We've seen so many new boards come through our shop in the last month. It is amazing to see all the innovation and new ideas being put into board design. Two boards that have really caught our eyes are the Starboard Surf Race and the Starboard Free Race
. Both boards look like they were designed in an aerospace lab.
Both boards are offered in two constructions: Brushed Carbon (the red stripe) and full Epoxy, EPS, Glass (blue Stripe). The Carbon construction has a one of the most unique looks we have seen, with it’s hand sanded limited finish which saves at least 1 pound of additional weight . It appears it is ready for battle. The Epoxy construction has a sleek clean look. One great feature that that both boards share is the use of two drains in the recessed standing area. These insure that the standing area sheds all water.
The Surf Race is 12’6” long by 26.5” wide. The Starboard Surf Race brushed carbon is one light board....at 25.2 pounds it is the lightest production race board we have weighed. It comes with a beautiful bamboo/glass fin designed specifically for racing. Even though it is on the narrow side, the recessed standing makes it nice and stable after you have a few minutes on it and get comfortable. The rocker of the Surf Race is taken from Starboard’s popular NEW model. Improvements in the shape of the surf race increases the versatility of the board.
From what we have heard, the Surf Race is the way to go for down-winders and races that take you through the surf like the Battle of the Paddle. Nikki Gregg won the Battle of the Paddle last year on the Surf Race. Here is what she had to say about it on StandUp Zone “The Surf Race is my board of choice....I will be racing with it again in BOP this year. I feel confident, stable, and fast on that board. It's also super lightweight....Brian S. and Starboard did good here.”.
We also spoke with Connor Baxter last week and he said he is killing it on the Surf Race. He has been testing this board on Maui for a few weeks now and is consistently beating everyone he trains with and they are all on boards of 16' length or longer! Connor has been beating all the top guys with this board on the Maliko run. He said that the board is also competitive in Flatwater.
Our owner Gary Stone took the Surf Race out for a run in flat water on Madison’s Lake Mendota and here are his personal first impressions, “At my 159 pound weight this morning, I found the board has a bit of initial instability in flat water and can easily cant to one side or the other up to 10 degrees which as I spent a few more minutes on it and got warmed up to a high cadence that pretty much evaporated. The Surf race is among the fastest of the race boards I have paddled. It accelerates strongly and requires a surprisingly modest touch to keep its speed up. It's also quite fast to turn though you'll want to keep your focus especially if you are a lot larger than I am. The Surf Race has the added benefit of being a phenomenal downwind board.“
The Free Race comes in two widths. The 29” is made for lighter riders who do not require as much stability, the 31” is for larger riders. It’s also for those that do not want to even think about their balance and want to concentrate more on putting as much power into their paddling as possible. Both provide a very comfortable flat water paddling experience.
One of the biggest differences between the Surf Race and Free Race is the nose shape. The Surf Race has rounded nose that makes coming in or going out through the surf nice and easy, and when connecting bumps keeps the nose out of the swell ahead of you. The Free Race has a full displacement hull and is a little thicker up front. The provides maximum efficiency in flat water, chop, and current. It’s is well suited for flat water racing, workouts and easy going cruises.
We have had the privaledge of getting some of the first production models of these boards. The anticipation and excitement we are hearing from our customers is pretty impressive. Our customer Wendy picked up a Free Race and here is just some of what she had to say, “the Free Race felt just as stable as my 12-1 Laird but rode through waves better.” You can hear more from Wendy and others in our testimonials section.
For a personal recommendation on which Star Board Race Series board is right for your specific type of paddling, give us a call at 1-877-473-1199. And to see all of our beginner boards and packages visit paddleboardspecialists.com