Compared to the last year's edition, the new Starboard Flare has similar optical features but the shape is re-engineered. Along the rail are the well-known heel gutters features (the Tabou freestyle board has them too) that offer a more rounded deck-shape and a more comfortable stance. The ankles don't need to overstretch that much while sailing. All other design details have been figured out well: you only need one big Phillips screwdriver to fix all the parts on the board, including the US-Box fin bolt. In a matter of seconds, the velcro footstraps can be adjusted for every foot.
Well powered, the board outperforms its competition with exceptional control and smoothness. It is easy to sail and forgiving when going straight as well as when jibing or carving. The above-mentioned domed deck allows a comfortable stance with convenient pressure on both legs. That's the reason the board is, together with the JP Freestyler, well suited for freeride action too. With enough pressure in the sail the board is a great New Schooler. Everybody training on moves like the Volcan or Spock will love the Flare. When sliding backwards, the board keeps track and forgives wrong positioning. In the category of Classic Freestyle, the board keeps the same characteristics and gets the top ranking within the test group.
It's only in low wind conditions that the test team is missing the liveliness a bit. The board starts to plane well but doesn't super lively and it's not ready to pop immediately. A JP or F2 Freestyler is able to use the gusts more efficiently.
The more wind there is, the better the Starboard Flare gets. Everybody who is looking for a board for gusty lightwind conditions will not be happy with the moderate acceleration, but well-powered with smaller sails, the board performs excellently. Due to the great control, more moves will be landed.
Strong wind freestyle board with top control.