STARBOARD ALLSTAR 14’ X 24.5” CARBON SANDWICH TEST REVIEW
Simply one of the most refined race board shapes on the market which is continually tweaked each year. This new 2018 model come from a long line of race winning shapes to create an all-round racer which is at home on the flat, bumps and waves too. This year’s version brings a 24.5” board into easy reach of the recreational paddler with it’s complex, stability inducing bottom shape ad massive chunky nose. This will be the board paddlers will most fear having next to them on the start line.
On deck the All Star comes with several handle positions (with two supplied), a long split deck pad with kick pad and a slightly recessed deck. The board has a massive deck with very high boxy rails which taper out towards the wide thick tail. Underneath, a complex nose channel gets deeper through the centre before shallowing and narrowing out. The rails have a double bevel which flattens off in the tail, the board comes with a basal core Bio resin US box fin which is set well forward.
From entry level riders to elite racers, the All Star is the world’s most successful, user-friendly and versatile race design. The All Star is again 2 to 3 boards length faster relative to its predecessor due to refined rocker lines and bottom shape. Downwind the performance is further improved due to increased nose volume making the board pop on to every piece of chop. The amazing hull maintains control to surf in breaking waves and it’s flatter tail makes it even faster for buoy turns.
Plodding about on flat water one race board can tend to feel like any other, but after a period of testing in different conditions we really managed to appreciate what the All Star has up its sleeve. A few years ago most racers were club racing on 26” and touring on 28” boards and leaving the 24” boards the preserve of the lightest or most skilled riders. Starboard with their continuous design work have managed to now fit the 24.5” size right in the middle of the range meaning there’s two smaller sizes for the elite guys and girls, and more performance for you and I. The first thing you notice about the massive All Star is the chunky rails and the high and dry feeling when paddling it over the chop and small waves. We found the combination of soft bow, huge volume and deep channel with wide tail means it doesn’t suffer from the usual ‘start – stop’ when paddling into wind and chop; it barely loses any speed at all. However on deck we tended to be stood in the usual 1-2cm of water as the recessed area had no draining on this size which is not uncommon on race board. Catching bumps and progressing downwind, the Starboard was super easy and flattered the rider, it never really came close to nose diving. We embrace all the qualities Starboard have shoe horned into their new All Star; the more time you spend on it the more rewarding it becomes. I’m sure the narrower versions will be even better again, is it the best race board on the planet? well it’s not going to hinder you…
OTHER BOARDS IN THIS TEST: