STARBOARD SUP WINDSURF
Starboard took that idea and ran with it for the SUP Windsurf Inflatable. Out of the box, not only do you get a high-quality paddleboard but you also get a fully fleshed out windsurfing board. While these are similar sports, there are some noticeable differences in their traditional equipment, which means that the engineers at Starboard has to find a way to marry the 2 sports into 1 board. So, did they do that well enough to make another awesome board or is this just an expensive toy?
- Board allows both paddleboarding and windsurfing
- Large amount of hardware included for a solid setup
- Board can be completely transformed for either activity
- A lot of time needed to convert the board
- No paddle or ankle leash included
- No choice of design
- Low weight capacity
[ez-toc]It’s safe to say that a lot of paddleboarders love the watersports. And people who tend to love watersports tend to like more than just 1 type of activity. That’s why iSUPs that are multi-purpose end up doing so well, such as yoga or fishing iSUPs.
|12’6″ X 30″||23 lbs||242 lbs||Check Price|
|11’2″ X 32″||22 lbs||220 lbs||Check Price|
|10’8″ X 33″ ||21 lbs||265 lbs||Check Price|
Before getting too deep into the performance itself, you have to remember that these are essentially 6 different boards since you have 3 different base models and you can either be paddleboard mode or windsurf mode. So, we’ll try and make generalized judgments based on all 3.
As far as speed is concerned, it’s slightly higher than average since there are parts of the design that both speed down and speed up the performance, making it a wash. Tracking is excellent, especially when in windsurfing mode, but at the expense of maneuverability. In fact, it feels like you’re trying to turn a much larger board than you actually are once you pick up speed. Of course, the longer boards are faster and the shorter version is better at turns, but we’re talking about on average.
Stability is another feature that varies greatly between boards. The Touring version, for example, is only 30” wide compared to the 32” and 33” of the other 2. When you’re using the Touring board, especially in windsurf mode, you can easily feel the lack of stability compared to the other versions.
This is probably the most important section for this particular board as the whole reason you might buy it would be for the features. To start with, all 3 of the boards have grab handles on the center of the board and the rear for easy transport both on land and in the water. If you’re using this board to windsurf, you can attach the included 4 foot holds with screws to help to keep you onboard even if the board leans from side to side, which you would expect when windsurfing.
The other important and unique feature of this board is the mast track that’s purpose is to act and an anchoring point for the sail. If you’re using this is paddleboard, you’ll find that it gets in the way of your feet and can even be dangerous which is the exact reason that it’s removeable like the foot straps.
Compared to some other iSUPs from Starboard, the EVA padded area isn’t all that thick or comfortable. However, it’s textured in such a way that it prevents slipping but still allows easy movement so you can adjust your stance while windsurfing.
Unfortunately, with most feature boards from Starboard, you don’t get much of choice when it comes to your color scheme. All the boards come with the standard white and blue with a splash of red.
Of course, you can choose between the 3 different sizes which are all about the same general shape with the exception of the front of the Touring board, as it has a V-shape compared to the rounded fronts of the other 2.
We were surprised to see that there is a complete lack of storage space on the boards, including any bungee areas or any D-ring attachment points on deck. Speaking of D-rings, there are 2, one the front for docking or towing and on the back for an ankle leash.
Below deck, there are 2 removeable center fins. That’s right, 2 center fins since when windsurfing you’ll be needing that extra tracking ability.
Since 2 center fins are excessive for paddleboarding and even create a noticeable amount of drag, you can remove the forward fin for optimal paddleboarding. The back fin comes off for easier storage and transportation.
This is another unique area with these boards as you have the option of 2 different constructions. 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. All 3 of the boards have the option for this construction type.
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. However, this is only available with the 11’2” model.
For the paddleboarding portion of the board you get a square-shaped backpack, 2 removable center fins, and tiki air pump. As a side note, the air pump is made from recycled fishing nets and the newest version is 10% more efficient than the previous model.
In addition to these, you can a complete windsurfing kit that includes the sail components with it’s own case plus the foot straps and mast track along with their hardware.
Note that this board does not include a paddle or ankle leash despite having a D-ring made for one and promoting its use in their marketing material.
If you’re looking to get a 2-for-1 situation for paddleboarding and windsurfing, there are very other options of there, especially for inflatables. At least when it comes to their SUPs, Starboard hasn’t really ever disappointed us and continues to impress us with their ingenuity.
For the life of us, we’ll never understand why Starboard doesn’t include a paddle and in this case, they don’t include an ankle leash, either. After all, they don’t exactly sell cheap products and we can get an iSUP for less than $300 that at includes a cheap paddle.
Remember that while this can both be used for paddleboarding and windsurfing, it isn’t the best in either category. If you have the cash and really want a great iSUP and a great windsurf board, we recommend getting them separately. But you want a single board that can do both acceptably, then the Starboard SUP Windsurf Inflatable is worth a look!