A bad concept marketed really well, to their credit. But a bad concept, a copy of the Fanatic Mosquito, blown up wide.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14153

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surrounded by scores to hundreds of boards of many brands every windy summer day. I know of only one brand of board whose performance and durability are often criticized more than most, and it is not made in a big factory. Any factory board can break, no custom or factory board at any cost will do everything flawlessly, and every brand uses hype in its marketing. It's up to each of us to do our homework before spending real money on any board, and I would argue that buying used stuff cheaply can qualify as homework (e.g., "Do I like how this brand and style sails? Is it something I want to risk two grand on just to get a brand new one? Am I good enough to need a 2013 rather than a 2012? Is the 2013 actually better for my needs than the 2012, or is it merely different [if that]?)
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 419
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I for one have no issues with starboard products. I have owned only 2 new boards in my 30+ years of windsurfing. A custom Naish 85l polyester wave board that I bought in 1990 when I lived on Maui, and an '07 Starboard Kombat 107. I loved the Naish board and sailed it till it was useless. Nothing negative to say about the board, but it was fragile, yet easily repaired. My Kombat is much more durable,and as much fun to sail, but does not have that silky smooth luxurious ride my Naish board had. Overall I am very pleased with the Starboard Kombat, and think they make a top notch product. I have dropped the board on rocks several times with nothing more than chips to the paint, no polyester board will stand up to this. I also have a JP freestyle wave that is no where near as durable as the Kombat, it's better than a poly board but more fragile than my wood Kombat. By the way the Starboard hypersonic looks like a Boston Whaler, I have a friend who has one, and I run circles around him with my Kombat, I think I am a bit better sailor though. Starboard is a good company, everyone makes a dog once in a while.
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 419
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also like to echo isobars coments, good advice
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought this was about marketing and magic wands. Starboard wins, hands down.
As for making a durable or high performance product, most are about the same.
I have a 2011 Futura111 by the way. I ride bud's Isonics quite often, of different vintages and displacements.
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 419
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe Joe is wondering " is there really an issue with Starboard products?" I don't think so, and agree with Lee. All are about the same with respect to performance and durability. All companies hype their products. As I understand it, many of the major companies have their products made in the same factory. Not sure if this is true. Perhaps someone can enlighten us?
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 552

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made at the same factory does not mean boards will be the same with respect to durability or other factors. There's plenty of options a manufacturer can choose from. Some Starboard lines are heavily biased towards low weight. That will often pay off in tests done by expert surfers. In tests where less experiences sailors use these boards, they tend to break, as happened to a Starboard iSonic at the last Windsurfing Magazine board test. At this test, the Starboards seemed more fragile than others - but there was a big element of chance in play. Although the board that broke in half during the test had been out for a major nose ding before during the two test weeks..

Fanatic has increased the durability of their boards in recent years, which has increased the weight a bit. That was quite badly received by some windsurfers on various forums. With SUPs, they have gone the other way to keep them light. Result: mast connections that come out, and boards that ding easily. My WindSUP 10 with a full mast track is a lot heavier, but it can take way more abuse without needing repairs.
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joethewindsufa



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 183
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay - so, the concern is hype/marketing regarding StarBoard and NOT quality ...

some discussion here on a point that has bothered me for some time - especially since i am an intermediate -> for the cost and weight difference, why are we not hearing more about products like dyneema {or other} that might give rigidity and longevity to a new board ??
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that might be even more hype.
They've used it, they've delammed most boards made with it, bonding is super hard to achieve.
Just like in tennis rackets, adding a new material with a cool techno sounding name doesn't make a better product, unless it's proven thru years of actual usage.
Now they could just change the name of the materials used, but that would seem not all that up and up.
Seems quality control is just as much a culprit as actual strength and rider abuse. It's the balance of the 3 that manufacture's are trying to achieve.
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