View Full Version : Why no powerbox for the Kombats

17th August 2007, 08:35 PM
Hi Guys

Congratulations On A Great New Line Up . They Look Better Than Ever And I'm Sure They Ride Better Than Ever. I Own An Isonic 101 Which Is The Best Buy I Have Done In Yrs And I Just Ordered A Futura 93 From My Local Dealer (to Be Used With A 5.7 And 5.2) And Was Also Contemplating On Ordering The Kombat 79 (to Be Used 4.7 Down) As Well But The Fact That It Has No Powerbox Put Me Right Off. I Know The 79 Is Designed With Waves More In Mind But The Fact Alone That The Line Up Is Also Suited For 'freeride Blasting' I Personally Think That A Powerbox Would Have Been More Appropriate Like Jp Uses For Their Freestyle Wave Line Up. I Windsurf Predominantly On Offshore Choppy Conditions Where Going Upwind Is Crucial To Getting Back Ashore And Would Have Like To Use A More Steady Freeride Powerbox Fin Than A Us Box Type Fin.

Anyway That Was Me Speaking My Mind Out Loud. I'm Sure You Can't Satisfy Everyone's Needs And Preferances But Just A Thought.

17th August 2007, 10:16 PM
Believe it or not I was just sitting down to ask this very same question.(Been looking at kombat 107 as replacement
The kombat is a truly fantastic board to sail.(Well the 95 and 107 I have sailed are)
Only people saying kombat is fine with US box are selling them !
Last weekend our friendly fishermen left a wooden pallet (partially submerged) tethered to the sea bed as a marker.Yours trully sailed straight into it.Resultant catapult damaged nose of board; I put harness through sail and no the box didnt break.I was on F2 style (thankfully) A big ding in fin but no damage to box.Suspect box would have come out had I been on kombat !
I know boards cant be built to withstand running aground etc; and accident like above will always damage something; but surely the kombat (especially in bigger sizes) should have a stronger box system.
Seems a bit double standard for #B to promote Tuttle on one hand saying that its needed for ; well nearly all their boards; but the old US box system is said to be strong enough for kombats.
Wonder how many sales are missed on kombats for this reason ???

17th August 2007, 10:23 PM
Yeah, its a problematic issue, this fin box choice thing, and I understand your point of view. Personally I like to blast now and then too on my Kombat and I think the Crossover fins for the larger kombats does the board very good justice in this respect and I don't think a bigger fin than the biggest available crossover (30cm) would really work that well on the K79.

For me it is actually the opposite. I have a huge quiver of US box wave fins and at least 6 of them I regularly use on my Kombat 79. It would be kind of expensive to get a double quiver of fins. Fine tuning of fin position gets impossible with a powerbox. I have a set of tuttle box fins too (for iS and Futura) but I really wouldn't want o put any of those fins on the Kombat anyway.

So, in the end of the day its an impossible problem to solve. Some want it one way and some want it the other way. I guess the unusually strong wave pedigree of the Kombat (relative the other boards in its class) is what makes the choice of us box the natural one.

Some people also complain that the US box is a hassle to use. Well, it is a bit more cumbersome than a powerbox, but given all the techie things involved in a windsurf equipment, I think mounting and unmounting a us box fin is a non-issue.

17th August 2007, 11:13 PM
A remark on strength: A tuttle box (and a good powerbox) will take larger fins than an us box, but not necessarily handle a collision better. I fairly regularly smack into rocks since my home wave sailing spot consists of rocks. I haven't had any issues with a us box for over 10 years and non with a Starboard. In fact, the last box I damaged was powerbox.

So the real argument, I think, is wether the boards need to be run with bigger fins than the US box can take and if the benefits of the US box (availability of wave fins and adjustability) is worth the "extra hassle" mounting them.

In fact, I think most people that promotes powerbox is more worried about the mounting. I can understand that, but when you get used to the us box, it is, as I wrote above, really not a big deal.

18th August 2007, 02:05 AM

Now who would want that??

My first board had powerbox, lost 3 fins that way. Guys at the beach complain about the same problem (with much smaller fins).

PowerBox == wanna buy a new fin?

18th August 2007, 03:46 AM
How did you lose fins withypowerbox. ?? I`ve been sailing longer than I care to remember and only broken boxes I have seen have been US. I do suspect modern US boxes are stronger than they once were but I just cant understand any argument for an essentially weaker design apart from when thickness of board deems PB (and Tuttle) a non-starter. But examining even lots of modern "wave" boards I suspect even thay could mount a PB.Market inertia ? Wave board mentality ??? Not sure. Seems sort of like cars sticking (stopping !!!) with drum brakes. The PB is the better system ; why not use it where possible? Only possible benefit is adjustability for US but at what cost ??
At end of day its the customer who suffers with non- compatability.

18th August 2007, 07:00 AM
At end of day its the customer who suffers with non- compatability.

But that argument only holds for people that has a lot of (relevant) power box fins already. Since the Kombat is in fact also a very wave oriented design (and a freerider), I would say that a lot of the people that might want a Kombat, would like to trick it out with some of their current (us box) wave fins.

But again, I can see there are pros and cons for each system. I don't agree PB is a "better system" though. It's just a different kind of compromise.

18th August 2007, 12:36 PM
Is kombat for wave sailors to blast or for b&j/slalom guys to go in waves? If *board supplied fins/fin for cavity box, would most be happy? There is a market out there --unknown size. How about a poll? Thinking of dropping a Tuttle box in a used 87/79 Kombat if i can find one. Hate to "butcher" a new one. Haven't done this since 9.0/8.8 Hypertech days. If the US box were invented tomorrow, would anyone use it? Tuttle got it mostly right--for free--to any builder. Is the US box cheaper for manufacturer? Just curious.

20th August 2007, 12:09 AM
Great thread. This is exactly what I have been asking for years. I want to get a smaller board -- like a K79. The Kombat is cost prohibitive because I would have to get a new quiver of fins. Any additional fin will add to the cost, and I usually find I use 3 (or 4 if you count weed fins) fins on each of my boards. I have one Powerbox board left and would prefer to get a smaller board with powerbox instead of US in order to capitalize on this investment. For this reason, I am heavily swinging towards the JP FWS77/78 or the Exocet Cross II 84. And if I get the FWS, I would probably end up getting a 2nd one in the future to have two boards that are more similar is character -- getting rid of an older, larger board from my quiver.

I think SB's choice of US box tells me that the Kombat is designed for wavesailors who want to hit the flat water now and again rather than the B&J sailors who want a smaller board. As a result, I think they should either continue the Futura line down to 80 liters or produce Kombats with both fin box types available -- yes, I know the inherent inventory headaches this would create.

Just my $0.02... the result is a very happy Starboard customer who is seriously looking at buying a different brand, which would mean I would be opening myself up to switching my loyalty for the rest of my board quiver.

20th August 2007, 03:23 AM
I think that Floyd made a good point , albeit indirectly, about the US Box. Boards are sometimes too thin to permit cavity type boxes. My two smallest boards incorporate the US Box for that reason. In my experience, the only downside to the US Box is that it's somewhat of a hassle to remove or install the fin. So, of all my boards, I almost never remove the fins from the two with the US Box, and my storage system in my van readily accommodates that. All three of my other boards have Tuttle boxes, and the fins come out every time. Overall, this works out quite well, because I have many different fin choices that I use depending on the location and conditions sailed.

However, if I was to advocate a cavity box, it would unquestionably be the Tuttle design. My one board experience with a PB design proved to be a poor one, as the fin never properly seated in the box. It stood nearly 1/8" above the bottom of the board. Also, why on earth would someone want a box constructed from injected plastic (all my Tuttles are the WaterRat product)? The reason that many brands are using PBs is that they're one of the least inexpensive paths. From my perspective, I think that many are PB advocates because it's easier to change between the majority of different brands out there, and that they undoubtedly have a lot invested in fins over time buying under the strategy. In my opinion, I don't think it's the one versus two screw attachment scenario, although quite a few would advocate that as their reasoning for a preference.

20th August 2007, 03:27 AM
For me the US box is fine. I mainly sail my K96 on a lake where it is great in the strong gusy winds and big wind blown chop we get. For blasting and B&J it is a lot of fun with the fin big freeride fin back in the box. When I go to the coast I just put a wave fin in the box further forward and it really loves the waves if driven of the front foot. I cannot see how such a drastic personality change could be achieved with a PB especially having tried a few of them in Dahab.

