Winner: Best Performance Surf Shape
“This is a board that will suit a more experienced surfer. It may be more technical to use and need certain waves to work best in but in the right conditions this board will give the rider a top level of performance…”
Leading SUP magazine, SUPBoarder, invited all paddleboard manufacturers the chance to test out their performance SUP surfing shapes in the 85 to 95-litre range for their latest PRO video test series. SUPBoarder then selected 6 boards from leading brands & tested them head to head, highlighting their strengths & weaknesses to find the best intermediate to advanced surf SUP on the market. SUPBoarder’s Reuben Ellis is joined by former Stand Up World Tour competitor, Beau Nixon, where they tested the boards in a variety of conditions over the course of an entire month… and here’s what they had to say:
Board Tested: 2020 Starboard Pro 7’5” x 26.75” Blue Carbon 92L
At 92 litres, it has a large amount of volume for the short length of only 7’5 which makes it feel quite small for a 92l board. The premium Blue Carbon construction (the value construction, Starlite, is only available on on the larger sizes from 7’10 and up) comes in at a cracking weight of 5.9kg and the lightest board on test.
At 7’5 it’s a really short board but the high relative volume at 92L means it’s really stable when you’re on the sweet spot in the middle, where most of the volume is concentrated.
It comes as a thruster set up as a standard but you can also ride it as a quad set up. It has a nice US box for the centre fin so you can easily trim your fin around to change the feel of the board.
You are going to have to work a little harder paddling in with this board when compared to other boards in the test as at only 7’5 there is not much waterline length to get the board speed up (it’s not hard to catch waves but may have to work at it a little more).
The fin can be set quite far back as the tail is really loose on the turns and drive through the turns. This is great as this lets you really crank the board up into a turn – it wants to drive up to the face and it whips around really easily.
It’s nice and light, it looks really good and also good for the environment. Being 7’5” long, very short, very compact, easy to generate speed, easy to turn, easy to redirect up the face. It handles the fast waves well, handles the moderate waves as well.
The carry handle is not very comfortable, and although it is great for weight, it’s super small it doesn’t fit your entire hand.
Ability to work in slower/weaker waves: 4/10
More pulled in at tail. It required a faster wave and prefers moving quickly through the water. So, the board isn’t going to have to generate that speed.
Ability to work in faster/steeper waves: 9/10
This board can handle those faster waves. It’s got better rocker line, better pulled in tail shape, it’s not going to generate too much speed