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Kode Freestyle Wave 86 Carbon, WIND (France), Feb 2014 [EN-FR]

The Kode Freestyle Waves are Starboards award-winning do-it-all boards. They are aggressive, fast, maneuverable and comfortable, with a balanced blend between wave, freestyle and freeride. Whether used in the waves, in freestyle or for freeride, they aim to please. For 2014, the shapes have been tweaked for more speed and control without losing any of their test-winning characteristics.


The following test was featured in the 2014 Special Test edition of WIND Magazine, along with seven other "freewave" boards between 84 and 93 liters. With top grades in comfort, early planing and waveriding, the Kode is the testers' choice!



Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 86 Carbon: "The magic mix"






Length: 232 cm
Width: 59 cm
Weight / Naked Weight: 7.25 kg / 6.28 kg
Volume: 86 liters
Fin: Drake FreeWave 26 (US Box)
Sail Range: 4.0m² - 6.0m²
Available Sizes: 86, 94 and 103 liters
Available Constructions: Carbon, Wood and Technora

Design:

The Kode range is divided into two programs: Wave and FreestyleWave. Compared to last year, the Kode FreestyleWave 86's nose has been shortened by 3 centimeters to boost its reactivity and its waveriding abilities. This all-terrain board is delivered with a Drake Freewave single fin, designed by MFC and fitted with Starboard's signature pads, the famous "Sponge pads". This board is also available in Wood or Technora constructions.

"La Kode est divisée en deux gammes, les Waves et les FreestyleWaves. Le nez de la Kode FreestyleWave 86 a été raccourci de 3 cm pour accentuer sa réactivité et ses aptitudes dans les vagues et au jibe. Ces modèles tout terrain sont exclusivement montés en single fin MFC et capitonnés du "Sponge Pads", signature Starboard. Aussi disponible en Wood ou Technora."




On the Water:

The Kode Freestyle Wave feels like a toy underfoot, enjoyable and accessible with a balanced volume distribution. The compact outline helps dominate and stay in control of the board. The reactive carbon construction boosts early planing abilities; the acceleration is noticeable. The glide is excellent and the board reacts swiftly. It is an extremely reactive board which can turn into a fast rocker when let loose on a downwind course. The stiffness of the carbon construction is soften by the famous Starboard pads; the most spongy and comfortable pads on the market; which help relieve joints and articulations in choppy conditions. However, they are a bit short under the heels when using the most outward footstrap positions.

"À bord de la Kode Freestyle Wave, on a le sentiment d'avoir un jouet sous les pieds, agréable et facile avec un flottaison parfaitement équilibrée. Son corps compact donne le sentiment de domination et de contrôle. Le départ au planing est franc en raison de sa structure carbone réactive. Les sensations de glisse sont excellentes et les réactions vives. C'est un flotteur ultra réactif qui pourra même se transformer en cheval fou si l'on se lâche au grand largue. La raideur de sa construction est adoucie par les fameux pads Starboard, les plus moelleux du marché, qui soulagent les articulations dans une mer traumatisante. Cependant, ils sont un peu courts sous les talons en positions externes de footstraps."

Direction changes are immediate and always under total control; it's the board main strength. You sail over the fin, and with a decent amount of back foot pressure, you will be able to maneuver and change trajectories at any given moment while staying totally under control. In the surf, it's hard to believe this Kode is fitted with a single 26 cm fin! Although it offers good fin support when reaching upwind, it offers a lot of grip and power when carving, with a lot of precision in the surf. In on-shore conditions, the waveriding is clean and efficient; we're very close to a full-on waveboard.

"Les changements d'allures sont immédiats avec un parfait contrôle, c'est son point fort. Calée sur son aileron avec un gros appui sur le pied arrière, elle peut dégager de la maniabilité à tout moment en restant zen. Au surf, difficile de croire que l'on chevauche une single fin de 26 cm! Si les appuis sont francs pour remonter au près, la prise de carre est solide et le placement au surf précis pour ce flotteur très proche d'une planche de vagues. En conditions on-shore, le waveriding est propre et efficace."

Verdict:

The Kode is a paradoxical board: ultra lively yet extremely comfortable and soft. The magic mix of these two very different features results in an aggressive yet pleasurable board. This Kode 86 provides a lot of sensations; simple freeride sailing can become aggressive waveriding at any given moment, depending on the rider's mood. An all-terrain fun and efficient toy, suitable for all levels.

"La Kode est une planche paradoxale: elle est ultra nerveuse et d'une douceur extrême. La combinaison magique de ces deux caractères donne une planche agressive et agréable. Cette 86 litres procure énormément de sensations de glisse pour une navigation simple qui peut se transformer en waveriding agressif selon l'humeur du pilote et des conditions. Un jouet tout terrain fun et efficace partout, pour tous niveaux."


To find out everything there is to know about the Kode Freestyle Wave, go to the product page by clicking here!

And for more test reviews, just head over to Magazine Test page, with more than 200 reviews going back to 2006!