Starboard Carve 121 Wood – WIND Test Special 2011
Consistent, sporty and competitive
Shape: The Dual Flat Concept combines two flat sections; one right beneath your feet to aid planing, and one at tail level, for control in chop and strong winds. The Carve comes in three sizes (121, 131, 141) in two different technologies: Wood (6mm of Australian pine; light, reactive and shock absorbing) or Tuf-Skin (Wood and glassfiber, durable, and impact resistant).
On the water: Riding on a Carve, one takes an outboard position, thanks to the ergonomic design that allows you to put a lot of heel pressure with your back leg. The nice, soft footstraps give a comfortable support. The board takes off by itself and goes easily into performance mode. Less voluminous than its competitors, its take-off onto a plane is a little later than the rest of the group, although it is more than adequate. Even though the Carve is lively and exciting, it is also relatively stable, allowing you to take it well beyond its range of use. Its performance is very good on all tacks, but is upwind capacity is excellent thanks to the rail shape and the fin. The board runs low enough on the water but not as low as we expect from a Starboard. Controlling the board does not pose any problem with a board that never takes of to the skies, even if the going gets tough. Very consistent, the Starboard is accessible, dynamic, and sporty. Carving into the gybes is easy and allows a fast exit if you want to. Boom-to-boom gybes without dropping out of planing are easy, but if you let go half way through, you'll lose some stability.
Verdict: The Starboard Carve 121 belongs in the same performance-type class as the X-Cite Ride and the Hawk 120. Very consistent, it is a sporty board, stable and clean and lively that remains very accessible. A great board for progressing.
Pros: Control, gybes, plug & play, consistency, performance, well equipped
Cons: Sometimes the Carve can feel a little cumbersome on long rakes
Weight/Construction: 8,1 kg, Wood technology
Shape: flat, V, V double concave + flat, V, cut outs
Footstraps/Pads: 4 basic ones
Position Footstraps: Front: 3 inside/ 3 centered/3 outside, back: 3 inside/ 3 centered/3 outside
Fin (material/system): 40cm Drake freeride Glide Tuttle Box