On the Beach:
The shape of the Flare, in comparison to last year's model, stayed the same. Its nose and tail are relatively pointy for a freestyle board, while the pads and straps are, like you expect it from Starboard, extremely durable and well engineered.
It now has one of the best freestyle fins, a Choco Starfish 20cm held by a Slot Box. To us, that means a significant upgrade for radical freestylers, who had to make due with Starboard's own fins before. Looking at the board, we're seeing speed potential, easy pop and an overall radical freestyle board. The Flare has a relatively flat rockerline, but the nose has a bit of scoop (as opposed to other flat shapes). The hull features a V-shape, and sadly the cheaper wood version with visible wood construction was taken out of the line-up.
On the water:
Our first impressions weren't wrong. The new fin emphasizes the radical new-school character of the board and it now runs a little looser than before while it also feels a tad bit faster than its predecessor. Ideal characteristics for double and triple moves, we think. The board feels comparably small to the rest of the test panel, and the one centimeter less width makes itself felt compared to other boards.
Because of its excellent speed potential and its composed planing you will have enough speed potential even after ducking the sail or going into switch-stance in gusty conditions. True to Starboard character, the board remains one of the most responsive/direct boards in the test, reacting to the slightest change in stance or foot pressure - one of the most radical boards in his test.
Air moves is what this board is all about, but the board will also rotate wonderfully through a range of different slide moves, preferable the double ones, even though it doesn't do it with the same grace some other boards showed us during testing.
Together with one other board in the test, the Starboard stands out as the radical one of the test group. This fast board wants to do power moves, just like the judges and audience likes to see them. light riders will love the pop, and heavy, accomplished freestylers will appreciate its planing characteristics in combination with its 100% new-school dedication.
A radical tool for tricks, that doesn't appreciate misplacing your feet during a slide, but has a loose and agile feel to it, making it perfect for big power moves. Its the perfect board for professionals and those who don't care about a spock but want to get straight into learning the ponch, a loop or kono. And the new fin is the icing on the cake, as you won't have to invest an additional EUR 100 for a radical fin.
Length: 231 cm
Width: 62.5 cm
Volume: 101 liter
Weight: 6.30 kg
Fin: Choco Starfish 20cm, G10
To go to the 2013 Flare product page, click here