29th August 2007, 05:53 AM
Agree with Phil above : the US box of my Kombat 86 is perfect to toggle between a wave board program (wave fin set forward in its finslot; footstraps x 3 set inboard and forward) and a B&J&freeride program (freeride fin set backward in finslot; footstraps x 4 set outboard and back). With a Tuttle or a Powerbox, it's impossible to match the COE of either a wave or a freeride fin with that of the footstrap's set-up. Being able to tune the position of the fin in it's finslot is what makes this Kombat unique and a truly convertible 2 boards-in-1 solution.

On a personal note, I don't want a Powerbox because as Ola said above, I'm already seating on a pile of US box fins (20-32 cm of wave, freeride & slalom) as well as Tuttle box fins (25-80 cm of freestyle, freeride, slalom & race/formula). Two finbox systems are plenty enough for my taste.

Cheers !


30th August 2007, 10:15 AM
I suspect the people who want power/tuttle mostly freeride and the people who use the Kombat for waves prefer US. I had a Kombat 105 and 86. I mostly bump and jumped with the accasional wave thrown in. On both boards I broke the freeride fin off just behind the screw hitting sand banks in a bar. IT was very hard to replace the fin leaving the only option: wave fins. Right now I want a new 96 ltr board as I've got a little heavier. If it didn't have US I would be delighted.

Maybe Starboard could do a run of 96/107 in a tuttle box to see what the take up would be. If they can do the larger sizes in tufskin why not a different fin system. That would be the ultimate service to the customer. Or have a special order system. That may not be practical as I don't know the cost to set that sort of thing up.

30th August 2007, 01:23 PM
Once some manufacturers used to offer (some of) their products in different fin box versions, i. e. Tuttle or powerbox. I don't know whether that would be possible today.
That said, I do totally agree with Starboard's choice not to sell powerbox boards. Tuttle is the way to go if strength is required, US has the adjustability if this is needed, both at the negligible cost of minimal hassle when mounting/dismounting fins. As for the smaller Kombats, it seems obvious to me to make it possible to use one's wave fin quiver on those boards.

30th August 2007, 03:55 PM

You can still order a US box freeride or slalom fin from Vector, Pro-Limit and Select. However, ordering a wave fin in Tuttle box is becoming very difficult nowadays, so fitting a Tuttle box inside the small Kombat is pointless to me.

StarBoard have had Powerbox and Tuttle box in the early days but customers preferred Tuttle box in the end, mainly for its reliability : http://2006.star-board.com/Forum/askteam/read.asp?ID=4126

Finally, it's safer for your board to break the front tab of a US box fin base when hitting sand bars full speed. With a Powerbox or Tuttle box, you can damage the board by pulling out the box itself, which is more co$tly...

Cheers !


30th August 2007, 04:29 PM

You can repair the broken front tab of your US box fin base with a product called Fin Guard. This is a non-rust metallic plate assembly that mounts on both side of the fin base by drilling 2 holes, thus recreating a functional front tab. Can't remember the brand, however, sorry for that.

Cheers !


30th August 2007, 06:35 PM
Jean-Marc, thanks for info. I don't have a Kombat just now. The fins are already in the rubbish. When they broke they folder over on the rear pin at the edge of the fin box so I think the fins are unfixable after that. Turning when hitting causes that damage. Both times I see the impending doom to late.
I agree tuttle is great. THe few times I hit with tuttle I incurred absolutely no damage at all. It is definately very strong. The one power box I had was a mistral in 2005 and I couldn't tighten the bolt fully as the lever had to fold down north or south. My Syncro for the tight position was half way around, so I had to back it off a bit. That was a real pain. This issue has been raised many times and I doubt there will every be any change. These days I use the 93 Stype for bump and Jump while not Ideal still does the job. THat of course has tuttle and a freeride fin that is good for those conditions. I wonder how a Future will go for this use?

We have a select importer right here with a huge range but unfortunatly no supercross in US box. So you know how it is. I didn't want to miss a days sailing waiting for a fin to be imported. A instant decision needed to be made. I ended with 25 X1 wave fin.