18 Apr Starboard iGO
The iGO is a perfect example of their philosophy that anyone should be able to do what they want on a Starboard product. While other companies may offer a limited choice of design or even with board size, the iGO gives you far more choices than you might have ever expected. That in mind, this review is going to be quite a bit different from what we normally do since different size board are obviously going to have different speeds, stability and other features. So, instead of going over each size, we’ll go over what they all have in common to give you an idea of what to expect.
- Insane amount of options in the board
- Lightweight for their size
- Unique construction makes the boards extra long-lasting
- Environmentally responsible company and production
- Amount of choices can be overwhelming
- Uncomfortable and unattractive backpack
- 3-fin setups are fixed
- No paddle included
Table of Contents
We could talk about this for days! But for the sake of not writing a 100,000 word review, we’ll just stick to what you can expect on almost every version of the Starboard iGO. Toward the front of the board, you’ll find a 4-point bungee storage area, with each point having its own D-ring for holding down additional gear. We always like to see as much storage area as possible in our iSUPs, but considering that this is a general-purpose board, this should be sufficient for most paddleboarders. Speaking of D-rings, there is one additional D-ring under the nose that can be used either for
There are 2 carrying handles on the center and back of the board. The center handle is pretty standard stuff and would surprise us if we didn’t see one since this is the primary way to transport the board over land. On the back, this handle is meant to move the board in and out of the water. As an added bonus, being on the back allows you to drag the board on the beach without worrying about damaging the fins.
Other than that, the other feature that all the board (except the Zen designs) share is a side attachment that has 2 purposes. It can be used both as a paddle holder or an attachment point for a carrying strap which can be purchased separately.
DELUXE DOUBLE CHAMBER
Just as the sizes vary wildly between the options for these boards, so do the designs. In general, however, they sport a 2-color scheme, often using white and blue in certain amounts. The exception to this is with the Tikhine line of boards which tout themselves as being “Art you can ride.” These have beautiful, sweeping designs that are available in a variety of sharp colors.
Something that all the boards have in common is the general shape of the board. They all tend to be narrow for their size yet have an extra wide tail. Combined, these 2 features give you both a faster SUP as well as improved maneuverability.
An important thing to keep in mind if you’re considering one of these iGOs is that some boards have 1 fin while others have 3. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern as to which have which, so be sure to check out all of the specs on the board you may be interested in. Also, those with 3 fins do not have removable center or side fins, something to keep in mind when thinking about storage and transportation. Singe-fin models do have a removeable fin.
This is another unique area with these boards as you have the option of 4 different constructions, something you rarely if ever see in other iSUPs. The baseline construction is called Deluxe Single Chamber. Essentially, this is what you would expect from most iSUPs — a single chamber inflation area on the inside but reinforced rails that use a heat process on their seams versus the traditional glue in addition to drop stitching.
If you’re looking for an economical model, there is the Zen construction which is similar to the previous type just with no added features on the deck and less padding. The Tikhine option is exactly the same as the Deluxe Single Chamber but sports beautiful designs on the exterior.
DELUXE SINGLE CHAMBER
DELUXE DOUBLE CHAMBER
Lastly, the Deluxe Double Chamber construction is the same as the Deluxe Single Chamber but, as the name implies, has 2 air chambers to inflate. This creates an even more solid board that is difficult to tell apart from a hardboard unless you knew what to look for.
It’s very difficult to put our finger on what is and isn’t a Starboard iGO since there are dozens of options. Honestly, there are some versions that we would buy in a heartbeat and others that we only politely accept if given as a gift. Ironically, we kind of dig that you can really match the board options with the paddleboarder.
In reality, since we can’t possibly test every version ourselves, it comes down to the company itself: Starboard has an excellent reputation and we have great admiration for what they produce. So, should you buy this board or not? We would say it’s worth the purchase as long as you know which board will work best for your weight, water type, skill level and desired activities.