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Is Starboard really all that bad?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5883

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one thing that we have to remember is that production boards made in a factory are far more likely to show problems in the manufacturing process. This could be attributable to the structural design, or it could be a quality control issue on the line. That said though, I think that production boards are a pretty sound product. No doubt, the graphics and the finished product generally look pretty awesome overall.

The one thing about Starboard products over time is the fact that many of their designs push the envelope, and arguably they are one of the leading brands today because of that. Also, I have to say that Starboard has been very focused on supporting their team. That would include many folks that aren't necessarily on the leading edge in the professional arena, but represent the stoke of the sport.

However, I will be honest, I have been a buyer of custom boards from designer/builders here in the US. Maybe this comes from my roots in the surfboard industry, and the local nature that entails. I will say this though, I find the integrity of product built by Mike Zajicek and Brian Hinde have been stellar in every way. But when it comes down to it, could these two guys supported that growth and development that has occurred in the industry? I think not. The production brands, for good or ill, have been a huge influence on windsurfing today.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1794
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gone thru about 20'ish boards windsurfing, since '84, and to this day my favorite all time board is the Starboard Acid 80, which I still have. I have been riding this board very hard for the last 4-5 years, it's still solid, and it's still better than me. Fucking love that board.
And for standup, I've got, among other boards, a Starboard 8-10 x 32" Widepoint, my favorite board for going out into the surf to goof around, more fun than any other SUP board I've had for the surf. I can sail it also if I want, it's got mast plugs, and plugs for straps also if you want.

Well, that's all I got to sayyyy about thaaaat.
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 429
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If one is looking for max durability, Tiga comes to mind. I have a few friends who still sail old Tiga 260's ,20+ year old boards that get punished yet still sail great. I think they were made with polyethelene, and hence flex a bit. This allows them to absorb shock better, and makes the board easier to sail faster in rough conditions. They are also a bit on the heavy side. I think Hi-Fly also made boards this way, and maybe Bic. Anyone know if boards like this are still available? Having to spend 5-7 hundred more for a carbon board that shaves 2 pounds off has never been woth it for me. The lightest and stiffest may be best for racing, but not necessary for the average recreational sailor.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2437

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

quality is quite a complex issue. the *board that got damaged and eventually broke was a really good board for those who already know how to use it. the initial wetting it had out of its box was done by someone who has since learned a bunch about windsurfing. he hooked in before he was in any strap. he had no idea how much power the board had on a reach in some pretty substantial wind. the result, over the handle bars he went.

that board in the hands of an experienced racer-head, may be still going strong. the QC coming out of cobra is questionable from time to time, and brand to brand. the lay up schemes available are many. the learning curves of each type are varied. i'm not a big fan of how our industry has chosen to go, but i can't change it directly.

the sonic boards are now brilliant. i've still got issue with boards that carry too much concave too far aft, so in light winds, i would rather not sail a futura.

the past carves had far too much rocker for me, and too much concave, but the one i tested for 2011 was very adaptive. very much like the exocet cross IV, JP ride, and the RRD fire move. remarkable in their abilities to be used in a huge range of uses, and to some extent in their initial blandness.

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noshuzbluz



Joined: 18 May 2000
Posts: 776

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swchandler wrote:

I will say this though, I find the integrity of product built by Mike Zajicek and Brian Hinde have been stellar in every way. But when it comes down to it, could these two guys supported that growth and development that has occurred in the industry? I think not. The production brands, for good or ill, have been a huge influence on windsurfing today.


Maybe I misinterpreted what you said Steve. I don't know Mikes background but Brian started shaping surfboards and worked for Lighting Bolt or Bolt Surfboards back in their heyday with several other shapers and eventually ended up with Sailboards in the 80's so he did to a degree help support growth to the production board industry.
Here's a little blast from the past.....



