Starboard Futura 111 Carbon: "A fast and unbelievably early to plane race-biased but comfortable board"
Length: 240 cm
Width: 65 cm
Weight: 6.5 kg
Volume: 111 liters
Fin: Drake Venom 42cm (Tuttlebox)
Sail range: 5.0m² - 8.0m²
Available sizes: 93, 101, 111, 121, 131 and 141 liters
Starboard describe Futura freerace boards as "like slalom boards but with more user-friendliness and more comfort. They are the sports car of windsurfing". Starboard also offers the UltraSonic as a lightwind-specific freerace board, the iSonic for full-on slalom and, of course, the Carve for freeride use.
• Outline: The widest board in this test, the Futura has a wide and very parallel rails with "hips" in the stance area.
• Deck: Heavily recessed deck, domed at the rear with an aggressively forward-sloping mast track.
• Rail Profile: Tucked rails along the whole length until they sharpen at the rear footstraps with wingers.
• Bottom Shape: Moderate double concave to slight Vee to iSonic-inspired cutaways at tail.
• Rocker Line: Continuous rocker from nose to under the front straps where it flattens off with virtually no tail kick.
Underfoot: Very lightweight and stable off the plane thanks to the width, which also helps at an idle.
Early Planing & Acceleration: Effortless! One minute you're not, and then you are. It all feels surprisingly easy.
Top Speed: Excellent, with amazing acceleration, particularly off the wind. Feeling very attached to the water; it's only when massively overpowered that we ever felt like being on the edge of control.
Jibing & Maneuvers: Pleasantly easy and forgiving to jibe, especially given the lack of tail kick and general "full-on" appearance. The width adds an extra stability through the turn that inspires confidence and the thin forward rails help in initiating turns. Responds well to changing the arc of the jibe, something you might find yourself doing in a racing situation.
Handling & Ride: Super smooth across all water states. Planted in chop but the fin hydrofoils well over swell and gives confidence to bear off deep. Slightly more technical to sail upwind.
Starboard recommends using two fin to compliment the whole sail range. But, unless you're out in super-marginal winds, just one smaller fin will suffice. Sails with too much forward pull resulted in harsh back foot pressure suggesting compact, draft-further-back foils are best.
Inspired by title-winning designs, the Futura is a fast and unbelievably early-to-plane race-biased board that's way more comfortable and forgiving to turn than a full-on slalom shape.
Given its heritage, it's unsurprising to find the Futura as perfect for wannabe racers, especially in dirty or gusty wind situations.