Starboard Carve 133, Windsurf (UK), Jun 2007




At a Glance

Having tried the all-new Carve 122 earlier in the year, we were interested to see how the 133 would perform in its class, having stood out in seasons past as one of the more all-round contenders available in this size. Under closer inspection the 133 hasn't gone through as much alteration as its smaller sibling, witnessing only small refinements rather than a complete overhaul. Whilst said to be shorter and narrower in the nose, with sharper rail edges and side-cuts in the tail (akin to the last year's iSonic), the design still has the distinctive rounded nose with progressive lift that starts early in the rockerline, as seen on its predecessor. The underside sees vee throughout being most pronounced between the shoulders and mast track and complimented with double concaves, before washing out towards the tail. Available in both Technora and Wood construction, the 133 is well finished and thought out (such as large recesses to garb the fin bolt) coming supplied with excellent fittings, including a multitude of strap positions, the brand's reputed Slick II straps, fish-scale pads and a Drake 42cm prepreg moulded fin.

Ride and Handling

On the water the 133 is still a fantastically versatile large freeride board, being easy and uncomplicated for the intermediate sailor, yet with plenty of performance on tap for the more experienced hand. Planing early, it releases quickly as the power is applied, the fin generating plenty of lift to punch the board clear of the water. It has a low planing threshold making it easy to move back to the tail early and locate the straps, with plenty of options to locate the excellent no-twist straps according to rider preference. Once planing the board does tend to ride quite nose high, confirming that there is a lot of rocker in the board, albeit disguised by the fact it starts early and is very progressive. Nevertheless, we didn't witness any major side effect such a windage when using the board in powered conditions, whereas the shoulders are sure to remain clear of any rogue chop. Partner the board with an efficient sail and it can be driven purposefully to reach an impressive top speed, feeling looser and more responsive than we remember underfoot, whilst also easy to trim correctly.

Manoeuvres

In the gybe the Carve is still right up there with the best, offering a great deal of versatility and response to adapt to any rider style of ability. Enter the turn tentatively and the board provides the guidance and support to finish the manoeuvre off, giving the passenger a good chance of coming out of the turn on the plane. Push it in more forcefully and you can feel the rails bite, providing the confidence to tighten the arc up midway through the turn. In the tack the wide nose and flat deck do their part to ensure the transition has every chance of completion.

For:

Carving versatility, speed and performance to grow into.

Against:

Could the board's range be extended further with the brand's low nose outline as seen on the iSonic?

Verdict

Whilst witnessing only minor refinements over recent seasons, the 133 remains right on the pace in this category, being both forgiving for the ambitious intermediate and exciting to ride for the seasoned sailor.

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