Brian Hinde Master Class 84.JPG
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Brian Hinde Master Class 84.JPG



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14311

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slinky wrote:
a few friends who still sail old Tiga 260's ... I think Hi-Fly also made boards this way ... The lightest and stiffest may be best for racing

I compared the world-famous Tiga 257 head-to-head with its HiFly 260 counterpart in Gorge conditions, and liked the HiFly even better than the Tiga. I bought it, and loved it in choppy Rocky Mountain lakes. Lost it to a U-joint disconnect in a gale on a 50-sq-mile NM lake, and all the polyethylene in Taiwan (?) couldn't save it from the shorepound in the boulders miles downwind. Found it days later in the rocks 10-20 feet up from the water line and gave it a decent burial.

WSMag declared board stiffness a meaningless parameter and quit testing it when a plastic Tiga B&J board blew off all the race and slalom boards in a huge test one year.
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noshuzbluz



Joined: 18 May 2000
Posts: 776

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
slinky wrote:
a few friends who still sail old Tiga 260's ... I think Hi-Fly also made boards this way ... The lightest and stiffest may be best for racing

I compared the world-famous Tiga 257 head-to-head with its HiFly 260 counterpart in Gorge conditions, and liked the HiFly even better than the Tiga. I bought it, and loved it in choppy Rocky Mountain lakes. Lost it to a U-joint disconnect in a gale on a 50-sq-mile NM lake, and all the polyethylene in Taiwan (?) couldn't save it from the shorepound in the boulders miles downwind. Found it days later in the rocks 10-20 feet up from the water line and gave it a decent burial.

WSMag declared board stiffness a meaningless parameter and quit testing it when a plastic Tiga B&J board blew off all the race and slalom boards in a huge test one year.


Mike, is the 257 the tri-fin wave? I can't remember if it was 254 or 257 but I rode the the tri-fin wave and the 260. Both slow to plane due to the thin tail and weight but once they got going the ride was great and could easily plane through jibes.

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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 429
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of buying something made here in the U.S.A. Being a small business owner myself for the past 33 years, it is only because of local customers that I manage to stay in business. Perhaps more of us should consider buying custom boards made here in the U.S.A. With the price of new production boards being where it is, a good custom board should be in the same ballpark no? Also you will have something unique, made for you and your local conditions, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you're doing something to help keep your neighbor in business.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1275
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's what I like to do, others considering it should be very certain
that they either really understand and know what they want in a custom
board, or, trust the shaper implicitly, and be truthful about your abilities
and venue. If it's not one or both of these, you might end up with an
expensive board you don't like. If you buy off the shelf, you'll get a
board that mostly works for most people in most of it's specified
conditions.

Most of the people I know who say they want a custom board, would
have to rely heavily on the shaper, not a bad thing if you can assess
yourself correctly.

-Craig

p.s. of the last 5 boards I've purchased the 2 customs are the ones I'm
still riding (mostly), but I'm still looking for the ultimate production board.


slinky wrote:
I like the idea of buying something made here in the U.S.A. Being a small business owner myself for the past 33 years, it is only because of local customers that I manage to stay in business. Perhaps more of us should consider buying custom boards made here in the U.S.A. With the price of new production boards being where it is, a good custom board should be in the same ballpark no? Also you will have something unique, made for you and your local conditions, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you're doing something to help keep your neighbor in business.
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2437

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ultimate gorge board for me is the exocet cross IV 104

http://www.exocet-original.com/2013/cross4.php

ultimate east coast wave board for me is the exocet Exo-Wave 105 Pro from 2005. the X-Wave 111 has nearly the same planform, and feels about 98% the same as the older 105.

http://www.exocet-original.com/2013/xwave.php

those are the designs i have liked best vs everything else i've ridden in those specific, short boarding applications.

in light wind flat water app's there are tons of boards across a lot of brands that are good. if one finds a great production board, one may want to explore taking it to a local custom maker and have it replicated. what's good for the consumer, is good for the sport....

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