This test, amongst many others, was featured in the May edition of SURF!
Starboard Carve 131 Carbon: "There isn't a board that planes easier"
Volume: 131 liters
Fin: Drake Freeride Power 46cm / Tuttle Box
Available sizes: 111, 121, 131, 141, 151 and 161
The Carve in Carbon technology reveals a carbon weave throughout the minimalist surface. With a length of 252 centimeters, the Carve is gradually moving over to the longer end of the freeride market. Royally spread, the board makes it to an equally impressive 75 centimeters of width, adding to the perception that this is a big but thin board. The deck is flat and only at the tail you will see the shape gradually narrowing. The cut-outs underneath the tail demonstrate a willingness to experiment. The large and rather straight fin is secured inside a Tuttle box with two screws. Big holes in the deck allow for swift access. The straps have a outside row of inserts for freeracing, and an inside row for moderate freeriding. There is no middle row of inserts.
On the Water:
Again, longer and wider. Of course this doesn’t hurt early planing or stability one bit. The pontoon-like stability aids in getting planing quickly and easier although the board does feel bigger than the other boards in the test group. This is why the ideal sail range shifted at least a meter up, compared to some of the other boards in the test group. But there isn't a board in the group that planes easier than the Carve. Careful foot placement with the Carve? Forget about it.
And the Carve remains easy to control, even at its very high top speed, to which the board willingly accelerates. In lighter winds, the board also maintains a good speed, keeps fin pressure through lulls, with a sporty and free-running sensation to it. Committed freeracers will also enjoy this board, as you willfully force it on its rail into the curve. Tight turns or wide arches – the Carve does them all. Especially the not-so confident jiber will find that the Carve accommodates him and keeps planing right until its time to throw the sail around. Amazing, or maybe not so much, because even though the board is wide, its narrow tail allows for very tight turns and in this board group, you’d almost call it “snappy”. The windsurfer who is relatively new to planing will appreciate its stability in tacks, as the extended length makes itself paid in stability.
The Carve is sporty and accommodating to progressive windsurfers at the same time. Anyone exploring the world of carving, right up to the committed freeracer will be happily served with the Carve. Pay attention though: the board will be perceived as large, and when in doubt, one should look at the width instead of the volume when choosing a Carve. The tail could have done with a middle row of inserts for the back strap as well.