Starboard's R&D process starts with ideas. Ideas for new shapes, new designs, new technology constructions, new material uses, new flex patterns and new accessories. Most of these ideas simply come from windsurfing. Our Dream Team riders and our R&D team log thousands of hours of water time. This gradually yields a stream of ideas that are turned into physical reality in our workshop prototyping facility.
Other ideas come from a theoretical approach, through hydrodynamic analysis by Jim and myself. This provides a different approach to the common trial-and-error basis and becomes a very strong advantage when designing boards such as the iSonics, the Formula or the Futura.
There are also many ideas that come from the market at large: through our network of shops and distributors, through reading magazine tests and through our email inbox.
Last but not least, our most innovative ideas have come from asking ourselves daring questions, looking outside the box as Jim would say, or simply waking up one morning with an exciting new vision that strives to open up unchartered seas. Once an idea has evolved into a tangible product, the graphics are added by Starboard's team of three graphic designers. Designs are created on computers, boards are sprayed up in the painting booth, custom stickers are printed and applied, pads are cut by hand and glued on. The final colours are chosen and the last details refined.
Next, the factory line creates a mould and presses the first board that is finished and inspected by the R&D team and the graphics team. Sample boards are sent to riders for durability testing and others are bench-tested destructively. These quality control steps are the pivot point in the life of a board.
The teams verify the accuracy of the shape, the quality and conformity of all fittings and set the benchmark for production. After a number of iterations, the perfect board that meets all criteria is signed off, signaling the start of the production run.
Information on the products are dissected, uploaded onto our website and printed, inviting windsurfers to discover each new model, in every detail and from all angles. As production runs complete their cycle, boards are triple checked, boxed and shipped out by sea, ready to hit the water, and start their new life.