Starboard Evo XTV 80
The first impression:
The EVO 80 replaces the 83 of the last season and got like all other EVOs a new bottomshape: a concave nose changes to a double concave in the middle and into a strong shaped V at the tail. Over the years the EVO got the image of the ultimate, short and wide board. For 2008 the carving performance and the fluid riding abilities got improved to even go up more vertical in the breaking part of the wave. The board gets delivered with excellent accessories like really good footpads and straps and a firstclass G–10 fin.
The EVO 80 plans extremely easily, feels quite comfortable when riding and has a huge windrange. While subplaning the board stays stable in the water. When you catch the lightest gust, the board accelerates very quickly, but stays easy in control. The stance in the straps is very comfortable and stable; it feels all the time compact and ready to react. The EVO 80 is extremely versatile and fits to each riding style. The fin gives a lot of grip. If you accelerate a lot, the board sits flat on the water, is stable and easy to control under the legs. Also in the rough and overpowered conditions the board never looses its balance. The rider can trust the board and develop a good feeling for the board. In strong chop we prefered the EVO 80 compared to its smaller brother. This board makes the chop feel like flat water and runs quite smooth over it.
The EVO XTV 80 is easy to ride with the front or back leg because of its harmonic outline and thin tail. All this components make this board to an incredible waveboard. You can press the boardedge quite far into the water and lean forward in the bottom turn, before you let your body fall back when pressing the board above the backleg in a narrow curve radius and hurtle towards the wave in a vertical way with an incredible high speed. WIth the EVO 80 under your feet everything is possible and as well experienced sailors will wonder, which moves can be done. It doesn't matter if you do aerials, fast carving turns or radical action in the white water. The EVO 80 offers the full programm. Compared to his smaller brother EVO 75, the EVO 80 has a wider range of use and is the board for heavier riders.
The EVO XTV 80 combines extremely early planning with aggresssion, control and fantastic wave performance. We can recommend the EVO to everybody, especially
Huge range, user–friendly and incredible versatile performance in waves.
It's a modern waveboard. We can not say anything bad about it.to heavier sailors as a small board.
Starboard Evo XTV 90
The first impression
The EVO 90 can be used not only as the "one wave board solution" for heavy riders but also as and additional light wind solution for light riders. The board is available in a wood version (used in the test) or in the a bit heavier Technora version. The complex under waterline combines a mono concave in the nose with a double concave in the middle, plus a V in front of the fin, which runs towards the tail. The fitting of the board is exemplary with a 25 cm long G 10 Drake fin, anti twisting slick–footstraps and excellent footpads.
While subplanning the board stays quite stable and gets surprisingly quick into a free position, when it starts to plan having some pressure in the sail. The EVO 90 gets an excellent end speed, runs quite good on the upwind and feels stable, quiet and always in control. There is just one negative point we have to add: the footstrap plugs are too wide apart from each other, in our opinion.
The result is, that you do not have enough grip while sailing bare foot. But you can solve it easily, for example for the front footstrap, you take the third hole at the front position and the middle (second) hole at the back position. Although the board has a lot of speed sailing straight, the EVO 90 reacts very quickly when giving some pressure on the foot.
It was hard to get our testers off this board! The EVO 90 stays in control. It doesn't matter, how radical you press the board into the turn. It's quite easy to sail vertical to the lip of the wave and cut a very radical cutback in the wave. The EVO 90 feels extremely light and reactive. It was one of the best wave boards in this group of boards. It has a wider range compared with the other boards of the group.
The EVO XTV 90 was a favorite of the testers. It's an extremely well made board for low wind wave riding use. Highly recommended.
Incredible excellent carving characters, wide range and suitable from wave beginners to experts.
Contra: Just the footstrap plugs, which are too far apart from each other, but nothing else.
Starboard Futura 122
The first impression:
The Futura 122 continues the tradition of the highly praised Carve 122. Modifications in the shape, which were made on all Futura sizes, include an alleged 15 % reduction of thickness. In the direct comparison to the common shapes the Starboard test team realized a clear improvement in comfort of use and in speed. The 122 liter sized Futura is with its size in the middle of the 7 boards big Futura line. It has the same bottom shape like the Futura 111 and the well known cutups from the Isonic designs. The board accessories and quality in production are excellent. The straps are a bit stiff and relatively thin and get worn out quite quick. The 40 cm fin, which gets delivered with the Futura, is a Drake Free slalom shape.
The Futura got wider and thinner compared to his pre runner Carve. At the water the board feels very stable and loose and carries sail sizes up to 8.5 m without any problems. The start into planning feels quick and intuitively on this board. The flat deck shape along the board middle line helps on the way back into the well placed straps. If you got in the straps once, the acceleration and the maximum end speed are impressive. The Futura 122 is a bit harder to trim compared to the other boards in this test group and needs in powered conditions more body tension. If you do not have enough tension it can happen, that the board rolls from one to the other rail. With an active riding style the board accelerates with each gust more and more. You can even ride the board on the fin like a slalom racer. Not much bottom area stays inside the water, but the board never feels nervous like the pure racing machines.
Fortunately the Futura 122 has lost nothing of the move performance compared to the Carve. The board is extremely versatile in jibing. The initiation of a curve is extremely easy. The edges have an excellent grip and are reliable in every radius of a curve. At the exit of the jibe the wide tail helps to plan through. The low nose helps to go upwind into a tack, but the volume in the nose area is reduced. Heavier sailors should walk very quick around the mast.
Excellent acceleration and end speed, extraordinary great carving qualities.
powered up in choppy conditions it's demanding to trim the board.
The Futura 122 should find a big fanclub: the board performs so great to impress sailors with excellent skills, but it's good–natured enough to secure a medium skilled sailor quick improvement. An excellent board, which is recommendable.
Starboard Kombat 96
The first impression:
The Kombat 96 is the third smallest board out of the six boards of the range. For 2008 it got rebuilt completely. The shape is stamped with the well known Starboard "spiralling V concept". A strong V in the nose, which helps to get the board well into the turns and to not spin out. The V in the middle is not too strong, to get the board quick into planning and to allow a high end speed. The kick tail and the stronger formed V in the tail remind rather of the shape of a wave board. The board got thinner compared to the last years model. It gets delivered with the already known first class accessories. The pads are comfortable and give a good hold. The straps are easy to adjust and the delivered fin fits great to the board.
The Kombat 96 is one of the outstanding boards in this tes tgroup. It starts to plan very early, accelerates quick an plans free and comfortable. It definitely feels lighter and more move orientated compared to the last years model. It's very quick, feels short and compact because of the outline which reminds of a big wave board and is easy in control despite an agile character. The moderate domed deck increases the comfort in riding and allows more body positions. You can sail upright and wave orientated or you can lean back and accelerate. In choppy water the board stays quiet because of the V shape in the bottom. The straps are a small minus. They are easy to adjust, but do not give enough hold, which would be necessary for universal use.
In the jibe the board is incredibly versatile. You can carve fast narrow or long wide jibes. The board can do everything. In the waves the board does surprisingly well compared to its size. You can go for radical, narrow Bottom turns and Cut backs or in higher waves wide carved turns. In Freestyle sailing it looks a bit different. You can do all tricks with this board, but only, if you are a good sailor. Due to the short and wide outline it is easy for tacking.
End speed, incredible carving performance for a board of this size
Tuned with different straps we have nothing to criticize.
The Kombat 96 is fast and agile, but all the time easy to control. A very great all rounder, with which you can really have fun in less good conditions. Highly recommendable for Windsurfers of all levels and body weights.