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Thread: Starboard Ultrasonic Review
2nd April 2013, 02:15 PM #1
Starboard Ultrasonic Review
I had been waiting for this board since last autumn and of course when it arrived it was either blowing a gale or flat calm. But I have used it enough now to give you my first impressions of it.
getting going - The advertising blurb say planing in 8kts. I am 93kg and with a 9.5 sail I think I can get planing in about 9-10kts but with a bit of practise and less rubber as the summer aproaches I should be able to get going earlier.
Staying planing - this is often over looked but makes a big difference to the overall performance. Once on the plane the board just keeps going and can probably get through a 6 kt hole in the wind while feeling sort of marginal. 8kts of wind and you are blasting.
comfort and control - all very good and better than expected. The board replaces a futura 133 and it is as comfortable to blast over chop and the futura. Once the chop gets over a certain size I am aware I can't pick my way through it as nibbely as on a smaller board, remember this is 93cm wide so not the quickest thing to change direction on. but the over all comfort is good and you have good control over the fin.
top end - not quite sure what that is yet and it will depend on the sea state. Probably about 20kts of wind if its constant and the water flat. I have been out in gusty offshore winds from hell. Some of the gusts would have been 20 kts but they were there on second and gone the next giving me no chance to get the board up to speed and settled. Instead I was pulling some rather interesting wheelies in the 58cm fin and a 8.0. I have a 48cm fin for the 8.0 and not had problems with that. Overall the control feel more similar to a Futura than a Isonic.
Turning - tacking is easy as the board is so wide. Gybeing is easy for the same season that you can run around on the deck to keep your balance. because you are going so much faster than the wind it is hard to keep any speed up through the gybes. Gybeing in big chop at speed is a bit tricky as the fin can stall but you feel it and the big deck gives you a chance to come up with a "plan B".
Overall - Take Sunday as a example, not enough wind for anyone else to go out but I thought I might be able to get going and it turned out I was hanging on and the big sail doesn't half give you a workout. 1 hr on that kit and my body feels like it has been wave sailing for 5 hrs. I have only used it on choppy water and my GPS says a max speed of 24 kts and I guess that would be in about 15kts of wind.
Sails - I have made a custom 9.5 designed to work at very high aparant wind speeds so that may be why I am not getting onto the plane as early as I could. I also have a simmer scs 8.0 which is a nice easy sail to use once the wind picks up a bit.
2nd April 2013, 02:57 PM #2
Nice review SR, its a board that has me quite interested as an alternative to Formula, smaller sail smaller baord etc, can't be a bad thing. Have you tried the JP SLW? similar hype maybe not as thoughtfully exectuted as the SB?
How much does your sail account for the low wind efficiency relative to more traditional sail designs?The Windsurfer Formally Known as JKRR - TWFKJKRR or "Him in the Red Shorts"
2nd April 2013, 03:06 PM #3
I haven't tried the JP SLW. I have heard it gets going equally early but maybe becomes harsh a bit earlier.
My sail has the draft quite far back so it doesn't have the grunty nature of the cams being slightly over rotated and there being a lot of draft just behind the mast. This has a finer entry into the sail for the airflow. Once going it seems fast. also I made the battens myself from carbon and they are super stiff so the sail doesn't breath like other sails. I am not sure yet if the battens may be too stiff. I need to test it more with my GPS.
2nd April 2013, 03:15 PM #4
2nd April 2013, 03:19 PM #5
Nope I don't expect it will Duncan, however if my 9.4 Warp could and got me going at teh same point I would have to take interest. The going through lulls is also of real interest as thats what Formula does so well for me, just powers through no problem.
The speeds John is talking about with a 9.5 in such light airs is impressive, more than double windspeed is something to pay attention to IMO.The Windsurfer Formally Known as JKRR - TWFKJKRR or "Him in the Red Shorts"
2nd April 2013, 08:34 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
A good review. I have been waiting to hear whats its like with a view to replacing my Spitfire 151, very encouraging.
2nd April 2013, 09:39 PM #7
Thanks, Interesting review SR, these big boards are always over looked by both UK mags. Must be 7 or 8 years since Boards did that full on light wind review which included a Falcon xl slalom, free formula and even a full on formula & 11m North Warp. Just whished the mags would take the light winds a bit more seriously instead of the yearly iSonic 107- freerace sails 7m etc test.
Would love to see a big review/comparision on the latest and greatest super light wind options.
Been thinking of changing my iS107/137 and Formula 161 or the US147 and either the iS110 or iS117w for a while now. I hardly use the Formula these days, but I like to know that I could go out in super light winds if need be. The US147 could give me that light wind security, but I also love my iS137, mmmm.
Keep us posted on how it goes with the Ultrasonic