Starboard Kode 94 WoodCarbon, Windsport (USA), Spring 2010

WIDTH : 62.5 CM

THE RIDE : Introduced last year, the Kode is the freestyle wave board that Starboard fans have been waiting for. It can be used for cruising flatwater, skying off chop or swell and even dabbling into freestyle aerials and waves if need be. It's wider than most for its volume giving it stability while it accelerates. but in the wood carbon construction it accelerates so quickly an inexperienced rider may have trouble keeping up (progressional riders may benefit from the less expensive Technora or wood constructions). More advanced riders find that its quick acceleration gets you up and planing in the smallest gust and keeps you planing through huge holes. This is one of the few small boards tested whose controlled ride lets you keep putting the sails power to the board through choppy water. This much speed turns chop into launch ramps where its lightness underfoot inspires you to try new things. The Starboad footstraps have improved but the large amount of spacing between each insert makes strap-width customization difficult.

THE JIBE : It takes commitment to come into a jibe with all the speed the Kode has and in choppy waters... but have faith as the Kode treats you right. It slices through chop and holds its rail better than we expected. Once you realize what it's capable of you'll start bringing your weight more forward and rip through jibes at a speed that will shock you.

THE FORTE : The Kode will add a bit of speed and excitement to your day of sailing. We would define this as and ideal board for bump-and-jump sailors who want to accentuate the "jump" part of their sailing and then rail through the "bumps" with smooth tight turns.


WIND RANGE : These two boards are perfectly spaced because the wide Kode 94 feels a little bigger than its volume. This is the perfect combo to cover North America's most common wind conditions. The Futura will easily take an 8.0 m2 sail and the Kode rides well enough on an occasional 4.0 m2 day to not warrant the need for a smaller board

WATER RANGE : There is a good transition from the Futura to Kode in how they deal with chop. The Futura handles the small chop found in lighter wind and then pull out the Kode as the wind and chop builds.

SAILOR STYLE : A similar style and feel, responds to tweaks in rider position and trim making for the perfect match. A wide range of ability levels can find comfort on this combo, plus both boards will increase in speed and performance as you get better. Purchase the Futura first and by the time you're ready to move its straps outboard the Kode will offer quick progression into smaller boards and higher winds.

GETTING DIALED-IN : Starboard providesturning tips along with a similar feel underfoot to immediately feel at home on either board. The only critique is that both boards use less prominent fin boxes (Tuttle on Futura and A-base on Kode).