Starboard Kode 86 Wood Carbon, WIND (France), Oct 2010



Starboard Kode 86 Wood Carbon - WIND 352 (France) October

"Fast and surfy at the same time"
Shape
In the middle of a range that evolves with size, this Kode 86 positions itself as a great multi-purpose board. It's the widest board of the test, especially in the tail section. It comes very well equipped, even though a power box would have been the better choice for its freeride configuration.

On the water
The Starboard Kode is quickest off the line in planing, especially when you're on bigger sails. Its wider tail offers more power and buoyancy for an early release. Fast on a straight line, the Kode allows you to put your foot down on the back/leg tail section and get that fin pressure. It also has enough drive to go upwind in lower conditions or to clear those little distances in between waves. The Kode packs some very nice acceleration. Generally speaking it's a very stable board, a bit bigger than the others in the test group, so you will feel some limits in very choppy waters. But even so, it's new super comfortable pads make for an easy ride. The Kode is a delight to jibe and in the surf it generates the necessary speed to be at ease. The rails go down well and will let you precisely control your speed through those long bottom turns. The tail has enough volume to turn and slide backwards even at lower speeds, this is part of its multi-purpose character and usability. On a rolling wave it's not as incisive as a pure wave design and suffers a little from its slightly larger volume, but you will appreciate the tolerance of its polyester fin.

Verdict
Starboard offers a Kode 86 that is amongst the very best freewave boards in the market. At ease on both flatwater and chop, where it is fast and lively, it is equally suitable for waveriding and jumping, but stays accessible all the while.

Pro's
Quick planer, speed, easy handling and carving, wide range of use, well-equipped

Cons
Nothing to report