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Starboard Flare 99, German Surf (Germany), Oct 2006




On land:

The stubby tail reminds you a bit of the snub-nose of a beluga whale. Extremely flashy is the look of the shape of the upper deck, especially in the area where the feet are placed. The edge is shaped like a gutter which lets you carry the board with one hand - like a kitesurfer. This also lowers your heels closer to the water. Because of this gimmick and despite the large width of the board, the deck can be kept domed below the straps. So the stance inside the straps is quite comfortable compared to the classic flat upper deck shapes and the ankle doesn't get overstretched. Specific feature: the fin system is US-Box.

On the water:

Since years Starboard focuses on the latest moves in the Freestyle board category without any compromise. The Flare 99 a racy Freestyle board with contest ambitions. The perky freeride factor is overruled by great control. The board is very controllable even in choppy water conditions even though it does not feel too lively in lighter winds. Don't be deceived by the flat planing position of the board. The feeling really does not invite you to jump - but everybody who will try to jump will be surprised. Especially the half-high, fast turn jumps without any ramp. Popping air on flat water can be done absolutely well with the board. To land safe, to continue in the sliding position - that's what makes the special "flair" of the board. The Flare 99 opens the door to a new beautiful Freestyle world in an easy way. The planing qualities are excellent and when changing into switch stance the board keeps the speed - especially because of the excellent stability. Actually, it is so stable that it hardly slows down even when one is a bit clumsy on his feet. Its great stability also extends to maneuvers like tacks, willy skippers and sail moves. There are better boards for classic jibe maneuvers but the combination of controlled, straight backwards slides and fast slide moves is outstanding.

Conclusion:

The FLARE 99 is a real New-Schooler. The board is predominantly shaped for flat rotations and slides than for making big airs.

Surf-tipp:

The FLARE 99 is a board for radical new-school moves without any compromise.

Planning:12 points
Turnability: 11 points
Jumping: 12 points
Jumping and turning the board: 14 points
Sliding backwards: 15 points
Sliding Rotation: 14 points
Classic Freestyle: 11 points

Pointing system for boardcharacters (15 = max., 15-13 points = excellent, 12-10 points = good, 9-7 = ok, 6-4 = ok with some restrictions, 3-1=insufficient)