RE: A real STARTBOARD LONGBOARD???
It's worth noting the split in how Starboard's anticipated SUPs are being received in this thread. In my opinion, these boards aren't targeting one design or raceboard racing, especially since I would expect that the rockerline has been aptly taylored for maneuverability in a surf environment. Otherwise, the concept wouldn't be viable as either a capable SUP or a light wind longboard for the surf. Yet, with the addition of the optional fin type dagger it would still give many folks that live in areas far from the coast a multipurpose recreational level longboard for fun.
Needless to say, many here seem a bit disappointed that Starboard doesn't seem to be creating a completely modern full sized one design raceboard meant for serious racing. There is the Phantom, but it's quite possible that many do not see it as up to the job of serious raceboard competition that many envision. It could be that something is still in development, and that it will be presented at a later date. In reality, there is a whole lot of time before release of the 2008 offerings.
Ola H. has hit the nail on the head here with his thoughts above, and I'm glad that he directed focus to Giampaolu Camarrotta's website. For those who have never viewed Camarrotta's website, it's a goldmine of great information, photos, humor and vision. Also, Camarrotta has been a real leader in the realm of windsurfing surf designed longboards. I would highly recommend spending some time investigating his website, as it paints an excellent picture of what's going on in a very creative and engaging way.
As I mentioned in my initial post above, these SUPs REALLY have my attention, and better target my vision of the perfect longboard. I still remain hopeful that someone on the Starboard team will address my earlier questions. There are other folks like Sean Ordonez that have been building custom SUPs for some time now. In fact, there are a number of folks that I know in Santa Barbara that already have Ordonez SUPs, and they're becoming a much more visible part of the scene. Also, there have been a number of custom guys locally from the surfing industry that are making SUPs, less the mast track. That's why I mentioned the surf shop distribution/retail model in my second post above. I wouldn't underestimate the possible opportunities here, because James' comments about the numbers ratio between surfers and windsurfers is quite real.