Length: 235 cm
Width: 74.5 cm
Weight: 7.5 kg ("dressed-up")
Volume: 110 liters
Fin: Drake Freeride Glide 38 (PowerBox)
Sail range: 5.5m² - 7.5m²
Available sizes: 100, 110 and 120 liters
Available constructions: Carbon
In the past, you were using a traditional freeride board between 110 and 115 liters. Now, you will choose a board of 110 liters and 74 cm width. It will feel more stable when not planing, will jibe easier and with the same, if not better, control: that is the result of the reduced thickness. You'll also be able to use bigger sail sizes and jump with ease.
We chose the Starboard Atom IQ by volume, like most windsurfers do. The board looks much bigger compared to the other boards on test, although it's only 110 liters. And the reason for that is a width of more than 74 cm.
Underneath the wide tail is a soft Drake Freeride Glide fin with a lot of flex and fitted in a Powerbox. There are three options for the footstraps: from intermediate level to racing / outboard style. The wide deck has a small recess around the mast track, much like slalom boards, to keep the board thin. The bottom shape of the board has a constant Vee, which makes the board gentle in choppy conditions. The price is quite nice too: 1699 € for a full carbon construction seems to be a fair deal.
On the Water:
The Atom IQ a luxurious limousine; it doesn't have the acceleration of a Ferrari but has good drive. The Starboard feels exactly like a limousine: it planes very early, accelerates and goes much faster than it feels. All the testers reported the same thing. That is the result of the fantastic control of the board! Even in over-powered conditions, the nose stays low and doesn't bulge: it's more realistic to have Christmas and New Year on the same day than having the nose of the Atom IQ lift up. Thanks to that amazing control, there is no need to decelerate, so you will end up going very fast.
In the jibe you definitely need to apply a bit more foot pressure to put the board on the rail and as expected, it is harder to jibe tight. The upside is that it's almost impossible to fall off the board when cruising through a normal jibe. Very stable and with a lot of grip, the board carves and holds speed from start to end.
The Starboard Atom IQ feels, despite just being 110 liters, a bit bigger compared to all the other freeride / freemove boards of similar volume. It's an extremely easy-going board with excellent riding performance. When sailing, the feeling can be compared to a classic freeride board with 10 to 15 liters more. Due to the width, sail sizes from 6.5m² to 8.0m² fit the 110 better. Everyone looking to replace their old 115 - 120 liter board should consider the board's width; not just the volume; and take into account the Atom IQ 100.