Starboard Futura 144 Wood, Windsurf (UK), Jun 2008

The previous transcript of the test contained an error, where the conclusion section (positive points and negative points) quoted the wrong test write up. The previous version incorrectly quoted:
+ Ease of use over a wide range of wind strengths and user abilities, superb early planning and rig carrying capacity for marginal wind performance, and a great tutor and performer in tacks and gybes.
- Footstraps can be a little awkward to adjust."
We've corrected this in the transcript below.

All apologies for the error.

Starboard Team


The Futura has grippy deck pads with "uni directional grip fish scale pads", comfortable and easy to adjust footstraps with "K9 anti twist strap inserts" and good positioning options for intermediate and advanced sailors. There is a recommended setting on the mast track, and it comes with a Drake R13 Race 50 cm SL fin (Tuttle Box). The deck is flat in the middle, and progressively domes to the side for good rider positioning. The plan shape is straight, with width extending into the nose and back of the board, and the tail featuring small wedge cutouts. Vee and double concave in the hull encourage a smooth ride and early planning respectively, and a small bevel on fairly tucked rails makes turning performance easier.

The Futura feels stable at rest and comes up onto the plane early and smoothly, with a comfortable planning threshold. It feels more electric than some in the group, offering a good level of feedback to the rider. If the board is driven harder by the sailor and/or partnered with a more powerful sail, then it releases easily to produce a very quick ride that feels almost like a freerace board. Riders getting planning in an upright position and consolidating strap work will find the board comfortable, yet not without life and feel. Sailors looking for a board to blast around on and race their mates with will love the extra gear that this board has when driven. The board sails well on all points of sail, especially upwind, the sailor able to drive off the fin effectively. In choppy water or overpowered conditions, the board handles it easily, skimming over the top. With good width throughout the board, the Futura also has a good rig carrying capacity.

A good tutor for first timers through to experienced gybers, the Futura responds to reserved, back footed gybes, as well as being driven in harder for tighter arcs and faster exits. The width, which extends up into the nose, gives plenty of room to move around the mast foot, and this combined with a flat deck makes tacks achievable.

A superb all-rounder for a huge range of users from intermediates through to advanced; whether looking to gain confidence planning and using footstraps, wanting to load the board with bigger sails and race mates, or getting superb gybing performance.

+       Early planning, ease of use for a wide range of users in range of conditions, the Futura provides speed,
        feedback to the rider and control, alongside a good rig carrying capacity.
-       Hard to fault - a great board! Two fins supplied with the board rather than one, to cater for the intermediate market,
        would be good, but this is being very picky!